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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation).
Odysseus Overcome by Demodocus' Song, by Francesco Hayez, 1813 15
Mythology refers variously to the collected myths of a group of people[1] or to
the study of such myths.[2] Myths are the stories people tell to explain nature,
history and customs.
Myth is a feature of every culture. Many sources for myths have been proposed, r
anging from personification of nature or personification of natural phenomena, t
o truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events to explanations of existi
ng rituals. Mythologizing continues, as shown in contemporary mythopoeia such as
urban legends and the expansive fictional mythoi created by fantasy novels and
comics. A culture's collective mythology helps convey belonging, shared and reli
gious experiences, behavioral models and moral and practical lessons.
The study of myth began in ancient history. Rival classes of the Greek myths by
Euhemerus, Plato and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and later re
vived by Renaissance mythographers. The nineteenth-century comparative mythology
reinterpreted myth as a primitive and failed counterpart of science (Tylor), a
"disease of language" (Mller), or a misinterpretation of magical ritual (Frazer).
Recent approaches often view myths as manifestations of psychological, cultural,
or societal truths, rather than as inaccurate historical accounts.
Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
2 Terminology
3 Origins
3.1 Euhemerism
3.2 Allegory
3.3 Personification
3.4 Myth-ritual theory
4 Functions
5 History of the academic discipline
5.1 Pre-modern
5.2 Nineteenth-century
5.3 Twentieth-century
6 Comparative mythology
7 Modern mythology
8 See also
9 Journals about mythology
10 Notes
11 References
12 Further reading
13 External links
Arabian Armenian Aztec Celtic Christian Chinese Egyptian Greek Guarani Hindu Isl
amic Japanese Jewish Korean Mayan Mesopotamian Micronesian Norse Persian Polynes
ian Roman Romanian Slavic Turkic
See also
Religion and mythology Comparative religion Symbolism Theology
List of mythologies
v t e
The term mythology predates the word myth by centuries.[5] It first appeared in
the fifteenth-century,[7] borrowed from the Middle French term mythologie. The w
ord mythology, ("exposition of myths"), comes from Middle French mythologie, fro
m Late Latin mythologia, from Greek ???????a mythologa ("legendary lore, a telling
of mythic legends; a legend, story, tale") from ???? mythos ("myth") and -????a
-logia ("study").[8][9] Both terms translated the subject of Latin author Fulgen
tius' fifth-century Mythologi, which was concerned with the explication of Greek
and Roman stories about their gods, commonly referred to as classical mythology.
Although Fulgentius' conflation with the contemporary African Saint Fulgentius
is now questioned,[10] the Mythologi explicitly treated its subject matter as all
egories requiring interpretation and not as true events.[11]
The word mythologa [???????a] appears in Plato, but was used as a general term for
"fiction" or "story-telling" of any kind,[9] combining m?thos [????, "narrative,
fiction"] and -loga [-????a, "discourse, able to speak about"].[12] From Lydgate
until the seventeenth or eighteenth-century, mythology was similarly used to me
an a moral, fable, allegory or a parable.[9] From its earliest use in reference
to a collection of traditional stories or beliefs,[14] mythology implied the fal
sehood of the stories being described. It came to be applied by analogy with sim
ilar bodies of traditional stories among other polytheistic cultures around the
world.[9] The Greek loanword mythos[16] (pl. mythoi) and Latinate mythus[18] (pl
. mythi) both appeared in English before the first example of myth in 1830.[21]
See also: Legend and Folklore
Ballads of bravery (1877) part of Arthurian mythology.
In present use, mythology usually refers to the collected myths of a group of pe
ople, but may also mean the study of such myths.[2] For example, Greek mythology
, Roman mythology and Hittite mythology all describe the body of myths retold am
ong those cultures. Dundes defined myth as a sacred narrative that explains how
the world and humanity evolved into their present form. Dundes classified a sacr
ed narrative as "a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a cu
lture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychologic
al and social practices and ideals of a society".[22] Lincoln defined myth as "i
deology in narrative form."[23] Scholars in other fields use the term myth in va
ried ways.[24][25][26] In a broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional s
tory,[27][28][29] popular misconception or imaginary entity.[30] Due to this pej
orative sense, some scholars opted for the term mythos.[22] Its use was similarl
y pejorative and now more commonly refers to its Aristotelian sense as a "plot p
oint" or to a collective mythology,[31] as in the world building of H.P. Lovecra
The term is often distinguished from didactic literature such as fables, but its
relationship with other traditional stories, such as legends and folktales, is
more nebulous.[32][35] Main characters in myths are usually gods, demigods or su
pernatural humans,[36][37][38] while legends generally feature humans as their m
ain characters.[36] However, many exceptions or combinations exist, as in the Il
iad, Odyssey and Aeneid.[39][40] Myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests
and are closely linked to religion or spirituality.[36] In fact, many societies
group their myths, legends and history together, considering myths to be true ac
counts of their remote past.[36][37][41][42] Creation myths particularly, take p
lace in a primordial age when the world had not achieved its later form.[36][43]
[44] Other myths explain how a society's customs, institutions and taboos were e
stablished and sanctified.[36][44] A separate space is created for folktales,[45
][46][47] which are not considered true by anyone.[36] As stories spread to othe
r cultures or as faiths change, myths can come to be considered folktales.[34][4
8] Its divine characters are recast as either as humans or demihumans such as gi
ants, elves and faeries.[37]
