37 Images of Noah in Ancient Greek Art: Part VI
Greek Artists Make Nereus/Noah an Unwilling Witness to the Rise and Take-over of Zeus-religion
Nereus/Noah is a benchmark figure. Artists placed him in
scenes as the constant, the known figure against whom they could portray
the great spiritual/religious change taking place after the Flood. On
the vase-depiction above, an artist has made Nereus/Noah a silent witness
to the abduction of his daughter, Thetis, by the Zeus-worshipper, Peleus.
This partially-damaged vase-scene depicts part of the great
wedding procession of Greek gods (literally "placers"
in Greek) celebrating the marriage of the Zeus-worshipper Peleus to Thetis,
a daughter of Nereus/Noah and his wife, Doris. The wedding of Peleus and
Thetis was the first time all the gods of Zeus-religion came together. From
the Greek perspective, the event represents the systematizing of the ancestor
worship we erroneously have been taught to believe was some kind of mythological
religion. Noah and his wife are not part of the procession. The artist places
them in a position where they are forced to watch this event pass them bybecause
thats what really happened. From that point on, Zeus-religion reigned
In Part IV, we saw many vase-images, such as the one above, of Nereus/Noah being forced to witness the wresting away of his authority by the great rebel, Herakles/Nimrod.
In the vase-scene following this we are going to see Nereus/Noah
forced to witness Athena suddenly coming into being full-grown and fully-armed
out of Zeus. The above images of her reveal, without a doubt, who and what
she representedthe serpent and its wisdom. Top left, she wears her
serpent-trimmed aegis, or goat skin. Top center, her sculpted head
boasts a crown of serpents. Right, the ancient serpent rises up next to
her as a friend on her Parthenon idol-image: she holds Nike in her right
hand symbolizing the Victory that belongs to her and the serpent. And bottom
left, on her aegis she wears the Gorgon Medusathe head of serpents.
If you look to Athena, you are not looking for the wisdom of God, but for
the wisdom of the ancient serpent.
Above, we see Noah on the far right, standing behind two
goddesses of childbirth, being forced to witness the birth of Athena, full-grown
and fully-armed, from Zeus. Remember who is coming into being and into power
herethe ancient serpents new post-Flood queen. The artist forces
Noah to witness the great change occurring in mankinds spiritual orientation
as embodied in the rapid rise of the goddess, Athena, who welcomes the ancient
serpent and its wisdom. Note the lion, a symbol of earthly power,
under the throne of Zeus.
After the Flood, did the majority of mankind remain faithful
to Yahweh and his prophet, Noah? Absolutely not. Greek artists boast of
that fact over and over in many different ways. On the above vase, the artist
has forced Nereus/Noah to witness the thrashing that the line of Seth, represented
by the Kentaur, received at the hands of Herakles. Greek artists depicted
the Flood as Kentaurs (Seth-men) pounding Kaineus, representing the line
of Kain, into the earth with huge boulders (see above inset from the temple
of Hephaistos in Athens). The artist could have titled his painting The
Post-Flood Revenge of the Line of Kain. The Kentaurs rocks are
very small, without any real power to do harm. After the Flood, the club
of Herakles/Nimrod carries the day, and Nereus/Noah is sad to see it.
CLICK HERE to see a vase depicting Kaineus (the line of Kain) being beaten into the earth by Kentaurs (the line of Seth) during the Flood.
In another artistic tradition that involved Nereus/Noah,
artists depicted the triumph of Zeus-religion as the gods (their ancestors
in the way of Kain) crushing the Giants, who represented the Yahweh-believing
sons of Noah (See Chapter 7 of TPC). Sculptors across the Aegean Sea from
Greece in Pergamum (on the west coast of modern-day Turkey) depicted the
gods routing the Giants in a 120-meter-long frieze on the Altar of Zeus.
Above we see the altar reassembled in Berlin.
Above, from the east frieze of the Altar of Zeus, Athena
works with the serpent to bring down the Giant Enkelados. Athena drives
his head downward as the serpent, entwined about his body with fangs locked
into his breast, pulls him to earth. The wings are an indication of Enkelados
spiritual power. A victory over beings with such a connection serves to
emphasize the fearful and ultimate power of Athena, the serpent, and Zeus-religion.
Well get back to Noah and the Altar of Zeus at Pergamum
after weve taken a look at the above vase-scene which gives us more
insight into the gods (or "placers") defeating the Giants. Dionysos
and the ancient serpent kill a Giant. The soulish man overcomes the spiritual
man. The leopard on the arm of Dionysos lets us know of Nimrods (Herakles)
crucial presence in the victory. One interpretation of the meaning of Nimrod
is that it comes from Nimr, a leopard, and rada, to subdue.
The subduer of the leopard, Nimrod, brought back the religious system of
the ancient serpent (shown on the vase with a beard), and thus the Greek
gods overcame the religion of the Giants, the Yahweh-believing sons of Noah.
Now lets get back to the Altar of Zeus and Noahs presence on
From one of the corners of the Altar of Zeus, the sculptors
have made Nereus/Noah an observer of this horrendous defeat of his Yahweh-believing
sons. His face is solemn, and he is the only man on the entire frieze who
is not engaged in the battle. Greek art chronicles the great spiritual change
which took place after the Flood. Greek artists often used Nereus/Noah as
a constant against whom they were able to portray this great change. This
device was artistically effective and historically accurate.
Nereuss wife, Doris, stands next to him. She tries to pull up one of their Yahweh-believing sons by his hair. But her gesture is futile because her sons legs have become serpentine. The iconographic message is simple: because of the serpent and its power, the Yahweh-believing sons of Noah are no longer able to stand. Revelation 2:13 refers to the Altar of Zeus in Pergamum as the throne of Satan.
GREEK ARTISTS MAKE NEREUS/NOAH AN UNWILLING WITNESS TO THE RISE AND TAKE-OVER OF ZEUS-RELIGION