"To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism, to "steal" ideas from many is research."
Greek and Roman Mythology-=*=-
Native American Mythology-=*=-
First, it must be understood that the Proto-Indo-Europeans and their descendants, the Indo-Europeans, are not a race but a culture. This must be accepted, lest we fall into the trap of Aryanism. There is no Indo-European race, but linguists have reconstructed, using comparative linguistics, what may have been the language, religion, and cultural environment of the original Indo-Europeans.
Likely originating on the Russian Steppes, or perhaps around what is now Kyrgistan, the Indo-Europeans developed as a distinct group some time in the fifth millennium BCE, when they descended upon the area south of the Black Sea and the Balkans. By the second millennium BCE, they had developed into distinct groups like the Hittites, Mycenean Greeks, and Indo-Iranians. At this point, we cannot speak of Proto-Indo-Europeans or Indo-Europeans, but of distinct cultures.
There has been some recent debate as to how closely the Indo-European culture is related to the Semitic; while it is not believed to be descended of the Semitic, some scholars are willing to admit that there does seem to be some religious, if not linguistic, ties. This only makes sense, given the close proximity of the two cultures. The preponderance of deluge myths, symbolism involving trees and snakes, ritualized meals and dying and rising gods seem to point to either an influence, or perhaps a close heritage, of the two groups, though not a close common origin, given the disparity in the language systems. (Admittedly, all humans have a common origin.)
- LINGUISTIC/CULTURAL GROUPS
DEITIES: The reconstructed names which I feature here are brought courtesy of Ceisiwr Serith, who has devoted a number of pages on his website to the subject; I also know Serith, however cursorily, through ADF, and respect the work he's done. Still, for the sake of completeness, I've also provided the hypothetical roots of his reconstructions. Also, many of the roles will overlap; for example, both Tyr and Odin are listed under Dyeus Pater, for various reasons.
Perkwúnos: “Striker” > perkwu- “oak, fir”; also *per- “strike” : The Thunderer. Note that the Thunder God is usually associated with the oak, lightning, and a club or hammer (stand-in for lightning)
Ancestor God (no reconstruction); not necessarily identified with Aryomen or Yemos (see below); both Vivasvant and Beli mean "bright, shining"
Aryomen: “Aryanness” > *h4erós “freeman" : The Founder of Society
Meitros: “Contract” > *mei-1 “to change, move, go” : The God of Contracts, Mediations, Friendship
Diwós Sunú: “Sons of Dyéus” > *dyeu- *sūnu “God's Sons” : The horse- and sailing-associated Sons of Celestial Father.
Akwom Népot > *h2epōm nepōt : “grandson, nephew of the waters” : Guardian of the Sacred Fire-Water.
Yemós and Mannus: “Twin and Man” > Twin, the first king, is sacrificed by Man, the first priest, to create the Cosmos.
Páuson: Keeper of Herds > *péhasōn : “nourisher”?
Smithing God: no reconstructed name.
- Dyéus Patér: “Celestial Father” > *dyeu-pəter “bright sky father” : All-father
Gwouwinda: “White Cow” > gwou- “cow”; *kwindos “bright”
Awsós: Dawn > *haéusōs
Sawelyosyo Dhughter: “Daughter of the Sun” though she herself may be a sun goddess
Donu: “River Goddess” > *donu- "river"; often mother of the nation
Hearth Goddess, Goddess of Flame (no reconstructed common name; Serith gives Westya, from *wes- "to dwell")
Dhéghom Máter : "Mother Earth" dhghem- "earth"; māter- "mother". The name Pltwiya is also suggested, from *plth2wih2-, "broad one"
Kolyos: “The Coverer” Goddess of Death (I am not sure of the root for this name)
The Fates: no reconstructed name (I'm going out on a limb here)
- Ekwamedha: “Horse Goddess Who Intoxicates” > ekwo “horse”; medha “mead; intoxication”
The World-Encompassing Ocean
The World-Encircling Serpent
Hell Hound : *k̂érberos
Xartus : Fate
MAJOR MYTHS & THEMES
The War Between Gods and Giants
The War Between Functions
Perkwúnos Slaying the Serpent
Sacred Meal/Sacred Drink
The Lady with the Mead Cup
The One-Handed God and the One-Eyed God
- Indra slaying Vrtra
- Thor slaying Jormungandr
- Herakles slaying Hydra
- Lludd entombing the Dragons
The Threefold Death
The Wild Hunt
The Cattle Raid
The King and the Virgin
- Varuna and Mitra (Vedic)
- Nuada and Lugh (Irish)
- Tyr and Odin (Norse)
- Numa and Romulus (Latin)
Twilight of the Gods
- Math and Goewin (Welsh)
- Eochaid and Medb (Irish)
- Numitor and Rhea Silvia (Latin)
- Gylfi and Gefjun (Norse)
- Yayati and Madhavi (Indic)
Encyclopedia Of Indo-European Culture. editors, J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams. London; Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
Dumézil, Georges. Mitra-Varuna : An Essay On Two Indo-European Representations Of Sovereignty. New York : Zone Books, 1988.
Mallory, J. P. In Search Of The Indo-Europeans : Language, Archaeology And Myth. London: Thames and Hudson, 1989.
Oosten, Jarich G. The War Of The Gods : The Social Code In Indo-European Mythology. London; Boston: Routledge & K. Paul, 1985.
Puhvel, Jaan. Comparative Mythology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.
Serith, Ceisiwr. "Proto-Indo-European Deities." Proto-Indo-European Religion. URL: http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/pier/deities.htm. Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004.