Ok so its been said that the story about Moses being placed in a basket and put in a river where he just happened to get picked up by a member of the royal house explaining how he got to be where he was in fact is a plagiarism of an older text about Sargon of Akkad. Well that said, the story a bout Karna, son of Surya and Kunti also seems to be the same tale. Is this the earliest occurrence? The story of Kunti and Surya seems to be the source of the new testament annunciation story as well.
Karna's father was the solar deity Surya and his mother's name was Kunti. Karna was born before his mother's marriage to prince Pandu. The story of Karna's miraculous birth is this:
When Kunti was a young woman, a wise though irascible old man, the sage Durvasa, visited her father's palace, where Kunti served him with utmost care for an entire year. Pleased by her service and hospitality, the sage foresaw that Kunti would have difficulty having a child after her marriage to Pandu, and granted her a boon to overcome this difficulty. By this boon she could call upon any god of her choice, and receive a child through him. Out of curiosity, Kunti still being unmarried, she decided to test the power of the mantra and called upon the god Surya. Compelled by the power of this mantra, Surya appeared before her and handed her a son, who was as radiant and powerful as Surya himself. The baby was wearing armour ('Kavacha') and a pair of earrings ('Kundala'). Though Kunti had not physically given birth to the baby, she was unwilling to be accused of being an unmarried mother and so with the help of her maid Dhatri, she placed the baby Karna in a basket and set him afloat on 'Ashwa' a tributary of the holy river Ganges, the Ashwanadi, in the hope that he would be taken in by another family."
"Exodus was compiled over a period of centuries, before it reached a more or less identifiable form, and was then redacted into substantially the form we know today. So, the answer to this question depends on the level of the book's evolution at which you would finally consider it to be 'Exodus'. Arguably, that would be somewhere around 500 to 600 BCE. " wiki.answers.com/Q/When_and_by… So it seems clear the Karna Story is older. but Sargon is way back there. Sargon survives as a legendary figure into the Neo-Assyrian literature of the Early Iron Age. A Neo-Assyrian text from the 7th century BC purporting to be Sargon's autobiography asserts that the great king was the illegitimate son of a priestess. In the Neo-Assyrian account Sargon's birth and his early childhood are described thus:
" My mother was a high priestess, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My high priestess mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me. Akki, the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener. While I was a gardener, Ishtar granted me her love, and for four and ... years I exercised kingship. "
The Book of Exodus of the Hebrew Bible was composed or redacted around the 6th century BC and was influenced by Neo-Assyrian legend. In particular, the image of Sargon as a castaway set adrift on a river resembles the better-known birth narrative of Moses. But the account of Exodus turns the theme on its head rather than a royal fostered by commoners before rediscovering his royal blood, Moses is the son of slaves who is fostered by the daughter of Pharaoh. Scholars such as Joseph Campbell and Otto Rank have also compared the 7th century BC Sargon account with the obscure births of other heroic figures from history and mythology, including Karna. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_o… So is it possible the story of Sargon is the source of the Moses and the Karna Myths?