Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm
I assumed they were talking about where the subject matter came from. Sort of like how the start of most magical/mythical creatures can be traced back to spice traders that saw dinosaur fossils in cave walls and had no other way to explain it.
People in that area of the world knew that some thing had burned sand into glass in the desert...biblical fire and brimstone raining from the sky is probably derived from finding this glass since what else could have caused it in a human's mind back then? Even if they did have knowledge of volcanoes...there wasn't one in the middle of the Egyptian desert to cause it. There wasn't much for volcanoes in the area at all...I mean the region was affected by volcanoes...When Mt Thera (??? I think that was the name...or was it Vasuvious? which ever one went first) blew up it would have effected the whole world, but I don't think there was any volcanic activity in the middle east or within camel or donkey riding distance. There are inactive volcanoes there, but they are believed to have been inactive for tens of thousands of years I believe...I might be missing something. I just was looking this stuff up recently for the middle east and southern Asia when that island appeared of of Pakistan recently.
So no serious study.
again...only speaking of it logically...personal beliefs completely pushed aside.
We can only speculate where the legends of monsters and mythical creatures came from.
There could be some physical reference, i.e. the greeks who herded goats mostly, have lots of goat references and half-goat deities for w/e was related with food (aiga~aega = goat / aegian sea = sea of goats). Something that would be insidious and treacherous, would be resembled with a wolf or a snake (hint-hint). Something that was fearless and powerful to a lion etc. (animals that share those trates). In most cases it was mambo jumbo mythology.
Just like the Old Testament that is.
The Hebrew Exodus - despite having no historical/physical evidence for it ever happening, kinda weird when the Hebrews where so numerous according to the book of Exodus that the Pharaoh was intimidated that would overthrow him* - is placed in the 1450 BC due to references to known Egyptian historical events, or around 200 years (~1630 BC) after the eruption of Thera / Santorini's volcano. It did not affect he globe, but it is estimated that it did cause tsunami that could have wiped the Minoan state that was based on Crete along with other islands around Santorini, and surely would have been known in Egypt as the Minoans and the rest of the Ionian islands did have regular trade and cultural relationships with Egypt.
So there was at least one major event to refer to in the Old Testament, which in general is considered to be written centuries after the Exodus.
Some claim that some of the plagues the Pharaoh suffered from "instantly inflicted" uppon Egypt were actually the fallout of the Thera volcano that lasted for a few years and affected the weather, people and crops in a radius of 3,000 miles. There is no record of the other plagues ofc, like the Nile turning to blood or the Destroyer/Angel selectively killing off all the young boys of Egypt.
There are references however about the swarms of locusts destroying crops - still an issue from now and then - which are actually found throughout the middle east and all the way to India.
The locust swarms are known to venture through the crops, eating up everything till they end up in the desert carried by the winds etc, where those die out of exchaustion and thirst. There is actually even an exception in the Torah, specifying the insect that you are allowed to eat (you eat the wrong insect, you should die).
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
"Every flying insect that uses four legs for walking shall be avoided by you. The only flying insects with four walking legs you may eat are those with knees extending above their feet, [using these longer legs] to hop on the ground. Among these you may only eat members of the red locust family, the yellow locust family, the spotted gray locust family and the white locust family. All other flying insects with four feet [for walking] must be avoided by you."
So yes, in some ways there are historic references throughout the Old Testament legends - much like other mythologies - but since the context is explicitly different and distorted, one can never refer to those as proofs of anything (other than pointing the writer and/or the source being ignorant of the context). Exactly what you would expect of people with improper education, trying to explain physical phenomena that appeared mysterious, so had to be originated by magic or God(s).* In the Bible it is written as 600,000 men over 20, which should sum to 2+ millions including children, women and elders with the age distribution estimated for that time.
Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered "about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children,"Edited by pcfoo - 10/15/13 at 2:49pm