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Encyclopedia > Mythology
Mythology Portal

The word mythology (from the Greek μύθολογία mythología, from μυθολογείν mythologein to relate myths, from μύθος mythos, meaning a narrative, and λόγος logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and to explain the nature of the universe and humanity. In modern usage, "mythology" is either the body of myths from a particular culture or religion (as in Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology or Norse mythology) or the branch of knowledge dealing with the collection, study and interpretation of myths, also known as mythography. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... Look up mythology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... Egyptian mythology or Egyptian religion is the succession of tentative beliefs held by the people of Egypt for over three thousand years, prior to major exposure to Christianity and Islam. ... Norse, Viking or Scandinavian mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian peoples, including those who settled on Iceland, where most of the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... A mythographer, or a mythologist, according to a strict dictionary definition, is a compiler of myths. ...

Contents

Term

The term mythology has been in use since the 15th century, and means "an exposition of myths". The current meaning of "body of myths" itself dates to 1781 Oxford English Dictionary (OED).[1] The adjective mythical dates to 1678. Myth in general use is often interchangeable with legend or allegory, but some scholars strictly distinguish the terms.[2] The term has been used in English since the 19th century. The newest edition of the OED distinguishes the meanings The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... For other uses, see Legend (disambiguation). ... Allegory of Music by Filippino Lippi. ...

1a. "A traditional story, typically involving supernatural beings or forces or creatures , which embodies and provides an explanation, aetiology, or justification for something such as the early history of a society, a religious belief or ritual, or a natural phenomenon", citing the Westminster Review of 1830 as the first English attestation[3]
1b. "As a mass noun: such stories collectively or as a genre." (1840)
2a. "A widespread but untrue or erroneous story or belief" (1849)
2b. "A person or thing held in awe or generally referred to with near reverential admiration on the basis of popularly repeated stories (whether real or fictitious)." (1853)
2c. "A popular conception of a person or thing which exaggerates or idealizes the truth." (1928)

In contrast to the OED's definition of a myth as a "traditional story", many folklorists apply the term to only one group of traditional stories. By this system, traditional stories can be arranged into three groups:[4][5][6] Etiology (alternately aetiology, aitiology) is the study of Greek words aitia = cause and logos = word/speech) is used in philosophy, physics and biology in reference to the causes of various phenomena. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... The Westminster Review was founded in 1823 by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill as a journal for philosophical radicals, and was published from 1824 to 1914. ...

  • myths - sacred stories concerning the distant past, particularly the creation of the world; generally focussed on the gods
  • legends - stories about the (usually more recent) past, which generally include, or are based on, some historical events; generally focussed on human heroes
  • folktales/fairytales (or Märchen, the German word for such tales) - stories whose tellers acknowledge them to be fictitious, and which lack any definite historical setting; often include animal characters

Religious-studies scholars often limit the term "myth" to stories whose main characters "must be gods or near-gods".[7]


Some scholars disagree with such attempts to restrict the definition of the word "myth". The classicist G. S. Kirk thinks the distinction between myths and folktales may be useful,[8] but he argues that "the categorizing of tales as folktales, legends, and proper myths, simple and appealing as it seems, can be seriously confusing".[9] In particular, he rejects the idea "that all myths are associated with religious beliefs, feelings or practices".[10] The religious scholar Robert A. Segal goes even farther, defining myths simply as stories whose main characters are "personalities — divine, human, or even animal".[11]


By the Christian era, the Greco-Roman world had started to use the term "myth" (Greek μῦθος, muthos) to mean "fable, fiction, lie"; as a result, early Christian writers used "myth" with this meaning.[12] This use of the term "myth" passed into popular usage.[13] In this article, the term "myth" is used in a scholarly sense, detached from popular associations with falsehood.


Characteristics

In Shintoism, the Kappa are a type of water imp and are considered to be one of many suijin (literally "water-deity").
In Shintoism, the Kappa are a type of water imp and are considered to be one of many suijin (literally "water-deity").

