Questions tagged [comparative]

For questions that compare mythology or folklore from multiple cultures.

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2
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1answer
255 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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1answer
122 views

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. ...
7
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1answer
153 views

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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2answers
2k views

Did the Sami affect Norse mythology?

Fairly simple question, but a broad one: Did the Sami people of northern Scandinavia have any impact on Norse mythology? If so, how?
12
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1answer
700 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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2answers
3k 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 ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Did myths involving Loki influence Christian myths?

There is a lot of influence from non-Christian myths on Christian myths. There are numerous examples of syncretism, especially revolving around the various saints and what they might have done. ...
4
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1answer
1k 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?
10
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1answer
689 views

How does one search for patterns/motifs in folklore or mythology?

I'm currently attempting to research how often a specific type of story (i.e. a motif) occurs in the global corpus of folklore (mythology). For instance, I might be interested in whether there are ...
7
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3answers
985 views

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: ...
16
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1answer
957 views

Role of the North Star in arctic mythologies

In his 1907 essay on Chukchi mythology, Bogoraz describe their cosmogony as follows: According to the cosmogonical beliefs of the Chukchee, there are several worlds situated one above another, in ...
7
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3answers
271 views

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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1answer
520 views

If there is a preponderance of seductive water nymphs in mythology, then why is that so?

Is there a preponderance of seductive water nymphs in mythology? That is, among the more sexually inclined maidens in mythology, are they more likely to embody or be connected to water than other ...
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3answers
777 views

Who is god El in Legend of Keret?

In Legend of Keret we can read that: King Keret of Hubur (or Khuburu), despite being reputed to be a son of the great god El himself. To which El god this legend refers to? Could be the same El ...
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2answers
659 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
496 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
110 views

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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1answer
1k views

Why do snake (serpent) and bull often come together as symbols of deities?

The Celtic Cernunnos, the Greek Dionysus, the Slavic Veles and Vedic Shiva have snake and bull among their symbols. Why do these two symbols tend to come together? It looks to me as though these ...
9
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1answer
195 views

Are there Christian influences in the Dionysiaca?

Two works by Nonnus of Panopolis survive to this day: The Dionysiaca, an epic poem about the life of Dionysus, The Paraphrase of John, a rewording of the Gospel of John. This is a rare example of ...
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1answer
421 views

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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1answer
772 views

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 this ...
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341 views

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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1answer
238 views

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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1k views

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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1answer
173 views

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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172 views

What are the oldest extant influential mythology inspired books (mainly Eastern)?

Sorry if the question sounds confusing, not sure how to ask my question but I was reading an article about how Western literature is built in part on Greek and Roman mythology, on works like Homer's ...
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2answers
233 views

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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1answer
172 views

Are there any stories which are about a species that is neither human nor divine?

I am aware that some mythologies/religions include species apart from humans and gods (e.g. Islam and Norse mythology). However, are there any stories which are written about them? My definition for "...
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1answer
224 views

Uses of encoding and ciphers in Mythology

One of my favorite stories is the Ovid version of Philomel. (She pre-figures the Tarantino heroines in many ways. Note that the elements of other myths section of Wikipedia omits the most direct ...
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2answers
275 views

Common theme that humans had longer lifespans before the flood?

Several pre-flood myths seem to mention humans being able to live for extremely long periods of time. IIRC, the Sumerians had a list of kings that lived for thousands of years pre-flood, and post-...
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1answer
241 views

What was the earliest werewolf myth?

So, the earliest werewolf I can find is in Greek times. But, was there ever an earlier werewolf myth?
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609 views

Are there any instances where non-Greco-Roman goddesses fall in love with mortals?

However, I will not be taking into account the Greco-Roman and Mesopotamian stories as they are the only stories that I know of in which a goddess loves a human.
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1answer
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Why was Baal Hammon identified with Cronus/Saturn?

Greeks identified the Carthaginian Baal Hammon with Cronus, and Romans, in turn, with Saturn. Why was that? Did Baal Hammon share any attributes with Cronus/Saturn?
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1answer
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What are the differences between the Greek Hestia and the Roman Vesta with regards to both mythology and worship?

