HOME

TheInfoList




Traditional stories, or
stories Story or stories may refer to: Common uses * Story, a narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is ...

stories
about
tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious ...

tradition
s, differ from both
fiction Fiction is any creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, writing (literature), filmm ...

fiction
and
nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as well as fictional, content. ...
in that the importance of transmitting the story's
worldview A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual ...

worldview
is generally understood to transcend an immediate need to establish its categorization as
imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by Jacques Lacan * Imaginary number, a concept in mathematics * Imaginary time, a concept in physics * Imagination, a mental faculty ...

imaginary
or
fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things ...
ual. In the academic circles of literature, religion, history, and anthropology, categories of traditional story are important
terminology Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. This is also known as terminology science. Terms are words and compound words or multi-w ...

terminology
to identify and interpret stories more precisely. Some stories belong in multiple categories and some stories do not fit into any category.


Anecdote

An ''anecdote'' is a short and amusing or interesting
story Story or stories may refer to: Common uses * Story, a narrative (an account of imaginary or real people and events) ** Short story, a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting * Story, or storey, a floor or level of a buil ...

story
about a
biographical A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or c ...
incident. It may be as brief as the setting and provocation of a ''
bon mot Many words in the English vocabulary are of French origin, most coming from the Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in En ...

bon mot
''. An anecdote is always presented as based on a real incident involving actual persons, whether famous or not, usually in an identifiable place; whether authentic or not, it has
verisimilitude In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, lan ...
or
truthiness Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition Intuition is the ability to acquire without recourse to conscious ing. Different fields use the word "intuition" in very different ways, includi ...
. Over time, modification in reuse may convert a particular anecdote to a fictional piece, one that is retold but is "too good to be true". Sometimes humorous, anecdotes are not
joke A joke is a display of humour Humour (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English) or humor (American English) is the tendency of experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoris ...
s, because their primary purpose is not simply to evoke laughter, but to reveal a truth more general than the brief tale itself, or to delineate an institutional or character trait in such a light that it strikes in a flash of insight to the very essence.
Novalis Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (2 May 1772 – 25 March 1801), better known by his pen name Novalis (), was an 18th-century German aristocrat, poet, author, mystic A mystic is a person who practices mysticism, or a reference to ...

Novalis
observed, "An anecdote is a historical element — a historical molecule or epigram." A brief monologue beginning "A man pops in a bar ..." will be a joke. A brief monologue beginning "Once
J. Edgar Hoover John Edgar Hoover (January 1, 1895 – May 2, 1972) was an American law enforcement administrator who served as the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the head of ...

J. Edgar Hoover
popped in a bar ..." will be an anecdote. An anecdote thus is closer to the tradition of the
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
than the patently invented
fable Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse (poetry), verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphized, and that illustrate ...
with its animal characters and generic human figures — but it is distinct from the parable in the historical specificity which it claims. Anecdotes are often of
satirical Satire is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of bein ...
nature. Under the
totalitarian regime Totalitarianism is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

totalitarian regime
in the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
numerous political anecdotes circulating in society were the only way to reveal and denounce vices of the political system and its leaders. They made fun of such personalities as
Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of th ...

Lenin
,
Khrushchev Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (– 11 September 1971) served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and as chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding off ...
,
Brezhnev Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev; uk, links= no, Леонід Ілліч Брежнєв (19 December 1906– 10 November 1982) was a Soviet Union, Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Un ...
, and other Soviet leaders. In contemporary Russia there are many anecdotes about
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
. The word 'anecdote' (in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
: "unpublished", literally "not given out") comes from
Procopius of Caesarea Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a prominent Late antiquity, late antique Greeks, Greek scholar from Caesarea Maritima. Accom ...
, the biographer of
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
, who produced a work entitled (''Anekdota'', variously translated as ''Unpublished Memoirs'' or ''Secret History''), which is primarily a collection of short incidents from the private life of the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
court. Gradually, the term ''anecdote'' came to be applied to any short tale utilized to emphasize or illustrate whatever point the author wished to make.