Historically, the important approaches to the study of mythological thinking have been those of Vico, Schelling, Schiller, Jung, Freud, Lévy-Bruhl, Levi-Strauss, Frye, the Soviet school, and the Myth and Ritual School.[14] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 454 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (485 × 640 pixel, file size: 181 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) +/- File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Toriyama Sekien ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 454 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (485 × 640 pixel, file size: 181 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) +/- File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Toriyama Sekien ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Suijin is the Shinto god of water in Japan. ... Giambattista Vico or Giovanni Battista Vico (June 23, 1668 – January 23, 1744) was an Italian philosopher, historian, and jurist. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (January 27, 1775 – August 20, 1854), later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. ... Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (November 10, 1759 - May 9, 1805), usually known as Friedrich Schiller, was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and dramatist. ... “Jung” redirects here. ... Sigmund Freud His famous couch Sigmund Freud (May 6, 1856 - September 23, 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology, a movement that popularized the theory that unconscious motives control much behavior. ... Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (1857—1939) was a French scholar trained in philosophy, but who made contributions to the budding fields of sociology, and ethnology. ... This article is about the clothing manufacturer. ... Herman Northrop Frye, CC, MA, D.Litt. ... The Cambridge Ritualists were a recognised group of classical scholars, mostly in Cambridge, England, including Jane Harrison, Gilbert Murray (in fact of the University of Oxford) , A. B. Cook, and others. ...


Myths are narratives about divine or heroic beings, arranged in a coherent system, passed down traditionally, and linked to the spiritual or religious life of a community, endorsed by rulers or priests. Once this link to the spiritual leadership of society is broken, they lose their mythological qualities and become folktales or fairy tales.[15] In folkloristics, which is concerned with the study of both secular and sacred narratives, a myth also derives some of its power from being more than a simple "tale", by comprising an archetypical quality of "truth".[citation needed] Writer, philologist, and religious thinker J.R.R. Tolkien expressed a similar opinion: "I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of truth that can only be received in this mode."[16] For the opening number of Fiddler on the Roof, see Tradition (song). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... Folkloristics is the formal academic study of folklore such as fairy tales and folk mythology in oral or non-literary traditions. ... This article is about secularism. ... In various religions, sacred (from Latin, sacrum, sacrifice) or holy, objects, places or concepts are believed by followers to be intimately connected with the supernatural, or divinity, and are thus greatly revered. ... For other uses, see Archetype (disambiguation). ... Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, François Lemoyne, 1737 For other uses, see Truth (disambiguation). ... J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916. ...


Myths are often intended to explain the universal and local beginnings ("creation myths" and "founding myths"), natural phenomena, inexplicable cultural conventions or rituals, and anything else for which no simple explanation presents itself. This broader truth runs deeper than the advent of critical history, and it may or may not exist as in an authoritative written form which becomes "the story" (preliterate oral traditions may vanish as the written word becomes "the story" and the literate class becomes "the authority"). However, as Lucien Lévy-Bruhl puts it, "The primitive mentality is a condition of the human mind, and not a stage in its historical development."[17] Etiology (alternately aetiology, aitiology) is the study of Greek words aitia = cause and logos = word/speech) is used in philosophy, physics and biology in reference to the causes of various phenomena. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A founding myth is a story or myth surrounding the foundation of a nation-state. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (1857-1939) was a French philosopher, sociologist, and ethnographer, whose primary field of study involved primitive mentality. ...


Most often the term refers specifically to ancient tales of historical cultures, such as Greek mythology or Roman mythology. Some myths descended originally as part of an oral tradition and were only later written down, and many of them exist in multiple versions. According to F. W. J. Schelling in the eighth chapter of Introduction to Philosophy and Mythology, "Mythological representations have been neither invented nor freely accepted. The products of a process independent of thought and will, they were, for the consciousness which underwent them, of an irrefutable and incontestable reality. Peoples and individuals are only the instruments of this process, which goes beyond their horizon and which they serve without understanding." Individual myths or mythemes may be classified in various categories: The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (January 27, 1775 – August 20, 1854) was a German philosopher. ... For other uses, see Reality (disambiguation). ...

