List of virgin births

List of virgin births

Virgin birth (more strictly, virginal conception), in the proper sense, is differentiated from other miraculous births in that it is
# birth from a mother who is a virgin; and
# no male seed in any form is involved.

Thus a birth resulting from artificial insemination of a virgin would not be classified as a virgin birth. Similarly, asexual births involving only a father, such as Athena's mythological birth from Zeus's forehead, would similarly not be classified as a virgin birth under this definition.

Many alleged "virgin births" in ancient mythology are probably more accurately described as "miraculous births", since the mother is understood to have been impregnated by a god in either his own form or in an assumed form, as when Zeus impregnated Leda. For example, the births of Buddha, born from married parents, Krishna, the eighth son of Devaki, and Mithras, formed out of solid rock, were miraculous births, but were not the result of virginal conception by a virgin.


*Jesus: The founder of the Christian faith was conceived, according to the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, in the virgin Mary without a father through the Holy Spirit (see virgin birth of Jesus). This virginal conception is often confused with Mary's Immaculate Conception from her parents.

Egyptian religions

*Mut-em-ua: The virgin Queen of Egypt, supposedly gave birth to Pharaoh Amenkept III through a god holding a cross to her mouth.
*Ra: The Egyptian sun god, was said to be born of a virgin.



Assyrian and Babylonian religions

*Tukulti-Ninurta II

Greco-Roman religions

*Alexander the Great [Plutarch, Life of Alexander,2-3]
*Antiope: Antiope was seduced by Zeus and bore him twin sons, Zethus and Amphion
*Attis: Attis was born to the virgin Nana who got pregnant after eating a pomegranate.
*Mithras: Mithras was born in a cave, to a rock.
*Romulus:Romulus was born to Rea Sivia, a mortal Vestal virgin. [Livy, History 1:3-4]

Chinese tradition

*Genghis Khan


*Gautama Buddha: Buddha was conceived to Maya without sexual activity.

tories sometimes interpreted as of virgin births


Perseus: Perseus was the son of Danaë. She was locked away while a young girl, to prevent her having children, but Zeus came to her in the form of a shower of gold and impregnated her. The shower of gold has from ancient times been interpreted as a reference to bribery of those in charge of keeping her. The Greek Anthology has the following: ZEUS, turned to gold, piercing the brazen chamber of Danae, cut the knot of intact virginity. I think the meaning of the story is this, "Gold, the subduer of all things,gets the better of brazen walls and fetters; gold loosens all reins and opens every lock, gold makes the ladies with scornful eyes bend the knee. It was gold that bent the will of Danae. No need for a lover to pray to Aphrodite, if he brings money to offer." [ [ Book V, 217] ; cf. [ Cathy Santore: "Danaë: The Renaissance Courtesan's Alter Ego] in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 54 Bd., H. 3 (1991), pp. 412-427; and cf. Horace, Odes III, 16:1-11]

Popular culture

* Brian: In the Monty Python comedy Life of Brian, Brian's mother was asked by a crowd of Brian's followers if she was a virgin. When she angrily declined to answer, this was taken by the crowd to be confirmation of the idea.
* Owen Meany: The hero from John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany" was a virgin birth according to his mother. There are links between Owen and Jesus Christ in the novel, including Owen playing Jesus in a church nativity play.
* Anakin Skywalker: In the Star Wars saga, Anakin is the son of Shmi Skywalker, where it is hinted she was a virgin when giving birth to her son Anakin, a child of the Force.Fact|date=September 2008
* Julie Katz: In James Morrow's "Only Begotten Daughter", Murray Katz has a daughter from his own seed and a holy ovum.

ee also

*Reports of unusual religious childbirths
*Virgin birth
*Jesus myth hypothesis


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