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.

22 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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Is there a legend or an explanation for the symbol of a swan with a woman's head?

This was found in a grave of a knight in Romania and I am wondering what the symbol of the swan with a woman's head could symbolize. The grave has a templar cross at the feet of the knight, the star ...
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83 views

Which tale has choice between two bowls, one of which contains a death sentence and the other a reward?

I have a vague recollection of a story involving an emperor asking the hero to choose between two bowls. If the hero picks the one covering a coin he will be rewarded, but if he picks the empty one he ...
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92 views

Who was the swift woman from from Irish Mythology described as having backward knees?

This question got me thinking about the Irish depiction of legs in mythology. I remember one woman, in particular, from (I believe) the Ulster Cycle, described as having backward legs, similar to a ...
4
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1answer
64 views

Is there an ancient basis for the Cretan bull-headed sea serpent god in Mika Waltari's The Egyptian?

Mika Waltari's excellent historical novel The Egyptian, set in Ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten1, features a bull-headed sea serpent Cretan god. Here's a quick summary of the time ...
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62 views

Where did the idea of the 'City in Bottle' Originate?

Where did the well known trope of a 'City in a Bottle', as associated with middle eastern mythology, originate? It is referenced in modern culture (see the City in a Bottle Magic the Gathering Card, ...
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42 views

Is there a concept of a ‘realm of secrets’ in any mythology?

Especially concerned with things such as fate, death, tie, love, is there a metaphysical place that deals specifically with things that humans do not comprehend?
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109 views

Tales of bats as witches' familiars?

One of the superstitions in the article 13 Halloween Superstitions & Traditions Explained is about bats: Medieval folklore also described bats as witches' familiars, and seeing a bat on ...
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146 views

Is there a Sami legend of a Shaman using human body parts to ward off demons?

The second season of the television series Fortitude revolves around a presumably Sami1 legend of a murderous Shaman. The legend is described in episode 6: There's a legend among the people here ...
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100 views

What cultures believe that the stars are other worlds/places?

What cultures, if any (besides Ancient Egypt), believe(d) that the stars are other worlds/lands/islands?
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169 views

What does this ear stud show in Chinese Mythology?

Does someone know what this ear stud shows? Because of the Yin/Yang symbol it should be chinese - so no Yōkai. Could it be a Yaoguai? A Huli jing? I have absolutely no idea but I just want to know ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Is there a folklore belief that the spirit of a wolf comes back to avenge its death?

Isidoros Zourgos in his novel "Στην σκιά της πεταλούδας" mentions that if you kill a wolf, the animal's spirit will come back and kill you after forty days. The origin of the belief is assumed to be ...
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88 views

When and why did necromancy became a bad thing?

Talking about Europe and cultures that influenced it... Why and since when was the revival of the dead considered evil? In Greek mythology bringing back a loved one is hard or comes at a price, but ...
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101 views

Benevolent king gives greatest gift: yourself/himself

Story of a benevolent king (or queen?) who disguises himself among peasants and then reveals himself or is revealed as king and then one of the peasants with whom he interacts thanks the king for the ...
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123 views

Help me identify this damsel-in-distress tale

I remember reading a long time ago about a knight and his wife. It was implied that this was the continuation of many adventures: After marrying, and with the intention of keeping their love alive ...
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122 views

Humans' missing piece myth identification

Does anyone know a myth that refers/explains the feeling of incompleteness that humans have, and which drives us, makes us seekers of a missing something/fulfillment? Ideally an ancient or primitive ...
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55 views

Legend about inconsistent person

Is there a myth or a legend about some inconsistent person? Some young and ambitious man, who want a lot of fame and fortune, but don't know exactly how to reach that. Who demonstrates in his actions ...
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43 views

Hondurean folklore name like “Sumadi” or “Sumati”?

A team of friends/colleagues from Honduras mentioned that they will name their project after a local legend, myth, or hero in Honduras / Central America. They told me the name several times, but ...
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46 views

Creatures known for excessive planning - demonic or evil favored

I'm looking for creatures that are mostly known for either acting very carefully planned or for providing well thought out plans to others. Specifically creatures that are demonic or otherwise of a ...
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57 views

Library re-ordered instead of being destroyed?

I have a memory of a story in which the custodians of a large library pleaded with a conqueror to not destroy the books within, which he promised. He kept his promise, but still rendered the library ...
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48 views

Why was Marduk made ruler before his victory?

Babylonian In the begining of Babylonian mythology, their is a war between the older generation of gods and the newer generation. Apsu and Tiamat's descendents became an unruly crowd. Eventually ...
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Planctae vs. Symplegades

In the Argonautica, both the Planctea and the Symplegades are mentioned. One on the way in search of the Golden Fleece and the other on the way back. The Planctea was also known as, "the Wondering ...
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84 views

Looking for a character's name

I recently heard a reference to a character the gods sentenced to live long enough to see the results of his bad advice. I am looking for a reference for this story, specifically the name of the ...