  • Ritual myths explain the performance of certain religious practices or patterns and associated with temples or centers of worship.
  • Origin myths (aetiologies) describe the beginnings of a custom, name or object.
  • Creation myths, which describes how the world or universe came into being.
  • Cult myths are often seen as explanations for elaborate festivals that magnify the power of the deity.[citation needed]
  • Prestige myths are usually associated with a divinely chosen king, hero, city, or people.[citation needed]
  • Eschatological myths are stories which describe catastrophic ends to the present world order of the writers. These extend beyond any potential historical scope, and thus can only be described in mythic terms. Apocalyptic literature such as the New Testament Book of Revelation is an example of a set of eschatological myths.
  • Social myths reinforce or defend current social values or practices.
  • the Trickster myth, which concerns itself with the pranks or tricks played by gods or heroes. Heroes do not have to be in a story to be considered a myth.

Middleton argues that, "For Lévi-Strauss, myth is a structured system of signifiers, whose internal networks of relationships are used to 'map' the structure of other sets of relationships; the 'content' is infinitely variable and relatively unimportant."[18] A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... Temple of Hephaestus, an Doric Greek temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted) For other uses, see Temple (disambiguation). ... Etiology (alternately aetiology, aitiology) is the study of Greek words aitia = cause and logos = word/speech) is used in philosophy, physics and biology in reference to the causes of various phenomena. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the book by Pope Benedict XVI, see Eschatology (book). ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... The trickster figure Reynard the Fox as depicted in an 1869 childrens book by Michel Rodange. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the anthropologist. ...


Religion and mythology

Significantly, none of the scholarly definitions of "myth" (see above) imply that myths are necessarily false. In a scholarly context, the word "myth" may mean "sacred story", "traditional story", or "story about gods", but it does not mean "false story". Therefore, scholars may speak of "religious mythology" without meaning to insult religion. (For instance, a scholar may call Christian and Muslim scriptures "myths" without meaning to insult Christianity and Islam. The Christian apologist C. S. Lewis made a clear distinction between myth and falsehood when he referred to the life of Christ as a myth "which is also a fact" [19]) However, this scholarly use of the word "myth" may cause confusion and offense, because of the popular use of "myth" to mean "falsehood". Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ... Clive Staples Jack Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an Irish author and scholar. ...


Many myths, such as ritual myths, are clearly part of religion. However, unless we simply define myths as "sacred stories" (instead defining them as "traditional stories", for instance), not all myths are necessarily religious. As the classicist G. S. Kirk notes, "many myths embody a belief in the supernatural [...] but many other myths, or what seem like myths, do not".[20] As an example, Kirk cites the myth of Oedipus, which is "only superficially associated [...] with religion or the supernatural", and is therefore not a sacred story.[21] (Note that folklorists would not classify the Oedipus story as a myth, precisely because it is not a sacred story.[22]) For other uses, see Oedipus (disambiguation). ...


Examples of religious myths include:

  • the Hebrew creation account in Genesis
  • the Mesopotamian Enuma Elish, a creation account around which the Babylonians' religious New Year festival revolved[23]
  • an Australian myth describing the first sacred bora ritual[24]

For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ... Enûma Elish is the creation epic of Babylonian mythology. ... A Bora is the name given both to an initiation ceremony of Indigenous Australians, and to the site on which the initiation is performed. ...

