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Mythology
Mythology
refers variously to the collected myths of a group of people[1] or to the study of such myths.[2] A folklore genre, myth is a feature of every culture. Many sources for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of nature or personification of natural phenomena, to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events to explanations of existing rituals. A culture's collective mythology helps convey belonging, shared and religious 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
Plato
and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists
Neoplatonists
and later revived by Renaissance
Renaissance
mythographers. The nineteenth-century comparative mythology reinterpreted myth as a primitive and failed counterpart of science (Tylor), a "disease of language" (Müller), 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

1 Etymology 2 Terminology 3 Origins

3.1 Euhemerism 3.2 Allegory 3.3 Personification 3.4 Myth-ritual theory

4 Functions 5 History
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

8.1 General 8.2 Mythological archetypes 8.3 Myth
Myth
and religion 8.4 Lists 8.5 Popular culture and media

9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

12.1 Journals about mythology

Etymology[edit]

Odysseus Overcome by Demodocus' Song, by Francesco Hayez, 1813–15

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 word mythology, ("exposition of myths"), comes from Middle French mythologie, from Late Latin
Late Latin
mythologia, from Greek μυθολογία mythología ("legendary lore, a telling of mythic legends; a legend, story, tale") from μῦθος mythos ("myth") and -λογία -logia ("study").[8][9] Both terms translated the subject of Latin author Fulgentius' fifth-century Mythologiæ, 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 Mythologiæ explicitly treated its subject matter as allegories requiring interpretation and not as true events.[11] The word mythología [μυθολογία] appears in Plato, but was used as a general term for "fiction" or "story-telling" of any kind,[9] combining mỹthos [μῦθος, "narrative, fiction"] and -logía [-λογία, "discourse, able to speak about"].[12] From Lydgate until the seventeenth or eighteenth-century, mythology was similarly used to mean 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 falsehood of the stories being described. It came to be applied by analogy with similar 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] Terminology[edit] See also: Legend
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 people, but may also mean the study of such myths.[2] For example, Greek mythology, Roman mythology
Roman mythology
and Hittite mythology
Hittite mythology
all describe the body of myths retold among those cultures. Dundes defined myth as a sacred narrative that explains how the world and humanity evolved into their present form. Dundes classified a sacred narrative as "a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of a society".[22] Lincoln defined myth as "ideology in narrative form."[23] Scholars in other fields use the term myth in varied ways.[24][25][26] In a broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story,[27][28][29] popular misconception or imaginary entity.[30] Due to this pejorative sense, some scholars opted for the term mythos.[22] Its use was similarly pejorative and now more commonly refers to its Aristotelian sense as a "plot point" or to a collective mythology,[31] as in the world building of H.P. Lovecraft. 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] Main characters in myths are usually gods, demigods or supernatural humans,[33][34][35] while legends generally feature humans as their main characters.[33] However, many exceptions or combinations exist, as in the Iliad, Odyssey
Odyssey
and Aeneid.[36][37] Myths
Myths
are often endorsed by rulers and priests and are closely linked to religion or spirituality.[33] In fact, many societies group their myths, legends and history together, considering myths to be true accounts of their remote past.[33][34][38][39] Creation myths particularly, take place in a primordial age when the world had not achieved its later form.[33][40][41] Other myths explain how a society's customs, institutions and taboos were established and sanctified.[33][41] A separate space is created for folktales,[42][43][44] which are not considered true by anyone.[33] As stories spread to other cultures or as faiths change, myths can come to be considered folktales.[45][46] Its divine characters are recast as either as humans or demihumans such as giants, elves and faeries.[34] Origins[edit]

