Tag Archives: Samson

SAMSON MYTHS FROM “THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS” (1909)

Previously, Balladeer’s Blog examined Samson myths depicting the figure as a sun god and Islamic variations of the Samson saga. In this third installment, I will look at Samson as depicted in The Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg in 1909. For the first post in this series click HERE.

samson after the killingSAMSON IN THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS – Samson was born the son of Manoah, a man of the Dan tribe and his wife Zelalponit aka Hazelalponit of the tribe of Judah.

NOTE: Though the Bible and many non-Biblical versions of the Samson tale reveal no name for Samson’s mother, the Babylonian Talmud and other sources provide the names mentioned above.

Typical of so many myths from around the world, Manoah and Zelalponit/ Hazelalponit had never had any children and had given up hope of having any. The Legends of the Jews does not deal with the angelic visits informing Samson’s parents of his impending birth so I will save that aspect of the story for a future installment. Continue reading

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SAMSON MYTHS IN ISLAMIC LITERATURE

Previously, Balladeer’s Blog examined non-Biblical Samson myths depicting the figure as a sun god. Here in this second installment, I will look at some of the traditions regarding Samson in Islamic literature. For the first post in this series click HERE.

samson strongSAMSON IN ISLAM – Right at the start, I’ll make it clear that there is no specific reference to Samson in the Koran. Period. In some of the other scholarly writings by Muslim authorities of the distant past they included Samson aka Shamsun by speculating that he was among the many unnamed prophets of their faith.

However, some of those sources simply list Samson as one of the Judges in the Children of Israel chapters and tend to keep him in the same time period as Biblical tales of the long-haired strong man. Other Islamic sources specifically name Samson/ Shamsun and place the period of his life anywhere from the 1st Century B.C.E. to the time of the Christian Saint George.

samson and lionNOTE: Yes, that still puts Samson’s existence before Muhammad was even born, but the academic and religious debates about this are outside the material I am covering in this post.

For brevity’s sake I will avoid the in-depth arguments regarding exactly when Islam’s version of Samson supposedly lived. Suffice it to say that the Muslim literature in question states that Samson was born in a “Roman” city, placing his lifetime during the Roman occupation of the Middle East. This is much later than Biblical accounts of Samson.  Continue reading

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SAMSON MYTHS: VARIATIONS

Just as the Orphic variations of the Homeric Hymns offer alternate versions of some of the ancient Greek myths, there are sources that provide alternate versions of the middle eastern Samson story.

samson and lionSAMSON AS A NON-BIBLICAL SUN GOD – Before getting into the Biblical and Talmudic Samson tales, let’s take a look at the tradition of Samson being an ancient sun deity. In this context his “seven locks/ braids of hair” were seven solar rays emanating from his head like in ancient artwork of other solar figures.

            A few examples would be the idol of Helios with seven rays from his head, Apollo with the same seven rays and even Phaethon having his father the sun god wind the “seven rays like strings upon his hair.”

            In this version of the Samson story, it becomes a seasonal myth in which the sun god’s wife Delilah (or just Lilah in some versions) is a winter goddess. She causes the loss of Samson’s strength by cutting his seven locks/ braids/ solar rays, symbolizing the weakening of the sun and the shortening of the days throughout fall and winter. Continue reading

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SANTO VERSUS THE RIDERS OF TERROR (1970): PRESENTED BY SEXY CASEY JAMES

Special thanks once again to Balladeer’s Blog’s Official Movie Hostess, the legendarily lovely Casey James! Casey is introducing my latest look at a bad superhero movie.

Santo vs the Riders of Terror 2SANTO VERSUS THE RIDERS OF TERROR (1970) – Called Santo Contra Los Jinetes del Terror in its native Mexico, this is one of my all-time favorite hidden gems among the wacked-out movies about Mexican wrestler and superhero El Santo.    

El Santo – often called “Samson” in English-dubbed versions of his flicks – has battled Martians, vampire women, vampire men, witches, mummies, wax figures come to life and dozens of other monstrosities. This particular flick stands out to me because of its joyously tasteless brand of “monsters” – a horseback riding outlaw gang of lepers.

Yes, LEPERS! In a move even Tod Slaughter might have deemed too exploitative a group of bandits deformed by leprosy are at large and pulling off a series of robberies. The lepers are led by “Jose”, who leads an escape from a local sanitarium where he and his fellow afflicted are being cared for. A rancher named Camerino strikes a secret alliance with the unfortunate escapees, promising a hideout plus food and a share of the loot if they commit robberies for him.   Continue reading

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