Palmyrenian relief Louvre
Main article: Euhemerism
See also: Herodotus
One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events.[49][50
] According to this theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate upon historical ac
counts until the figures in those accounts gain the status of gods.[49][50] For
example, the myth of the wind-god Aeolus may have evolved from a historical acco
unt of a king who taught his people to use sails and interpret the winds.[49] He
rodotus (fifth-century BC) and Prodicus made claims of this kind.[50] This theor
y is named euhemerism after mythologist Euhemerus (c.320 BC), who suggested that
Greek gods developed from legends about human beings.[50][51]
Some theories propose that myths began as allegories for natural phenomena: Apol
lo represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and so on.[50] According to an
other theory, myths began as allegories for philosophical or spiritual concepts:
Athena represents wise judgment, Aphrodite desire, and so on.[50] Mller supporte
d an allegorical theory of myth. He believed myths began as allegorical descript
ions of nature and gradually came to be interpreted literally. For example, a po
etic description of the sea as "raging" was eventually taken literally and the s
ea was then thought of as a raging god.[52]
See also: Mythopoeic thought
Some thinkers claimed that myths result from the personification of inanimate ob
jects and forces. According to these thinkers, the ancients worshiped natural ph
enomena, such as fire and air, gradually deifying them.[53] For example, accordi
ng to this theory, ancients tended to view things as gods, not as mere objects.[
54] Thus, they described natural events as acts of personal gods, giving rise to

Most cultures across the globe have some form of mythology

Myth-ritual theory[edit]
See also: Myth and ritual
According to the myth-ritual theory, myth is tied to ritual.[56] In its most ext
reme form, this theory claims myths arose to explain rituals.[57] This claim was
first put forward by Smith,[58] who claimed that people begin performing ritual
s for reasons not related to myth. Forgetting the original reason for a ritual,
they account for it by inventing a myth and claiming the ritual commemorates the
events described in that myth.[59] Frazer claimed that humans started out with
a belief in magical rituals; later, they began to lose faith in magic and invent
ed myths about gods, reinterpreting their rituals as religious rituals intended
to appease the gods.[60]
Holy Grail digital art part of Christian mythology.
Eliade argued that one of the foremost functions of myth is to establish models
for behavior[61][62] and that myths may provide a religious experience. By telli
ng or reenacting myths, members of traditional societies detach themselves from
the present, returning to the mythical age, thereby coming closer to the divine.
Honko asserted that, in some cases, a society reenacts a myth in an attempt to r
eproduce the conditions of the mythical age. For example, it might reenact the h
ealing performed by a god at the beginning of time in order to heal someone in t
he present.[64] Similarly, Barthes argued that modern culture explores religious
experience. Since it is not the job of science to define human morality, a reli
gious experience is an attempt to connect with a perceived moral past, which is
in contrast with the technological present.[65]
Campbell writes:
"In the long view of the history of mankind, four essential functions of mytholo
gy can be discerned. The first and most distinctive vitalizing all is that of el
iciting and supporting a sense of awe before the mystery of being."[66]
"The second function of mythology is to render a cosmology, an image of the univ
erse that will support and be supported by this sense of awe before the mystery
of the presence and the presence of a mystery."[66]
"A third function of mythology is to support the current social order, to integr
ate the individual organically with his group;"[67]
"The fourth function of mythology is to initiate the individual into the order o
f realities of his own psyche, guiding him toward his own spiritual enrichment a
nd realization."[68]
In a later work Campbell explained the relationship of myth to civilization:
The rise and fall of civilisations in the long, broad course of history can be s
een largely to be a function of the integrity and cogency of their supporting ca
nons of myth; for not authority but aspiration is the motivator, builder, and tr
ansformer of civilisation. A mythological canon is an organisation of symbols, i
neffable in import, by which the energies of aspiration are evoked and gathered
toward a focus.[69]
Yet the history of civilization is not one of harmony.
There are two pathologies. One is interpreting myth as pseudo-science, as though
it had to do with directing nature instead of putting oneself in accord with na
ture, and the other is the political interpretation of myths to the advantage of
one group within a society, or one society within a group of nations.[70]
Campbell answers the question, "what is the function of myth today?" in the seco
nd episode of Bill Moyers's The Power of Myth series.
Pattanaik defines mythology as "a subjective truth of people that is communicate
d through stories, symbols and rituals". He adds, "unlike fantasy that is nobody s
truth, and history that seeks to be everybody s truth, mythology is somebody s trut
History of the academic discipline[edit]
Myths and legends of Babylonia and Assyria (1916).
Historically, the important approaches to the study of mythology have been those
of Vico, Schelling, Schiller, Jung, Freud, Lvy-Bruhl, Lvi-Strauss, Frye, the Sovi
et school, and the Myth and Ritual School.[72]
The critical interpretation of myth began with the Presocratics.[73] Euhemerus w
as one of the most important pre-modern mythologists. He interpreted myths as ac
counts of actual historical events - distorted over many retellings. Sallustius[
74] divided myths into five categories theological, physical (or concerning natu
ral laws), animistic (or concerning soul), material, and mixed. Mixed concerns m
yths that show the interaction between two or more of the previous categories an
d are particularly used in initiations.