Palmyrenian relief Louvre

Euhemerism[edit] Main article: Euhemerism See also: Herodotus One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events.[47][48] According to this theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate upon historical accounts until the figures in those accounts gain the status of gods.[47][48] For example, the myth of the wind-god Aeolus may have evolved from a historical account of a king who taught his people to use sails and interpret the winds.[47] Herodotus (fifth-century BC) and Prodicus
Prodicus
made claims of this kind.[48] This theory is named euhemerism after mythologist Euhemerus (c. 320 BC), who suggested that Greek gods developed from legends about human beings.[48][49] Allegory[edit] Some theories propose that myths began as allegories for natural phenomena: Apollo
Apollo
represents the sun, Poseidon
Poseidon
represents water, and so on.[48] According to another theory, myths began as allegories for philosophical or spiritual concepts: Athena
Athena
represents wise judgment, Aphrodite
Aphrodite
desire, and so on.[48] Müller supported an allegorical theory of myth. He believed myths began as allegorical descriptions of nature and gradually came to be interpreted literally. For example, a poetic description of the sea as "raging" was eventually taken literally and the sea was then thought of as a raging god.[50] Personification[edit] See also: Mythopoeic thought Some thinkers claimed that myths result from the personification of objects and forces. According to these thinkers, the ancients worshiped natural phenomena, such as fire and air, gradually deifying them.[51] For example, according to this theory, ancients tended to view things as gods, not as mere objects.[52] Thus, they described natural events as acts of personal gods, giving rise to myths.[53]

Most cultures across the globe have some form of mythology

Myth-ritual theory[edit] See also: Myth
Myth
and ritual According to the myth-ritual theory, myth is tied to ritual.[54] In its most extreme form, this theory claims myths arose to explain rituals.[55] This claim was first put forward by Smith,[56] who claimed that people begin performing rituals 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.[57] Frazer claimed that humans started out with a belief in magical rituals; later, they began to lose faith in magic and invented myths about gods, reinterpreting their rituals as religious rituals intended to appease the gods.[58] Functions[edit]

Holy Grail
Holy Grail
digital art part of Christian mythology

Eliade argued that one of the foremost functions of myth is to establish models for behavior[59][60] and that myths may provide a religious experience. By telling or reenacting myths, members of traditional societies detach themselves from the present, returning to the mythical age, thereby coming closer to the divine.[38][60][61] Honko asserted that, in some cases, a society reenacts a myth in an attempt to reproduce the conditions of the mythical age. For example, it might reenact the healing performed by a god at the beginning of time in order to heal someone in the present.[62] Similarly, Barthes argued that modern culture explores religious experience. Since it is not the job of science to define human morality, a religious experience is an attempt to connect with a perceived moral past, which is in contrast with the technological present.[63] Pattanaik defines mythology as "a subjective truth of people that is communicated 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 truth."[64] History
History
of the academic discipline[edit] Historically, the important approaches to the study of mythology have been those of Vico, Schelling, Schiller, Jung, Freud, Lévy-Bruhl, Lévi-Strauss, Frye, the Soviet school, and the Myth
Myth
and Ritual School.[65] Pre-modern[edit]

Myths
Myths
and legends of Babylonia
Babylonia
and Assyria
Assyria
(1916)