Related concepts

Myths are not the same as fables, legends, folktales, fairy tales, anecdotes or fiction, but the concepts may overlap. Notably, during Romanticism, folktales and fairy tales were perceived as eroded fragments of earlier mythology (famously by the Brothers Grimm and Elias Lönnrot). Mythological themes are also very often consciously employed in literature, beginning with Homer. The resulting work may expressly refer to a mythological background without itself being part of a body of myths (Cupid and Psyche). The medieval romance in particular plays with this process of turning myth into literature. Euhemerism refers to the process of rationalization of myths, putting themes formerly imbued with mythological qualities into pragmatic contexts, for example following a cultural or religious paradigm shift (notably the re-interpretation of pagan mythology following Christianization). Conversely, historical and literary material may acquire mythological qualities over time, for example the Matter of Britain and the Matter of France, based on historical events of the 5th and 8th centuries, respectively, were first made into epic poetry and became partly mythological over the following centuries. "Conscious generation" of mythology has been termed mythopoeia by J. R. R. Tolkien[25], and was notoriously also suggested, very separately, by Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg. For a comparison of fable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ... For other uses, see Legend (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... An anecdote is a short tale narrating an interesting or amusing biographical incident. ... For other uses, see Fiction (disambiguation). ... Romantics redirects here. ... For information about the other uses of the name, see Brothers Grimm (disambiguation). ... Elias Lönnrot ( ) (April 9, 1802 – March 19, 1884) was a Finnish philologist and collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... The Abduction of Psyche by William-Adolphe Bouguereau The Tale of Cupid and Psyche first appeared as a digressionary story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius novel, The Golden Ass, written in the second century A.D. Apuleius probably used an earlier tale as the basis for his... As a literary genre, romance refers to a style of heroic prose and verse narrative current in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. ... Euhemerus (Ευήμερος) (working late 4th century BCE) was a Greek mythographer at the court of Cassander, the king of Macedonia. ... Paradigm shift is the term first used by Thomas Kuhn in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. ... St Francis Xavier converting the Paravas: a 19th-century image of the docile heathen The historical phenomenon of Christianization, the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once, also includes the practice of converting pagan practices, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar... ‹ The template below is being considered for deletion. ... The Matter of France, also known as the Carolingian cycle is a body of legendary history that springs from the Old French medieval literature of the chansons de geste. ... The epic is a broadly defined genre of narrative poetry, characterized by great length, multiple settings, large numbers of characters, or long span of time involved. ... Mythopoeic literature is literature that involves the creation of fictional myths. ... “Tolkien” redirects here. ...   (January 12, 1893 Reval (nowadays Tallinn) – October 16, 1946) was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi party, who later held several important posts in the Nazi government. ...


Formation of myths

Robert Graves said of Greek myth: "True myth may be defined as the reduction to narrative shorthand of ritual mime performed on public festivals, and in many cases recorded pictorially." (The Greek Myths, Introduction). Graves was deeply influenced by Sir James George Frazer's mythography The Golden Bough, and he would have agreed that myths are generated by many cultural needs. Myths authorize the cultural institutions of a tribe, a city, or a nation by connecting them with universal truths. Myths justify the current occupation of a territory by a people, for instance. All cultures have developed over time their own myths, consisting of narratives of their history, their religions, and their heroes. The great power of the symbolic meaning of these stories for the culture is a major reason why they survive as long as they do, sometimes for thousands of years. Mâche distinguishes between "myth, in the sense of this primary psychic image, with some kind of mytho-logy, or a system of words trying with varying success to ensure a certain coherence between these images[26]. Joseph Campbell is one of the more famous modern authors on myths and the history of spirituality. His book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1948) outlined the basic ideas he would continue to elaborate on until his death in 1987. Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985) was an English poet, scholar, and novelist. ... The Greek Myths (1955) is a comprehensive anthology of Greek mythology, published in two volumes. ... Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854 - May 7, 1941), a social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. ... A mythographer, or a mythologist, according to a strict dictionary definition, is a compiler of myths. ... The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). ... For other uses, see Joseph Campbell (disambiguation). ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is the seminal work of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. ...


Myths as depictions of historical events

Relief of the "Descent of the Ganga" in Mahabalipuram (also Mamallapuram), India; detail of the central part, the complete relief is 9 m high and 27 m wide.
Relief of the "Descent of the Ganga" in Mahabalipuram (also Mamallapuram), India; detail of the central part, the complete relief is 9 m high and 27 m wide.

As discussed above, the status of a story as myth is unrelated to whether it is based on historical events. Myths that are based on a historical events over time become imbued with symbolic meaning, transformed, shifted in time or place, or even reversed. One way of conceptualizing this process is to view 'myths' as lying at the far end of a continuum ranging from a 'dispassionate account' to 'legendary occurrence' to 'mythical status'. As an event progresses towards the mythical end of this continuum, what people think, feel and say about the event takes on progressively greater historical significance while the facts become less important. By the time one reaches the mythical end of the spectrum the story has taken on a life of its own and the facts of the original event have become almost irrelevant. A classical example of this process is the Trojan War, a topic firmly within the scope of Greek mythology. The extent of a historical basis in the Trojan cycle is disputed, see historicity of the Iliad.[citation needed] Download high resolution version (779x1080, 340 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Download high resolution version (779x1080, 340 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Shore Temple, rescued from the sea Mahabalipuram (Tamil:மகாபலிபுரம்) (also known as Mamallapuram) is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. ... The fall of Troy, by Johann Georg Trautmann (1713–1769). ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... Map of the Troad (Troas) Map of Bronze Age Greece as described in Homers Iliad The extent of the historical basis of the Iliad has been debated for some time, and recent discoveries have fueled more discussion across several disciplines. ...