Plato famously condemned poetic myth when discussing education in the Republic.
His critique was primarily on the grounds that the uneducated might take the sto
ries of gods and heroes literally. Nevertheless, he constantly referred to myths
throughout his writings. As Platonism developed in the phases commonly called M
iddle Platonism and neoplatonism, writers such as Plutarch, Porphyry, Proclus, O
lympiodorus, and Damascius wrote explicitly about the symbolic interpretation of
traditional and Orphic myths.[75]
Interest in polytheistic mythology revived during the Renaissance, with early wo
rks on mythography appearing in the sixteenth-century, such as the Theologia Myt
hologica (1532). While myths are not the same as fables, legends, folktales, fai
ry tales, anecdotes, or fiction, the concepts may overlap. Notably, during the n
ineteenth century period of Romanticism, folktales and fairy tales were perceive
d as eroded fragments of earlier mythology (famously by the Brothers Grimm and E
lias Lnnrot).
Mythological themes were consciously employed in literature, beginning with Home
r. The resulting work may expressly refer to a mythological background without i
tself becoming part of a body of myths (Cupid and Psyche). Medieval romance in p
articular plays with this process of turning myth into literature. Euhemerism, a
s stated earlier, refers to the rationalization of myths, putting themes formerl
y imbued with mythological qualities into pragmatic contexts. An example of this
would be following a cultural or religious paradigm shift (notably the re-inter
pretation of pagan mythology following Christianization).
Conversely, historical and literary material may acquire mythological qualities
over time. For example, the Matter of Britain (the legendary history of Great Br
itain, especially those focused on King Arthur and the knights of the Round Tabl
e) and the Matter of France, based on historical events of the fifth and eighth-
centuries respectively, were first made into epic poetry and became partly mytho
logical over the following centuries. "Conscious generation" of mythology was te
rmed mythopoeia by Tolkien and was notoriously also suggested, separately, by Na
zi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg.
The first scholarly theories of myth appeared during the second half of the nine
teenth-century.[73] In general, these nineteenth-century theories framed myth as
a failed or obsolete mode of thought, often by interpreting myth as the primiti
ve counterpart of modern science.[76]
For example, Tylor interpreted myth as an attempt at a literal explanation for n
atural phenomena. Unable to conceive impersonal natural laws, early humans tried
to explain natural phenomena by attributing souls to inanimate objects, giving
rise to animism.[77] According to Tylor, human thought evolved through stages, s
tarting with mythological ideas and gradually progressing to scientific ideas. N
ot all scholars, not even all nineteenth-century scholars, accepted this view. Lv
y-Bruhl claimed "the primitive mentality is a condition of the human mind, and n
ot a stage in its historical development."[78]
Mller called myth a "disease of language". He speculated that myths arose due to
the lack of abstract nouns and neuter gender in ancient languages. Anthropomorph
ic figures of speech, necessary in such languages, were eventually taken literal
ly, leading to the idea that natural phenomena were in actuality conscious being
s or gods.[52]
Frazer saw myths as a misinterpretation of magical rituals, which were themselve
s based on a mistaken idea of natural law.[79] According to Frazer, humans begin
with an unfounded belief in impersonal magical laws. When they realize applicat
ions of these laws do not work, they give up their belief in natural law in favo
r of a belief in personal gods controlling nature, thus giving rise to religious
myths. Meanwhile, humans continue practicing formerly magical rituals through f
orce of habit, reinterpreting them as reenactments of mythical events. Finally h
umans come to realize nature follows natural laws, and they discover their true
nature through science. Here again, science makes myth obsolete as humans progre
ss "from magic through religion to science."[60]
Segal asserted that by pitting mythical thought against modern scientific though
t, such theories imply modern humans must abandon myth.[80]
Prometheus (1868) by Gustave Moreau. In the mythos of Hesiodus and possibly Aesc
hylus (the Greek trilogy Prometheus Bound, Prometheus Unbound and Prometheus Pyr
phoros), Prometheus is bound and tortured for giving fire to humanity.
