Paul’s remark about Methuselah and lunar months made me think of the general problem of English teachers who don’t know Greek culture attempting to teach mythology.
Some oddments to illustrate with Greek and others:
1. the lunar calendar. Remember the myth of the Danaids, the 50 daughters of Danaus. Here’s a Wiki which is pretty accurate and not bad. Danaid myth In essence, what you’re dealing with is at least conceivably a myth of an IndoEuropean takeover of a pre-Greek lunar cult. There are 50 weeks in the lunar year. You may perhaps envision a mother-goddess worship site, a priest, or ‘king,’ and his priestesses. There does seem to be a recurring theme in the myths that men who marry priestesses become ‘year-kings’ and are sacrificed by the women for the fertility of the spring planting. And in this case, they needed to overcome the 50 priestesses who had their own idea about the situation, and decided to have a mega-fertile crop…except for one, who, another legend said, weakened, because her husband was handsome and very nice. And she is the one who carries the bloodline forward into the IndoEuropean age. For more on this culture, Mary Renault’s The King Must Die.
2. Things in the picture aren’t composition: they’re often message. You see a lady with a dove flying about. That ain’t no lady: that’s Venus/Aphrodite. The dove is her messenger.
You know that mystery picture where you look at a black goblet in a white space and rearranging it in your head shows you two profiled faces instead? Egyptian art is like that, particularly the 3-d art, like sculpture. Ie, look at the vacant space and see what shape it forms. I wish I had a ready example, but you may find that the shadow cast by a piece does the same as the goblet.
Supporters of Napoleon did the same sort of thing: the sword cane is a fairly common gentleman’s weapon of the post-Napoleonic era, but if you hold some cane-knobs up to the light, the Little Emperor’s shadow shows on the wall. My brother has one of those.
3. Roman stories. The twins Romulus and Remus are what you call Divine Twins in Greco-Roman stories, one god-sired, one not, one immortal, one not, quite usually. This theme is something Romans have in common with the Spartans of southern Greece, who, incidentally, were Wave B IndoEuropean, ie, IndoEuropeans who arrived hundreds of years after the Wave A folk: read: two separate periods of hardship in the north forcing people to migrate south. The Roman core culture was also Wave B IndoEuropean, but the Romans have many stories telling how they incorporated the local cultures: they started as an outlaw city, accepting fugitives from other peoples, and at first had no women, until they kidnapped some, and then had to negotiate with them to stay. Out of that deal, Roman women got the right to divorce, own property, and do everything a man could do except hold office and vote.
The Spartans—were a warrior culture with very strong women’s rights. The Romans—ditto: viz the story which explains they first kidnapped their mates, then had to bargain with them to stay.
The Spartans—wore red cloaks to battle; ditto the Romans.
The Spartans—venerated the divine twins Castor and Pollux; the Romans had Romulus and Remus, and also venerated Castor and Pollux. You could swear by Castor casually, in vexation, a genteel Ooooh, goodness me!, but you should not swear by the other. That is for men only, and it is not polite for them, either.
The Spartans—also venerated twin serpents: ditto the Romans, symbols which are often painted, rarely mentioned.
The Spartans—made a cult of duty and endurance: ditto the Romans, who valued it in both genders.
The Spartans—had a council called the gerousia (group of old men); the Romans had the senatus (same meaning.)
The Spartans—had two kings at all times; the Romans had a legend how they lost one of their kings to fratricide.