The Laurasian Academy

devoted to worldwide comparative mythology

Contributions welcome via the IACM discussion group

APPEAL: If you want to get involved in the description and, importantly, the preservation of endangered global mythologies (whether Laurasian or Gondwana) please contact M. Witzel or IACM.


The Origins of the World's Mythologies

by Michael Witzel

Oxford University Press, NY, released December 18, 2012 Publisher's announcement, cover, Amazon.

This book discusses the African origin and the subsequent spread of early mythology: first, eastwards along the shores of the Indian Ocean (Gondwana), and then northwards to the rest of Eurasia and the Americas (Laurasia).

These two major types of mythology are established by employing the new approach of a comparative and historical method. Their salient features are discussed --such as the "Laurasian story line" from the origin of the world to its end. Overlaps with archaeology, genetics and linguistics are discussed at length.

The investigation ends with a brief history of mythology, from the late Palaeolithic to the emergence of state societies, and its persisting, even increasing importance for most of the world's people today.

The method used in this book is innovative as it combines traditional comparative approaches with a historical component. This allows for the reconstruction of successive stages of myth development, from the earliest written (and oral) records back to the ancestral tales of the "African Eve".

ORIGINS A detailed summary of: The Origins of the World's Mythologies
(OUP, NY, Dec. 2012/Jan.4, 2013)


F.M. Smith.
The Paleolithic Turn: Michael Witzel's Theory of Laurasian Mythology. Frederick M. Smith
. Religious Studies Review › Vol 39 Issue 3‎. -- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2013. DOI: 10.1111/rsr.12047.

Nick Allen (Oxford) : Comparing mythologies on a global scale: review article of E.J. Michael Witzel, The origins of the world's mythologies. JASO 6/1: 99-103.

Le Monde: St├ęphane Foucart:


* K. Elst : Globalization of Mythology:

* Alexander: The Beginning of a New Era in Mythological Studies, March 24,2013


Cf. also:,15422.msg390613.html#msg390613 (Recommendation for Libarries)


Elected Harvard's CABOT FELLOW for this book, 2013.

International Association of Comparative Mythology (IACM) (

Founded 2006, Inc. 2008.

8 International Conferences on Comparative Mythology, 2007-2012: Beijing, Edinburgh, Ravenstein, Tokyo, Strasbourg, Harvard U., St. Petersburg, Tübingen; Erevan 2014

Announcement and discussion group

Harvard mythology project 2003-2006
Project description


Lyle, Emily. Ten Gods. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press 2012

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J. and Eric Venbrux (eds.) New Perspectives on Myth. Haarlem/Nijmegen: Papers in Intercultural Philosophy and Transcontinental Comparative Studies. 2010

Frame, Douglas. Hippota Nestor. Cambridge, Mass.: Center for Hellenic Studies (HUP) 2009

Berezkin, Yuri E. Myfi starogo i novogo sveta. Moskva: Astrel' -ACT 2009 [Myths of the Old and New World]

López-Ruiz, Carolina.When thegods were born. Greek cosmogonies and the Near East. Cambridge, Mass. HUP 2010

West, Martin L. Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford/NY: OUP 2007