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I've mostly seen aliens in movies/books/shows as invaders who want to take take over Earth and all.

So - Which was the first depiction(tv-show/movie/comic book/novel) of aliens as friendly?

Now friendly here can be anything from them just wanting to explore Earth, just wanting to share information or even just wanting to communicate with us basically their motive is not to destroy/rule Earth.

Note: The aliens make the first contact not us because us making the first contact in my opinion would be pointless And

Alien here refers to the common definition, that is a being from another planet in space.

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    Do the aliens have to come to Earth, or can they be on their own planet? Apr 13, 2023 at 16:30
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    What counts as an alien? Would from another dimension (rather than another planet) count? How about e.g. angelic beings from ancient myths? Apr 13, 2023 at 16:45
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    "Micromegas" by Voltaire, maybe? Apr 13, 2023 at 16:49
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    Yet another question answered by Lucian's True History.
    – Spencer
    Apr 13, 2023 at 18:45
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    @Spencer The question specifies they have to be "Earth-visiting", did any of the beings from other worlds in True History come to Earth?
    – Hypnosifl
    Apr 13, 2023 at 18:55

2 Answers 2

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As the question specifies beings coming from "from another planet in space", as opposed to some kind of heavenly sphere, I'll nominate The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a Japanese folktale fom the 10th century (although a precise date for the work is hard to achieve).

It deals with a princess who comes from the Moon to visit Earth, and later returns back to the Moon after the Emperor of Japan falls in love with her. The wikipedia summary gives the details:

The story details the life of Kaguya-hime, a princess from the Moon who is discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant. After she grows, her beauty attracts five suitors seeking her hand in marriage, whom she turns away by challenging them each with an impossible task; she later attracts the affection of the Emperor of Japan. At the tale's end, Kaguya-hime reveals her celestial origins and returns to the Moon. The story is also known as The Tale of Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語, Kaguya-hime no Monogatari), after its protagonist.

Technically the Moon is not a planet of course, but within the story it appears to be inhabited by intelligent beings not of Terran origin, and so surely qualify as "aliens".

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The Epic of Gilgamesh

Widely regarded to be the oldest fictional story, the epic poem describes some of the Mesopotamian Deities, who technically are aliens by our modern definition, as they resided in Heaven, not on Earth (according to Sumerian Mythology).

While not all of these Deities are described as friendly, some of them are. There are references to some being called good, or benevolent. So perhaps this (or another contemporary work) meets the technical definition of a friendly earth-visiting alien.

Specifically in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the goddess Aruru (who would presumably be from the heavens) creates a wild man named Enkidu. Who confronts Gilgamesh for his savage rule saving the people then Enkidu and Gilgamesh become friends.

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  • Does the epic of Gilgamesh (or some other source of Sumerian mythology) specifically say they reside in heaven as opposed to somewhere else like the Greek gods on Mt. Olympus? The wiki entry on The Garden of the Gods in Sumerian mythology seems to say it was on the "mountain of Mashu" and that Gilgamesh reached it by a land journey. Also, in a comment shanu gave their definition of alien as "other planetary being from space", so unless a god lives on a specific celestial body it may not qualify even if it's from "heaven".
    – Hypnosifl
    Apr 16, 2023 at 17:29
  • Yes, Sumerian mythology does specifically state that the Gods reside in heaven, which they beleived to be a series of domes containing the stars, sun, moon, and planets (which is how they explained their different rates of motion across the sky). The Garden of the Gods referenced in the Epic of Gilgamesh was understood to be an fantastic place on Earth made by the gods.
    – Mathaddict
    Apr 17, 2023 at 13:46

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