Quote Originally Posted by C. Iulia Regilia View Post
Well, first off, a lot of these stories barely touch on an event on earth. Ishtar's descent all happens either in the realm of the gods or in the underworld. There is no way for someone to use that story to relate an event in history, because nothing happened on Earth. Same with the battle with Timiat -- It created the heavens and earth, and no one saw it. I don't see how you could record events that you didn't see.

Now secondly, the notion that these stories merely explain nature presumes that people living in ancient times couldn't possibly figure out nature. It doesn't make sense to me because they were great obvservers of nature -- they had to be. If you weren't in harmony with Nature, your crops failed, your animals died and you starved. So they would have known enough about nature to not need to use a myth to explain nature.

Finally, I don't understand the the fear of UPGs as the source of the myths. Why couldn't the ancient stories be some shaman's UPG that happened to be true? No other source for otherworld stories make sense.
So are you trying to say that the people who created these ancient mythologies understood how the world works and all its processes as well as we do today? Of course, we're nowhere near understanding everything and to even think that is laughable, but in the time before scientific method there many, many things that could not be readily explained. There was every need for myths to explain "nature", because although people were undoubtedly extremely in tune with how the earth changed over the seasons, most if not all of them would have had no inkling as to why this happens. Admittedly, it is argued that the discovery that the world is a sphere and orbits the sun happened much earlier than popular belief has it, but even if a few individuals in a few cultures realised this, it was not common knowledge until relatively recently in human history. And that's just one of the many extremely basic parts of nature that these people would not have understood.

Also, just because the myths are concerned with events in the realm of gods does not mean they have no bearing on real events. Retelling historic events in this context would certainly render them much more exciting.