50 votes
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When and how did the Greek mythos transfer to the Romans?

Common Ancestry Both the Ancient Greeks and Romans were descended from Proto-Indo-Europeans. While the two groups had diverged, they continued to share remnants of a common language and other ...
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25 votes
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Where did the Roman gods live?

The Romans also thought them to live on Mount Olympos. For instance, Lucius Annaeus Seneca writes in his play Hercules Furens that, appealing to Jupiter for mercy, Amphitryon prayed: [205] O magne ...
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23 votes
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What is the earliest known dragon myth?

Sumer, sometime in the 4th or 3rd millennium B.C. My first instinct was to check out the Wikipedia article again. One interesting quote was The presence of dragons within Chinese culture dates back ...
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  • 7,035
20 votes

Are there any myths we can plausibly trace back to a common Proto-Indo-European ancestor?

Yes, the very common divine twins myths are believed to trace back to a shared Proto-Indo-European narrative. The central motif involves two twins born of the sky deity (or sun), with some customary ...
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20 votes
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Did myths involving Loki influence Christian myths?

It is typically assumed that when similarities are found between Christianity and another religion, whether in myth, dogma, or practice, the flow of influence is syncretism into Christianity. This ...
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  • 1,682
19 votes
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Are Noah and Ziusudra the same person?

Both flood myths are certainly similar that it is sound to reason that they may have similar origins or one draws from the other. The Noahide flood myth is detailed in Genesis chapters 6 through 9 of ...
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  • 1,682
17 votes

Is there a connection between Adam and Eve, and Ask and Embla?

I found an interesting site for comparing names. I can't trace the exact source(s) used for all four names, but the references given for the entire site may prove useful (and impossible to scroll ...
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  • 7,035
17 votes

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

It certainly seems that the Greek invasion of India led to the introduction of the first statues of the Buddha. The Greeks loved to make statues of their deities, but the early Buddhists did not. See ...
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17 votes
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What is the Norse equivalent to the Great Flood?

The Norse flood myth is actually a flood of blood, created when Odin, Vili and Vé slew Ymir, the primeval ancestor of the jötnar. From Snorri's Prose Edda: The sons of Bor slew the giant Ymer, but ...
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16 votes
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Why, according to Joseph Campbell, is the monomyth so common?

For a story to be so universal, it must echo experiences that happen to all of us. What happens to all of us? The obvious candidate is: growing up. Glen C. Strathy explains it quite well here: It's ...
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  • 4,399
16 votes
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What was the earliest werewolf myth?

There's a wolf transformation in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and as written texts go they don't come any earlier. Although in this case it was a spell cast upon him and he never had a chance to transform ...
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16 votes

Odin's Counterpart

The key point here is Roman Syncretism. The romans believed the world was full of different gods, and they didn't presume to know about all of them, or to know everything about the ones they already ...
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16 votes
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Why is the story of Odin hanging from Yggdrasil so similar to that of Jesus on the cross?

Taking a look at a few things here. The word Yggdrasil itself firstly. "Ygg," means Death. "Drasil" is a Nordic term that has the dual meanings of both "gallows" and "horse." So Yggdrasil itself ...
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15 votes
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Who is god El in Legend of Keret?

The name El was a generic name. According to the Wikipedia article on El, "El" was a generic name for a god, usually a supreme god. In that sense, "El" functions very much like &...
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15 votes

Who is god El in Legend of Keret?

You have two questions here. I'll start with the straightforward part first. Which El is the El referred to in the Legend of Keret? The Legend of Keret, discovered in modern Ras Shamra, is from the ...
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14 votes
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Is there a connection between Adam and Eve, and Ask and Embla?

First, note that the first known mention of Ask and Embla is in the Völuspá, in the Poetic Edda: Then from the throng | did three come forth, From the home of the gods, | the mighty and ...
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13 votes
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Are there any apocalypse myths other than Ragnarok in which some people survive to repopulate the world?

Yes. Many different cultures and mythologies depict really similar stories about floods. There are only a handful survivors of the flooding, who have to repopulate the earth. For the Sumerian version ...
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13 votes

Are there Kali-types deities in other pantheons?

In fact, several! Four immediately come to mind: Dionysus, Inanna/Ishtar, Aphrodite, and Cybele. Dionysus First up is Dionysus, a god best known for wine and drunkenness, but surely you can see how ...
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13 votes

Did different Greek mythology sources ever explicitly acknowledge the contradictions between themselves?

They indeed did, and they highlighted it in different ways. One way was to negate the earlier myth. I gave one example in a previous thread. In Pindar's Olympians ode 1, he references the fact that ...
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13 votes
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Did the Sami affect Norse mythology?

Yes, both as figures in historical and semi-legendary stories, and possibly through borrowings of mythological themes and ideas. History and semi-legendary material First, let's note the actual ...
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12 votes

Are there any apocalypse myths other than Ragnarok in which some people survive to repopulate the world?

In Greek mythology there is Deucalion and Pyrrha In Greek mythology, Deucalion (Greek: Δευκαλίων) was the son of Prometheus; ancient sources name his mother as Clymene, Hesione, or Pronoia.1 The ...
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  • 1,031
12 votes

What is the earliest known dragon myth?

The excellent answer by HDE mentions the Chinese dragon from 4700-2900BC, but did not explore further. This answer will attempt to source the claim for the Chinese dragon, which is arguably older and ...
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  • 296
12 votes
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Are there any points of mythology/religion that all Native Americans have in common?

The idea of the Coyote Trickster god is pretty widespread. My copy of The Book of the Navajo contains "The Tale of Coyote, the Troublemaker". The Coyote is also known to the Apache in the "Badger ...
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11 votes
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Did the Gods and Goddesses in Norse mythology act as patron gods?

Not really, no. Adam of Bremen describes a temple at Uppsala to Thor, Odin and Frey: xxvi (26) That folk has a very famous temple called Uppsala, situated not far from the city of Sigtuna and Björkö. ...
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  • 4,399
11 votes
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Prevalence of Underwater Panther

The underwater panther is indeed a very widespread figure. Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms: Interpretations of Mississippian Iconography has a section titled "The Forms of the Underwater Powers", ...
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  • 9,108
11 votes
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Which mythologies had demigods?

The word "Demigod" does not necessarily refer to the offspring of a god and a mortal. It's also used to refer to deified mortals, or even just minor deities. Word choice aside, yes, the phenomenon ...
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  • 9,108
10 votes
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Which myth says that Eve wasn't the first wife of Adam, but Lilith?

The story of Lilith being Adam's first wife can be found in the fifth question of the Alphabet of ben Sirach: "The angels who are in charge of medicine: Snvi, Snsvi, and Smnglof. After God created ...
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