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Questions tagged [comparative]

For questions that compare mythology or folklore from multiple cultures.

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Are the Nephilim the demi-gods of the bible?

The Nephilim were not aliens, angels, “Watchers,” or rock monsters; they were literal, physical beings produced from the union of the sons of God and the daughters of men. When man began to ...
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Who was the first Satan like deity/creature/person in mythology?

There are satan/devil representations in other faiths/myths. But who was the first to have a role and background similar to Satan? Since religions sometimes take over traits of the old ones there ...
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A unified understanding and description of a “spirit”?

This is something I've been struggling with for a while now, something that I'm hoping someone with a background in mythology, folklore, and/or anthropology might be able to help me with. I come from ...
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What are some references to Mathonwy in Welsh legends?

Mathonwy is the father of Math fab Mathony and a mother godess Dôn in Welsh legend, who is believed to be analogous to Danu from Irish and Vedic legends. Are there any surviving sources, either ...
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What are the supernatural properties of gold in mythology and folklore?

I would like to research the supernatural properties and/or uses that gold shows in mythologies and/or folklore. I am not talking about the properties or abilities of specific artifacts made of gold ...
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Is it Liberty or Columbia depicted in John Gast's “American Progress”?

In the 1872 painting American Progress, by John Gast, is the gigantic female figure in the center supposed to be Liberty or Columbia? If it is Columbia, were other Columbias of the age dressed so ...
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93 views

When was a pair of Greek and Roman gods first identified?

There is a canonical correspondence between some Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, for example Ares and Mars. However, these two were originally different deities and quite different in nature. My ...
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695 views

How are Norse and Celtic mythology related?

I was in a charms shop a while back and they had a section laid out for Celtic Mythology charms and their meanings. I had a look and found Thor's hammer. I ask my mom and she said the Mythologies are ...
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263 views

Comparative Mythology: What stories have very clear similarities? [closed]

I was wondering if anyone knows of two stories/gods/creatures/etc in mythology that have very distinct similarities/connections when compared with each other? I want to make a list or a chart with all ...
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89 views

Persian Zeus in Xenophon's Cyropaedia

In the Cyropaedia, the fictional biography of Cyrus the Great, there are, at least, 26 instances of "Zeus", in many cases used like... "By Zeus!" This is interpretatio graeca, of course, but, if we ...
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91 views

Why are the domains of sexuality and fertility commonly associated with battle & war?

For example, Semitic Astarte/Babylonian Ishtar, Hittite Shaushka, Slavic Radegast, Irish Anann, etc. In studying mythology and folklore, I can't help but notice that violence and sex are often ...
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201 views

How were sun-showers viewed?

A sun-shower is when it rains while the sun is shining. In Japanese culture/Shinto Mythology, sun-showers were/are believed to be the result of two Kitsune (fox spirits) getting married. It was ...
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Mother Earth or Father Earth?

To explain my title, we humans call the earth 'Mother Earth'. I can trace this back to Gaia, the Greek goddess of the earth, Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture and others. But, I remembered ...
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What themes can be found throughout most mythologies? (Flood, Apocalypse, etc)

Looking for themes that can be found throughout different mythologies so that I can compare and contrast the story of them. A few themes I have thought about were creation myths, flood myths, and ...
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When are the flood myths in mythologies?

History places the flood myths as a culture's way to explain the end of the last ice age. This happened about 10,000 years ago. But this book I'm reading (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica,...
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Which cultures worship boars?

I'm searching for a list of cultures/regions which worshiped/revered boars. I only know of Hinduism of the Indian Subcontinent, where an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Varaha is worshiped. Further, I'm ...
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How many lost continents are in Mythology?

A majority of people will know of Atlantis. It is a Greek, fictional island, misregarded as oral history. Atlantis is mentioned in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias and is placed in the Atlantic Ocean....
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Who says Abraxas is a prince of hell?

I asked a previous question about Abraxas here, briefly talking about what he is and asking how the number 365 relates to him in so many ways. A few days later, I was talking to someone who happened ...
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Is there a Japanese equivalent to the three fates?

I am not looking for an exact equivalent(i.e. Shinto god/goddess/gods/goddesses of fate), but if there is, by all means, please let us know. I am looking more along the lines of, do/did those who ...
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144 views

Babylonian, Sumerian or Mesopotamian

I was looking up the Babylonian creation myth(didn't find it) and clicked on one of their gods, Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld, or Kur. The page says she is from Mesopotamian Mythology and the ...
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What kind of offerings did worshipers make to Thor or other gods of storm?

I'm currently playing a role playing game as a cleric that worships a god of storms and I'm researching what kinds of offerings that god would likely accept. What examples are there of the kinds of ...
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What are the 365 virtues?

I was researching and I came across Abraxas, a daemon(inferior god), an archon, an aeon, the "Supreme" god, an angel... He has a place in many mythologies, and the number 365 keeps coming up. 365 ...
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Is there a connection between Odin or Zeus and the Christian God?

Could the Norse Odin or the Greek Zeus be Christianity's "The Creator" and father of Jesus?
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What are some iconic legends of human depravity and spiritual pollution?

My purposes are non-salacious, I promise. There's an undercurrent in mythology and folklore that I didn't get a lot of in school, but which I've noticed more and more of as I've read on my own. ...
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Is Greek mythology derivative of/influence by Ugartic/Canaanite mythology?

I know that the character of 'Adonis' is of Phoenician origin, but there are many other parallels which are too many to be ignored: Phosporus- Shahar Hesperus- Shalim Zeus/Poseidon/Hades- Baal/Yamm/...
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Are there any close analogues to the Fairy King & Queen Titania and Oberon, in Indian/Hindu mythology?

