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In the mythology of India, the first man and the legendary author of the Manu-smrti. Manu appears in the Vedas as the performer of the first sacrifice. He is also known as the first king, and most rulers of medieval India claimed him as an ancestor. In the story of the great flood, Manu combines the characteristics of Noah and Adam. He built a boat after being warned of the flood by a fish. His boat came to rest on a mountaintop, and as the flood receded Manu poured out an oblation of milk and butter. A year later a woman calling herself the daughter of Manu was born from the waters, and these two became the parents of a new human race to replenish the earth.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Manu, visit Britannica.com.