I recall reading about Vesta, and I believe that, like Mars and Saturn, she was more important to the Roman pantheon than the Greek. I'd like to know what the differences were between Vesta and Hestia....
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1answer
262 views

Are there parallels between Ymir/Auðumbla and Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox besides the obvious?

It's something I've been thinking about for many years now and I figured I might as well ask, as there seems to be an exceptional Norse mythology braintrust on this site. By "obvious" parallels, I am ...
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2answers
248 views

How did the importance attached to the number seven originate?

I was reading Why 7? on SFF, and it got me thinking. I know that there are plenty of occurrences of the number 7 (see for example Wikipedia), some for quite a long time, for example the seven deadly ...
6
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1answer
150 views

Flood myth = Maritime Voyages & Colonization Interpretation?

I am currently studying various flood myths from all around the world. I interprete this whole story as a maritime voyage & colonization story: The ark is simply a ship (bigger than a cockleshell;...
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4answers
283 views

What would be an efficient data structure for cataloging deities?

I'm ready to begin building a databased-website that will provide cataloged details about the various gods, goddesses and pantheons. I'm looking for the most efficient structure for cataloging them. ...
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2answers
8k views

What is the easiest way to become a god? [closed]

This is a question across all pantheons and mythologies. Overall what is the easiest way to become a god? It should be an one-time act. But perhaps for simplicity sake we can use immortality as the ...
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1answer
168 views

Are there any studies of the historic phenomenon of the chief god of a pantheon being replaced by the storm god?

We find in at least two instances the chief god of a pantheon being replaced by the younger storm god of that pantheon. For example, in Canaanite mythology, the supreme god El is replaced with the ...
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2answers
265 views

Where Can I Study Parallel Mythologies?

I am very fascinated with the notion that there are significant parallels between mythologies - there may be different reincarnations of the same God? For instance, we know that Hermes is Mercury, ...
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3answers
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When and how did the Greek mythos transfer to the Romans?

It seems that there are a great many similarities between Roman and Greek Mythology. In fact, many people consider them synonymous and only really differ in the names. For example: Greek ⇄ Roman Zeus ...
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1answer
724 views

Were any Buddhist narratives ever folded into the myths of the Greeks, or vice versa?

The cultural exchange between the Greeks (under Alexander, at first) and the Buddhists of northwestern India is known to have had impacts on both parties. I'm aware of some theological influences, at ...
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1answer
514 views

What is the earliest myth of the three Fates?

A triple pantheon of goddesses governing fate appears in a variety of European (and perhaps other) mythologies. The Greek Moirai, the Roman Fatae, the Norse Norns. Often they are associated with ...
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What are the differences between fauns and satyrs?

From what I've gathered fauns and satyrs are pretty much the same thing; they're all male, hircine from the waist down. They like wine, women, and song. They walk around naked all the time and have an ...
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Are there any myths we can plausibly trace back to a common Proto-Indo-European ancestor?

It is well-known today that many peoples trace their origin back to a group of people known as the Proto-Indo-Europeans, who probably lived c. 4000 BCE. Among them are some of the most mythologically-...
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1answer
134 views

Were there any other “Mythos Transfers”, other than the Greek-Roman transfer?

Were there any other Mythos Transfers, other than the Greek-Roman transfer? To clarify, I mean an almost complete copy of another religion/myth system. The greek-roman mythos transfer was basically ...
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2answers
153 views

Did ancient myths center on deities because individualism was not valued?

Are there any books/essays/discussions about the idea that ancient cultures didn't value individualism (for a variety of reasons) like we do today, and so poetry, literature, and art were primarily ...
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2answers
4k views

Are there any relations between Norse elves and Celtic fairies, or their home realms?

A lot of, if not most, modern fantasy tends to have 'Elven' races that seem to be largely inspired by the Norse Elves, likely by way of Tolkien. There also seems to be a large amount of Celtic ...
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1answer
2k views

Are there any epics featuring a female protagonist with less explored male characters?

In the Indian epic Ramayana, the women show some great complex characters, behaviours etc but they are much less explored and sometimes sidelined/forgotten(not entirely) by the overshadowing persona ...