The critical interpretation of myth began with the Presocratics.[66] Euhemerus was one of the most important pre-modern mythologists. He interpreted myths as accounts of actual historical events - distorted over many retellings. Sallustius[67] divided myths into five categories – theological, physical (or concerning natural laws), animistic (or concerning soul), material, and mixed. Mixed concerns myths that show the interaction between two or more of the previous categories and are particularly used in initiations. Plato
Plato
famously condemned poetic myth when discussing education in the Republic. His critique was primarily on the grounds that the uneducated might take the stories of gods and heroes literally. Nevertheless, he constantly referred to myths throughout his writings. As Platonism
Platonism
developed in the phases commonly called Middle Platonism and neoplatonism, writers such as Plutarch, Porphyry, Proclus, Olympiodorus, and Damascius wrote explicitly about the symbolic interpretation of traditional and Orphic myths.[68] Interest in polytheistic mythology revived during the Renaissance, with early works on mythography appearing in the sixteenth-century, such as the Theologia Mythologica (1532). While myths are not the same as fables, legends, folktales, fairy tales, anecdotes, or fiction, the concepts may overlap. Notably, during the nineteenth century period of Romanticism, folktales and fairy tales were perceived as eroded fragments of earlier mythology (famously by the Brothers Grimm
Brothers Grimm
and Elias Lönnrot). Mythological themes were consciously employed in literature, beginning with Homer. The resulting work may expressly refer to a mythological background without itself becoming part of a body of myths (Cupid and Psyche). Medieval romance in particular plays with this process of turning myth into literature. Euhemerism, as stated earlier, refers to the rationalization of myths, putting themes formerly imbued with mythological qualities into pragmatic contexts. An example of this would be following a cultural or religious paradigm shift (notably the re-interpretation of pagan mythology following Christianization). Conversely, historical and literary material may acquire mythological qualities over time. For example, the Matter of Britain
Matter of Britain
(the legendary history of Great Britain, especially those focused on King Arthur
King Arthur
and the knights of the Round Table)[69] 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 mythological over the following centuries. "Conscious generation" of mythology was termed mythopoeia by Tolkien and was notoriously also suggested, separately, by Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg. Nineteenth-century[edit] The first scholarly theories of myth appeared during the second half of the nineteenth-century.[66] In general, these nineteenth-century theories framed myth as a failed or obsolete mode of thought, often by interpreting myth as the primitive counterpart of modern science.[70] For example, Tylor interpreted myth as an attempt at a literal explanation for natural phenomena. Unable to conceive impersonal natural laws, early humans tried to explain natural phenomena by attributing souls to inanimate objects, giving rise to animism.[71] According to Tylor, human thought evolved through stages, starting with mythological ideas and gradually progressing to scientific ideas. Not all scholars, not even all nineteenth-century scholars, accepted this view. Lévy-Bruhl claimed "the primitive mentality is a condition of the human mind, and not a stage in its historical development."[72] Müller called myth a "disease of language". He speculated that myths arose due to the lack of abstract nouns and neuter gender in ancient languages. Anthropomorphic figures of speech, necessary in such languages, were eventually taken literally, leading to the idea that natural phenomena were in actuality conscious beings or gods.[50] Frazer saw myths as a misinterpretation of magical rituals, which were themselves based on a mistaken idea of natural law.[73] According to Frazer, humans begin with an unfounded belief in impersonal magical laws. When they realize applications of these laws do not work, they give up their belief in natural law in favor of a belief in personal gods controlling nature, thus giving rise to religious myths. Meanwhile, humans continue practicing formerly magical rituals through force of habit, reinterpreting them as reenactments of mythical events. Finally humans come to realize nature follows natural laws, and they discover their true nature through science. Here again, science makes myth obsolete as humans progress "from magic through religion to science."[58] Segal asserted that by pitting mythical thought against modern scientific thought, such theories imply modern humans must abandon myth.[74] Twentieth-century[edit]

Prometheus
Prometheus
(1868) by Gustave Moreau. In the mythos of Hesiodus
Hesiodus
and possibly Aeschylus
Aeschylus
(the Greek trilogy Prometheus
Prometheus
Bound, Prometheus Unbound and Prometheus
Prometheus
Pyrphoros), Prometheus
Prometheus
is bound and tortured for giving fire to humanity

Many twentieth-century theories rejected the nineteenth-century theories' opposition of myth and science. In general, "twentieth-century theories have tended to see myth as almost anything but an outdated counterpart to science […]. Consequently, modern individuals are not obliged to abandon myth for science."[74] Jung tried to understand the psychology behind world myths. Jung asserted that all humans share certain innate unconscious psychological forces, which he called archetypes. He believed similarities between the myths of different cultures reveals the existence of these universal archetypes.[75] Lévi-Strauss
Lévi-Strauss
believed myths reflect patterns in the mind and interpreted those patterns more as fixed mental structures, specifically pairs of opposites (good/evil, compassionate/callous), rather than unconscious feelings or urges.[76] In his appendix to Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, and in The Myth
Myth
of the Eternal Return, 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 the process of their creation in his book Mythologies.[77] Following the Structuralist Era (roughly the 1960s to 1980s), the predominant anthropological 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 economic interests. These approaches contrast with approaches such as those of Campbell and Eliade that hold that myth has some type of essential connection to ultimate sacred meanings that transcend cultural specifics. In particular, myth was studied in relation to history from diverse social sciences. Most of these studies share the assumption that history and myth are not distinct in the sense that history is factual, real, accurate, and truth, while myth is the opposite. Christian theologian Conrad Hyers wrote that