This method or technique of interpreting myths as accounts of actual events, euhemerist exegesis, dates from antiquity and can be traced back (from Spencer) to Evhémère's Histoire sacrée (300 BCE) which describes the inhabitants of the island of Panchaia, Everything-Good, in the Indian Ocean as normal people deified by popular naivety. As Roland Barthes affirms, "Myth is a word chosen by history. It could not come from the nature of things". [27] Euhemerus (Ευήμερος) (working late 4th century BCE) was a Greek mythographer at the court of Cassander, the king of Macedonia. ... Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ... Euhemerus (Ευήμερος) (working late 4th century BCE) was a Greek mythographer at the court of Cassander, the king of Macedonia. ...


This process occurs in part because the events described become detached from their original context and new context is substituted, often through analogy with current or recent events. Some Greek myths originated in Classical times to provide explanations for inexplicable features of local cult practices, to account for the local epithet of one of the Olympian gods, to interpret depictions of half-remembered figures, events, or to account for the deities' attributes or entheogens, even to make sense of ancient icons, much as myths are invented to "explain" heraldic charges, the origins of which has become arcane with the passing of time. Conversely, descriptions of recent events are re-emphasised to make them seem to be analogous with the commonly known story. This technique has been used by some religious conservatives in America with text from the Bible, notably referencing the many prophecies in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation especially. It was also used during the Russian Communist-era in propaganda about political situations with misleading references to class struggles. Until World War II the fitness of the Emperor of Japan was linked to his mythical descent from the Shinto sun goddess, Amaterasu.[citation needed] An epithet (Greek - επιθετον and Latin - epitheton; literally meaning imposed) is a descriptive word or phrase. ... Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon (Greek: Δωδεκάθεον < δωδεκα, dodeka, twelve + θεον, theon, of the gods), in Greek religion, were the principal gods of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus. ... This entry covers entheogens in the strict sense of the word (i. ... Ths article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... For other uses, see Prophecy (disambiguation). ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For the CPR ocean liner, see Empress of Japan. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... The Trundholm sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology. ... The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe. ...


Mâche argues that euhemerist exegesis, "was applied to capture and seize by force of reason qualities of thought, which eluded it on every side."[28] This process, he argues, often leads to interpretation of myths as "disguised propaganda in the service of powerful individuals," and that the purpose of myths in this view is to allow the "social order" to establish "its permanence on the illusion of a natural order." He argues against this interpretation, saying that "what puts an end to this caricature of certain speeches from May 1968 is, among other things, precisely the fact that roles are not distributed once and for all in myths, as would be the case if they were a variant of the idea of an 'opium of the people.'"


Contra Barthes Mâche argues that, "myth therefore seems to choose history, rather than be chosen by it" [29], "beyond words and stories, myth seems more like a psychic content from which words, gestures, and musics radiate. History only chooses for it more or less becoming clothes. And these contents surge forth all the more vigorously from the nature of things when reason tries to repress them. Whatever the roles and commentaries with which such and such a socio-historic movement decks out the mythic image, the latter lives a largely autonomous life which continually fascinates humanity. To denounce archaism only makes sense as a function of a 'progressive' ideology, which itself begins to show a certain archaism and an obvious naivety."[30]


Catastrophists [31] such as Immanuel Velikovsky believe that myths are derived from the oral histories of ancient cultures that witnessed "cosmic catastrophes". The catastrophic interpretation of myth, forms only a small minority within the field of mythology and often qualifies as pseudohistory. Similarly, in their book Hamlet's Mill, Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha Von Dechend suggest that myth is a "technical language" describing "cosmic events", [32] Catastrophism is the idea that Earth has been affected by sudden, short-lived, violent events that were sometimes worldwide in scope. ... Immanuel Velikovsky photographed by Fima Noveck, ca. ...