Apologue

An ''apologue'' or ''apolog'' (from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
ἀπόλογος, a "statement" or "account") is a brief fable or allegorical story with pointed or exaggerated details, meant to serve as a pleasant vehicle for a moral doctrine or to convey a useful lesson without stating it explicitly. It is like a parable, except that it contains supernatural elements like a fable, often the personification of animals or plants. Unlike a
fable Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse (poetry), verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphized, and that illustrate ...
, the moral is more important than the narrative details. As with the
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
, the apologue is a tool of
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
al
argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, la ...
used to convince or persuade. Among the best known ancient and classical examples are that of
Jotham Jotham or Yotam (; el, Ιωαθαμ, Ioatham; la, Joatham) was the eleventh king of Judah Judah may refer to: Historical ethnic, political and geographic terms The name was passed on, successively, from the biblical figure of Judah, to the I ...
in the
Book of Judges The Book of Judges (, ') is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language ...
(9:7-15); "The Belly and its Members," by the patrician
Agrippa Menenius Lanatus Agrippa Menenius Lanatus (died 493 BC) was a Roman consul, consul of the Roman Republic in 503 BC, with Publius Postumius Tubertus. He Roman-Sabine wars#War in 503 BC, was victorious over the Sabines and was awarded a Roman triumph, triumph which ...
in the second book of
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
; and perhaps most famous of all, those of
Aesop Aesop ( or ; , ; c. 620–564 BCE) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...

Aesop
. Well-known modern examples of this literary form include
George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950) known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed ...

George Orwell
's ''
Animal Farm ''Animal Farm'' is an by , first published in England on 17 August 1945. The book tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebel against their human farmer, hoping to create a society where the animals can be equal, free, and happy. ...
'' and the
Br'er Rabbit Br'er Rabbit (Brother Rabbit), also spelled Bre'r Rabbit or Brer Rabbit, is a central figure in an oral tradition passed down by African-Americans African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic grou ...
stories derived from African and Cherokee cultures and recorded and synthesized by
Joel Chandler Harris Joel Chandler Harris (December 9, 1848 – July 3, 1908) was an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist best known for his collection of Uncle Remus Uncle Remus is the fictional title character and narrator of a collection of ...

Joel Chandler Harris
. The term is applied more particularly to a story in which the actors or speakers are either various kinds of animals or are inanimate objects. An apologue is distinguished from a
fable Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse (poetry), verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphized, and that illustrate ...
in that there is always some moral sense present in the former, which there need not be in the latter. An apologue is generally dramatic, and has been defined as "a satire in action." An apologue differs from a
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
in several respects. A parable is equally an ingenious tale intended to correct manners, but it can be ''true'' in the sense that "when this kind of actual event happens among men, this is what it means and this is how we should think about it", while an apologue, with its introduction of animals and plants, to which it lends ideas, language and emotions, contains only metaphoric truth: "when this kind of situation exists anywhere in the world, here is an interesting truth about it." The
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
reaches heights to which the apologue cannot aspire, for the points in which animals and nature present analogies to man are principally those of his lower nature (hunger, desire, pain, fear, etc.), and the lessons taught by the apologue seldom therefore reach beyond prudential morality (keep yourself safe, find ease where you can, plan for the future, don't misbehave or you'll eventually be caught and punished), whereas the parable aims at representing the relations between man and existence or higher powers (know your role in the universe, behave well towards all you encounter, kindness and respect are of higher value than cruelty and slander). It finds its framework in the world of nature as it actually is, and not in any parody of it, and it exhibits real and not fanciful analogies. The apologue seizes on that which humans have in common with other creatures, and the parable on that which we have in common with a greater existence. Still, in spite of the difference of moral level,
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
thought so highly of apologues as counselors of virtue that he edited and revised Aesop and wrote a characteristic preface to the volume. The parable is always blunt and devoid of subtlety, and requires no interpretation; the apologue by nature necessitates at least some degree of reflection and thought to achieve understanding, and in this sense it demands more of the listener than the parable does. The origin of the apologue is extremely ancient and comes from the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
and its surrounding area (Persia, Asia Minor, Egypt, etc.), which is the Classical fatherland of everything connected with
allegory As a literary device A narrative technique (known for literary fiction Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded as having literary merit, from most commercial or "genre" fiction. However, the b ...

allegory
,
metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of ...
and
imagination Imagination is the ability to produce and simulate novel objects, sensations, and ideas in the mind The mind is the set of faculties responsible for mental Phenomenon, phenomena. Often the term is also identified with the phenomena themselves. ...

imagination
. Veiled truth was often necessary in the Middle East, particularly among the
slave Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that gives ...

slave
s, who dared not reveal their minds too openly. It is noteworthy that the two fathers of apologue in the West were slaves, namely
Aesop Aesop ( or ; , ; c. 620–564 BCE) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...