Many twentieth-century theories rejected the nineteenth-century theories' opposi
tion of myth and science. In general, "twentieth-century theories have tended to
see myth as almost anything but an outdated counterpart to science [ ]. Consequen
tly, modern individuals are not obliged to abandon myth for science."[80]
Jung tried to understand the psychology behind world myths. Jung asserted that a
ll humans share certain innate unconscious psychological forces, which he called
archetypes. He believed similarities between the myths of different cultures re
veals the existence of these universal archetypes.[81]
Campbell described two orders of mythology: myths that "are metaphorical of spir
itual potentiality in the human being," and myths "that have to do with specific
societies."[82] His major work is The Masks of God I-IV. In the first volume, P
rimitive Mythology, he clearly outlines his intention:
Without straining beyond the treasuries of evidence already on hand in these wid
ely scattered departments of our subject, therefore, but simply gathering from t
hem the membra disjuncta of a unitary mythological science, I attempt in the fol
lowing pages the first sketch of a natural history of the gods and heroes, such
as in its final form should include in its purview all divine beings as zoology in
cludes all animals and botany all plants not regarding any as sacrosanct or beyond
its scientific domain. For, as in the visible world of the vegetable and animal
kingdoms, so also in the visionary world of the gods: there has been a history,
an evolution, a series of mutations, governed by laws; and to show forth such l
aws is the proper aim of science.[83]
In his fourth volume Campbell coined the phrase, creative mythology, which he ex
plains as:
In the context of traditional mythology, the symbols are presented in socially m
aintained rites, through which the individual is required to experience, or will
pretend to have experienced, certain insights, sentiments and commitments. In w
hat I'm calling creative mythology, on the other hand, this order is reversed: t
he individual has had an experience of his own of order, horror, beauty, or even
mere exhilaration-which he seeks to communicate through signs; and if his reali
zation has been of a certain depth and import, his communication will have the f
orce and value of living myth-for those, that is to say, who receive and respond
to it of themselves, with recognition, uncoerced.[84]
Lvi-Strauss believed myths reflect patterns in the mind and interpreted those pat
terns more as fixed mental structures, specifically pairs of opposites (good/evi
l, compassionate/callous), rather than unconscious feelings or urges.[85]
In his appendix to Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, and in The Myth of the Eternal R
eturn, Eliade attributed modern humans anxieties to their rejection of myths and
the sense of the sacred.[citation needed]
In the 1950s, Barthes published a series of essays examining modern myths and th
e process of their creation in his book Mythologies.[citation needed]
Following the Structuralist Era (roughly the 1960s to 1980s), the predominant an
thropological and sociological approaches to myth increasingly treated myth as a
form of narrative that can be studied, interpreted and analyzed like ideology,
history and culture. In other words, myth is a form of understanding and telling
stories that is connected to power, political structures, and political and eco
nomic interests. These approaches contrast with approaches such as those of Camp
bell and Eliade that hold that myth has some type of essential connection to ult
imate sacred meanings that transcend cultural specifics. In particular, myth was
studied in relation to history from diverse social sciences. Most of these stud
ies share the assumption that history and myth are not distinct in the sense tha
t history is factual, real, accurate, and truth, while myth is the opposite.
Comparative mythology[edit]
Main article: Comparative mythology
Comparative mythology is the systematic comparison of myths from different cultu
res. It seeks to discover underlying themes that are common to the myths of mult
iple cultures. In some cases, comparative mythologists use the similarities betw
een separate mythologies to argue that those mythologies have a common source. T
his source may inspire myths or provide a common "protomythology" that diverged
into the mythologies of each culture.[86]
Nineteenth-century interpretations of myth were often comparative, seeking a com
mon origin for all myths.[87] Later scholars tend to avoid universal statements
about mythology. One exception to this modern trend is Campbell's The Hero with
a Thousand Faces (1949), which claims that all hero myths follow the same underl
ying pattern. This theory of a monomyth later fell out of favor.[88]
Modern mythology[edit]
1929 Belgian banknote, depicting Ceres, Neptune and caduceus.
In modern society, myth is often regarded as a collection of stories. Scholars i
n the field of cultural studies research how myth has worked itself into modern
discourses. Mythological discourse can reach greater audiences than ever before
via digital media. Various mythic elements appear in television, cinema and vide
o games.
Although myth was traditionally transmitted through the oral tradition on a smal
l scale, the film industry has enabled filmmakers to transmit myths to large aud
iences via film.[89] In Jungian psychology myths are the expression of a culture
or society s goals, fears, ambitions and dreams.[90] Film is an expression of the
society in which it was produced and reflects the culture of its era and locati
The basis of modern visual storytelling is rooted in the mythological tradition.
Many contemporary movies rely on ancient myths to construct narratives. Disney
Corporation is well-known among cultural study scholars for "reinventing" tradit
ional childhood myths.[91] While many films are not as obvious as Disney fairy t
ales, the plots of many films are based on the rough structure of myths. Mytholo
gical archetypes, such as the cautionary tale regarding the abuse of technology,
battles between gods and creation stories, are often the subject of major film
productions. These films are often created under the guise of cyberpunk action m
ovies, fantasy, dramas and apocalyptic tales.[92]
Recent films such as Clash of the Titans, Immortals and Thor continue the trend
of mining traditional mythology to frame modern plots. Authors use mythology as
a basis for their books, such as Rick Riordan, whose Percy Jackson and the Olymp
ians series is situated in a modern-day world where the Greek deities are manife
st, as well as his Kane Chronicles with the Egyptian pantheon.
Modern myths such as urban legends shows that myth-making continues. Myth-making
is not a collection of stories fixed to a remote time and place, but an ongoing
social practice within every society.
See also[edit]
Fu Xi and Nwa represented as half-snake, half-human creatures
Archetypal literary criticism
Architectural mythology
Artificial mythology
Creation myth
Flood myth
Landscape mythology
Legendary creature
LGBT themes in mythology
Mythical place
Mythology portal
National myth
Origin-of-death myth
Poles in mythology
Mythological archetypes
Culture hero
Death deity
Earth Mother
First man or woman (disambiguation)
Life-death-rebirth deity
Lunar deity
Sky father
Solar deity
Myth and religion
Basque mythology
Bengali mythology
Celtic mythology
Chinese mythology
Christian mythology
Egyptian mythology
Greek mythology
Hindu mythology
Hittite mythology
Inca mythology
Islamic mythology
Japanese mythology
Jesus Christ in comparative mythology
Jewish mythology
Magic and mythology
Maya mythology
Religion and mythology
Roman mythology
Tahiti and Society Islands mythology
List of deities
List of legendary creatures by type
List of legendary creatures
List of mythical objects
List of mythologies
List of women warriors in folklore
Popular culture and media
Mythopoeia- artificially constructed mythology, mainly for the purpose of storyt
Journals about mythology[edit]
Amaltea, Journal of Myth Criticism
Mythological Studies Journal
New Comparative Mythology / Nouvelle Mythologie Compare
Studia Mythologica Slavica
The Journal of Germanic Mythology and Folklore
Jump up ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "myth, n. Oxford University Press (
Oxford), 2003.