...myth today has come to have negative connotations which are the complete opposite of its meaning in a religious context... In a religious context, however, myths are storied vehicles of supreme truth, the most basic and important truths of all. By them people regulate and interpret their lives and find worth and purpose in their existence. Myths
Myths
put one in touch with sacred realities, the fundamental sources of being, power, and truth. They are seen not only as being the opposite of error but also as being clearly distinguishable from stories told for entertainment and from the workaday, domestic, practical language of a people. They provide answers to the mysteries of being and becoming, mysteries which, as mysteries, are hidden, yet mysteries which are revealed through story and ritual. Myths
Myths
deal not only with truth but with ultimate truth.[78]

Comparative mythology[edit] Main article: Comparative mythology Comparative mythology
Comparative mythology
is the systematic comparison of myths from different cultures. It seeks to discover underlying themes that are common to the myths of multiple cultures. In some cases, comparative mythologists use the similarities between separate mythologies to argue that those mythologies have a common source. This source may inspire myths or provide a common "protomythology" that diverged into the mythologies of each culture.[79] Nineteenth-century interpretations of myth were often comparative, seeking a common origin for all myths.[80] Later scholars tend to avoid universal statements about mythology. One exception to this modern trend is Campbell's The Hero
Hero
with a Thousand Faces (1949), which claims that all hero myths follow the same underlying pattern. This theory of a monomyth later fell out of favor.[81] Modern mythology[edit]

1929 Belgian banknote, depicting Ceres, Neptune and caduceus

In modern society, myth is often regarded as a collection of stories. Scholars in 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 video games.[82] Although myth was traditionally transmitted through the oral tradition on a small scale, the film industry has enabled filmmakers to transmit myths to large audiences via film.[83] In Jungian psychology myths are the expression of a culture or society’s goals, fears, ambitions and dreams.[84] Film
Film
is an expression of the society in which it was produced and reflects the culture of its era and location. The basis of modern visual storytelling is rooted in the mythological tradition. Many contemporary films rely on ancient myths to construct narratives. Disney Corporation
Disney Corporation
is well-known among cultural study scholars for "reinventing" traditional childhood myths.[85] While many films are not as obvious as Disney fairy tales, the plots of many films are based on the rough structure of myths. Mythological 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 films, fantasy, dramas and apocalyptic tales.[86] 21st century 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 Olympians series is situated in a modern-day world where the Greek deities are manifest,[87] as well as his Kane Chronicles with the Egyptian pantheon and Magnus Chase
Magnus Chase
with the Norse gods.[citation needed] 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.[88] See also[edit]

Mythology
Mythology
portal

General[edit]

Archetypal literary criticism Architectural mythology Creation myth Flood myth Fairy Fable Geomythology Landscape mythology Legendary creature LGBT themes in mythology Mytheme National myth Origin-of-death myth Poles in mythology Structuralist theory of mythology

Mythological archetypes[edit]

Culture
Culture
hero Earth Mother First man or woman (other) Hero Life-death-rebirth deity Psychopomp Sky father Solar deity Trickster Underworld

Myth
Myth
and religion[edit]

Basque mythology Bengali mythology Celtic mythology Chinese mythology Christian mythology Egyptian mythology Greek mythology Hindu mythology Hittite mythology Inca mythology Irish mythology Islamic mythology Japanese mythology Jesus in comparative mythology Jewish mythology Korean mythology Magic and mythology Maya mythology Religion
Religion
and mythology Roman mythology Tahiti and Society Islands mythology

Lists[edit]

Lists of deities List of death deities List of legendary creatures by type Lists of legendary creatures List of lunar deities List of mythological objects List of mythological places List of mythologies List of women warriors in folklore

Popular culture and media[edit]

Mythopoeia, artificially constructed mythology, mainly for the purpose of storytelling

