HDE 226868
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What is the earliest known dragon myth?
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23 votes

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

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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Who is the oldest being in Greek mythology?
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16 votes

Hesiod's Theogony is widely regarded as the most ubiquitous of the Greek "creation myths".1 One of the earlier passages reads (ll. 116-138) Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-...

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Where did Morgana le Fay come from?
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15 votes

There are a few different accounts, detailed here: She was the half sister of none other than King Arthur himself, the daughter of King Gorlois and Igraine (Arthur's mother). She was most likely the ...

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Does Hercules have a tail?
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14 votes

It was a trophy. A Nemean Lion's Tail. It was the 1st labor of Hercules- it was Hercules' first great deed. The first of Hercules' labors was to kill the Nemean lion. Hesiod, in his Theogony, wrote ...

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Does Poseidon rule over all the sea gods?
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14 votes

According to the ever-helpful theoi.com (emphasis mine on all quotes), Being the ruler of the sea (the Mediterranean), he is described as gathering clouds and calling forth storms, but at the same ...

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To the Greeks, how was the Earth created?
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13 votes

First, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Then, In the beginning there was only Chaos. Then out of the void appeared Erebus, the unknowable place where death dwells, and Night. All else was ...

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How long ago was the Dreaming?
13 votes

The Aboriginal people are protective of their culture, and they do not share all of their stories with the rest of the world. For them, much of what transpired is a private matter, and so only some ...

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How are the two humans selected to repopulate the world after Ragnarök?
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12 votes

The two human survivors are Lif and Lifthrasir. They live through Ragnarök by hiding in Yggdrasil before the great battles, supposedly in Hoddmimir's wood. Apparently, Vafthrudnir told this to Odin in ...

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Why is the ferry toll for Charon placed in the dead person's mouth?
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12 votes

Wikipedia actually has an interesting interpretation: Attempts to explain the symbolism of the rite also must negotiate the illogical placement of the coin in the mouth. The Latin term viaticum makes ...

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Why does Medea escape punishment?
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11 votes

Apollonius of Rhodes, in his Argonautica, tells that Medea and the Argonauts actually did fall out of favor with the gods for killing Absyrtus. Zeus found out fairly quickly and was characteristically ...

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Bendigeidfran's head was one of the Three Fortunate concealments; what are the other two?
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11 votes

The dragons trapped by Lludd. In The Adventure of Lludd and Llefelys, there are three plagues which fall upon Britain. The second is a horrible screech that renders the inhabitants scared. King Lludd,...

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Was Cadmus the only mortal whose wedding was attended by Olympians?
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11 votes

Cadmus may have been the first mortal (Harmonia was immortal) to be married while Olympians watched, but he was not the only one. Peleus and Thetis were married on Mount Pelion. Thetis was, according ...

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Which one was older, Artemis or Apollo?
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10 votes

Most accounts that make the distinction agree that it was Artemis who was born first. From Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 21: She [Leto] finally reached Delos and gave birth to Artemis, who ...

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Are there any relations between Norse elves and Celtic fairies, or their home realms?
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10 votes

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 ...

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Where did this story about stars being part of a board game come from?
10 votes

I think it might be Game of the Gods, from Norse mythology. It is described in The Poetic Edda, in stanza 8: In their dwellings at peace | they played at tables, Of gold no lack | did the gods ...

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What happened to the flamines minores?
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10 votes

In Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach, Michael Lipka offers the following explanation: Under the Empire, the focal force of the traditional foci of the traditional Republican cults disappeared. One ...

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Who is Cleverman?
9 votes

An article in The Sydney Morning Herald has the creator of Cleverman, Ryan Griffen, discussing the traditional Aboriginal role of the Cleverman. The article paints a picture of the Cleverman as a ...

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Did Loki spend 8 years underground as a maid, milking cows and bearing children?
8 votes

Quoting from a footnote on one version of the Lokasenna, There is no other reference to Loki's having spent eight years underground, or to his cow-milking. On one occasion, however, he did bear ...

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How does the Scientological creation myth describe the rebirth of humankind following Xenu's hydrogen bombing?
8 votes

I'm not an Operating Thetan either, nor do I want to be. Fortunately, those of us who aren't permitted to be in the know do have access to some documents, including the Fishman Affidavit. I worked off ...

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Why is Lucifer three-faced?
7 votes

It's worth looking further down Canto XXXIV (I'm using a slightly different translation) to see just who is stuffed into Lucifer's mouths: "That upper spirit, Who hath worst punishment," so spake ...

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Why is the Serpent the most common motif as the creator in indigenous Australian cultures?
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7 votes

First, I took a look at Wikipedia. It explains that the Rainbow Serpent may have been inspired by one or more of the following Australian snakes: The rough-scaled python The taipan The file snake ...

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What Phoenician story could be the inspiration of the cosmic story of five Titanes?
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6 votes

As far as I can tell, the modern-day theory for the connection between Phoenician gods and the Greek Titans coms from Atlantis, the Antediluvian World, written in 1882 by Ignatius Donnelly. Donnelly ...

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Revenants in mythology of the British Isles?
6 votes

Abhartach (Ireland) Irish folklore speaks of Abhartach, a dwarf who rose from the dead multiple times after being slain. In The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places (c. 1871), Patrick Weston ...

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Story of a man who slept in a tree and awoke to a plagued city
6 votes

My first reaction was that this sounds a lot like the story of Rip van Winkle, which is well-known, at least in the Northeastern United States. In the mid-1700s, a man (Rip van Winkle) and his dog ...

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Were any mortals made into gods?
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6 votes

Some members of this list count as gods, although none are, to my knowledge, regarded as true Olympians. While all gained immortality, I'm only counting a select few as gods because they were either ...

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Who were the Seven Sages who laid the foundations of Uruk?
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6 votes

The Seven Sages are the Apkallu. The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible states that they were servants of Ea, responsible for teaching mankind how to govern and start civilization. They ...

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Who is the mother of Freyr and Freyja?
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6 votes

Different sources imply different things. In some, the mother seems to be the unnamed sister of Njörðr. In the Ynglinga Saga, Snorri Strurluson writes While Njord was with the Vanaland people he had ...

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What does Gilgamesh's title "He Who Saw the Deep" mean?
6 votes

It means that he learned great wisdom from Ea. This summary states The story begins as if by a narrator of a later era. Gilgamesh had all knowledge and wisdom, he was "he who saw the Deep" [Deep=...

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What is the significance of kissing someone's shoulder in the Shahnameh?
6 votes

Shoulder kissing is a tradition that seems to be practiced as a greeting in, among other places, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Guardian has an article about one instance: Iran's supreme leader, ...

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