^ Jump up to: a b Kirk 1973, p. 8.
Jump up ^ Johnson, Samuel. "Mythology" in A Dictionary of the English Language:
in which the Words are Deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in their Di
fferent Significations by Examples from the Best Writers to which are Prefixed a
History of the Language and an English Grammar, p. 1345. W. Strahan (London), 1
Jump up ^ Johnson, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language, p. 1345. W. Str
ahan (London), 1755. Accessed 20 Aug 2014.
Jump up ^ Johnson's Dictionary, for example, has entries for mythology,[3] mytho
logist, mythologize, mythological, and mythologically but none for myth.[4]
Jump up ^ Lydgate, John. Troyyes Book, Vol. II, ll. 2487. (Middle English) Repri
nted in Henry Bergen's Lydgate's Troy Book, Vol. I, p. 216. Kegan Paul, Trench,
Trbner, & Co. (London), 1906. Accessed 20 Aug 2014.
Jump up ^ "...I [ Paris ] was ravisched in-to paradys.
"And us is god [sc. Mercury], diuers of liknes,
"More wonderful an I can expresse,
"Schewed hym silf in his appearance,
"Liche as he is discriued in Fulgence,
"In e book of his methologies..."[6]
Jump up ^ "mythology". Online Etymology Dictionary
^ Jump up to: a b c d Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "mythology, n." 2003. A
ccessed 20 Aug 2014.
Jump up ^ Hays, Gregory. "The date and identity of the mythographer Fulgentius"
in Journal of Medieval Latin, Vol. 13, pp. 163 ff. 2003.
Jump up ^ Fulgentius, Fabius Planciades (1971). Fulgentius the Mythographer. Ohi
o State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8142-0162-6.
Jump up ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "-logy, comb. form". Oxford Univers
ity Press (Oxford), 1903.
Jump up ^ Browne, Thomas. Pseudodoxia Epidemica: or, Enquiries into Many Receive
d Tenets and Commonly Presumed Truths, Vol. I, Ch. VIII. Edward Dod (London), 16
46. Reprinted 1672.
Jump up ^ All which [sc. John Mandevil's support of Ctesias's claims] may still
be received in some acceptions of morality, and to a pregnant invention, may aff
ord commendable mythologie; but in a natural and proper exposition, it containet
h impossibilities, and things inconsistent with truth.[13]
Jump up ^ Shuckford, Samuel. The Creation and Fall of Man. A Supplemental Discou
rse to the Preface of the First Volume of the Sacred and Profane History of the
World Connected, pp. xx xxi. J. & R. Tonson & S. Draper (London), 1753. Accessed 2
0 Aug 2014.
Jump up ^ "That Mythology came in upon this Alteration of their [Egyptians' Theo
logy, is obviou?ly evident: for the mingling the Hi?tory of the?e Men when Morta
ls, with what came to be a?cribed to them when Gods, would naturally occa?ion it
. And of this Sort we generally find the Mythoi told of them..."[15]
Jump up ^ Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. On the Prometheus of schylus: An Essay, prepa
ratory to a series of disquisitions respecting the Egyptian, in connection with
the sacerdotal, theology, and in contrast with the mysteries of ancient Greece."
Royal Society of Literature (London), 18 May 1825. Reprinted in Coleridge, Henr
y Nelson (1836). The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Shakespeare, w
ith introductory matter on poetry, the drama, and the stage. Notes on Ben Jonson
; Beaumont and Fletcher; On the Prometheus of schylus [and others. W. Pickering.
pp. 335 .
Jump up ^ "Long before the entire separation of metaphysics from poetry, that is
, while yet poesy, in all its several species of verse, music, statuary, &c. con
tinued mythic; while yet poetry remained the union of the sensuous and the philoso
phic mind; the efficient presence of the latter in the synthesis of the two, had m
anifested itself in the sublime mythus pe?? ?e??se?? t?? ??? ?? ?????p??? concer
ning the genesis, or birth of the ???? or reason in man."[17]
Jump up ^ Abraham of Hekel (1651). "Historia Arabum(History of the Arabs)". Chro
nicon orientale, nunc primum Latinitate donatum ab Abrahamo Ecchellensi Syro Mar
onita e Libano, linguarum Syriacae, ... cui accessit eiusdem Supplementum histor
iae orientalis (The Oriental Chronicles. e Typographia regia. pp. 175 . (Latin) Tr
anslated in paraphrase in Blackwell, Thomas (1748). "Letter Seventeenth". Letter
s Concerning Mythology. printed in the year. pp. 269 .
Jump up ^ Anonymous review of Upham, Edward (1829). The History and Doctrine of
Budhism: Popularly Illustrated: with Notices of the Kappooism, Or Demon Worship,
and of the Bali, Or Planetary Incantations, of Ceylon. R. Ackermann. In the Wes
tminster Review, No. XXIII, Art. III, p. 44. Rob't Heward (London), 1829. Access
ed 20 Aug 2014.
