General Question

Zyx's avatar

Are Loki and Prometheus the same guy and what other farfetched conclusions should I be reaching?

Asked by Zyx (4152points) November 14th, 2010

Think about it, they’re both bringers of fire that fought to bring forth the age of man. I don’t know exactly how far apart the timelines are or if some common source of mythology is known but there is not that much variation in mythology relative to the ridiculous claims it makes.

If you look at how different religions are on a continental scale it seems almost impossible for norse and greek mythology to be connected somehow.

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9 Answers

Winters's avatar

It’s very possible, the Norse were a seafaring people who could have easily sailed the world, we just won’t ever know since they didn’t have a written language. In fact, parts of western Asia and some parts of China have physical indications that the Norse at the least left some of their seed there (red hair and green eyes).

CaptainHarley's avatar

You seem to be mixing your Greek and Scandanvian mythos’!

Zyx's avatar

I meant to say “impossible… not to be” instead of “impossible… to be”.
Damn my haste and the unforgivingness of the ocean. (Can’t edit question anymore, and this site is called fluther…)

@Winters That is fascinating. I already knew about them visiting America but it makes a lot more sense to explore the coastline first.

muppetish's avatar

Loki and Prometheus don’t read, to me at least, as even the same archetypal characters. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses there is the suggestion that Prometheus himself may have created man (“by mixing new-made earth with fresh rainwater”) which makes him a patriarchal and nurturing character. I am not familiar with the Norse myth where Loki steals fire (it has been a while since I took a course on mythology) but he does not seem to fit the role of caregiver. Both are clever characters, surely, but Loki is a trickster and Prometheus is more of the scholarly sort bent to share his wisdom.

There is an interesting parallel where both characters are scheduled for eternal punishment (Prometheus for stealing fire was sentenced to have his liver eaten by an eagle while Loki was sentenced to have poison dripped on his face for murdering Baldr and refusing to cry to ensure the fallen god’s resurrection.) Neither Prometheus or Loki are exactly gods (they are a Titan and Giant, respectively.)

But the comparisons run out… Prometheus is rescued by Hercules and I forget where he goes after that, really. Loki, however, brings about Ragnarok. Not exactly the hero of man.

It’s not uncommon for mythological figures to share aspects of their stories. Baldr, Bacchus, and Christ all have resurrection in common but I would not consider them the same character by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s fun to ponder, though.

EDIT: I neglected to take into consideration that I am focusing far too much on the Roman myths and not the Greek ones. Prometheus is definitely more of a trickster in Hesiod (deceiving Zeus with the bones and THEN stealing the fire for men) but I still think it is too big a leap to consider him the same character as Loki.

mrlaconic's avatar

According to God Checker they really have nothing in common.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@Winters – the people found buried in western China who had reddish hair and caucasian skulls were not Norse.

Winters's avatar

@the100thmonkey I never said they were Norse, I’m just saying there is the theory that they possibly had their way with a few women and tada. But thanks for that link, seems intriguing, reading it right now.

incendiary_dan's avatar

According to the theories of Georges Dumezil, a controversial French philologist, many figures in the cosmologies of various Indo-European peoples are cognates to one another, which is potentially a reflection of the parallel development of previously connected peoples.

However, I don’t think Loki and Prometheus are cognates. For the first thing, Loki didn’t steal fire. I’ve heard this repeated a few times, but never actually seen the story mentioned, and have seen numerous experts shoot it down. If it’s repeated somewhere, it isn’t substantiated in any of the old sagas or either of the Eddas, and is probably a “retelling” by someone either confused or trying to make a point.

YARNLADY's avatar

Hello? Each of these examples are nothing more than myths designed by their originators to bring about a specific behavior in their followers.

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