Modern mythology

Film and book series like Star Wars and Tarzan have strong mythological aspects that sometimes develop into deep and intricate philosophical systems. These items are not mythology, but contain mythic themes that, for some people, meet the same psychological needs. Mythopoeia is a term coined by J. R. R. Tolkien for the conscious attempt to create myths; his Silmarillion was to be an example of this, although he did not succeed in bringing it to publication during his lifetime. This article is about the series. ... 1914 Edition of Tarzan of the Apes Tarzan, a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-three sequels. ... Mythopoeic literature is literature that involves the making of myths. ... “Tolkien” redirects here. ... The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkiens mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay, who would later become a noted fantasy fiction writer. ...


In the 1950s Roland Barthes published a series of essays examining modern myths and the process of their creation in his book Mythologies. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1873-1961) and his followers also tried to understand the psychology behind world myths. The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ... Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) (pronounced ) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. ... Mythologies is the title of a book by Roland Barthes (ISBN 0374521506), published in 1957. ... “Jung” redirects here. ...


Notes

  1. ^ In extended use, the word can also refer to collective or personal ideological or socially constructed received wisdon, as in "At least since Tocqueville compared American society to 'a vast lottery', our mythology of business has celebrated risk-taking." (2000 The New Republic, 29 May 2000)
  2. ^ Doyle
  3. ^ Earlier editions of the OED also present this quote as the earliest attestation of myth, but consider it an example of the definition corresponding to definition 2.
  4. ^ Glenn
  5. ^ Segal, p. 5
  6. ^ Zong, p. xxi
  7. ^ Segal, p. 5
  8. ^ Kirk, p. 37-41
  9. ^ Kirk, p. 22
  10. ^ Kirk, p. 11
  11. ^ Segal, p. 5
  12. ^ Eliade, Myth and Reality, 1968, p. 162.
  13. ^ Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, 1967, p. 23.
  14. ^ Guy Lanoue, Foreword to Meletinsky, p.viii
  15. ^ Simpson & Roud (2000). Dictionary of English Folklore, 254. 
  16. ^ Letters, no. 147.
  17. ^ Mâche (1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion, 8. 
  18. ^ Middleton (1990). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion, 222. 
  19. ^ Lewis, God In The Dock, p. 66
  20. ^ Kirk, p. 11
  21. ^ Kirk, p. 11
  22. ^ Dundes, p. 45
  23. ^ Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, p. 77
  24. ^ Reed, p. 33-36
  25. ^ Tolkien (1997). The Monsters and the Critics. HarperCollins; New Ed edition. 
  26. ^ Mâche (1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion, 20. 
  27. ^ Mâche (1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion, 20. 
  28. ^ Mâche (1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion, 10. 
  29. ^ Mâche (1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion, 21. 
  30. ^ Mâche (1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion, 20. 
  31. ^ Researchers include Dwardu Cardona (author of God Star ISBN 1-4120-8308-7), Ev Cochrane (The Many Faces of Venus ISBN 0-9656229-0-9), Alfred de Grazia (Quantavolution series), David Talbott and (Saturn Myth ISBN 0-385-11376-5), and authors at Catastrophism! Man, Myth and Mayhem in Ancient History and the Sciences
  32. ^ Santillana & Dechend (1990). Hamlet's Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth, 222. 

Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Social constructionism or social constructivism is a sociological theory of knowledge that considers how social phenomena develop in particular social contexts. ... For other uses, see New Republic. ... The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (ISBN 0-618-05699-8) is a selection of J. R. R. Tolkiens letters published in 1981, edited by Tolkiens biographer Humphrey Carpenter assisted by Christopher Tolkien. ... Alfred de Grazia, (born December 29, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois) is a philosopher, educator, poet, playwright, historian, and a reformer and innovator in politics and the sciences. ...

