reply to post by swan001
There are certainly overlaps in mythology. But, they go deeper than just a series of events/experiences which every single culture adheres to, because
the first one did. There are a series of mythological outlines present in Middle-Eastern mythology for sure.
The most common being a three-tier system of existence. The ruling deities live in the Heavens (sky), the terrestrial deities who tackle mundane tasks
live on the Earth, and the Cthonic, afterlife deities live within, or beneath the Earth in the Underworld. Beyond this, only a small smattering of
concepts cross all lines. The Celestial Goddess and the Earth Goddess; the Dying-and-Rising deity; the Ruling God. Those are about it.
What you have instead, are focuses on a variety of topics. In Sumer the focus was on vegetation, agriculture, crops, and farming. All of their myths
(the Sacred Marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi; the Descent of Inanna; the Creation of Man; the Deluge; etc.) were all focused on crops, and harvests. Even
the "Seven Who Decree Fate" (the Lords of Sumer) are all involved in agricultural associations: Anu is the All-Seed which allows life to exist. Enki
is the waters of the Earth which feed the plant life and vegetation. Enlil is the storm-lord, and King of the Gods who waters the Earth from the
Heavens. Utu as the sun represents the life-granting rays and heat and nutrients of the sun. Nanna as the moon is the lunar harvest cycle. Ninhursag
is the fertile earth herself. And Inanna is the divine feminine, and the one who "eats" plants to learn their properties, and in mixing them creates
cross-blended seeds. All agricultural.
Meanwhile, their neighbors in Egypt have almost no mythology detailing agriculture, crops, or harvests. Instead, their mythology is entirely solar,
and based on resurrection themes in relation to the sun's daily birth, life, decay, and journey through the Underworld. All of their mythologies
inevitably settle upon the birth of Horus (the light of the sun), Re (the sun as a giver of life), Khepra-Re-Atum (the resurrecting sun), or Amun-Re
(the All-Pervasive Sun). The Ogdoad (Creation of Eight) ends in the Cosmic Egg being laid by Thoth, and the Young Horus being born. The Ennead (Group
of Nine) with the Set-vs-Horus myth, and the myth of Isis and Osiris is heavily focused on the salvation and reunification of Egypt due to Horus (the
life-providing sun) conquering Set (the inhospitable desert).
While in Greece, the later age (Olympians) are all highly focused on human qualities. Unlike the Titans, who I pointed out represented natural cycles
on the Earth, the Olympians are sensualists, warriors, artificers, poets and prophets, vintners, hunters, etc. representing not natural cycles, but
human qualities. The children of the Titans as well, like Pan the satyr, and Aesculapius the healer, are also very human in nature and quality. The
mythology has definitely moved from agricultural in Sumer, to solar and royalty-based in Egypt, to human in Europe.
Similar mythological concepts do continue to exist though.
In Sumer the Sacred Marriage between Inanna and Dumuzi was to grant kingship. A King (Dumuzi) was chosen, and wed to the patron goddess of the
city-state (Inanna), to notarize his right to rule the lands. In Egypt this same Sacred Marriage exists between Isis and Osiris, but now the
foundation has changed to the Cult of Death and Resurrection. The deceased is now being wedded to the goddess to ensure his resurrection and
continuation in the Afterlife. Then, in Greece, the Sacred Marriage is tainted by Hades, who kidnaps Persephone and tricks.forces her into living with
him in the Underworld. The Greek myth is then about Persephone's attempt to escape from this clause. Same myth, different focus and destination.
I can't be sure what it all means though. Maybe it is all influenced by a truly divine hand. All I know, is that it's danged interesting, and gives
you a much greater appreciation for the mental and creative faculties of early man when you study them.
P.S., I'm an Alekaite. I studied comparative religions, ancient history, mythology, and my focus was as an English major. Nice to meet you as well.
edit on 28/6/12 by Wandering Scribe because: added the P.S.