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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 features including mythology. The most obvious sign of this is the chief deities of their respective pantheons: Zeus and Jupiter: both derive from the Proto-Indo-...


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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 Olympi rector et mundi arbiter, Jam statue tandem gravibus aerumnis modum O mighty ruler of Olympus, judge of all the world, set now at length a limit ...


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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 several thousands of years with the discovery of a dragon statue dating back to the fifth millennium BC from the Yangshao culture in Henan in 1987, and jade ...


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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 attributes such as being horsemen or riding horse-drawn chariots. Another manifestation of the binary conception of society and the world is the cult of twins ...


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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 tendency is largely due to the many instances of Catholic hagiology (mythology about the Saints) appearing much like myths from earlier pagan times before ...


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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 the Jewish/Christian Bible. The Ziusudra flood myth is from a single tablet often called Eridu Genesis. Similarities Both floods are brought about by divine ...


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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 this answer on Buddhism Stack Exchange: Did the Buddha discourage antropomorphic representations of himself? Alexander himself certainly seemed interested in ...


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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 when he fell, there flowed so much blood from his wounds that they drowned therein the whole race of frost-giants; excepting one, who escaped with his household....


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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 also the formula for a rite of initiation, which may be why the monomyth is so popular among young adults. It echoes the process all teenagers go through as as ...


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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 recognized. Thus, when confronted with a new god, they would tend either to adopt it into their religion, or equate it with another they already knew. This ...


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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 late bronze age. It's the right age and the right part of the world to be referring to El from the Ancient Canaanite religion. It has been suggested that ...


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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 back into human form. There may of course be earlier oral mythology.


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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 means "Deadly Gallows". A kenning for Odin was Ygg and was listed in the anonymous Skaldic Poem Óðins Nöfn. There are those that speculate that Yggdrasil gets its ...


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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 "God" does in the English language. ʾĒl ...is a Northwest Semitic word meaning "god" or "deity", or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major Ancient Near East ...


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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 through, admittedly). Adam: Originally from the Hebrew אדם, "'adam", meaning "man". Eve: Originally from the Hebrew חַוָּה, "chawwah", derived from חוה,"chawah", ...


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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 historical background, attested in Icelandic sagas: it seems that Norwegian kings had some kind of traditional right to gather tribute from the Sami, usually ...


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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 of the myth, Enlil sends a flood to kills the too-numerous and too-noisy humans. The god Enki intervenes and warns the king to save his family and a collection ...


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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 that quickly is connected to other, darker qualities. Already in the earliest text mentioning him, Dionysus is a god of two natures, "joy and sorrow" as Hesiod (...


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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 others before him have a version of a myth that is incompatible with his beliefs, namely that Tantalus would kill his son Pelops and feed him to the gods. Instead ...


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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 gracious; Two without fate | on the land they found, Ask and Embla, | empty of might. Soul they had not, | sense they had not, Heat nor motion, | nor goodly ...


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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. In this temple, entirely decked out in gold, the people worship the status of their gods in such wise that the mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in ...


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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 more complete than the Sumerian dragon. A photo of the dragon, made from clams embedded within sandstone, can be found here: ...


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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 anger of Zeus was ignited by the hubris of the Pelasgians, so he decided to put an end to the Bronze Age. Lycaon, the king of Arcadia, had sacrificed a boy to ...


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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 carries Darkness: Coyote and Bobcat scratch each other" A Cheyenne tale called "How he got tongue" And a Blackfoot Coyote tale called "Little Friend Coyote" He'...


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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", which gives brief descriptions of records of similar traditions from peoples spanning the Plains, Mississippi river, Great Lakes, and Southeastern United States. ...


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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 Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone' (Gen. 2:18). He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself,...


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Yes, both in characteristics and history. Starting from here, Another writer, Wirt Sikes wrote in the British Goblins (1880), comparing the Welsh fairies with that of Norse/Teutonic fairies. Sikes says that there are four types in the Norse tradition: elves, dwarves and troll, nisses and necks, mermen, and mermaids. While in ...


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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 of gods siring children with mortals crops up in many different cultures. Just a few examples (obviously, I am making no attempt at being exhaustive): Akkadian:...


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