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Flood myths form an intrinsic part of many cultural narrations. Both the Persian Culture and Assyrian culture share this phenomenon. The Legend of Yima and The Angel Yima are all Persian flood accounts. The story of angel Tristar and the demon Apaosha in the Persian culture is an account of the flooding that ended the existence of malignant creatures. According to Persian legend, these creatures resembled Ahriman. Ahriman was the evil force who roamed the earth. The account extends that thunder and rain originated from the tussle. Essentially, when the Angel Tristar descended, he caused ten days and ten nights of rain respectively. The droplets of the rain were as large as bowls. This resulted in floods which drowned the creatures. The dead creatures then found their way onto the holes on earth and continued to foul the universe. Thus Tristar was compelled to descend to the surface of the earth for the second time. At the time, the demon Apaosha was the leader of the obnoxious creature. He fought Tristar, but the angel was too strong for him. Apaosha was struck with lightning and bawled out with pain (Miller, 1994). It is this sound that is heard in thunderstorms. Tristar then unleashed the second flood which washed away the poisonous remains of the evil creatures. It is these waters that were driven by the wind to the corners of the universe to form the Vourukasha Sea. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The Assyrian flood myth details the floods that were inspired by the Assyrian gods. The myth is known as the Epic of Gilgamesh. The gods were keen on cleansing the earth as it had become overpopulated. The gods were led by Enlil (Isaak, 2002). Nonetheless, one of the human creatures caught was warned before the cleansing. Utnapishtim was implored to build a boat of seven decks to protect the seeds of all living things before the floods begun. The storm lasted a duration of six days. With the exception of Utnapishtism, his family and the living creatures that had boarded the boat, every human being perished in the floods (Sandars, 1972). The floods were so furious that even the gods themselves were in fear. The waters covered everything on earth. Only the peak of Mount Nisur was visible. It is here that Utnapishtism docked the boat and delved out onto the surface once more. In the process, Assyrian legend indicates that Asag, the demon of sickness and disease was destroyed. The floods destroyed his place and took his life.
Three Similarities in the Persian and Assyrian Flood Accounts
The Persian and Assyrian flood accounts share many features. To begin with, in both cases, the floods were intended to cleanse the earth. In the Persian account, the earth was being cleansed of the evil creatures who roamed the earth (Miller, 1994). Essentially, the floods ushered in a new era in the Persian community. It allowed for the earth to flourish. Likewise, in the Assyrian account, the floods were intended to cleanse the earth of the overbearing human population. The earth was being poisoned as a result of the large numbers. Thus, the floods killed all human beings except Utnapishtism and his family. The end of the floods ushered in a new era of prosperity for the human race. Utnapishtism and his wife were granted immortality. This was a symbol of man’s prosperity after the floods. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
In both the Persian and Syrian flood accounts, the floods originated from supernatural powers. In the Persian account, the star Sirius, a supernatural being with transformational powers, initiated the entire flooding (Miller, 1994). He did this in the first descent when he unleashed flood on the evil creatures that roamed the earth. Then again, he unleashed an even more severe flood in the second descent. This was intended to rid the earth of the poisoning that had been caused by the dead evil creatures. In the Assyrian account, the floods were also unleashed by the gods. The gods were led by Emil. The supernatural beings had intended to rid the world of the large population of human beings who roamed the earth.
Lastly, in both accounts, the active supernatural being had to overcome a demon to rescue the earth. In the Persian account, the angel Tristar was compelled to fight against the demon Apaosha to rid the earth of the obnoxious creatures who were roaming the earth (Isaak, 2002). The demon Apaosha was struck by lightning which originated from a supernatural power. Therefore, the roar which comprises the noise of the thunderstorms marked the defeat of the evil powers. Likewise, in the Assyrian flood accounts, Sharur vanquished the demon of sickness and demon (Sandars, 1972). Asag, the demon, had been responsible for the plagues that had been afflicting humanities. However, his reign was cut short when the floods were released onto the earth. The current swept his home and killed him in the process. His death marked the beginning of the floods. This was an indication that the earth had been cleansed.
The flood stories mainly reflect on the origins of man and the evolutionary process that human beings go through. It addresses the origins of the present-day natural catastrophes. The Assyrian and Persian flood myths give credence to the role of supernatural powers in the creation of the earth. They prevail on the protectionist role that the gods play with regards to nature and human beings. Human beings, animals, and nature, are all under the protection of the gods. The gods are empowered to determine the interactions between these diverse parties.
My interpretation is based on the cultural evolutionary framework. It closely relates to the epic of Gilgamesh. Essentially, human beings evolve in culture. They change depending on their surroundings. Their sustenance depends on how well they adapt to the earth. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, human beings had erred in many ways. They had desecrated the earth given their large population. Thus, they had not successfully adapted to their surroundings. The cleansing was a symbol of the evolution that took place. The older human race had been wiped out and had been replaced by a culturally sensitive human race. The end of the floods marked the evolutionary transition in man. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The film “Beasts of the Southern world” has a flood motif. It is an account of the struggle of one Hushpuppy, a six-years-old girl. The story centers on the challenges that the character has to overcome. These challenges are a consequence of storms and the surrounding water. The square boat which the main character and her father find themselves has an ark-like significance. Like in the myth Epic of Gilgamesh, the boat saves the character and her father. It also gives them the opportunity to rescue others who had suffered from the torrential rains. The ending of the film marks a new beginning in the community
In conclusion, I have learned that flood myths are found in more than one culture. Every region in the world has a flood myth, which the people within the subject region identify with. Flood myths play an intrinsic role in determining the relationship between man and nature. Therefore, when we engage the environment, it should be in a positive framework. Flood myths further indicate the evolutionary progress of man. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Isaak, M. (2002, September 2). Flood Stories from Around the World. Retrieved September 9, 2016, from The TalkOrigins Archive
Miller, L. (Ed.). (1994). South of the Clouds: Tales from Yunnan . Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Sandars, N. K. (1972). The Epic of Gilgamesh. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, Ltd.