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xopranaut t1_je9knbj wrote

The article actually says “explanation of the origin of the Milky Way within the context of creation myths”, meaning that the Milky Way had got its name because it looked like a splash of milk in water, and the myth was then invented as an explanation.


thebluebeagal t1_je9v6k3 wrote

This is pretty common with myths. For instance, and I am by far not an expert so I may butcher some of this, but the reason that we have winter is because the Goddess of the harvest had her daughter tricked by Hades and has to spend 4 months out of the year in the underworld. Her mother is so distressed by this that she refuses to let things grow during that time.


xopranaut t1_jeabuw2 wrote

Yeah. Most myths seem to be either morality plays, explanations of things people had no other way to understand, or garbled renderings of their tribe’s history.


WarpmanAstro t1_jeb8e5c wrote

One of my favorite explanations for the mysterious "races of man who came before us" and figures like the Niphilim are literally just our ancestors remembering Neanderthals existing and then suddenly "vanishing".


Gulbahar-00 t1_jec5gxg wrote

There are aboriginal Australian myths about giant animals that were confirmed to be prehistoric wildlife by paleontologists


pow3llmorgan t1_jeb9vxj wrote

That or they were tripping balls and thought they saw giants.


Cant_think_of_shz t1_jea4rh3 wrote

This is slightly different from what I learned.

Hades had basically kidnapped Persephone (the daughter of Demeter), which made Demeter cause fall and winter, where crops died and refused to regrow.

Around the “start” of spring, Persephone returns bearing news. She says after spending time with Hades, she fell in love, and both Hades and Persephone agreed to Persephone spending a few months of the year with Demeter (spring and summer), and a few months with Hades (fall and winter).

This is apparently why the seasons change. Demeter is overwhelmed with joy during spring and summer, which causes bountiful greenery. During fall and winter, she falls into a depressive state, which causes plants to die and trees ti lose their leaves.


Ibalegend t1_jea4z9p wrote

theres a lot of versioms of the myth, there is no one "true" version. most people learn slightly different verions just by chance


Cant_think_of_shz t1_jea5jn6 wrote

I kind of enjoy that property of myths. They can share a similar plot, but small differences can change the story drastically.


Ibalegend t1_jebnjoz wrote

yeah my favorite detail that changes with the hades and persephone myth is the context for it, it can be drastically different between versions and its interesting to see


Dawnawaken92 t1_jeaf3ge wrote

Roman and Greek versions of the mythos perhaps


Ibalegend t1_jeaiyq3 wrote

no, as in there were multiple versions in Ancient Greece because it was a living religion that changed by region and time


Dawnawaken92 t1_jef1b49 wrote

I wasn't saying yes or no. And you basically just affirmed my statement. I was saying there are multiple versions across the entire hellenistic period. And not one version is the true or original that we can absolutely say for a fact is the first.


Ikimasen t1_jeakovv wrote

Persephone has to stay down there 6 months out of the year because of the 6 pomegranate seeds she ate when she got kidnapped.


MisterCortez t1_jeb884i wrote

I like your version because she's in love, but brother you still gotta remember not to eat anything in the event you find yourself in the Hellenic Greek underworld


ryschwith t1_jeajxgh wrote

I think the “Persephone is cool with it” angle tends to be a somewhat more modern take on the myth.


gentlybeepingheart t1_jecu1xb wrote

the first time it shows up framed as an actual version of the myth is in the 1970s from a book called “Lost Goddesses of Early Greece” by Charlene Spretnak. Spretnak does not cite any sources.

All ancient sources (Homeric Hymn, Apollodorus, Diodorus Siculus, even Ovid) have her taken unwillingly and tricked/forced into consuming the pomegranate seeds.

She does, ultimately, come to love Hades, as evidenced by other myths, but she never chooses to stay in the first place.

Alongside being a myth about the seasons changing, it would also be relatable to mothers and daughters in ancient Greece. Because daughters were essentially property of their fathers, neither they nor the mother had true legal control over who she would marry. I'm sure that there were plenty of men who did care about the wishes of their wives and daughters, but there was really no recourse if someone decided "Hey, we're marrying you off to this older man."

So, it's also a myth about marriage. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Helios tells Demeter that she should be happy that, out of all the people Zeus gave Persephone to, he chose someone so very rich and well respected. Persephone is frightened and distressed in the underworld, but later learns that it's not all that bad, and she enjoys an immense amount of power and respect. So, Greeks are told

  • Your new husband may seem scary, but with time you will grow to accept and enjoy your role as a wife.
  • You may be sad about the loss of your daughter, but she will be much more fortunate with a good husband.
  • You can decide unilaterally to give your daughter to someone, but things go much more smoothly if your wife is consulted about it beforehand.

Falconstorm1 t1_jedr03l wrote

The idea that Persephone fell in love with Hades is actually pretty modern and really recent. Most Greek tellings put absolutely no epmpehsis on how Persephone felt because it wasn't important. Back then all marriages were basically a buiness agreement between the father of the bride and the groom and Women had no say at all in who they married.

The only version I know of that actually does put details on how persephone felt was Homer and that telling actually says that Persephone had no interest in Hades at all and that Hades forced her to eat the pomagranate so she could never fully leave the underworld.

Persephone and Hades are actually really minor figures in the myth and it's most just modern revisions that put more focus on it. Classical Greek myths put more focus on Demeter herself going on a quest to find her daughter


Drewbox t1_jeafbtn wrote

This is why I love Greek mythology. The story’s used to explain things are so visual and beautiful. You can see the stories in the sky every night.


chronoboy1985 t1_jee3tso wrote

Yup. This was literally a big part of the plot of the game Hades. Lol.


SuperGameTheory t1_je9yel8 wrote

I like the hubris that the ancients had in creating their myths. A baby is pulled away from a teat and innumerable gallons of milk drenches the entire night sky. Or Zeus got angry at Prometheus, so he chained him to a rock and had an eagle eat his liver for thirty years...until he was saved by Hercules.


BroForceOne t1_jea1kig wrote

I remember when I was taught about that American myth Paul Bunyan the giant lumberjack who created the grand canyon by dragging his axe or made the Minnesota lakes with his footsteps. Even 8 year old me was like uh why aren’t there more lakes or craters next to the grand canyon then if he was walking next to it.


LukeyLeukocyte t1_jecrvzb wrote

That's how 8yo me felt in church lol. "Something sounds fishy here."


chronoboy1985 t1_jee4grs wrote

That was me in Catholic catechism class: So if killing is the worst sin, than why are there so many bloody wars in the Bible among Christians?


FakeOrcaRape t1_jed0uyz wrote

Lol, learning so casually that "humans evolved from apes" in 4th grade and talking about it as if my mind was blown did not go over well w my parents. I mean they arnt like fundamentalists, but they are christians and definitely were not down to answer my questions.