References

  • Dundes, Alan. "Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retrospect". Western Folklore 56 (Winter, 1997): pp. 39-50.
  • Roland Barthes, Mythologies (1957)
  • Kees W. Bolle, The Freedom of Man in Myth. Vanderbilt University Press, 1968.
  • Reed, A. W. Aboriginal Myths, Legends and Fables. Chatswood: Reed, 1982.
  • Thomas Bulfinch, Bulfinch's Mythology (1880s).
  • Caillois, Roger (1972). Le mythe et l'homme. Gallimard.
  • Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton University Press, 1949.
  • Joseph Campbell, Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays 1944-1968 New World Library, 3rd ed. (2002), ISBN 978-1577312109.
  • Mircea Eliade
    • Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return. Princeton University Press, 1954.
    • The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion. Trans. Willard R. Trask. NY: Harper & Row, 1961.
  • James George Frazer, The Golden Bough (1890).
  • Louis Herbert Gray [ed.], The Mythology of All Races, in 12 vols., 1916.
  • Edith Hamilton, Mythology (1998)
  • Lucien Lévy-Bruhl
    • Mental Functions in Primitive Societies (1910)
    • Primitive Mentality (1922)
    • The Soul of the Primitive (1928)
    • The Supernatural and the Nature of the Primitive Mind (1931)
    • Primitive Mythology (1935)
    • The Mystic Experience and Primitive Symbolism (1938)
  • Charles H. Long, Alpha: The Myths of Creation. George Braziller, 1963.
  • Meletinsky, Eleazar Moiseevich The Poetics of Myth (Translated by Guy Lanoue and Alexandre Sadetsky, foreword by Guy Lanoue) 2000 Routledge ISBN 0415928982
  • Barry B. Powell, "Classical Myth," 5th edition, Prentice-Hall.
  • Santillana and Von Dechend (1969, 1992 re-issue). "Hamlet's Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth", Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-87923-215-3.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
    • Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology, 1856.
    • Philosophy of Mythology, 1857.
    • Philosophy of Revelation, 1858.
  • Segal, Robert A. Myth: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004
  • Welker, Glenn. "Stories/Myths/Legends". Indigenous Peoples Literature. 14 August 2004 <http://www.indigenouspeople.net/stories.htm>.
  • Zǒng In-Sǒb. Folk Tales from Korea. Elizabeth: Hollym International, 1982
  • Kirk, G. S. Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures. Berkeley: Cambridge UP, 1973

Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) (pronounced ) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Thomas Bulfinch (July 15, 1796 - May 27, 1867) was an American writer, born in Newton, Massachusetts to a highly-educated but not rich Bostonian merchant family. ... Thomas Bulfinch (July 15, 1796 - May 27, 1867) was an American writer, born in Newton, Massachusetts to a highly-educated but not rich Bostonian merchant family. ... For other uses, see Joseph Campbell (disambiguation). ... The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is the seminal work of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mircea Eliade (March 13 [O.S. February 28] 1907 – April 22, 1986) was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854 - May 7, 1941), a social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. ... The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). ... Edith Hamilton (August 12, 1867 - May 31, 1963) was a classicist and educator before she became a writer on mythology. ... Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes is a 1942 book written by Edith Hamilton. ... Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (1857-1939) was a French philosopher, sociologist, and ethnographer, whose primary field of study involved primitive mentality. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Professor Eleazar Moiseevich Meletinskii (also Meletinsky or Meletinskij depending on the transliteration; Russian: ) (October 22 1918 Kharkiv - December 17, 2005 Moscow) was a Russian scholar famous for his seminal studies folklore, literature, philology and the history and theory of narrative; he is one of the major figures of Russian academia... Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (January 27, 1775 – August 20, 1854), later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. ...

See also

Look up myth, mythology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikiversity
At Wikiversity, you can learn about:
School:Comparative Mythology
General
Archetypal literary criticism, Comparative mythology, Folklore, National myth, Artificial mythology, Legendary creature, Mytheme, Monomyth, Mythical place, Origin belief
Mythological archetypes
Culture hero, Death deity, Earth Mother, First man or woman, Hero, Life-death-rebirth deity, Lunar deity, Psychopomp, Sky father, Solar deity, Trickster, Underworld, Panic,
Myth and religion
Religion and mythology, Christian mythology (Mythological and eschatological Biblical interpretation and Jesus as myth), Jewish mythology, Islamic mythology
Lists
List of mythologies, List of deities, List of mythical objects, List of species in folklore and mythology, List of species in folklore and mythology by type, List of woman warriors in legend and mythology

