Mythical Monsters, by Charles Gould, , at sacred-texts.com
Obartés Elbaratutu being dead, his son Xisuthros (Khasisatra) reigned eighteen sares (64,800 years). It was under him that the great Deluge took place, the history of which is told in the sacred documents as follows: Cronos (Ea) appeared to him in his sleep, and announced that on the fifteenth of the month of Daisiosthe Assyrian month Sivana little before the summer (solstice) all men should perish by a flood. He therefore commanded him to take the beginning, the middle, and the end of whatever was consigned to writing, and to bury it in the city of the Sun, at Sippara; then to build a vessel and to enter it with his family and dearest friends; to place in this vessel provisions to eat and drink, and to cause animals, birds, and quadrupeds to enter it; lastly, to prepare everything for navigation. And when Xisuthros inquired in what direction he should steer his bark, he was answered 'Toward the gods,' and enjoined to pray that good might come of it for men.
Xisuthros obeyed, and constructed a vessel five stadia long and five broad; he collected all that had been prescribed to him, and embarked his wife, his children, and his intimate friends.
The Deluge having come, and soon going down, Xisuthros loosed some of the birds. These, finding no food nor place to alight on, returned to the ship. A few days later Xisuthros again let them free, but they returned again to the vessel, their feet full of mud. Finally, loosed the third time, the birds came no more back.
Then Xisuthros understood that the earth was bare. He made an
opening in the roof of the ship, and saw that it had grounded on the top of a mountain. He then descended with his wife, his daughter, and his pilot, who worshipped the earth, raised an altar, and there sacrificed to the gods; at the same moment he vanished with those who accompanied him.
Meanwhile those who had remained in the vessel, not seeing Xisuthros return, descended too, and began to seek him, calling him by his name. They saw Xisuthros no more; but a voice from heaven was heard commanding them piety towards the gods; that he, indeed, was receiving the reward of his piety in being carried away to dwell thenceforth in the midst of the gods, and that his wife, his daughter, and the pilot of the ship shared the same honour. The voice further said that they were to return to Babylon, and, conformably to the decrees of fate, disinter the writings buried at Sippara, in order to transmit them to men. It added that the country in which they found themselves was Armenia. These, then, having heard the voice, sacrificed to the gods and returned on foot to Babylon. Of the vessel of Xisuthros, which had finally landed in Armenia, a portion is still to be found in the Gordyan mountains in Armenia, and pilgrims bring thence asphalte that they have scraped from its fragments. It is used to keep off the influence of witchcraft. As to the companions of Xisuthros, they came to Babylon, disinterred the writings left at Sippara, founded numerous cities, built temples, and restored Babylon.
The large amount of work done by the few followers of Xisuthros, seems very surprising, but easily accounted for if we take the version of the Deluge given by Nicolaus Damascenus (a philosopher and historian of the age of Augustus, and a friend of Herod the Great).
"He mentions that there is a large mountain in Armenia, which stands above the country of the Minyæ, called Baris. To this it was said that many people betook themselves in the time of the Deluge, and were saved. And there is a tradition of one person in particular floating in an ark, and arriving at the summit of the mountain." *
375:* Berosus lived in the time of Alexander the Great, or about B.C. 330-260, or 300 years after the Jews were carried captive to Babylon.
376:* Encyclopædia Britannica.