chinmythnotes - Chinese Notes Myth Definition Myth is a...

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Unformatted text preview: Chinese Notes Myth Definition: Myth is a traditional story, myths are anonymous. Mythology: study of myths or a whole group of myths that belong to a particular culture Myth: story that includes: • Plots • Characters • Beginning, middle, end • Setting • Traditional Powell -> 3 kinds of myth • Divine Myth: principal characters superior to humans can take on human or animal shapes • Legends: humans, not gods or goddesses; supernatural humans • Folktale: anything not divine or legend (aesops’s fables) Chinese Mythology • Divine myths • Legends • Buddhist and daoist tales Traditional Chinese Dynasties: Wade-Giles (Pinyin): • Xia (Hsia) 2205-1767 BC • Shang (Shang) 1766-1123 BC • Zhou (Chou) 1123-256 BC 1 o Western 1122-771 o Eastern 771-256 • Qin (Ch’in) 255-221-207 BC • Han (Han) 202-221 BC Romanization Systems: • Wade Giles o Originally by Thomas Wade; British military and diplomatic official; 1 st professor of Chinese at Cambridge University (1888) o Modified by Herbert Giles for his Chinese/English dictionary; 2 nd professor of Chinese at Cambridge University • Pinyin o “Combining Sounds” o Developed in 1950’s by People’s Republic of China o Now official United Nations Romanization system for Chinese language o Becoming most widely used Materials on Chinese Myths: • No ancient systematic presentation • Fragments are found in various ancient and later texts • 3 types of Chinese source materials o Received texts o Recensions reconstructed from quotations Recension: existed in ancient times; text lost then recovered **Euhemerism • Euhemerus (late 4 th Century BC) explained that the greed gods such as Uranus, Cronus, Zeus, etc had originally been great kings • They were so respected that they were worshipped after their deaths and eventually became recognized as gods 2 • This theory is known as “euhemerization” • In Chinese history/mythology the process is often the opposite: gods, over time, became accepted as having been historical people • The theory that descirbes this process will be called “reverse euhemerization” Derk Bodde’s Essay: *what Bodde calls ‘euhemerization,” we, in this class, call “reverse euhemeriztion” History and Culture • Shang Dynasty Ends • Zhou (Chou) dynasty if 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 • 771 BC end of western Zhou (722-481 BC) is known as the spring and autumn period named after a book with this title • Zhou forces are defeated by non-chinese tribes people • Capital near modern Xi’an (in west) falls. Western Zhou ends • Capital is moved to Loyang (farther to the east); eastern Zhou begins • Zhou never regained earlier power • Various individual states contended for power • Stronger states absorbed weaker ones o 403-221 BC “Warring states period” • 3 Major powers emerge...
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chinmythnotes - Chinese Notes Myth Definition Myth is a...

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