Questions tagged [comparative]

For questions that compare mythology or folklore from multiple cultures.

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9
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1answer
236 views

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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2answers
168 views

What cultures have myths related to the origin of aurora phenomena?

Basically, which nations have stories explaining either the Northern or Southern Lights?
8
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1answer
2k 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 ...
8
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1answer
414 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?
8
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1answer
305 views

Why is Diana a Huntress?

Everyone knows that Diana, as well as her Greek parallel Artemis, are hunter goddesses, but few seem to know why. From where does this association originate?
7
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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?
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: ...
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 ...
7
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2answers
157 views

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 ...
7
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3answers
340 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Differences in the Greek and Roman portrayals of Cronos/Saturn

I just read a blog post that talks about the Roman feast of Saturnalia: During the time of the Republic, gambling was prohibited except during the festival of the Saturnalia which was held in ...
7
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2answers
433 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 ...
7
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2answers
175 views

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 ...
7
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4answers
20k 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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6answers
11k views

Are the Anunnaki mentioned in the Bible?

The following Bible passages mention “Anakim” and “Anak”: Num 13:22; 13:28; 13:33 Deut 1:28; 2:10-11; 2:21, 9:2 Josh 11:21-22; 14:12; 14:15; 15:13-14; 21:11 Judg 1:20. They sound similar. Is there ...
7
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1answer
151 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/...
7
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1answer
223 views

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 ...
7
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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
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, ...
7
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2answers
171 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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3answers
386 views

What is the connection between Asherah and the custom of Christmas Trees?

Has there been any serious studies into the relationship between the Asherah tree and the Christmas trees, with the possibility of the former being the source of the latter?
7
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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 ...
7
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1answer
338 views

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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49 views

Perception of echoes and myths concerning its nature in Northern America

I was recently listening to a song from the movie "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", this song to be more precise. Anyway, at some point as you can see in the video, the voice of the singer ...
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
604 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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3answers
752 views

Examples of castration myths besides Ouranos

I'd like to know of other castration myths besides the one with Gea, Cronos and that poor guy Ouranos. I didn't find much with a quick Google search, and the only other case that comes to mind is ...
6
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
257 views

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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2answers
200 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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1answer
510 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 ...
6
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1answer
426 views

Did any ancient cultures or scholars recognize the Hero's Journey monomyth?

In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell talked about the monomyth, and the overarching structure of the Hero's Journey: the hero is called on an adventure, may have a helper, goes through ...
6
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1answer
239 views

Were the Olympians unique in everyone being descended from single parentage?

In most sources, Olympian gods were (nearly?) all directly descended from Chaos. Were they unique in this (having a shared ancestor deity, not too far up the family tree), or was it a common thing ...
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2answers
133 views

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 ...
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;...
6
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2answers
848 views

Are there any universal creatures in all of the myth systems?

When reading the Egyptian myths I was struck by their similarity to Greek myths. This lead me to wonder whether any non human creature (so no ghosts, giants or dwarfs) appears universally or nearly ...
6
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1answer
101 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 ...
6
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1answer
188 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
236 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 ...
6
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0answers
141 views

Is there any folklore in non-European culture that may be an attempt to “explain” similar to changeling myths in Western Europe and Scandinavia?

It has been suggested by some authors that stories of changelings in Scandinavia and western Europe are an attempt by ancient peoples used to try and explain developmental abnormalities in children, ...
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3answers
207 views

Why did Snorri Sturlson link the Norse Gods to the Trojans?

In the Prologue to the Prose Edda, he seems to develop a genealogy of the Norse Gods being descendants of the Trojans. Starting with the Trojan king Priam, he develops connections, like for example ...
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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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3answers
120 views

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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3answers
2k views

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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2answers
2k 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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1answer
750 views

Is there any Norse mythological figure associated with victory?

Is there an equivalent in Norse mythology to the goddesses Nike of the Greeks or Victoria of the Romans? Any god or mythological being in Norse cult associated mainly with victory?
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2answers
645 views

Examples of wild men or women civilized through sex?

In the beginning of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the prostitute Shamhat civilizes the wild man Enkidu through sex: She did for the man the work of a woman, his passion caressed and embraced her. For ...
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2answers
580 views

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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1answer
1k views

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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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 ...