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11 votes
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Who was the first Satan like deity/creature/person in mythology?

This is a complex question, and entire books have been written on it. The modern conception of Satan is a mixture of qualities arising from paganism (horns, etc.) but the conception of Satan as evil ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the oldest known religious song/chant?

Religious song is likely as old as religion or song. The Standard of Ur dated to the 26th century BCE, shows someone playing a harp: . (Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain, my highlighting). ...
Spencer's user avatar
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10 votes
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Where does the idea that dragons hoard gold come from?

The Colchian dragon isn't the only dragon protecting treasure in Greek mythology. A couple more examples: Ladon guarded the golden apples in the garden of the Hesperides, Python guarded the centre ...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
9 votes

Why is salt used to get rid of ghosts and keep out demons?

Salt has had a strong significance in a lot of different religions for millennia. I believe that salt used for the explicit purpose of repelling demons originates from Buddhism or Shintoism, where ...
WallWatcher's user avatar
9 votes

What are the origins of the snowman?

Snowmen were a phenomenon in the Middle Ages, built with great skill and thought. At a time of limited means of expression, snow was like free art supplies dropped from the sky. It was a popular ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,265
9 votes

What are the origins of the snowman?

Bob Eckstein is the author of a the book The History of the Snowman. In the book, he says that the first documentation of a snowman that he found was in 1380 in an illuminated manuscript, where he ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
8 votes
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What mythology is the story of Alduin The World Eater and The Dragonborn (as seen in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) based on?

Elder Scrolls Lore This passage is for people wanting to know a little bit about Skyrim lore. Skyrim is the 5th official game in the Elder Scrolls series (I do not count the other games and spin-off ...
Gibet's user avatar
  • 3,511
7 votes

Why is salt used to get rid of ghosts and keep out demons?

Salt is a preservative. The Tarim Mummies were preserved in salt for 4000 years. If you pack meat in salt it will not rot. (Because it sucks all the water out and kills any bacteria. Water is ...
Eva Maria Snyder's user avatar
7 votes

Why is salt used to get rid of ghosts and keep out demons?

Why is salt associated with repelling of demons? This seems like an almost impossible question to answer. The origins are very obscure. Firstly, what does salt symbolize? Judeo-Christian traditions ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
7 votes

Why is salt used to get rid of ghosts and keep out demons?

Salt is a natural cleanser, and can be used to scour out pots, as toothpaste, to remove rust, etc. (See this page for more.) So it's not a big leap from there to supernatural cleansing. As for salting ...
solsdottir's user avatar
  • 5,906
7 votes
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What is the folkloristic origin of cats having 9 lives?

It may not be possible to trace the exact origins of the phrase that a cat had nine lives. Nevertheless there are a few sources from which we can find a possible origin of cats having nine lives. ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
7 votes

Who created the Primordials?

In Orphic cosmogony, which is a somewhat more esoteric version of the mainstream Olympian accounts, Khaos [Chaos] emerged from or was given birth by a being named Aion [Aeon], who is mentioned by ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
7 votes

What is the origin of the centaurs?

Centaurs are borne from a cloud nymph named Nemphele and the Lapith king Ixion. The story goes like this: Ixion is a terrible person, and deceitfully invites some poor dude to a "banquet" where he ...
bleh's user avatar
  • 6,719
7 votes

What is the earliest ghost story we know of?

Pliny the Younger tells the story of a haunted house in Athens, featuring the stoic Athenodorus Cananites, in his letter to Sura: Now the following story, which I am going to tell you just as I heard ...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
7 votes
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How were trolls created in Norse mythology?

Well, it depends. A big problem here is that the sources are not entirely clear on the classification of different non-humans. Thus, what in modern minds (perhaps influenced by role playing games) are ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 6,026
7 votes
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Are there any old religions/mythologies where people would get tattood to get closer to or for their god?

The Maori and their tattoos, the Ta Moko and Kiri Tuhi I'll start by saying that the Ta Moko is well represented of course in the Maori folklore and traditions. For the mythology: The legend of ...
Calaom's user avatar
  • 605
7 votes
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Character that created themself?

This might be a lot more common than you'd think. Many examples come from creation myths, perhaps because having a creator at all begs the obvious question, "who created the creator?" One solution is ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 7,846
7 votes
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What is the connection between Poseidon and horses?

I can't find a classical source for this, but from what I understand it's related to the myth of the founding of Athens and the competition Poseidon had with Athena over who would be the city's patron....
fifthviolet's user avatar
6 votes

What is the inspiration behind the dark forest in Dante?

The metaphor was (probably) inspired partly by Medieval literature (courtly or theological) and partly by Virgil's works, for example the "Georgics" that, in part, discusses the myth of Orpheus, who ...
pter26's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes

What is the origin of the story that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole?

Complicated Well, it definitely doesn't claim to be folklore at all, it was just in a book by Thomas Nast. (Linked full size image is over 7 MiB; Wikimedia Commons page; image is in the public domain)...
bleh's user avatar
  • 6,719
6 votes
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What is the origin of Krampus?

From the origins of Krampus, Europe's evil twist on Santa: "Krampus himself historically comes around the night of December 5, tagging along with St. Nicholas. He visits houses all night with his ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
6 votes

Why can't vampires walk in the sun?

We should perhaps first note that vampires are hardly the only creatures that can not stand sunlight; it is a common attribute among mystical creatures that they only appear at night, and that some of ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 6,026
6 votes

Is it possible that the Heracles myths are a compilation of stories from multiple cultures?

Absolutely. I can think of at least three separate strands in the development of Heracles/Hercules: Walter Burkert mentions in his book "Greek Religion" that Heracles at least partially ...
DarkWolf's user avatar
  • 176
6 votes

Who was the first Satan like deity/creature/person in mythology?

As @Codosaur Pointed out, Satan is a character that rises up against the supreme deity of the mythology. I would add that in the Christian religion, he comes by many names I'll start a list here and ...
6 votes

Where does the idea of counting crows come from?

I did some quick searching and found this page recounting a British nursery rhyme, with the oldest version accounted to be: One for sorrow, Two for mirth, Three for a funeral And four for ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 14.2k
6 votes
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Are there any hunter gatherer gods?

According to Wikipedia We Homo sapiens were Hunter-Gatherers some 0.2 million or 200,000 years ago But this trait was even previously employed by Homo erectus some 1.8 million years ago. By ...
SwiftPushkar's user avatar
6 votes
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The unreadable book: Voynich manuscript?

Since the V.M. has been extensively studied, as far as its physical properties go, I don't think much can be said for "mythical origins" of the book. It's known to be old and most likely made in ...
elemtilas's user avatar
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