Jump up ^ "According to the rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, Enos, discoursing on the spl
endor of the heavenly bodies, insisted that, since God had thus exalted them abo
ve the other parts of creation, it was but reasonable that we should praise, ext
ol, and honour them. The consequence of this exhortation, says the rabbi, was th
e building of temples to the stars, and the establishment of idolatry throughout
the world. By the Arabian divines however, the imputation is laid upon the patr
iarch Abraham; who, they say, on coming out from the dark cave in which he had b
een brought up, was so astonished at the sight of the stars, that he worshipped
Hesperus, the Moon, and the Sun successively as they rose.[19] These two stories
are good illustrations of the origin of myths, by means of which, even the most
natural sentiment is traced to its cause in the circumstances of fabulous histo
^ Jump up to: a b Grassie, William (March 1998). "Science as Epic? Can the moder
n evolutionary cosmology be a mythic story for our time?". Science & Spirit. 9 (
1). The word 'myth' is popularly understood to mean idle fancy, fiction, or fals
ehood; but there is another meaning of the word in academic discourse .... Using
the original Greek term mythos is perhaps a better way to distinguish this more
positive and all-encompassing definition of the word.
Jump up ^ Lincoln, Bruce (2006). "An Early Moment in the Discourse of "Terrorism
": Reflections on a Tale from Marco Polo". Comparative Studies in Society and Hi
story. 48 (2): 242 259. doi:10.1017/s0010417506000107. JSTOR 3879351. More precise
ly, mythic discourse deals in master categories that have multiple referents: le
vels of the cosmos, terrestrial geographies, plant and animal species, logical c
ategories, and the like. Their plots serve to organize the relations among these
categories and to justify a hierarchy among them, establishing the rightness (o
r at least the necessity) of a world in which heaven is above earth, the lion th
e king of beasts, the cooked more pleasing than the raw.
Jump up ^ Dundes 1984, p. 147.
Jump up ^ Doty 2004, pp. 11 12.
Jump up ^ Segal 2015, p. 5.
Jump up ^ Kirk 1984, p. 57.
Jump up ^ Kirk 1973, p. 74.
Jump up ^ Apollodorus 1976, p. 3.
Jump up ^ "myth". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.). Springfiel
d, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1993. p. 770.
Jump up ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "mythos, n." Oxford University Pres
s (Oxford), 2003.
Jump up ^ Bascom 1965, p. 7.
Jump up ^ Bascom 1965, p. 10.
^ Jump up to: a b Doty 2004, p. 114.
Jump up ^ Note, however, that myth, legend, and folktale are only a few of the c
ategories of traditional stories, which can also include anecdotes and some kind
s of jokes.[33] Traditional stories, in turn, are only one category within folkl
ore, which can be understood to include other acts and objects such as gestures,
costumes, or music.[34]
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Bascom 1965, p. 9.
^ Jump up to: a b c "myths", A Dictionary of English Folklore
Jump up ^ O'Flaherty, p.78: "I think it can be well argued as a matter of princi
ple that, just as 'biography is about chaps', so mythology is about gods."
Jump up ^ Kirk 1973, pp. 22, 32.
Jump up ^ Kirk 1984, p. 55.
^ Jump up to: a b Eliade 1998, p. 23.
Jump up ^ Pettazzoni 1984, p. 102.
Jump up ^ Dundes 1984, p. 1.
^ Jump up to: a b Eliade 1998, p. 6.
Jump up ^ Bascom 1965, p. 17.
Jump up ^ Eliade 1998, p. 10 11.
Jump up ^ Pettazzoni 1984, pp. 99 101.
Jump up ^ Bascom 1965, p. 13.
^ Jump up to: a b c Bulfinch 2004, p. 194.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f Honko 1984, p. 45.
Jump up ^ "Euhemerism", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
^ Jump up to: a b Segal 2015, p. 20.
Jump up ^ Bulfinch 2004, p. 195.
Jump up ^ Frankfort et al. 2013, p. 4.
Jump up ^ Frankfort et al. 2013, p. 15.
Jump up ^ Segal 2015, p. 61.
Jump up ^ Graf 1996, p. 40.
Jump up ^ Meletinsky 2014, pp. 19 20.
Jump up ^ Segal 2015, p. 63.
^ Jump up to: a b Frazer 1913, p. 711.
Jump up ^ Eliade 1998, p. 8.
^ Jump up to: a b Honko 1984, p. 51.
Jump up ^ Eliade 1998, p. 19.
Jump up ^ Honko 1984, p. 49.
Jump up ^ Barthes 1972.
^ Jump up to: a b Campbell 1991, p. 519.
Jump up ^ Campbell 1991, p. 520.
Jump up ^ Campbell 1991, p. 521.
Jump up ^ Campbell 1991, p. 5.
Jump up ^ Boa, Fraser (1994). The way of myth : talking with Joseph Campbell (1s
t Shambhala ed.). Boston: Shambhala. p. 152. ISBN 1-57062-042-3.
