SUCCESSION MYTH: A common motif in mythology in which a regime of older gods suffers defeat and replacement--often at the hands of a younger generation of divinities. An example would be Zeus leading an uprising against his cannibal father, Kronos, in Hesiod's Theogony. Two theories to explain this very common mythological idea are, (1) because the normal human life sequence involves the young replacing the old, this cycle asserts such a powerful significance that we re-create it in our supernatural accounts; or (2) such myths are actually echoes of much older (possibly even prehistoric) cultural clashes in which a newer invading people displace an indigenous people and its older religious practices. As the invaders bring their new gods, they assimilate into their stories the older legends of the original race in the area, but depict the old gods as "falling" or being replaced by the new gods they bring. This perhaps can account for redundant deities in Greco-Roman mythology--so we might have two similar divinities appearing in a single . Examples might be the Titan Hyperion and the god Apollo (both associated with the sun), or the Titan Oceanus and the god Poseidon (both associated with the sea).


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