Creation Mythology And Man's Place Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Essay Paper: #29714706 Related Topics: Greek Mythology, Mythology, Place, Book Of Genesis
Excerpt from Essay :

Zeus himself, though now king of the gods, is the child of other gods who are themselves children of still greater gods -- Gaia or Mother Earth among them. Most significant for our purposes here is the fact that Zeus created four other races of man before he got to ours, meaning that again man (especially in his current form) was the last in a long line o creative outbursts. Certain other portions of the Greek creation myth necessitate the creation of animals prior to the creation of the current race of man for procreative purposes, meaning that modern man was most certainly the last species to be created according to this myth. What this says about Man's relation the animals is somewhat more obscure.

Similarities in Man's Position

Both the Greek and the Biblical creation myths leave a certain ambiguity concerning Man's relation to the animals. In the Biblical version of the creation, Man is seen as the culmination of a single consciousness's concerted efforts to create, and thus is paced in charge of the other animals, yet he eventually falls from grace and is banished from the bliss of paradise that other animals still inhabit. In the Greek version, different races of man have existed in generally deteriorating circumstances, much like the Biblical banishment from the paradise in the Garden of Eden suffered by Adam and Eve and subsequently all of mankind, but the cause and effect of creation is far less linear and planned. The relationship between Man and the animals in the Greek myth is at first difficult to perceive.

Even a surface examination of certain other portions of...

...

Mankind is, for the Greeks as well as in the Bible, a direct creation of the gods/God; there is no lineage or path of sexual reproduction to follow, as there is for the various levels of gods in the Greek pantheon. As they are named creations, whereas the bulk of the animal kingdom goes unreferenced, it is clear that mankind as at least one point in its favor as far as ranking goes. Man, and the previous races of mortals created by Zeus, is also a hunter and tamer of animals, and this has long been the case. This, too, suggests a certain superiority of Man over the animals. Yet the offspring of a union between a god and a human was almost always a demi-god, whereas the offspring of a god and an animal often became a full god or goddess in their own right. This, as well as Man's debased stature according to Hesiod's description, leaves the question as ambiguous as Adam and Eve's banishment.

Conclusion

Ultimately, most creation mythologies include some split form animals, with whom human beings were more intimately associated in a long past mythological era. In Greek myth, the progenitors of man took this intimacy to a sexual level; in the Bible, Adam and Eve live peacefully amongst the animals in a much closer fashion than we do today. These similarities raise certain questions about the possible true origins of mankind's culture.

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