I am looking to create a version of Titania & Oberon, the Queen & King of the Fairies in Midsummer Night's Dream, that would have context in India. Probably deities or mythological beings ...
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93 views

The concept that scripture is made to adapt to changes of society, technology, and language

I once heard of an attitude to interpreting religious scripture that goes roughly as follows: The scripture was made such that it will always produce the correct ethics, guidance, and similar when ...
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310 views

Is there a common theme of dragon meat being toxic?

I have noticed a few stories that talk about dragons having toxic blood or meat. Their offshoots(?), wyverns, have a particular association with poison. Despite this, there is a lot of culture ...
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754 views

What is the Norse equivalent to the Great Flood?

I have constantly heard that every mythology has its own version to explain why the ocean rose after the last ice age ended(roughly 10,000 years ago). But, I have only heard the christian version with ...
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109 views

Parallels between Hecate and the Devil?

Hecate was associated with crossroads, just as the devil was. Do the similarities end there? Could Hecate qualify as a devil figure?
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330 views

Do Mithras, Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus share a December 25 birthday?

In The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown claims that Mithras, Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus were born on December 25: Teabing groaned. 'Don’t get a symbologist started on Christian icons. Nothing in ...
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How do Dionysus and Jesus relate?

I was reading Dan Brown and found out that Dionysus's birthday (I assume 2nd birth from Zeus's calf) is the same as Jesus. What similarities do they share other than this?
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Are Krishna and Hermes related?

Both gods have legends involving extraordinary powers as children. This link discusses the infant Krishna, as an incarnation of Vishnu, instructing his father Vasudeva on how to escape the wrath of ...
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Why did Christians, who take a huge part of their Bible from Jews, not have to follow the same rules as Jews?

As I'm sure all of you know, the Old Testament is the Hebrew bible. Why then do Christians not follow the same rules as the Jews? When Christianity was attracting attention, Paul said that Jews who ...
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How common is a vertical many-layered cosmos in world mythology? Do any mythologies particularly emphasize this structure?

Background: A very common motif in mythology and folklore is for worlds to be layered one on top of each other. The most obvious example is of the three world system of hell, earth, and heaven. The ...
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Alternative to Tower of Babel explanations for linguistic diversity

What mythological alternatives, if any, are there to explaining the existence of multiple languages than the Tower of Babel or myths that are similar in nature? I once came across a myth at a ...
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Do vegetation deities tend to be connected with the Moon?

Egyptian Osiris is associated with vegetation and this is what Wikipedia says about him: Through syncretism with Iah, he is also the god of the Moon. This is what Wikipedia says about Jarilo, ...
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How does Australian Aboriginal totemism compare to its Native American parallels?

I was surprised to find out that the concept of totemism is present in Australian Aboriginal tales. Up until today, I was under the - obviously mistaken - impression that it was a concept unique to ...
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Which Celtic god is the equivalent of the Roman Dis Pater?

In Book IV of his Commentaries on the Gallic War, Julius Caesar tells us all Gauls claimed descent from Dis Pater: 18. All the Gauls assert that they are descended from the god Dis, and say that ...
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Are there any other mythology with female warriors like Durga from the Hindu Mythology?

In Hindu Mythology, Durga takes on an entire army of Demons, and slays them all singlehandedly at the last moment. She also takes on Mahishashur (Buffalo Demon) and slays him as well, earning her ...
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370 views

Did Greeks and Romans allow for belief in only some of their gods?

Did Greeks and Romans believe in all their gods, or was it permissible to believe in some of them only (e.g., only in Diana, Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, etc.)? {It seems it was permissible to believe ...
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Does the phrase “Zeus Pater” appear in ancient Greek sources?

The Wikipedia article "Sky Father" includes the following passage: "Sky Father" is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity ...
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What's the purpose of seminal fluid in mythology?

An excerpt from TV tropes: People are fairly familiar with the story of how Set murdered Osiris to get his throne only to be thwarted by Osiris' son Horus, but most people don't know how it was ...
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Where does it says that snakes can kill birds by looking at their shadow?

I have seen several early Jewish sources (e.g. Midrash Tanhuma, Beshalah 18) refer to the idea that a snake can kill a bird by just looking at its shadow. Has this ancient belief been documented ...
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Which gods have been killed in their myths?

I want to know how different cultures thought a god could be killed. So, I am trying to put together a list of gods who died in their mythology. So far I only have a short list: Baldr Jesus ...
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Are there any females who have many consorts but are still celebrated?

Many heroes and gods have many consorts but are still popular and worshipped and good examples of these are Zeus of Greek Mythology and Arjuna of Hindu Mythology. Are there any females similar to them?...
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Cows as symbols of Wisdom

I just finished a very interesting article "Boand" river-goddess and rebel" that talks about the bovine origin of her name, and makes a good case for cows as a symbol of wisdom in Irish lore. The ...
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Are there any groups similar to the muses in other religions?

Are the muses - a set of deities, each corresponding to a specific form of art - a unique Graeco-Roman invention or are there parallels in other mythologies?
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Why do so many cultures have monsters that prey on families?

While researching La Llorona and vampiresses, I noticed that lots of cultures have predominantly female monsters that use deception to prey on families. Lamia that prey on young men and children, deer ...
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Are there stories of a hero or god fighting off old age?

I recently learned of Geras, the personification of old age. The deity is primarily known from vase depictions that show him with Heracles. One example is this Attic red-figured neck-amphora1: ...