ADAM'S CONTRACT WITH SATAN: The Legend of the Cheirograph of Adam
by Michael E. Stone
According to a legend known from Greece in the West to Armenia and Georgia in the East, Satan deceived Adam and Eve a second time. The Devil tricked them into concluding a contract, submitting their offspring to his rule "until the Unbegotten is born and the Undying One dies." Christ’s baptism puts an end to this contract and their servitude. The legend of the Contract is still alive in several European countries, including Armenia. Michael Stone pursues the tale through its sometimes exotic transmission and explores the world-view that emerges from it, contrasting it with the Western view, of Adam’s sin in the Garden. This fascinating tale becomes a detective story that involves the pursuit of a tradition and its transmission, and an exploration of its implications for the understanding of the human condition.