Questions tagged [myth-identification]

For questions about identifying a particular myth based on certain known facts or a basic description of its context, characters and events.

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36
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3answers
13k views

What is the earliest known dragon myth?

The myth of dragons can be found in many different traditions, with the major two being the European dragon and the Chinese dragon. "There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the ...
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4answers
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Who invented writing, or who taught writing to the mortals, according to Greek myths?

There are legends in several mythologies about who invented writing, or a particular writing system (script). For example, the futhark runes used to write Norse were invented by the god Odin, and ...
20
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3answers
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Did any Greek mythological hero father a son who surpassed him in fame?

I can't think of any case of a Greek mythological hero having a son who achieved more fame, glory and "heroic status" than him. Looking the descendency of Perseus, Heracles, Theseus, Jason, Achilles, ...
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2answers
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What is the story behind Thor wearing a wedding dress to get Mjölnir back?

I often hear of a story of Loki taking Mjölnir away from Thor and selling it to giants. Thor then gets angry and makes Loki join him in wearing wedding dresses to enter the giants place unnoticed to ...
19
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2answers
10k views

Is there a creature in mythology that is a frost bird or a frost phoenix?

I searched a lot but I couldn't find a creature that is similar to a frost phoenix or a frost bird, or a giant creature similar to a frost bird for example. It's for a project (I like to keep real ...
18
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3answers
4k views

Is it Lucifer or Venus?

Which deity, according to Greek and Roman mythology, is represented by the planet that we call Venus? Is it the goddess Venus (Aphrodite in Greek) or is someone named Lucifer?
17
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1answer
675 views

What is the story of the Chimera?

The Neo-Hittite Chimera (850–750 BC) from Karkemish is housed in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Turkey: "Museum of Anatolian Civilizations080" by Georges Jansoone (JoJan) - Self-...
16
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1answer
365 views

Are there Pastafarian myths which explain their religious attire?

I'm thinking specifically of the viral news stories about various Pastafarians being allowed to wear a spaghetti strainer as religious headgear at work or in a driver's license photo. Many religious ...
16
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3answers
519 views

Mythologies with goddesses as the main deity?

In most mythologies, there is often a male god who is the chief god, like Zeus of Greek mythology and Ra of Egyptian mythology. As far as I know, the only mythology that has a female ruler of the ...
16
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1answer
827 views

In what Native American myth does the Sun stand still?

In this answer, I saw this in a quote-in-a-quote: during the Third Age [equivalent to the Age in which the Popol Vuh places the invention of shooting out such magical darts], the sun stood still ...
16
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1answer
445 views

Is there an Indian Wild Hunt myth?

In the Wikipedia Wild Hunt article, an Indian related myth is mentioned1: M.M. Banks cautioned against viewing the Wild Hunt as a peculiarly European phenomenon, identifying a similar tale of ...
15
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2answers
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Are there any other gods that permanently had an eye removed, other than Odin?

Are there any other gods that permanently had an eye removed, other than Odin? I can't find any other gods that had one of their eyes other than Horus, which wasn't even permanent. Looked here ...
15
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1answer
729 views

Looking for an obscure myth where Zeus kills one of Apollo's male lovers

I remember reading a myth as a child, but have not been able to find it again ever since. It starts like a typical Apollo myth: Apollo has a young best friend/lover, and they are inseparable. Then ...
15
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1answer
668 views

Pre-Tolkien Orcs in myths or folklore?

So what I'm trying to understand is what exactly pre-Tolkien orcs were like in regards to folklore. I understand that Tolkien has had a massive influence on how we conceptualize many creatures from ...
14
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1answer
627 views

What myth explains animal sacrifices to the Olympian gods?

I seem to remember a particular ancient Greek myth that used to explain how animal sacrifices to the Olympian gods were performed. In particular, when poultry or mammals was sacrificed, the humans ...
14
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1answer
653 views

Greek/Latin mythology with two brothers who die as reward for hard labor

I have heard this particular greek/latin myth in school but I can't quite recall what it was called. Can you perhaps help me find it. So as far as I can recall the myth went as follows: Two brothers ...
14
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3answers
639 views

Any examples of dying and resurrecting gods that exist only in heaven, not earth?

