Adam, in Oriental mythology. The Scripture history of this progenitor of the human race is well known; less known, however, is what the histories of the Persians, Turks, Arabs, etc., relate of him. According to the myths of these nations, God took all the dust of the earth and formed a man-woman with a double face the same as the Persians represent in one of their idols with both sexes combined in one body, until he separated them. Adam's height was immense; his head reached to the firmament of heaven; and when he lay down his body reached from the rising to the setting sun. His face shone more brilliantly than the sun; the angels prostrated themselves before him; and all created things of the earth, looked to him as their creator, and would have worshipped him as such, had not Adam taught them that he was. a creature as well as they, and came from the hands of the Almighty. He prostrated himself before God, who convinced the angels of Adam's weakness and dependence; for when the latter was asleep God took the respective members from his body, so that: he lost his giant appearance. On awaking, he commanded Adam to distribute his members all over the earth, in order that they might become fruitful. Thus only his wisdom was left to Adam, which was increased by the presentation of a book through the angel Raphael, in which every question was propounded and answered. Then God made him a wife from the earth, Lilith; but as she was formed of the same material- as Adam himself, she refused to be dominated over by Adam, and then vanished in the air. Adam complained to God, who sent the angels after the fugitive, and, as she still refused to return, God inflicted her with the punishment. that daily three hundred' of her children should die. God now formed for Adam a wife from one of Adam's ribs, very beautiful and fair, and brought her to Adam, blessed both, and invited them to a feast, at which the angelic choirs sang. Then the evil spirits, through envy, planned Adam's fall. The seraph Sammael beheld Adam's splendor, and, with the help of others, he sought to, mislead him. — He-himself came from heaven, rode upon a -snake, and. sought to. persuade the beautiful Eve to partake of the fruit of the forbidden tree. As a proof that death should. not follow, he laid his hand on the tree, and Eve did the same, which she had :no sooner done than she saw the angel of death approaching her. Love for Adam moved, her to tempt him to a like transgression, so that they might not be separated from each other by death.. God banished Sammael from heaven; the snake he divested of its limbs; and Adam and Eve were driven out of Paradise upon the lowest of the seven earths, where they lived in. gross darkness and lost the wonderful book. of wisdom. Then Adam came to the second earth, Adamah, where, separated from Eve, he lived with Lilith one hundred and thirty years. She bore him giants and evil spirits against his will, just as Eve did to Sammael. After this Eve bore Adam three sons-Cain, Abel, and Seth. Then Adam was allowed to go through all the other earths, until he came to the seventh, Tebel, which we inhabit; but he was still comfortless because of the loss of his wonderful book. He went to the river Gihon to drown himself, but to no avail. God saw his sorrow, had mercy upon him, and led him in the way of the recovery of his book again. Whatever man knows and has known originates from this book. The book became lost again. The inhabitants of India, however, claim to be in possession of it in the form of the holy books, which Brahma brought to man from heaven.
The tradition of the Mohammedans is quite similar to this. The creation of Adam is more or less: exaggerated according as this or that nation is fantastically inclined. .The Assyrian legends of the fall of man are much more sober and brief (Smith, Chaldcean Genesis, p. 15 sq.).
Adam and Eve are commemorated as Christian saints in the Ethiopic calendar on April 1; Adam and Abel in the Armenian on July 25.