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Earth weighed down (1)

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04 Religious and philosophical literature and poetry

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

destruction of mankind
Greek Archaic Age
Greek philosophers and scholars
Greek poets

The advisor of Zeus, Momos, occurs only here, and his name may be derived from Akkadian Mummu.

Homer, Iliad 1.5 (Scholia) (Homer, OCT Vol. 5, p. 117):
Some say that Homer found it in a story, for they say that Earth was weighed down by an excess of men, there being no piety among men, and (so) she asked Zeus to lighten her burden. Zeus first sent the Theban War through which he destroyed very many people. Later, again, Zeus took counsel with Momos, which [event] Homer calls the Plan of Zeus (Dios Boulē). He was ready to destroy everyone with thunderbolts or flood, but Momos dissuaded him from this, and suggested to him marrying Thetis to a mortal (i.e. to be parents of Achilles), and the production of a beautiful daughter (i.e. Helen by Leda), from both of which [acts] a war sprang up between Greeks and Barbarians, from which time it came about that Earth was lightened [of her burden] since many were destroyed. The story is in Stasimos who composed the Cypria, writing as follows:

“There was a time when the countless tribes of men, though wide-dispersed, oppressed the surface of the deep-bosomed earth, and Zeus saw it and had pity and in his wise heart resolved to relieve the all-nurturing earth of men by causing the great struggle of the Ilian war, that the load of death might empty the world. And so the heroes were slain in Troy, and the plan of Zeus came to pass.”

Source (list of abbreviations)
Homer, Iliad 1.5 (Scholia) (Homer, OCT Vol. 5, p. 117)


Burkert 1992, 101-102Burkert, Walter. The Orientalizing Revolution. Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Period. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press 1992.
Kilmer 1972, 176Kilmer, Anne. “The Mesopotamian Concept of Overpopulation and Its Solution as Reflected in the Mythology.” Orientalia 41 (1972) 160-177.

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cf. Homer, Iliad 1.5

Amar Annus

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