Aesop
and Phaedrus.
La Fontaine#REDIRECT Jean de La Fontaine Jean de La Fontaine (, , ; 8 July 162113 April 1695) was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his '' Fables'', which provided a model for subs ...

La Fontaine
in France;
Gay ''Gay'' is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term originally meant 'carefree', 'cheerful', or 'bright and showy'. While scant usage referring to male homosexuality Human male sexu ...

Gay
and Dodsley in England;
Gellert
Gellert
,
LessingLessing is a German surname of Slavic origin, originally ''Lesnik'' meaning "woodman". Lessing may refer to: A German family of writers, artists, musicians and politicians who can be traced back to a Michil Lessigk mentioned in 1518 as being a line ...

Lessing
and
Hagedorn
Hagedorn
in Germany; Tomas de Iriarte in Spain, and
Krylov
Krylov
in Russia, are leading modern writers of apologues. Length is not an essential matter in the definition of an apologue. Those of La Fontaine are often very short, as, for example, "Le Coq et la Perle" ("The Cock and the Pearl"). On the other hand, in the romances of Reynard the Fox we have medieval apologues arranged in cycles, and attaining epical dimensions. An Italian fabulist,
Corti Corti is an Italian surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Alfonso Giacomo Gaspare Corti (1822–1876), Italian anatomist (see also Organ of Corti) *Antonio Corti (born 1963), Argentine boxer *Axel Corti (1933–1993), Austrian writer a ...
, is said to have developed an apologue of "The Talking Animals" reaching twenty-six
canto The canto () is a principal form of division in medieval and modern long poetry. Etymology and equivalent terms The word ''canto'' is derived from the Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of It ...

canto
s. La Motte, writing at a time when this species of literature was universally admired, attributes its popularity to the fact that it manages and flatters
amour-propre ''Amour-propre'' (French, literally "self-love") means loving oneself, whereas in philosophy it is a debated theory of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that wikt:esteem, esteem must be found by the approval of others first. Rousseau contrasts it with ''amour ...
by inculcating virtue in an amusing manner without seeming to dictate or insist. This was the ordinary 18th-century view of the matter, but
Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Rousseau
contested the educational value of instruction given in this indirect form. A work by P. Soullé, ''La Fontaine et ses devanciers'' (1866), is a history of the apologue from the earliest times until its final triumph in France.
Montesquieu Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, Lot-et-Garonne, Montesquieu (; ; 18 January 168910 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesqui ...
wrote a propos his ''
Persian Letters ''Persian Letters'' (french: Lettres persanes) is a literary work, published in 1721, by Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, recounting the experiences of two fictional Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and of ...
'' "There are certain truths of which it is not enough to persuade, but which must be made to be ''felt''. Such are the moral verities. Perhaps a bit of history will be more touching than subtle philosophy."


Chivalric romance

As a
literary genre A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique A narrative technique (known for literary fiction Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded ...
of
high culture High culture encompasses the cultural objects Cultural heritage is the legacy of cultural resources and intangible attributes of a group or society that is inherited from past generations. Not all legacies of past generations are "heritage", ra ...
, ''romance'' or ''chivalric romance'' is a style of heroic
prose Prose is a form of written or spoken language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions ...

prose
and
verse Verse may refer to: Poetry * Verse, an occasional synonym for poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language ...
narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Comm ...

narrative
that was popular in the aristocratic circles of
High Medieval The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
and
Early Modern Europe Early modern Europe, also referred to as the post-medieval period, is the period of European history The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past ...
. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled
adventure An adventure is an exciting experience that is typically bold, sometimes risky or undertaking. Adventures may be activities with some potential for physical danger such as traveling, exploring, skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river r ...