In recent years proponents of the Christ-myth theory (e.g., Earl Doherty in his writings) have begun to argue that St. Paul in his epistles was setting forth the view that Christ was wholly divine and ...
14
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1answer
632 views

Did the Gauls have a magic potion that made them strong?

I recently listened to Purcell's "King Arthur", and at one point in the libretto, the Saxons sing of the "juice that makes the Britons bold" (at 11:40 in the linked video; the movement starts at 11:00)...
13
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8answers
31k views

Is there a Western (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, or Norse) god of the cosmos?

I have heard of the Greek god, Chaos (the manifestation of the void), and of the Greek god Aither, (the manifestation of the upper air that gods breathe most often), but I can't find reference to any ...
13
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3answers
224 views

Where did this story about stars being part of a board game come from?

I have a memory that must be from before the year 2000, so I'm very unsure of the details, of reading what I think was a mythology book from a country with less famous mythology, maybe from the Middle ...
13
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1answer
814 views

What is this myth: elderly couple unwittingly feed gods, changed into tree

I studied Latin in 7th grade, and my teacher used to read some stories from Greek and Roman mythology to us. There is one of those that I wanted to learn more about, but haven't been able to find. ...
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8answers
2k views

Are there any gods who are in a different species than humans?

As we probably know, most gods look like humans e.g. Zeus, Osiris. I am interested to find out if there are any gods that are a different species than humans. The only god that I found so far is ...
11
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1answer
722 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 ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Why is tragedy a goat song?

Tragedy literally means a goat's song or ode. Is there any indication in mythology of why a goat song would be sad or dramatic? As far as I know, Pan, Faunus, Silvanus... all part goat deities ...
11
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2answers
945 views

First appearance of the Delphi Oracle in Greek myths

The history of Perseus begins with the oracle of Delphi, when the King of Argos is told that one day a son of his own daughter will kill him. Being Perseus one of the most ancient Greek mythological ...
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2answers
3k views

What humanoid gods have had skin colors other than that of the people who worship them?

I know that the Egyptian (and therefore presumably Roman, since they incorporated those) gods had a rainbow of skin colors; and the Hindus have a really elaborate system of significant colors for gods ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Cows adapted to life on a steep hillside

I'm trying to remember the details of a legend I read years ago - and I don't even remember which body of folklore it came from - about a hero with a herd of cows, all of whom had legs on one side ...
11
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1answer
594 views

What's the earliest recorded story of a human woman giving birth to a monster?

In Greek mythology, a human woman gave birth to the Minotaur, a "monster". I know timelines get fuzzy with mythology, but are there any other instances of a human woman giving birth to a "monster" ...
11
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1answer
208 views

Story of a man who slept in a tree and awoke to a plagued city

When I was a child my grandmother told me a myth of old times. I've read the myth (in a somewhat alternated version) in a book in my teenage years. It goes like this: A shepherd goes out to tend ...
11
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1answer
487 views

Myths of the Wind Impregnating Women

What examples do you know of from Greco-Roman myths in which the wind as such impregnates a woman (could be mortal or a goddess)? I'm aware of examples where the wind personalized as a god (e.g., ...
10
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2answers
4k 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 ...
10
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1answer
3k views

Japanese Trickster Demons

Are there any trickster demons in Japanese mythology, I am aware of the somewhat tricksy Japanese god Susanoo-no-Mikoto, but are there any demons known for tricking people in Japanese mythology?
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1answer
2k views

What is the source of the belief that the seventh son of a seventh son is a clairvoyant?

The Iron Maiden song Seventh Son of a Seventh Son was inspired - according to Steve Harris - by the folklore belief that the seventh son of a seventh son has clairvoyant powers: “I just had a ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the source of the fable of Thor’s attempt to drink up a small spring?

