Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On Demeter and Adapa

I had some issues with blogger that delayed my posts - so here they are!

My first post was about the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and I'm linking to another blog post in which the author links the myth of "Adapa and the South Wind" to the story of Persephone, Hades, and Demeter.


There are some distinct differences, but other small similarities are striking. I found this brief summary of the story of Adapa and the South Wind for reference (http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/adapa.htm). The similarties in detail are striking. Adapa is wronged by the wind, which over turns his boat (as Demeter is wronged when Hades steals her daughter) and because of his anger he breaks the wings of the South Wind so that it may not blow for seven days (As Demeter's great sadness at the loss of her daughter brings on the change of seasons). Adapa is to be punished for altering the wind (he IS just a mortal, after all), but before he goes to the gates of heaven to receive his punishment he is warned by the tricky god, Ea, not to eat the food. He doesn't know it, but the food will make him immortal and nobody much wanted Adapa the Impulsive to become an immortal. This is quite similar to Persephone eating the pomegranite seeds which tie her to Hades. They say you shouldn't take food from strangers...

The author's post is more about hospitality than emphasising the similarities between these two myths, but I thought it was interesting that two different cultures would have such similar stories. The points about hospitality are interesting though, and the post is well worth the read, I though.

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