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Detail of a statue of Ganesha.

Ganesha: How He Lost… And Gained His Head

“Lord Ganesh of curved elephant trunk and huge body, Whose brilliance is equal to billions of suns in intensity, Always removes all obstacles from my endeavours truly...” ― Munindra Misra, Chants of...
Portrait of Saint Nicholas

True Remains of the Saint Behind the Santa Myth Believed Found in Turkey

Researchers suggest that they have found the almost fully intact temple and burial grounds of Saint Nicholas in Antalya, Turkey. In case the name Saint Nicholas doesn’t ring any bells, keep in mind...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
Total eclipse of the Sun, June 8, 1918, Howard Russell Butler

The Life and Death Power of Eclipses in the Ancient World

On Monday, August 21, people living in the continental United States will be able to see a total solar eclipse. Humans have been alternatively amused, puzzled, bewildered and sometimes even terrified...
Krishna driving a chariot with Arjun behind in Mahabharata

The Supernatural Weapons of the Mahabharata and Their World Destroying Power

In many world mythologies, the characters in the myths are often given supernatural weapons. In Greek mythology, for instance, Zeus has his thunderbolts, whilst the Norse god Thor has his magic...
Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
An image of Enki from the Adda cylinder seal.

The Powerful Enki: Epic Sumerian, Babylonian, and Akkadian Deity

In the belief system of the Sumerians, Enki (known also as Ea by the Akkadians and Babylonians) was regarded to be one of the most important deities. Originally Enki was worshipped as a god of fresh...
Statue of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest

Why is the Evidence for the Outlaw Robin Hood as Elusive as the Man Himself?

The historic existence of the legendary English hero who ‘stole from the rich and gave to the poor’ is a perennial source of debate. Every few years, new evidence emerges of authenticity and possible...
Cataclysmic natural disasters frame indelible human stories.

No Smoke Without Fire: The Existence of Xia Dynasty and the Great Flood Legend

The Xia Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the first dynasty of China. This dynasty is believed to have been founded by Yu the Great towards the end of the 3 rd millennium BC, and lasted until...
Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia Imam - Ali ibn abi Talib; Prophet Adam; and Prophet Nuh (Noah).

Is this the Final Resting Place of Noah? It is Certainly One of the Contenders

The tale about a huge ship (of Biblical proportions) that enabled the survival of all of the species of animals around the world sounds impressive, but also quite unbelievable. Nonetheless, its...
From the same 1429 Persian manuscript. Sañjīvaka/Schanzabeh.

What Pearls of Wisdom are Held in the Animal Tales of the Panchatantra?

The Panchatantra (which means the ‘Five Principles’ in Sanskrit) is a collection of interwoven short stories from India. The tales in the Panchatantra are told in both prose and poetry, and consist...
Illustration of Unknown Hooded men.

The Mysterious Secret Society of Ancient India and The Nine Unknown Men of Ashoka

There is a pervasive legend in India of a secret organization that allegedly has a vast amount of advanced knowledge in their possession. Believed to have been formed over 2000 years ago, the Nine...
Witch of Endor by Nikolai Ge, 1857.

The Biblical Witch of Endor: Contacting the Spirit of a Prophet

The Witch of Endor is known also as the biblical Medium of Endor. According to legend, she was a medium who apparently summoned the Prophet Samuel's spirit. She is known from the Old Testament, but...
Deriv; Shui-nu Niang-niang Illustration (Public Domain) and China landscape

Shui-mu Niang-niang: The Old Mother of the Waters Who Submerged an Ancient City

In Chinese folklore, Shui-mu Niang-niang, or the Old Mother of the Waters, is a legendary spirit guardian of the waters surrounding the city of Sizhou (or Ssu-Chou, according to ETC Werner’s...
1001 Arabian nights.

Jinn: Tales of Wish Masters Throughout Time

In translation, the term jinn can be interpreted as hidden from sight or the hidden ones . In Arabic, jinn defines a collective number and it derives from the root jnn or gnn which means to hide or...
Painting of Snow Maiden (1899) by Viktor M. Vasnetsov.

The Snow Maiden of Slavic Folklore: Magical Characters of Winter from Russia

Ded Moroz, translated to (Grand)father Frost, or Old Man Frost, is a legendary Slavic character that makes his rounds every New Year’s Eve. Along with his companion, Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), he...

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