Questions tagged [comparative]

For questions that compare mythology or folklore from multiple cultures.

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What is the relevant book for comparative mythology nowadays?

Since i am not in the field of mythology & folklore scholar but a reader. I have interested some of topic in comparative mythology especially: The diffusions of mythology across the world. The ...
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Are there any Demigods who became gods of their own power?

The only "demigod" I know who would apply would be Dionysus in Greek mythology who had to prove his divinity but didn't need other gods to raise him up to godhood. Are there any others like him in any ...
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Do Modern Cults Create Their own Myths?

I would define a "modern" cult as being in the age of the internet. This is fair to me; a cult relies upon spreading its message and the internet has changed that. So the earliest cults were in the ...
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Is there any link between Achilles and Sigurd/Siegfried?

The two heroes are invulnerable, Achilles because he was dipped in the river Styx by his mother Thetis, and Siegfried because he took a bath in the dragon's blood. Both have a weak spot though, ...
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Do Indians openly adopt and syncretize foreign religions? [closed]

I don't know much about Hinduism and the details of Indian history, but I feel that in India it is very common to nationalize foreign religions, beginning with the indianization of Sumerian deities, ...
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Are Greek Myths and Heroes Rooted in actual History and People?

I completed reading a book titled "Old Greek Stories" by James Baldwin. It features some well known Ancient Heroes such as Theseus & Perseus. But the way it was told seemed like several nations ...
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Are there any stories or fables in mythology that have an anarchist message?

Most mythologies that I read are used to justify the power structures in society. Are there any that instead preach democracy, anti-authority, pro-education, or free love?
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Stories of children raised out of human society?

I am interested in the theme of human children nursed and/or raised out of human society (e.g. Mowgli or Romulus and Remus), whether by animals, gods, flowers, aliens, etc. Are there any myths in ...
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What are some myths that combine the scatological and the sacred?

A quick warning to all, for obvious reasons this question will be very explicit. But to the point, when Carl Jung was a small boy he had the following thoughts on being overwhelmed by the beauty of a ...
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What are some sentient creatures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican mythology?

I have read a bit about the five suns world creation myth, and I am curious if the original peoples of Mesoamerica believed in other sentient beings similar to the fairies, centaurs and such of ...
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111 views

Do all (or most) religions believe in the existence of an afterlife?

I'm talking about both modern and ancient religions that we know of. Christianity -> Heaven, Hell Greco Roman -> Hades Egyptian -> Anubis, Osiris among many others. Are there any exceptions to this ...
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137 views

What mythological figures have died for love?

I was recently thinking about Orpheus, and different accounts of his death, and although they tend to vary, the versions that strike me as most compelling are those in which the loss of Eurydice may ...
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What are some mythological examples of emotionally-charged symbolic acts of grief?

I'm looking for mythological examples of loss leading to intense emotional and symbolic displays of grief, whether spontaneous, performative, ritual or some combination of the above. That is, grief so ...
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Are there any common concepts in Egypt and Norse mythology / civilization?

I'm looking for some concepts (could be objects, weapons, creatures, traditions, ...) that are common between both Egypt and Norse mythology/folklore or history/civilization. Context: I'm working on ...
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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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Why do so many cultures have a myth of the world being made or remade from water?

In various creation and flood myths the world is said to be remade from water, why would different ancient cultures have this same theme?
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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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136 views

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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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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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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336 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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118 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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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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327 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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119 views

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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155 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 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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106 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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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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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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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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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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417 views

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 ...