Alike and different ~ sharing the same notes as a Violin, the mandolin is in the lute family, and for that reason its history reaches back to some of the earliest musical instruments. The Violin has ancient origins, but most of the modern characteristics were made in the 16th and 18th centuries. With this photo I've "modernized" the look of the two instruments.
(Thanks for all the wonderful comments on yesterday's photo. I started learning mandolin after finding out the notes are the same as the violin and therefore picking out tunes for the violin is made easier by playing them on the mandolin first.
The doubled strings on the Mandolin are tuned to the same note and these are the same 4 notes as the violin.)