adventure
s, often of a
knight errant A knight-errant (or knight errant) is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. The adjective ''errant A knight-errant (or knight errant) is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. The adjective '' errant'' (meaning "wander ...
portrayed as having
hero A hero (heroine in its feminine form) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, courage Courage (also called bravery or valour) is the choice and willing ...
ic qualities, who goes on a
quest A quest is a journey toward a specific mission or a goal. The word serves as a plot Plot or Plotting may refer to: Art, media and entertainment * Plot (narrative), the story of a piece of fiction Music * The Plot (album), ''The Plot'' (albu ...

quest
. Popular literature also drew on themes of romance, but with
ironic Irony (), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emoti ...

ironic
,
satiric Satire is a genre of the visual arts, visual, literature, literary, and performing arts, usually in the form of fiction and less frequently Nonfiction, non-fiction, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ...
or
burlesque A burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. William Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Pyramus and Thisbe scene in ''Mi ...
intent. Romances reworked
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
s,
fairy tale A fairy tale, fairytale, wonder tale, magic tale, fairy story or ''Märchen'' is an instance of European folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common ...

fairy tale
s, and history to suit the readers' and hearers' tastes, but by ''c''.1600 they were out of fashion, and
Miguel de Cervantes Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (; 29 September 1547 (assumed)22 April 1616 NS) was a Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists. He is best known for his novel ''D ...

Miguel de Cervantes
famously satirised them in his novel ''
Don Quixote (, ;Oxford English Dictionary,Don Quixote , ) is a Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ont ...

Don Quixote
''. Still, the modern image of "medieval" is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, and the word ''medieval'' invokes knights, distressed damsels, dragons, and other romantic tropes. Originally, romance literature was written in
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
,
Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Bretons, Flemish people, F ...
and
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
, later, in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...

German
. During the early 13th century romances were increasingly written as prose. In later romances, particularly those of French origin, there is a marked tendency to emphasize themes of
courtly love Courtly love ( oc, fin'amor ; french: amour courtois ) was a medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpret ...
, such as faithfulness in adversity. During the
Gothic Revival Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic, neo-Gothic, or Gothick) is an Architectural style, architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. The movement gained momentum and expanded in the first half of the 19th cent ...
, from ''ca.'' 1800 the connotations of "romance" moved from the magical and fantastic to somewhat eerie "Gothic" adventure narratives.


Creation myth

A ''creation myth'' is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it., "Creation myths are symbolic stories describing how the universe and its inhabitants came to be. Creation myths develop through oral traditions and therefore typically have multiple versions." They develop in
oral tradition Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication Human communication, or anthroposemiotics, is the field dedicated to understanding how human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of prima ...
s and therefore typically have multiple versions; and they are the most common form of
myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...
, found throughout human
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
. In the society in which it is told, a creation myth is usually regarded as conveying profound truths, metaphorically, symbolically and sometimes even in a
historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems a ...

historical
or literal sense. They are commonly, although not always, considered ''
cosmogonical Cosmogony is any model concerning the origin of either the cosmos The cosmos (, ) is another name for the Universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and ...
myths''—that is they describe the ordering of the
cosmos The cosmos (, ) is another name for the Universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prev ...

cosmos
from a state of
chaos Chaos or CHAOS may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Fictional elements * Chaos (Kinnikuman), Chaos (''Kinnikuman'') * Chaos (Sailor Moon), Chaos (''Sailor Moon'') * Chaos (Sesame Park), Chaos (''Sesame Park'') * Chaos (Warhammer), Chaos (' ...
or amorphousness. Creation myths often share a number of features. They often are considered
sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or Reverence (emotion), reverence among believers. The property is often as ...

sacred
accounts and can be found in nearly all known
religious traditions Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, sacred site, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ethics in rel ...

religious traditions
. They are all stories with a
plot Plot or Plotting may refer to: Art, media and entertainment * Plot (narrative), the story of a piece of fiction Music * The Plot (album), ''The Plot'' (album), a 1976 album by jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava * The Plot (band), a band formed in 2003 ...
and
characters Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Character (novel), ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * Characters (Theophrastus), ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set of cha ...
who are either
deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by suc ...

deities
, human-like figures, or animals, who often speak and transform easily. They are often set in a dim and nonspecific past, what historian of religion
Mircea Eliade Mircea Eliade (; – April 22, 1986) was a Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern ...
termed ''in illo tempore'' ("at that time"). Also, all creation myths speak to deeply meaningful questions held by the society that shares them, revealing of their central
worldview A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual ...

worldview
and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.


