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The Enuma Elish begins with the creation of the universe, originally an undifferentiated mass of water swirling in chaos. The waters divided into fresh and salt. The freshwater formed the god Apsu and saltwater the goddess Tiamat; from their union were born the younger gods. So she simply represents the sea, whether she is a specific sea is not mentioned. My ...


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Roman satirist Lucian of Somosata wrote of philosophers whose souls escaped from the Underworld. Names such as Plato, Socrates, even the founders of Stoicism which was popular in the second-century Roman Empire. They were angry with Lucian, who had placed himself as a character in this particular story. He had, in their eyes, insulted them and Philosophy ...


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Plato’s Republic includes the myth of Er, son of Armenius, in which Er avoids drinking the water of Lethe and so escapes from the underworld: All the souls […] marched on in a scorching heat to the plain of Forgetfulness [Lethe], which was a barren waste destitute of trees and verdure; and then towards evening they encamped by the river of Unmindfulness [...


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I doubt that this has anything to do with Mediterranean cultures specifically. The myth of Izanagi/Izanami in Japanese Shinto is straightforwardly identical to the myth of Orpheus (only that the protagonists are gods in the Japanese myth). Also Greek myths and other myths in the region could have been influenced by other previous non-Mediterranean cultures. ...


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Norse myth does feature such a belief. See the last seven stanzas of the Vǫluspá or "Sybil's Prophecy," in the Elder or Poetic Edda, or Chapters 52-53 of the "Gylfaginning" section of the Snorra or Prose Edda (scroll forward on this last linked page to p. 82). The Eddas admittedly are not from the Mediterranean region about which you more ...


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