In comparative mythology, parallelomania is the phenomenon in which scholars perceive similarities, parallels and analogies between myths. Ironically, the term is often used in a derogatory manner to describe non-religious scholars.

Examples of parallelomania include, for instance, the fact that many cultures have believed in a deus otiosus, a personal god who interferes with humanity; flooding myths are common also; as are creation myths in which a group of younger, more civilized gods struggle against a group of older gods who represent the forces of chaos; there are also many stories about divine figures whose death creates an essential part of reality; and many mythologies mention a place that sits at the centre of reality and acts as a point of contact between different levels of the universe.

“He was a saviour, Mithras, sent to earth to live as a mortal, through whom it was possible for sinners to be reborn into immortal life. He died for our sins, but came back to life the following Sunday. He was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a manger or perhaps a cave, attended by shepherds, and became known as ‘the light of the world’. He had twelve disciples, with whom he shared a last meal before dying. His devotees symbolically consumed the flesh and blood of him. Because Mithras was a sun god, he was worshipped on Sundays. […] There’s a great deal in Christianity that is traditional. And however wonderful people think the story is, it’s, frankly, not original.”

– Stephen Fry


In Christian mythology, the antediluvian period is the biblical period between the Fall of man (when, at the beginning of time, in a magical garden, a talking snake convinced a man and woman to eat some fruit, whereupon the creator of the universe decided to abandon the garden and sentence humankind to death) and the flood (the moment when god decided to start over with mankind and drown everyone except a man called Noah and his family).