One story stands out to me in particular. Erlik, a deity in Mongol mythology, was either the brother of or created as the first human by the supreme god Ülgen. I read that Erlik wanted to become equal to Ülgen and supposedly tried to seduce humans to take the forbidden fruit from the first tree, and as a result, Erlik was banished to rule over the lower world and assume a position akin to the Christian devil. Was this myth around before Christian influence? In what ways did Mongol mythology change after coming into contact with Christianity?

1 Answer 1


This "falling from grace" story did not originate with Christianity. Take Tantalos for example, or Zeus banishing Hades to the underworld.

As for earlier "fruit-picking" mythology, there's the story of the Monkey King stealing the peaches of eternal life from the Jade Palace in Chinese mythology.

  • Of course the “fall from grace” motif is not specific to Christianity, for it has been identified even in the ancient Akkadian myth Adapa and the Southwind. Thank you for pointing out room for clarification; I requested insight on specifically in relation to Christianity since the story was so uncannily similar to the fall of “Lucifer” in biblical lore, and I wondered if they had a defined correlation.
    – Koios
    Dec 27, 2019 at 17:40
  • @Koios, that's because much of the biblical lore, especially the OT, is a rephrasing of older myths. The Adam & Eve yth is actyally a copy of a much older Babylonian myth. The name of the female thus created, Eve, or in its original semitic form Hawah, means life. In the Sumerian myth, the word ti from the name Ninti has a double meaning; it could mean either ‘rib’ or ‘life’. Thus Ninti can be rendered as “lady of the rib” or “lady of life”.
    – Codosaur
    Dec 27, 2019 at 17:51

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