Friday, May 17, 2013

Guest Post: Ancient Gods by Elle Marie

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Aztec gods play an important role in my novel, Chronicle of the Mound Builders. They are the reason for the rituals and bloodletting in the Aztec culture that end up driving Chipahua away and they guide him throughout his journey. They also appear in the modern timeline of my story as well, but I don't want to give too much away!

In order to write about the gods realistically, I had to do quite a bit of research. I discovered which gods were most important to the Aztec culture and also which aspects of certain gods would work well with my story. It was all fascinating, but one aspect I found particularly interesting was that the Aztec gods were very similar to the Greek and Roman gods I remember studying in school. How can cultures that never met have such similarities?

Here are some examples:

  • Qzalcoatl is the Aztec god of knowledge and life, creator of the universe. In Greek mythology, Zeus is the creator god and in Roman mythology the corresponding god is Jupiter.
  • Huitzilopochtli is the Aztec sun god and his domain includes war and fire. His Greek counterpart would be Ares, the war god, and the Romans would call the same god Mars.
  • Chantico is the Aztec mother goddess, and her domain is the hearth. Hera fulfills this role in Greek mythology, and Juno is the Roman mother goddess.
  • Huehueteotl is the Aztec god of fire, similar to Hephaestus in Greek mythology, who is the god of fire and metalworking. In Roman mythology, his name is Vulcan - probably the easiest to pronounce out of the three!

You will find the most similarities between Greek and Roman mythology, possibly due to their proximity. But I found it most interesting to see the parallels with a culture that had never even crossed paths with the Greeks and Romans. There are, of course, differences but it seems that many ancient peoples had the same curiosity about their creation and existence, and their mythology and religion reflect that. Each culture wondered about the sun and the moon, war and love, the heavens and the netherworld, and each culture had gods for all those domains.

Do you know of other ancient cultures that have similar gods fulfilling similar roles? Maybe I can research another culture for my next book!

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About the Author: Coming from a large family of readers, Elle Marie grew up with a love of reading. Her passion for reading led to a desire to write. After first publishing a nonfiction book, Living the Thin Life, she turned to fiction. A visit to Cahokia Mounds sparked a fascination with the mysterious Mound Builders, about whom so little is known. What was their culture like? How did ordinary people live in the 14th century? What caused the civilization to vanish, seemingly overnight? She put her imagination to work and came up with a story line that put it all together. Extensive research enabled her to create a believable, engrossing world. By day, she works in the information technology field at a large financial services firm. She is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science & Technology and lives in the St. Louis area with her husband. Chronicle of the Mound Builders is her first novel.

About the Book: Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex. In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois. Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?

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Check out all the stops on Elle Marie's Chronicle of the mound builders virtual book tour

Monday, May 13
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, May 14
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Wednesday, May 15
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Thursday, May 16
Review at The Book Garden
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, May 17
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, May 20
Review at Turning the Pages
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, May 21
Review at Words and Peace
Wednesday, May 22
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, May 23
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, May 24
Review at Bibliophilic Book Blog 


Elle said...

Hi Erin,

Thanks for hosting my guest post!


Anonymous said...

You're welcome and thank you for sharing with us. :)

Vicki Lesage said...

How interesting! I've always been fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology but admittedly don't know much about mythology from the Americas. It's really cool to see the similarities and the differnces. Thanks for sharing!