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chinmyth2008 - University of Massachusetts Amherst Chinese...

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University of Massachusetts Amherst Chinese 155 - Chinese Mythology Spring 2008 Notes taken by Tong Huang 2008-01-28 Monday myth is a traditional story Powell distinguishes three kinds of myth: 1. Divine myth: "the supernatural beings who appear as the principal characters" 2. Legend: "In lengends, the central characters are human beings not gods and goddesses. 3. Folktale: "any traditional story that is not a divine myth or a lengend." In Chinese mythology: - A lot of Divine myth - Lengends - Buddhist and Daoist tales Traditional Chinese Dynasties -Xia(Hsia) 1105-1767 BC -Shang 1766-1123 BC -Zhou(Chou) 1123-256 BC Western 1122-771 BC Eastern 771-256 BC -Qin(Ch'in) 255-221-207 BC -Han 202 BC - 221 AD Romanization Systems Wade - Giles Pinyin Hsia Xia Ch'in Qin Lao Tzu Lao Zi 2008-01-30 Wednesday Materials on Chinese Myths: No acient systematic presentation Fragments are found in various ancient and later texts Three types of Chinese source materials - Received texts - Recensions reconstructed from quotations - Archeological discoveries Modern sources for Chinese myths: Handiest in Chinese is Yuan's One Hundred Selected Chinese Myths Best in English is Anne Birrell's ...blahblahblah... Euhemerism: - Euhemerus (late 4th century B.C.) - explained that the Greek gods such as Uranus, Cronus, Zeus, etc., had originally been great kings - They were so respected that they were worshiped after their deaths and eventually became recognized as gods. - This theory is known as euhemerism" - The process of a person becoming, over time, recognized as a god is called "euhemerization" - In Chinese history/mythology the process is often the opposite: gods, over time, become accepted as having been historical people - The theory that describes this process will be called "reverse euhemerization"
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Derk Bodde's essay: - He mentions that "Chinese scholars" use the term "euhemerization" in a sense opposite to its accepted meaning - He realizes this situation, but continues to use the term in this opposite sense - What Bodde calls "euhemerization, " in this class we call "reverse euhemerization" - REMEMBER THIS History and Culture: - Shang dynasty ends (traditionally 1167 BC; modern scholars date this ca.1045 BC) - Zhou dynasty is founded - The Zhou establish a form of "feudalism" as their way of administration - Dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, and barons were established to rule various states. (n,n,n,n,n) - 771 B.C.: End of Western Zhou (722 to 481 B.C. is known as the Spring and Autumn Period, named after a book with this title) - Zhou forces are defeated by non-Chinese tribespeople; capital near modern Xi'an (in west) falls. Western Zhou ends - Capital moved to east...Eastern Zhou starts...blahblahblah... - Stronger states absorbed weaker ones - 401-221 B.C. is known as the Warring States Period (also named after a book) - Three major powers emerge: Qi in modern Shandong, Qin in the Wei River Valley and Sichuan, and Chu in the middle Yangtze area.
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