Jump up ^ Pattanaik, Devdutt (14 September 2015). "Why I Insist On Calling Mysel
f A Mythologist". Swarajya. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
Jump up ^ Guy Lanoue, Foreword to Meletinsky, p.viii
^ Jump up to: a b Segal 2015, p. 1.
Jump up ^ On the Gods and the World, ch. 5, See Collected Writings on the Gods a
nd the World, The Prometheus Trust, Frome, 1995
Jump up ^ Perhaps the most extended passage of philosophic interpretation of myt
h is to be found in the fifth and sixth essays of Proclus Commentary on the Repub
lic (to be found in The Works of Plato I, trans. Thomas Taylor, The Prometheus T
rust, Frome, 1996); Porphyry s analysis of the Homeric Cave of the Nymphs is anoth
er important work in this area (Select Works of Porphyry, Thomas Taylor The Prom
etheus Trust, Frome, 1994). See the external links below for a full English tran
Jump up ^ Segal 2015, pp. 3 4.
Jump up ^ Segal 2015, p. 4.
Jump up ^ Mche (1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion. p. 8.
Jump up ^ Segal 2015, pp. 67 68.
^ Jump up to: a b Segal 2015, p. 3.
Jump up ^ Boeree
Jump up ^ Campbell 1976, p. 22.
Jump up ^ Campbell 1976, p. 4.
Jump up ^ Campbell 1991, p. 4.
Jump up ^ Segal 2015, p. 113.
Jump up ^ Littleton 1973, p. 32.
Jump up ^ Leonard 2007.
Jump up ^ Northup 2006, p. 8.
Jump up ^ Singer, Irving (2008). Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film. MIT P
ress. pp. 3 6.
Jump up ^ Indick, William (November 18, 2004). "Classical Heroes in Modern Movie
s: Mythological Patterns of the Superhero". Journal of Media Psychology.
Jump up ^ Koven, Michael (2003). Folklore Studies and Popular Film and Televisio
n: A Necessary Critical Survey. University of Illinois Press. pp. 176 195.
Jump up ^ Corner 1999, pp. 47 59.
Apollodorus (1976). "Introduction". Gods and Heroes of the Greeks: The Library o
f Apollodorus. Translated by Simpson, Michael. Amherst: University of Massachuse
tts Press. ISBN 0-87023-206-1.
Armstrong, Karen (29 October 2010). A Short History of Myth (Myths series). Knop
f Canada. ISBN 978-0-307-36729-7.
Barthes, Roland (1 January 1972). Mythologies. Hill and Wang. ISBN 978-0-8090-71
Bascom, William Russell (1965). The Forms of Folklore: Prose Narratives. Univers
ity of California.
Bowker, John (2005). "Euhemerism". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religi
ons. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-861053-3.
Bulfinch, Thomas (June 2004). Bulfinch's Mythology. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 9
Campbell, Joseph (1991). Occidental Mythology. Arkana. ISBN 0-14-019441-X.
Campbell, Joseph (1 June 1976). The Masks of God: Primitive mythology. Penguin B
ooks. ISBN 978-0-14-004304-4.
Campbell, Joseph; Moyers, Bill (18 May 2011). The Power of Myth. Knopf Doubleday
Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-79472-7.
Campbell, Joseph (1991). The Masks of God: Creative Mythology. Arkana. ISBN 978-
Corner, John (1999). Critical Ideas in Television Studies. Clarendon Press. ISBN
Doniger, Wendy (24 June 2004). Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the San
skrit. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-14-190375-0.
Doty, William G. (2004). Myth: A Handbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-
Downing, Christine (1996). The Goddess: Mythological Images of the Feminine. Con
Dundes, Alan. "Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retro
spect". Western Folklore 56 (Winter, 1997): 39 50.
Dundes, Alan, ed. (1984). Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth. Univ
ersity of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-05192-8.
Honko, Lauri (1984). "The Problem of Defining Myth". Missing or empty |title= (h
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Pettazzoni, Raffaele (1984). "The Truth of Myth". Missing or empty |title= (help
Dundes, Alan (1996). "Madness in Method Plus a Plea for Projective Inversion in
Myth". In Patton, Laurie L.; Doniger, Wendy. Myth and Method. University of Virg
inia Press. pp. 147 . ISBN 978-0-8139-1657-6.
Eliade, Mircea (22 June 1998). Myth and Reality. Waveland Press. ISBN 978-1-4786
Eliade, Mircea (1960). Myths, dreams, and mysteries: the encounter between conte
mporary faiths and archaic realities. Translated by Mairet, Philip. Harvill Pres
s. ISBN 978-0-06-131320-2.
Fabiani, Paolo "The Philosophy of the Imagination in Vico and Malebranche". F.U.
P. (Florence UP), English edition 2009. PDF
Frankfort, Henri; Frankfort, H. A.; Wilson, John A.; Jacobsen, Thorkild; Irwin,
William A. (28 June 2013). The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay o
f Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East. University of Chicago Press. ISB
N 978-0-226-11256-5.
Frazer, Sir James George (1913). The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion
. Macmillan and Company, limited. pp. 10 .
Graf, Fritz (9 May 1996). Greek Mythology: An Introduction. Translated by Marier
, Thomas. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-5395-1.
Humphrey, Sheryl (2012). The Haunted Garden: Death and Transfiguration in the Fo
lklore of Plants. New York: DCA Art Fund Grant from the Council on the Arts and
Humanities for Staten Island and public funding from the New York City Departmen
t of Cultural Affairs. ISBN 978-1-300-55364-9.