Etiological myth

An etiological myth, or origin myth, is a
myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...

myth
intended to explain the origins of cult practices, natural phenomena, proper names and the like, or create a mythic history for a place or family. For example, the name
Delphi Delphi (; ), in legend previously called Pytho (Πυθώ), in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The oracle ...

Delphi
and its associated deity, '''', are explained in the
Homeric Hymn The ''Homeric Hymns'' () are a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is ...
which tells of how Apollo carried
Cretans Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Cretans
over the sea in the shape of a
dolphin Dolphin is the common name of aquatic mammal Aquatic and semiaquatic mammals are a diverse group of mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mam ...

dolphin
(') to make them his priests. While Delphi is actually related to the word ' ("womb"), many etiological myths are similarly based on
folk etymology Folk etymology (also known as popular etymology, analogical reformation, reanalysis, morphological reanalysis or etymological reinterpretation) is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more famili ...
(the term "
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...

Amazon
", for example). In the ''
Aeneid The ''Aeneid'' ( ; la, Aenē̆is ) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
'' (published circa 17 BC),
Vergil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Roman In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of ...
claims the descent of
Augustus Caesar Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variet ...

Augustus Caesar
's
Julian clan The gens Julia was one of the most ancient patrician Patrician may refer to: * Patrician (ancient Rome), the original aristocratic families of ancient Rome, and a synonym for "aristocratic" in modern English usage * Patrician (post-Roman Europe ...
from the hero
Aeneas In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (, ; from Greek language, Greek: Αἰνείας, ''Aineíās'') was a Trojan hero, the son of the Trojan prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (equivalent to the Roman Venus (mythology), Venus). His father ...
through his son Ascanius, also called Iulus. The story of
Prometheus In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A be ...

Prometheus
' sacrifice-trick in
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēr ...
's ''
Theogony The ''Theogony'' (, , , i.e. "the genealogy or birth of the polytheism, gods") is a poem by Hesiod (8th – 7th century BC) describing the origins and genealogy, genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 730–700 BC. It is written in the Ep ...
'' relates how Prometheus tricked
Zeus Zeus or , , ; grc, Δῐός, ''Diós'', label=genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Ling ...

Zeus
into choosing the bones and fat of the first sacrificial animal rather than the meat to justify why, after a sacrifice, the Greeks offered the bones wrapped in fat to the gods while keeping the meat for themselves.


Fable

A ''fable'', as a literary genre, is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
s,
legendary creature A legendary creature (also known as a ''mythological'', ''mythic'' or ''fabulous'' creature) is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the Scientific law, laws of nature. This t ...
s,
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
s, inanimate objects, or that are
anthropomorphised Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology. Personification is the related attribution of human form and characteristics t ...
, and that illustrates a
moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a narrative, story or wikt:event, event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly enca ...
lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy
maxim Maxim or Maksim may refer to: Entertainment *Maxim (magazine), ''Maxim'' (magazine), an international men's magazine ** Maxim (Australia), ''Maxim'' (Australia), the Australian edition ** Maxim (India), ''Maxim'' (India), the Indian edition *Maxim ...
. A fable differs from a
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
in that the latter ''excludes'' animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech and other powers of humankind. Usage has not always been so clearly distinguished. In the
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an of the Christian for the , which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King . The include the 39 books of the , a ...

King James Version
of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
, "''μύθος''" ("''
mythos Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...
''") was rendered by the
translators Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of an Dynamic and formal equivalence, equivalent #Source and target languages, target-language text. The ...

translators
as "fable" in ''
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
'' and ''
Second Timothy In the New Testament, the Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy, usually referred to as Second Timothy and often written 2 Timothy or II Timothy, is one of the three pastoral epistles traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle.. It is addressed to S ...
'', in ''
Titus Titus Caesar Vespasianus ( ; 30 December 39 – 13 September 81 AD) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles thro ...

Titus
'' and in ''
First Peter The First Epistle of Peter, usually referred to simply as First Peter and often written 1 Peter, is a book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) ...
''.


