• The hero’s mother is a royal virgin;
  • His father is a king, and
  • Often a near relative of his mother, but
  • The circumstances of his conception are unusual, and
  • He is also reputed to be the son of a god.
  • At birth, an attempt is made, usually by his father or his maternal grandfather, to kill him, but
  • He is spirited away, and
  • Reared by foster parents in a far country.
  • We are told nothing of his childhood, but
  • On reaching manhood he returns or goes to his future kingdom.
  • After a victory over the king and/or a giant, dragon, or wild beast,
  • He marries a princess, often the daughter of a predecessor, and
  • Becomes king.
  • For a time he reigns uneventfully, and
  • Prescribes laws, but
  • Later loses favour with the gods and/or his subjects, and
  • Is driven from the throne and city, after which
  • He meets with a mysterious death
  • Often at the top of a hill
  • His body is not buried, but nevertheless
  • He has one or more holy sepulchres.

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