Comparison of Incestuous Relationships Throughout History.

Essay by sailorgirl90University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2003

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Comparison of Incestuous Relationships Throughout History

Though there are many subjects and areas to write a comparison essay on, the most unusual to me is the discussion of incest. This topic is found throughout early historical literature in Enuma Elish, the Holy Bible, and later John Milton's Paradise Lost. The theme of incest was predominant within parent/child relationships. The results of these relationships had significant negative impacts on family and society.

The earliest myths date back to the Rig Veda, the first of the four Vedas, composed over a period of time, though certainly before 1000 BC, and eventually committed to writing many centuries later. Primeval incest is one of the methods by which creation takes place in the Rig Veda, and this idea recurs throughout Hinduism. Later mythology claims Manu, the first man, gave birth to the human race through the act of incest. Manu himself is also born of incest that the creator indulges in.

By the time we come to the texts known as the Puranas, dating between 300 and 1500 AD, the story of creation becomes more complex: the creator of the Universe was the god Brahma, who came from the primeval waters, and was self-existent. Brahma transformed himself into a giant boar to bring forth the earth from the depths of these waters. The first man, Manu, was born directly of Brahma. Manu was a hermaphrodite, and created two sons and three daughters from his female half. (Rig Veda, X)

Atargatis is a Near Eastern Great Goddess, or moon goddess, who was worshipped mainly in the Levant, today's Turkey, Syria, Israel and Lebanon. Atargatis is one of the independent virgins and her myth speaks of a union with the archetypal vegetation-god and of incest. Ichthys was her son and lover. She was often worshipped in...