Factoid

A ''factoid'' is a questionable or
spurious Spurious may refer to: * Spurious relationship In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or ...
(unverified,
false False or falsehood may refer to: *False (logic), the negation of truth in classical logic *Lie or falsehood, a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement *false (Unix), a Unix command *False (album), ''False'' (album), a 1992 album by ...
, or fabricated) statement presented as a
fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things ...
, but with no
veracity Veracity may refer to: * Veracity (album), ''Veracity'' (album), a 2008 album by Evacuate Chicago * Veracity (ethics), an ethical principle * Veracity (novel), ''Veracity'' (novel), a 2010 novel by Laura Bynum * Veracity, an automobile from the ea ...
. The word can also be used to describe a particularly insignificant or novel fact, in the absence of much relevant context. The word is defined by the '' Compact Oxford English Dictionary'' as "an item of unreliable information that is repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact". ''Factoid'' was coined by
Norman Mailer Norman Kingsley Mailer (January 31, 1923 – November 10, 2007) was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, activist, filmmaker and actor. In a career spanning over six decades, Mailer had 11 best-selling books, at least one in e ...
in his 1973 biography of
Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, model and singer. Famous for playing comedic " blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbol A sex ...

Marilyn Monroe
. Mailer described a factoid as "facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper", and created the word by combining the word ''
fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things ...
'' and the ending ''wikt:-oid, -oid'' to mean "similar but not the same". The ''Washington Times'' described Mailer's new word as referring to "something that looks like a fact, could be a fact, but in fact is not a fact". Factoids may give rise to, or arise from, list of common misconceptions, common misconceptions and urban legends.


Fairy tale

A fairy tale (pronounced /ˈfeəriˌteɪl/) is a type of short story that typically features folklore, folkloric fantasy characters, such as Fairy, fairies, goblins, Elf, elves, trolls, dwarf (mythology), dwarves, giant (mythology), giants, mermaids or gnomes, and usually magic (paranormal), magic or incantation, enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies. The stories may nonetheless be distinguished from other folk narratives such as
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
s (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables. In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending) or "fairy tale romance (love), romance" (though not all fairy tales end happily). Colloquially, a "fairy tale" or "''fairy story''" can also mean any far-fetched story or tall tale. In cultures where demons and witches are perceived as real, fairy tales may merge into
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
s, where the narrative is perceived both by teller and hearers as being grounded in historical truth. However, unlike
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
s and Epic poems, epics, they usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and actual places, people, and events; they take place once upon a time rather than in actual times. Fairy tales are found in oral and in literary form. The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace because only the literary forms can survive. Still, the evidence of literary works at least indicates that fairy tales have existed for thousands of years, although not perhaps recognized as a genre; the name "fairy tale" was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy in the late 17th century. Many of today's fairy tales have evolved from centuries-old stories that have appeared, with variations, in multiple cultures around the world. Fairy tales, and works derived from fairy tales, are still written today. The older fairy tales were intended for an audience of adults, as well as children, but they were associated with children as early as the writings of the ''précieuses''; the Brothers Grimm titled their collection ''Children's and Household Tales'', and the link with children has only grown stronger with time. Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways. The Aarne-Thompson classification system and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp are among the most notable. Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales. A fairy tale with a tragic rather a happy ending is called anti-fairy tale.


Folklore

''Folklore'' (or ''lore'') consists of
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
s, music, oral history, proverbs,
joke A joke is a display of humour Humour (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English) or humor (American English) is the tendency of experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoris ...
s, popular beliefs, fairy tales,
stories Story or stories may refer to: Common uses * Story, a narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is ...

stories
, tall tales, and customs that are the
tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious ...

tradition
s of a culture, subculture, or group (sociology), group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called folkloristics. The word 'folklore' was first used by the English antiquarian William Thoms in a letter published in the London journal ''The Athenaeum'' in 1846. In usage, there is a continuum between folklore and mythology. Stith Thompson made a major attempt to index the motif (folkloristics), motifs of both folklore and mythology, providing an outline into which new motif (folkloristics), motifs can be placed, and scholars can keep track of all older motifs. Folklore can be divided into four areas of study: Cultural artifact, artifact (such as voodoo dolls), describable and transmissible entity (oral tradition), culture, and behavior (rituals). These areas do not stand alone, however, as often a particular item or element may fit into more than one of these areas.