Notes[edit]

^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "myth, n. Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2003. ^ a b Kirk 1973, p. 8. ^ Johnson, Samuel. "Mythology" in A Dictionary of the English Language: in which the Words are Deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers to which are Prefixed a History
History
of the Language and an English Grammar, p. 1345. W. Strahan (London), 1755. ^ Johnson, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language, p. 1345. W. Strahan (London), 1755. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. ^ Johnson's Dictionary, for example, has entries for mythology,[3] mythologist, mythologize, mythological, and mythologically but none for myth.[4] ^ Lydgate, John. Troyyes Book, Vol. II, ll. 2487. (in Middle English) Reprinted in Henry Bergen's Lydgate's Troy Book, Vol. I, p. 216. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co. (London), 1906. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. ^ "...I [ Paris ] was ravisched in-to paradys. "And Þus Þis god [sc. Mercury], diuers of liknes, "More wonderful Þan I can expresse, "Schewed hym silf in his appearance, "Liche as he is discriued in Fulgence, "In Þe book of his methologies..."[6] ^ "mythology". Online Etymology Dictionary ^ a b c d Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "mythology, n." 2003. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. ^ Hays, Gregory. "The date and identity of the mythographer Fulgentius" in Journal of Medieval Latin, Vol. 13, pp. 163 ff. 2003. ^ Fulgentius, Fabius Planciades (1971). Fulgentius the Mythographer. Ohio State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8142-0162-6.  ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "-logy, comb. form". Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1903. ^ Browne, Thomas. Pseudodoxia Epidemica: or, Enquiries into Many Received Tenets and Commonly Presumed Truths, Vol. I, Ch. VIII. Edward Dod (London), 1646. Reprinted 1672. ^ 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 afford commendable mythologie; but in a natural and proper exposition, it containeth impossibilities, and things inconsistent with truth.[13] ^ Shuckford, Samuel. The Creation and Fall of Man. A Supplemental Discourse to the Preface of the First Volume of the Sacred
Sacred
and Profane History
History
of the World Connected, pp. xx–xxi. J. & R. Tonson & S. Draper (London), 1753. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. ^ "That Mythology
Mythology
came in upon this Alteration of their [Egyptians' Theology, is obviouſly evident: for the mingling the Hiſtory of theſe Men when Mortals, with what came to be aſcribed to them when Gods, would naturally occaſion it. And of this Sort we generally find the Mythoi told of them..."[15] ^ Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. "On the Prometheus
Prometheus
of Æschylus: An Essay, preparatory 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, Henry Nelson (1836). The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Shakespeare, with introductory matter on poetry, the drama, and the stage. Notes on Ben Jonson; Beaumont and Fletcher; On the Prometheus
Prometheus
of Æschylus [and others. W. Pickering. pp. 335–.  ^ "Long before the entire separation of metaphysics from poetry, that is, while yet poesy, in all its several species of verse, music, statuary, &c. continued mythic;—while yet poetry remained the union of the sensuous and the philosophic mind;—the efficient presence of the latter in the synthesis of the two, had manifested itself in the sublime mythus περὶ γενέσεως τοῦ νοῦ ἐν ἀνθρωποῖς concerning the genesis, or birth of the νοῦς or reason in man."[17] ^ Abraham
Abraham
of Hekel (1651). "Historia Arabum( History
History
of the Arabs)". Chronicon orientale, nunc primum Latinitate donatum ab Abrahamo Ecchellensi Syro Maronita e Libano, linguarum Syriacae, ... cui accessit eiusdem Supplementum historiae orientalis (The Oriental Chronicles. e Typographia regia. pp. 175–.  (in Latin) Translated in paraphrase in Blackwell, Thomas (1748). "Letter Seventeenth". Letters Concerning Mythology. printed in the year. pp. 269–.  ^ Anonymous review of Upham, Edward (1829). The History
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 Westminster Review, No. XXIII, Art. III, p. 44. Rob't Heward (London), 1829. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. ^ "According to the rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, Enos, discoursing on the splendor of the heavenly bodies, insisted that, since God had thus exalted them above the other parts of creation, it was but reasonable that we should praise, extol, and honour them. The consequence of this exhortation, says the rabbi, was the 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 patriarch Abraham; who, they say, on coming out from the dark cave in which he had been 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 history.[20] ^ a b Grassie, William (March 1998). " Science
