To what extent do you think we can offer conjectures about Indo-European myths in general? Are the common themes strong enough that the myths seem like variations? Or are the differences so powerful that the themes are less important than the cultural variations? (minimum 300 words)
It is pretty clear that there are common themes across various cultures, in particular for my research between the Norse and the Greek. The creation myths are very similar in respect to order from chaos to the creation of the Divine which eventually begets the creation of mankind. There are even more similarities between the Deities and their functions like Zeus and Thor as Gods of the Sky, Thunder, and protectors of mankind. Deities of War, Love, and Fertility on both sides and beyond. For example, War Gods are prevalent across the board between Mars, Ares, Athena, Morrighan, and Freyja. Fertility is represented by Demeter, Freyr, possibly Dagda from certain viewpoints. Gods of Healing such as Brigid, Eir for the Norse, Dian Cecht in the Irish, and Apollo in the Greek lore.
After the creation of Deity, you have references to Divine wars amongst various myths for different reasons. The Battle between the Aesir and the Vanir in the Norse, the first and second battel of Moytura in the Irish, and even the inner battles between Cronus and Zeus.
You have tales of afterlife or what happens in death across each culture that has distinct similarities between where the evil dead go compared to where the heroes are revered in the afterlife.
Many of the Indo-European cultures had a significant lore behind the well, fire, and tree that gave them a religious significance of some sort, such as the Well of Wyrd for the Norse and the Wells of Purification for the Greek. This comparison continues with the different realms of existence between Gods, mortals, and the Ancestors. Puhvel illustrates several recurrent themes between many of these elements (Comparative Mythology, 277), such as fire and ice in Norse Mythology and how it relates to Fire in water in Irish and Roman lore.
What is nice though, is that even with so many similarities, there are still enough differences to elaborate on the cultural differences between cultures for their own specific identity.
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