Folkloristics

''Folkloristics'' is the term preferred by academic folklorists for the formal, academic discipline devoted to the study of folklore. The term itself derives from the nineteenth-century German designation ''folkloristik'' (i.e., folklore). Ultimately, the term ''folkloristics'' is used to distinguish between the materials studied, folklore, and the study of folklore, folkloristics. In scholarly usage, ''folkloristics'' represents an emphasis on the contemporary, social aspects of expressive culture, in contrast to the more literary or historical study of cultural texts.


Ghost story

A ''ghost story'' may be any piece of
fiction Fiction is any creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, writing (literature), filmm ...

fiction
, or drama, or an account of an experience, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a Premise (narrative), premise the possibility of ghosts or characters' belief in them. Colloquially, the term can refer to any kind of scary story. In a narrower sense, the ghost story has been developed as a short story format, within genre fiction. It is a form of supernatural fiction and specifically of weird fiction, and is often a horror story. While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales. Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets of things to come. Whatever their uses, the ghost story is in some format present in all cultures around the world, and may be passed down orally or in written form.


Joke

A ''wikt:joke, joke'' is something spoken, written, or done with humour, humorous intention. Jokes may have many different forms, e.g., a single word or a gesture (considered in a particular context), a question-answer, or a whole short story. The word "joke" has wikt:Wikisaurus:joke, a number of synonyms. To achieve their end, jokes may employ irony, sarcasm, word play and other devices. Jokes may have a punch line, i.e. an ending to make it humorous. A practical joke or prank differs from a spoken one in that the major component of the humour is physical rather than verbal (for example placing salt in the sugar bowl).


Legend

A ''legend'' (Latin, ''legenda'', "things to be read") is a
narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Comm ...

narrative
of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude (literature), verisimilitude. Legend, for its active and passive participants includes no happenings that are outside the realm of "possibility", defined by a highly flexible set of parameters, which may include miracles that are perceived as actually having happened, within the specific tradition of indoctrination where the legend arises, and within which it may be transformed over time, in order to keep it fresh and vital, and realism (arts), realistic. The Brothers Grimm defined legend as Folklore, folktale historically grounded. A modern folklore, folklorist's professional definition of ''legend'' was proposed by Timothy R. Tangherlini in 1990:
Legend, typically, is a short (mono-) episodic, traditional, highly ecotypified historicized narrative performed in a conversational mode, reflecting on a psychological level a symbolic representation of folk belief and collective experiences and serving as a reaffirmation of commonly held values of the group to whose tradition it belongs."


Myth of origins

An ''origin myth'' is a
myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...
that purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world. One type of origin myth is the creation myth, cosmogonic myth, which describes the creation of the world. However, many cultures have stories set after the cosmogonic myth, which describe the origin of natural phenomena and human institutions within a preexisting universe. In classics, Western classical scholarship, the word ''aition'' (from the Ancient Greek αἴτιον, "cause") is sometimes used for a myth that explains an origin, particularly how an object or custom came into existence.


Mythology

The term ''mythology'' can refer either to the ''study'' of myths, or to a ''body or collection'' of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece. In the field of folkloristics, a ''myth'' is defined as a
sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or Reverence (emotion), reverence among believers. The property is often as ...

sacred
narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Comm ...

narrative
explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form and how norm (social), customs, institutions and taboos were established. Many scholars in other fields use the term "myth" in somewhat different ways. In a very broad sense, the word can refer to any story originating within traditions.