Science
as Epic? Can the modern evolutionary cosmology be a mythic story for our time?". Science
Science
& Spirit. 9 (1). The word 'myth' is popularly understood to mean idle fancy, fiction, or falsehood; 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.  ^ Lincoln, Bruce (2006). "An Early Moment in the Discourse of "Terrorism": Reflections on a Tale from Marco Polo". Comparative Studies in Society and History. 48 (2): 242–259. doi:10.1017/s0010417506000107. JSTOR 3879351. More precisely, mythic discourse deals in master categories that have multiple referents: levels of the cosmos, terrestrial geographies, plant and animal species, logical categories, and the like. Their plots serve to organize the relations among these categories and to justify a hierarchy among them, establishing the rightness (or at least the necessity) of a world in which heaven is above earth, the lion the king of beasts, the cooked more pleasing than the raw.  ^ Dundes 1984, p. 147. ^ Doty 2004, pp. 11–12. ^ Segal 2015, p. 5. ^ Kirk 1984, p. 57. ^ Kirk 1973, p. 74. ^ Apollodorus 1976, p. 3. ^ "myth". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.). Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1993. p. 770.  ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "mythos, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2003. ^ Bascom 1965, p. 7. ^ a b c d e f g Bascom 1965, p. 9. ^ a b c "myths", A Dictionary of English Folklore ^ O'Flaherty, p. 78: "I think it can be well argued as a matter of principle that, just as 'biography is about chaps', so mythology is about gods." ^ Kirk 1973, pp. 22, 32. ^ Kirk 1984, p. 55. ^ a b Eliade 1998, p. 23. ^ Pettazzoni 1984, p. 102. ^ Dundes 1984, p. 1. ^ a b Eliade 1998, p. 6. ^ Bascom 1965, p. 17. ^ Eliade 1998, p. 10–11. ^ Pettazzoni 1984, pp. 99–101. ^ Doty 2004, p. 114. ^ Bascom 1965, p. 13. ^ a b c Bulfinch 2004, p. 194. ^ a b c d e f Honko 1984, p. 45. ^ "Euhemerism", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions ^ a b Segal 2015, p. 20. ^ Bulfinch 2004, p. 195. ^ Frankfort et al. 2013, p. 4. ^ Frankfort et al. 2013, p. 15. ^ Segal 2015, p. 61. ^ Graf 1996, p. 40. ^ Meletinsky 2014, pp. 19–20. ^ Segal 2015, p. 63. ^ a b Frazer 1913, p. 711. ^ Eliade 1998, p. 8. ^ a b Honko 1984, p. 51. ^ Eliade 1998, p. 19. ^ Honko 1984, p. 49. ^ Barthes 1972. ^ Pattanaik, Devdutt (14 September 2015). "Why I Insist On Calling Myself A Mythologist". Swarajya. Retrieved 24 July 2016.  ^ Guy Lanoue, Foreword to Meletinsky, p. viii ^ a b Segal 2015, p. 1. ^ On the Gods
Gods
and the World, ch. 5, See Collected Writings on the Gods and the World, The Prometheus
Prometheus
Trust, Frome, 1995 ^ Perhaps the most extended passage of philosophic interpretation of myth is to be found in the fifth and sixth essays of Proclus’ Commentary on the Republic (to be found in The Works of Plato
Plato
I, trans. Thomas Taylor, The Prometheus
Prometheus
Trust, Frome, 1996); Porphyry’s analysis of the Homeric Cave of the Nymphs is another important work in this area (Select Works of Porphyry, Thomas Taylor The Prometheus Trust, Frome, 1994). See the external links below for a full English translation. ^ "romance literature and performance". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-11-06.  ^ Segal 2015, pp. 3–4. ^ Segal 2015, p. 4. ^ Mâche (1992). Music, Myth
Myth
and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion. p. 8.  ^ Segal 2015, pp. 67–68. ^ a b Segal 2015, p. 3. ^ Boeree ^ Segal 2015, p. 113. ^ https://books.google.co.cr/books?id=tlpHad1I-xkC&pg=PA189&lpg=PA189&dq=In+the+1950s,+Barthes+published+a+series+of+essays+examining+modern+myths+and+the+process+of+their+creation+in+his+book+Mythologies.&source=bl&ots=EXDTKC9Jru&sig=fWmHMZVDcQnmJMN-GOvw-HVNBJU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2-afhlpvZAhUlrVkKHV7RAlkQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=In%20the%201950s%2C%20Barthes%20published%20a%20series%20of%20essays%20examining%20modern%20myths%20and%20the%20process%20of%20their%20creation%20in%20his%20book%20Mythologies.&f=false ^ Hyers 1984, p. 107. ^ Littleton 1973, p. 32. ^ Leonard 2007. ^ Northup 2006, p. 8. ^ Ostenson, Jonathan (2013). "Exploring the Boundaries of Narrative: Video Games in the English Classroom" (PDF). www2.ncte.org/.  ^ Singer, Irving (2008). Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film. MIT Press. pp. 3–6.  ^ Indick, William (November 18, 2004). "Classical Heroes in Modern Movies: Mythological Patterns of the Superhero". Journal of Media Psychology.  ^ Koven, Michael (2003). Folklore
Folklore
Studies and Popular Film
Film
and Television: A Necessary Critical Survey. University of Illinois Press. pp. 176–195.  ^ Corner 1999, pp. 47–59. ^ Mead, Rebecca (2014-10-22). "The Percy Jackson Problem". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2017-11-06.  ^ Greenring, Tanner. "21 Modern Urban Legends That Will Keep You Up Tonight". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 

