MYTHS OF CREATION
17. Second Thoughts
But caveat lector! — Our basic analysis of the numerous similarities discoverable among the wide-ranging variety of Bronze Age cosmovisions would be woefully inadequate and incomplete, without also drawing equal attention to the similarly noticeable differences and distinctions between these cultures’ mythological traditions.
For although cosmogonies of this type were once quite common all over the world, when we come to specific parallel traits, tropes and themes, we also find many distinct discrepancies distinguishing one cultural tradition from another; — and occasionally these distinctions can appear quite discordant or even outright contradictory, despite the copious amounts of comparable clear-cut similarities we’ve already found.
Creation Stories most of all appeared in almost endless variations. Each culture seems to have had its own unique vision or version — especially when it comes to small details; and later versions of individual myths often show signs of considerable added embellishment and elaboration.
References to Astronomical observations in particular varied throughout time and from place to place; in that, cultures dwelling relatively near one another geographically told a remarkably similar series of events — while distinctions between cultures more distant from each other geographically are often much more pronounced.
— Sometimes planetary identities were different; sometimes their characteristic roles were reversed; sometimes it seems as simple as the sequence of events being mixed-up or left hanging indistinct; — and sometimes there seems to be simply no adequate analogues or counterparts to be found in any other culture, near or far.
While such multiplicity does not necessarily mean that any one version is more original or more basically true than any of the others, — how exactly do we reconcile these distinctions and discrepancies in the face of such general unanimity?