Indick, William (2004). "Classical Heroes in Modern Movies: Mythological Pattern
s of the Superhero". Journal of Media Psychology. 9 (3): 93 95.
Kirk, Geoffrey Stephen (1973). Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Ot
her Cultures. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02389-5.
Koven, Mikel J. (2003-05-22). "Folklore Studies and Popular Film and Television:
A Necessary Critical Survey". Journal of American Folklore. 116 (460): 176 195. d
oi:10.1353/jaf.2003.0027. ISSN 1535-1882.
Leonard, Scott (August 2007). "The History of Mythology: Part I". Youngstown Sta
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Littleton, C. Scott (1 January 1973). The New Comparative Mythology: An Anthropo
logical Assessment of the Theories of Georges Dumzil. University of California Pr
ess. pp. 1 . ISBN 978-0-520-02404-5.
Matira, Lopamundra (2008). "Children's Oral Literature and Modern Mass Media". I
ndian Folklore Research Journal. 5 (8): 55 57.
Meletinsky, Eleazar M. (21 January 2014). The Poetics of Myth. Taylor & Francis.
ISBN 978-1-135-59913-3.
Olson, Eric L. (May 3, 2011). "Great Expectations: the Role of Myth in 1980s Fil
ms with Child Heroes" (PDF). Virginia Polytechnic Scholarly Library. Virginia Po
lytechnic Institute And State University. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
"Myth". Encyclopdia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopdia Britannica Online, 21 March 2009
"Myths". A Dictionary of English Folklore. Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud. Ox
ford University Press, 2000. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. U
C Berkeley Library. 20 March 2009
Northup, Lesley (2006-01-01). "Myth-Placed Priorities: Religion and the Study of
Myth". Religious Studies Review. 32 (1): 5 10. doi:10.1111/j.1748-0922.2006.00018
.x. ISSN 1748-0922.
Segal, Robert (23 July 2015). Myth: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford. pp. 1
9 . ISBN 978-0-19-103769-6.
Singer, Irving (24 September 2010). Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film. MI
T Press. pp. 1 . ISBN 978-0-262-26484-6.
Slattery, Dennis Patrick (2015). Bridge Work: Essays on Mythology, Literature an
d Psychology. Carpinteria: Mandorla Books.
Further reading[edit]
Arvidsson, Stefan (15 September 2006). Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as I
deology and Science. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-02860-6.
Bolle, Kees W. (1 August 2010). The Freedom of Man in Myth. Wipf and Stock Publi
shers. pp. 92 . ISBN 978-1-60899-265-2.
Joseph Campbell
Campbell, Joseph (2008). The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New World Library. ISBN
978-1-57731-593-3. WP article
Campbell, Joseph (2002). The Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Myth
ological Dimension : Selected Essays, 1944-1968. New World Library. ISBN 978-1-5
Campbell, Joseph (September 2010). Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metapho
r. ReadHowYouWant.com. ISBN 978-1-4587-5773-9. WP article
Csapo, Eric (24 January 2005). Theories of Mythology. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-631-2324
Eliade, Mircea
Eliade, Mircea (2005). The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History. Princ
eton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12350-0.
Graves, Robert (1959). "Introduction". Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. Trans
lated by Aldington, Richard; Ames, Delano. pp. v viii.
Gray, Louis Herbert [ed.], The Mythology of All Races, in 13 vols., 1916-1932.
Hamilton, Edith (1 January 2011). Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes.
Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-57475-4. WP article (1998)
Lvy-Bruhl, Lucien
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)
Losada, Jos Manuel; Lipscomb, Antonella (2015). Myths in Crisis. The Crisis of My
th. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-443-87814-2.
The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion. Translated by Trask, Willard
R. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1959. ISBN 0-15-679201-X.
Petringa, Maria (13 January 2006). Brazz, A Life for Africa. AuthorHouse. ISBN 97
Powell, Barry B. (2012). Classical Myth. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-205-17607-6.
Santillana, Giorgio De; von Dechend, Hertha (January 1977). Hamlet's Mill: An Es
say on Myth and the Frame of Time. David R. Godine Publisher. ISBN 978-0-87923-2
Wallace, Isabelle Loring; Hirsh, Jennie (2011). Contemporary Art and Classical M
yth. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7546-6974-6.
Walker, Steven (8 April 2014). Jung and the Jungians on Myth. Taylor & Francis.
ISBN 978-1-135-34767-3.
Zajko, Vanda; Leonard, Miriam (10 January 2008). Laughing with Medusa: Classical
Myth and Feminist Thought. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-923794-4.
Zong, In-Sob. Folk Tales from Korea. 3rd ed. Elizabeth: Hollym, 1989.
External links[edit]
Look up myth or mythology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikiversity has learning resources about School:Comparative Mythology
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mythology.
The New Student's Reference Work/Mythology, ed. Beach (1914), at wikisource.
Leonard, Scott. "The History of Mythology: Part I". Youngstown State University.
Greek mythology
Sacred texts
Myths and Myth-Makers Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by comparative myt
hology by John Fiske.
LIMC Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, a database of ancient objects
linked with mythology
Joseph Campbell on Bill Moyers's The Power of Myth
Dreams, Visions, and Myths: Making Sense of Our World
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