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiversity logo Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation beta project[1], devoted to learning materials and activities, located at www. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Comparative mythology, related to comparative religion, is a field of study which is technically part of anthropology but more usually regarded as part of the subject of ancient history. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A national myth is an inspiring narrative or anecdote about a nations past. ... Artificial mythology (compare artificial language) is any complete, invented world with mythic features that, rather than arising out of centuries of oral tradition, are penned over a short period of time by a single author or small group of collaborators. ... A legendary creature is a mythological or folkloric creature (often known as fabulous creatures in historical literature). ... In the study of mythology, a mytheme is an irreducible nugget of myth, an unchanging element, similar to a cultural meme, one that is always found shared with other, related mythemes and reassembled in various ways—bundled was Claude Lévi-Strausss image— or linked in more complicated relationships... The monomyth (often referred to as the heros journey) is a description of a basic pattern found in many narratives from around the world. ... A mythical place is a place that does not really exist but is accepted folklore or speculation that it might exist or might have existed in earlier times but its actual location is now lost. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A culture hero is a historical or mythological hero who changes the world through invention or discovery. ... Death god redirects here. ... The Earth Mother is a motif that appears in many mythologies. ... Various creation stories have a first man, the first human being. ... For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... The category life-death-rebirth deity also known as a dying-and-rising god is a convenient means of classifying the many divinities in world mythology who are born, suffer death or an eclipse or other death-like experience, pass a phase in the underworld among the dead, and are... An 18th century drawing of Khoikhoi worshipping the moon In mythology, a lunar deity is a god or goddess associated with or symbolizing the moon: see moon (mythology). ... Many sets of religious beliefs have a particular spirit, deity, demon or angel whose responsibility is to escort newly-deceased souls to the afterlife, such as Heaven or Hell. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Trundholm sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology. ... The trickster figure Reynard the Fox as depicted in an 1869 childrens book by Michel Rodange. ... For other uses, see Underworld (disambiguation). ... Panic is the primal urge to run and hide in the face of imminent danger. ... Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. ... Christian mythology is the body of traditional narrative associated with Christianity. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Jesus as myth refers to the idea that the narrative of Jesus in the gospels is not about a real person, but a construct of Christian mythology, which parallels mystery religions of the Roman Empire such as Mithraism and the myths of rebirth deities. ... Jewish mythology is a body of stories that explains or symbolizes Jewish beliefs. ... Islam was established in the 7th century and inherited elements from pre-Islamic Arabic mythology as well as Jewish (e. ... This is a list of Mythologies of the world, by culture and region: // Akamba mythology - Akan mythology - Alur mythology - Ashanti mythology - Baluba mythology - Bambara mythology - Bambuti mythology - Banyarwanda mythology - Basari mythology - Baule mythology - Bavenda mythology - Bazambi mythology - Baziba mythology - Bushongo mythology - Carthaginian mythology - Dahomey mythology (Fon) - Dinka mythology - Efik mythology... This list of deities aims to give information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... Mythical objects encompasses a variety of items (e. ... These are legendary creatures that historically humans have thought were real. ... This is a list of creatures from mythology, folklore and fairy tales by their classification or affiliation. ... Image of Durga, shown riding her tiger and attacking the demon Mahishasura Oil painting on silk, Hua Mulan Goes to War The warrior goddess Sekhmet, shown with her sun disk and cobra crown Woman warriors in legend and mythology refer to mythological, historical, and legendary figures in the oral tradition...

External links

  • Myths and Myth-Makers Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by comparative mythology by John Fiske.
  • www.mythologyweb.com Information about myths, legends and folklore, as well as a message board.
  • Timeless Myths.
  • Winged Sandals An interactive learning website.
  • The New Student's Reference Work/Mythology

  Results from FactBites:
 
World Mythology Encyclopedia, Greek Mythology, Norse, Roman, Egyptian, Celtic Mythology (476 words)
In Greek mythology, Zeuxippe was the daughter of Eridanus and the wife of Pandion.
In Egyptian mythology Uto was an earlier form of the goddess Buto.
In Druid mythology, Taranis is the god of the wheel, associated with forces of change.
Greek Mythology (161 words)
GreekMythology.com has information on all subjects of Greek Mythology, including details on Greek Gods and Greek Goddesses, Greek Myths and Greek Heroes like Achilles and Hercules.
It also has full text of Greek Mythology and Literature books.
Commercial use, and use in other websites is prohibited.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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