Moncure D. Conway references the tale in passing in the introduction to his “Demonology and Devil-lore”: The fable of Thor’s attempt to drink up a small spring, and his failure because it was fed ...
9
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3answers
373 views

Are there any mythologic Gods, creatures or equipment that have "exponential" characteristics?

The hydra is classically described as growing two heads back for every one cut down. Mjolnir, theoretically, became exponentially heavier to the unworthy. What other Gods, creatures or equipment have ...
9
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1answer
2k views

God/Goddess of clones or duplicates

Is there any god/goddess who had the power of clones or represented them? Like Dionysus is a god of wine and many other related things, is there a god of clones/duplicates/mirror images across any ...
9
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2answers
219 views

Why is easter called 'easter'?

The Christian feast of 'easter' is based on the ancient Yewish religious feast (their main one), is widely spread and was linked to remember the 'Passion of Christ'. Recall that 'Christianity' started ...
9
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1answer
444 views

Is there a Maori legend about a demon's heart at the bottom of a lake?

In the second episode of the first season of the television series Top of the Lake, a beautiful Maori legend is mentioned: You know there's a, Maori legend about this lake That says there's a ...
9
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1answer
486 views

Hittite story similar to the story of Jason and Medea?

The BBC History article Ancient History in depth: Jason and the Golden Fleece. BBC - History mentions a Hittite story similar to the story of Jason and Medea: Thus the classic triangle of hero, dark ...
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3answers
3k views

Are there any homosexual gods?

I have recently came across Tu'er Shen, a Chinese deity who manages the love and sex between homosexual men. After reading about him, I am interested to find out if there are any homosexual gods(...
9
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1answer
154 views

What is the earliest ghost story we know of?

I am looking for early stories that follow the popular theme of the ghost story: A spirit of the dead appearing amongst the living. Bonus points if there's a haunting involved. I'm only interested in ...
9
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1answer
3k views

Are there any Greek myths of a god permanently turning into a mortal as punishment?

I'm looking for a Greek myth in which an immortal god, no matter how minor, turns into a mortal immediately because of a punishment. Things I am not looking for: A temporary punishment- Apollo ...
9
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1answer
194 views

How did you survive my 100-step punch?

I remember from long ago a story about a martial artist, The Bully, who was renowned for his "100-step punch": if he lands the blow, you will die after taking 100 steps. One day another martial ...
9
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1answer
372 views

Are there any other mythological beings that got a replacement metal arm, other than Nuada, Lugh Llaw Ereint, and Sigurd?

Are there any other mythological beings that got a replacement metal arm, other than Nuada, Lugh Llaw Ereint, and Sigurd? I found these three from the Mythology section in TV Tropes: The Battle of ...
8
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3answers
852 views

Are there any ancient myths about adventuring parties?

Role playing games are usually focused on a relatively small and disparate party of adventurers, that come together to achieve a common goal. More often than not each member's motivation for joining ...
8
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2answers
691 views

Is there a myth that dolphins were humans who chose to return to the sea?

In the Fantasy Island (1998) episode "Dreams", Michael Allen is a stockbroker who finds a mysterious woman (played by Jennifer Garner) who says this to him when they first meet. Sally: You ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How rare is a dead god?

Someone was telling me about deicide and I wondered, because gods are so powerful by definition, which of them are killed or from what culture are mortal gods prevalent. The only example I could think ...
8
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2answers
406 views

Are there any instances of defying a prophecy?

In Greek mythology, there are many prophecies. Usually, in spite of someone's effort to prevent it, what is prophesized still happens. As far as I'm aware, the only one to successfully avoid a ...
8
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2answers
9k views

What is the original story of Fox Spirit/Nine tails fox in India's myths?

I read in wikipedia and some mythology sites about the fox spirit that came from India but surprisingly they never mentioned any story in an Indian version. I can only find stories from China - Daji, ...
8
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1answer
888 views

In What Myth the Octopus Hails from a Previous World?

I have at some point in my life encountered a claim that according to some islanders' myths, octopodes are the only survivors from a previous world, and managed to squeeze through a rift between ...