Oral tradition

''Oral tradition'' and ''oral lore'' is cultural material and tradition transmitted orally from one generation to another.Jan Vansina, Vansina, Jan: ''Oral Tradition as History'', 1985, James Currey Publishers, , 9780852550076; at page 27 and 28, where Vansina defines oral tradition as "verbal messages which are reported statements from the past beyond the present generation" which "specifies that the message must be oral statements spoken, sung or called out on musical instruments only"; "There must be transmission by word of mouth over at least a generation". He points out that "Our definition is a working definition for the use of historians. Sociologists, linguists or scholars of the verbal arts propose their own, which in, e.g., sociology, stresses common knowledge. In linguistics, features that distinguish the language from common dialogue (linguists), and in the verbal arts features of form and content that define art (folklorists)."Ki-Zerbo, Joseph: "Methodology and African Prehistory", 1990, ''UNESCO International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of Africa''; James Currey Publishers, , 9780852550915; see Ch. 7; "Oral tradition and its methodology" at pages 54-61; at page 54: "Oral tradition may be defined as being a testimony transmitted verbally from one generation to another. Its special characteristics are that it is verbal and the manner in which it is transmitted." The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants. In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledges across generations without a writing system. A narrower definition of oral tradition is sometimes appropriate. Sociologists might also emphasize a requirement that the material is held in common by a group of people, over several generations, and might distinguish oral tradition from testimony or oral history.David Henige, Henige, David. "Oral, but Oral What? The Nomenclatures of Orality and Their Implications" ''Oral Tradition'', 3/1-2 (1988): 229-38. p 232; Henige cites Jan Vansina (1985). Oral tradition as history. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press In a general sense, "oral tradition" refers to the transmission of culture, cultural material through vocal utterance, and was long held to be a key descriptor of folklore (a criterion no longer rigidly held by all folklorists). As an academic discipline, it refers both to a set of objects of study and a Scientific method, method by which they are studied—the method may be called variously "oral traditional theory", "the theory of Oral-Formulaic Composition" and the "Parry-Lord theory" (after two of its founders; see below) The study of oral tradition is distinct from the academic discipline of oral history, which is the recording of personal memories and histories of those who experienced historical eras or events. It is also distinct from the study of orality, which can be defined as thought and its verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy (especially writing and print) are unfamiliar to most of the population.


Parable

A ''parable'' isAdolf Jülicher, ''Die Gleichnisreden Jesu'' (2 vols; Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1888, 1899). a succinct story, in
prose Prose is a form of written or spoken language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions ...

prose
or verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more
moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a narrative, story or wikt:event, event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly enca ...
, religious, instructive, or normative principles or lessons. It differs from a
fable Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse (poetry), verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphized, and that illustrate ...
in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech and other powers of humankind, while parables generally feature human characters. It is a type of analogy. Some scholars of the Canonical gospels and the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
apply the term "parable" only to the parables of Jesus,John P. Meier, ''A Marginal Jew'', volume II, Doubleday, 1994. though that is not a common restriction of the term. Parables such as "Parable of the Prodigal Son, The Prodigal Son" are central to Jesus' teaching method in both the canon law, canonical narratives and the apocrypha.


Political myth

A ''political myth'' is an ideological explanation for a political phenomenon that is believed by a social group. In 1975, Henry Tudor defined it in ''Political Myth'' published by Macmillan. He said In 2001, Christopher G. Flood described a working definition of a political myth as


Tall tale

A ''tall tale'' is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, for example wikt:fish story, fish stories such as, "That fish was so big, why, I tell ya, it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in!" Other tall tales are completely fictional tales set in a familiar setting, such as the European countryside, the American Old West, the Canadian Northwest, or the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Tall tales are often told so as to make the narrator seem to have been a part of the story. They are usually humorous or good-natured. The line between myth and tall tale is distinguished primarily by age; many myths exaggerate the exploits of their heroes, but in tall tales the exaggeration looms large, to the extent of becoming the whole of the story.


Urban legend

An ''urban legend'', ''urban myth'', ''urban tale'', or ''contemporary legend'', is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story's veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it. Despite its name, an urban legend does not necessarily originate in an urban area. Rather, the term is used to differentiate modern legend from traditional folklore in pre-industrial times. For this reason, sociologists and folklorists prefer the term ''contemporary legend''. Urban legends are sometimes repeated in news stories and, in recent years, distributed by e-mail. People frequently allege that such tales happened to a "friend of a friend"; so often, in fact, that "friend of a friend" ("FOAF") has become a commonly used term when recounting this type of story. Some urban legends have passed through the years with only minor changes to suit regional variations. One example is the story of a woman killed by spiders nesting in her elaborate hairdo. More recent legends tend to reflect modern circumstances, like the story of people ambushed, anesthetized, and waking up minus one kidney, which was Organ theft, surgically removed for organ transplant, transplantation (a story which folklorists refer to as "The Kidney Heist").


Notes


References


Works cited

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Traditional stories Traditional stories, Literary genres Narratology