Just some research notes: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Gods and Myths of the Ancient World - Mary Barnett, Grange Books, ISBN 1 84013 081 4 (annoyingly, no text references) Man made from clay figures: p. 153 - reference made to the Titan, Prometheus, making the first men out of clay figures, into which Athena breathed life. The first woman was much later made by Hephaestus, and she was called Pandora. She was supposed to have, despite warnings, opened a jar given by the gods, and thus released all the evils and illnesses of the world upon mankind. [rem! Greeks learned their alphabet by corrupting the Phoenicians, who had their bases in Palestine, especially Tyre (the silver pennies of Tyre were the required offering in the Temple of Jerusalem by Jesus’ day). This story may have spread to Greece via the Phoenicians, who would have been aware of Jewish lore. Alternatively, the Jews may have taken the story into Genesis from a previous source - perhaps the Phoenicians themselves, who may even have carried it from one of the myriad of cultures they were involved with? Either way, imagine how accessible the fall story in Genesis would be to the Greeks, and Romans, of later times, especially considering it’s subsequent neceesity for Salvation through Jesus. ((also note: Egyptian Creation myth - varied between cities, which in terms of religion were semi-autonomous. The creation myth of Memphis mentions the god Khnum as a like as a divine potter, who fashions humans from clay to create them.)) Greek Flood myth: Also - Later on, Zeus sends a flood to destroy all of humanity. But Prometheus warns his son, Deucalion, about the coming deluge, and advises him to build an ark. Deucalion and his wife survive the nine day inundation, and then make sacrifice to Zeus, who is so pleased by this that he shows them how to repopulate the earth by casting stones them. The author suggests that this story is likely to have been imported from the middle-east, where agriculture there relies on the seasonal flooding of rivers. Obvious connection to the flood myth in Genesis. Bodily ascension: p.246 - refers to a myth in which Hercules was lifted to Heaven from his funeral pyre. The story of Romulus ascending to Heaven is mention (from Livy). The author comments on the necessary mythologising of Romulus, founder of Rome, so as to justify the Roman people with a divine founder (as many ancient cities apparently did). Cultures didn’t state themselves descended from gods and divine humans from mere pretension - it was a form of propaganda used to justify a rulers position. When the Normans conquered England their historians attributed a lineage from King Arthur to William the conqueror. (More pertinent examples from the ancient world will follow.) In those times, kings and other rulers only held their position by claiming divine favour, thus justofying their elevation over the common folk and other nobility. By surrounding themselves with religious mysticism, origin, and ancestry, they were attempting to scare their superstitious people from considering a revolt. Obviously, to work against the king was to work against the gods, and few mortals would ever possible dare try that. Of course, the ones who did cloaked themselves in religious mysticism, andwhen they succeeded the whole cycle repeated over. Visions: p.291 - Augustus apparently referred to a vision of Apollo before the Battle of Actium, in which he was granted victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra. However, Augustus was always trying to promote the old roman gods over those newer faiths spreading in from the Middle East. (cf Constantines supposed vision of the cross, as related by Eusebius.) Descent from the gods: p.293 - "It is scarcely surprising that, after his death, Augustus, like his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, was declared a god himself. It had long been a feature of Greek and Roman religion that exceptional men, at the end of their lives, might be taken into the pantheon of gods … Alexander the Great had asked for, and had been given, recognition of his divinity, mainly as an astute way of establishing his power in his Eastern and Egyptian armies, where kingship and divinity went hand in hand … Augustus ruled Egypt as part of the Roman Empire, so was perforce a divine emperor there." "His adoptive father, Julius Caesar, had believed he had a personal association with the goddess Venus because, as a member of the Julian fmaily, he was directly descended from Iulus, or Ascanius, the son of Aenas, who was himself the son of Venus and Anchises." Bodily ascension: And on p.294 the author refers to soething I’ve seen in the Annals of Imperial Rome by Tacitus - where a senator apparently claims to have witnessed Augustus ascending bodily to Heaven.