References[edit]

Apollodorus (1976). "Introduction". Gods
Gods
and Heroes of the Greeks: The Library of Apollodorus. Translated by Simpson, Michael. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 0-87023-206-1.  Armstrong, Karen (29 October 2010). A Short History
History
of Myth
Myth
(Myths series). Knopf Canada. ISBN 978-0-307-36729-7.  Barthes, Roland (1 January 1972). Mythologies. Hill and Wang. ISBN 978-0-8090-7193-7.  Bascom, William Russell (1965). The Forms of Folklore: Prose Narratives. University of California.  Bowker, John (2005). "Euhemerism". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-861053-3.  Bulfinch, Thomas (June 2004). Bulfinch's Mythology. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4191-1109-9.  Corner, John (1999). Critical Ideas in Television
Television
Studies. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-874221-0.  Doniger, Wendy (24 June 2004). Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-14-190375-0.  Doty, William G. (2004). Myth: A Handbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-32696-7.  Downing, Christine (1996). The Goddess: Mythological Images of the Feminine. Continuum.  Dundes, Alan. "Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retrospect". Western Folklore
Folklore
56 (Winter, 1997): 39–50. Dundes, Alan, ed. (1984). Sacred
Sacred
Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-05192-8. 

Honko, Lauri (1984). "The Problem of Defining Myth".  Missing or empty title= (help) Kirk, G.S (1984). "On Defining Myths". pp. 53–61.  Missing or empty title= (help) 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
Myth
and Method. University of Virginia Press. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-8139-1657-6.  Eliade, Mircea (22 June 1998). Myth
Myth
and Reality. Waveland Press. ISBN 978-1-4786-0861-5.  Eliade, Mircea (1960). Myths, dreams, and mysteries: the encounter between contemporary faiths and archaic realities. Translated by Mairet, Philip. Harvill Press. ISBN 978-0-06-131320-2.  Fabiani, Paolo "The Philosophy of the Imagination
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 of Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 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 Folklore
Folklore
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 Department of Cultural Affairs. ISBN 978-1-300-55364-9.  Hyers, Conradl (1984). The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0804201254.  Indick, William (2004). "Classical Heroes in Modern Movies: Mythological Patterns of the Superhero". Journal of Media Psychology. 9 (3): 93–95.  Kirk, Geoffrey Stephen (1973). Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02389-5.  Koven, Mikel J. (2003-05-22). " Folklore
Folklore
Studies and Popular Film
Film
and Television: A Necessary Critical Survey". Journal of American Folklore. 116 (460): 176–195. doi:10.1353/jaf.2003.0027. ISSN 1535-1882.  Leonard, Scott (August 2007). "The History
History
of Mythology: Part I". Youngstown State University. Retrieved 17 November 2009.  Littleton, C. Scott (1 January 1973). The New Comparative Mythology: An Anthropological Assessment of the Theories of Georges Dumézil. University of California Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-520-02404-5.  Matira, Lopamundra (2008). "Children's Oral Literature and Modern Mass Media". Indian Folklore
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
Myth
