View Full Version : Mythology questions

2010-Jan-06, 10:34 AM
Is there a time line for when certain events (the labors of Hercules for example) were to have actually happened?

What I mean is, were the stories known in 250 B.C.? 400 B.C.? I can't seem to find the earliest rendition of any of them. If the events were really based on a true event in some way, when did that event happen?

How about the Norse myths?

Thanks for anything you can offer, even if it's only better search terms than I've been using.

2010-Jan-06, 11:17 AM
You should look into Euhemerism. It's the name for the theory that myths are essentially evolutions of real events.

2010-Jan-06, 11:49 AM
How about the Norse myths?
For these I'd say it depends a lot about whether you're talking about the religious myths or the stories of the mythomagical heroes.
The latter are a mix of the impossible and the enhanced retelling of the lives of actual people, which can be placed fairly well in time to 700-1100.

The religious myths are tricky to pin down timewise because they've been through an oral tradition and was transformed by Christian influences before it was written down, so some of it reads as if it had been retconned to fit the Christian creation myths.

All the goings on of the Norse gods happen before Ragnarok which destroys their world and kills all the gods and humans except for two humans, Ask and Embla, who then starts what is obviously going to be the world as we know it.
This slots fairly cleanly into the Christian expulsion from Paradise with Adam and Eve having to start everything, so if we're going in the tradition of making chronologies based on literal interpretation of stories from books then the Norse mythology would be the prequel to the Bible and would be perhaps 6000 BC to 4004 BC.

2010-Jan-06, 11:50 AM
Thanks. That looks like it will give me a lot of stuff to use as a base for the idea.