in 1980s Films with Child Heroes" (PDF). Virginia Polytechnic Scholarly Library. Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University. Retrieved October 24, 2011.  "Myth". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 21 March 2009 "Myths". A Dictionary of English Folklore. Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud. Oxford University Press, 2000. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. UC – Berkeley Library. 20 March 2009 Northup, Lesley (2006-01-01). "Myth-Placed Priorities: Religion
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. 19–. ISBN 978-0-19-103769-6.  Singer, Irving (24 September 2010). Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film. MIT Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-262-26484-6.  Slattery, Dennis Patrick (2015). Bridge Work: Essays on Mythology, Literature and Psychology. Carpinteria: Mandorla Books. 

Further reading[edit]

Arvidsson, Stefan (15 September 2006). Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology
Mythology
as Ideology 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 Publishers. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-1-60899-265-2.  Csapo, Eric (24 January 2005). Theories of Mythology. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-631-23248-3.  Eliade, Mircea

Eliade, Mircea (2005). The Myth
Myth
of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12350-0. 

Graves, Robert (1959). "Introduction". Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. Translated by Aldington, Richard; Ames, Delano. pp. v–viii.  Gray, Louis Herbert [ed.], The Mythology
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) Lévy-Bruhl, Lucien

Mental Functions in Primitive Societies (1910) Primitive Mentality (1922) The Soul of the Primitive (1928) The Supernatural
Supernatural
and the Nature of the Primitive Mind (1931) Primitive Mythology
Mythology
(1935) The Mystic Experience and Primitive Symbolism (1938)

Losada, José Manuel; Lipscomb, Antonella (2015). Myths
Myths
in Crisis. The Crisis of Myth. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-443-87814-2. 

The Sacred
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). Brazzà, A Life for Africa. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4520-7605-8.  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 Essay on Myth
Myth
and the Frame of Time. David R. Godine Publisher. ISBN 978-0-87923-215-3.  Wallace, Isabelle Loring; Hirsh, Jennie (2011). Contemporary Art and Classical Myth. 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
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
History
of Mythology: Part I". Youngstown State University. Greek mythology Sacred
Sacred
texts Myths
Myths
and Myth-Makers Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by comparative mythology by John Fiske. LIMC Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, a database of ancient objects linked with mythology Dreams, Visions, and Myths: Making Sense of Our World[permanent dead link]

Journals about mythology[edit]

Amaltea, Journal of Myth
Myth
Criticism Mythological Studies Journal New Comparative Mythology
Mythology
/ Nouvelle Mythologie Comparée Ollodagos Studia Mythologica Slavica The Journal of Germanic Mythology
Mythology
and Folklore

v t e

Folklore
Folklore
genres, types, and subtypes

Narrative

Animal tale Fable Fairytale/Märchen Legend Oral tradition Personal narrative

Verbal art

Folk etymology Joke Rhyme (Nursery rhyme) Proverb Saying Word game

Foodways

Recipe

Religion
Religion
and folk belief

Folk religion Myth Old wives' tale Ritual
Ritual
( Legend
Legend
tripping)

Folk music

Folk song Folk instrument

Art

Folk art Outsider art

Calendar

Holiday

Other

Ghostlore

See also

Folkloristics Aarne–Thompson classification systems Morphology (folkloristics)

Authority control

GND: 40410

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