EXAM 1 NOTES - 09.05.07 Traditional how the information has...

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09.05.07 Traditional: how the information has come down to today (which may be true OR false) Myth: mythos mean “speech”, “story”, “plot” but now agreed on being a “traditional story” because they are traditionals and are anonymous o A myth is a story with a plot having a beginning, middle and end o Myth has characters, prescense of plot, settings 1. Divine myth : supernatural beings who appeared as principal characters in divine myth are depicted as superior 2. Legend : in legend, the central characters are human beings, not god/goddesses. Although supernatural plays a plot, their roles are subordinate to human characters 3. Folktales : any traditional story that is not divine myth/legend Ex: fables, fairytales (Cinderella, snow white) Chinese myth o Divine myth o Legends o Buddhist/daoist tales Time periods :` o Xia (Hsia) o Shang (Shang) o Zhou (Chou) 1. Western 2. Eastern o Qin (Chin) o Han Romanization system : 1. Wade-Giles : originally by Thomas Wade (1818-1895); British military diplomatic official; 1 st professor of Chinese @ Cambridge University (1888) Giles – modified by Herbert Giles for his Chinese/English Dictionary, 1414 pp. 1892; also a diplomatic official and followed Wade as 2 nd professor 2. Pinyin : pinyin means “combining sounds” Developed under People of Republic China government sponsorship in 1950 Pinyin is now the official United Nations Romanization system for system in China 09.07.07 Materials on Chinese Myths: no ancient systematic presentation Fragments are found in various ancient and later texts. Three types of Chinese source material o Received texts o Recensions reconstructed from quotations o Archaeological discoveries Modern sources for Chinese Myths: Handest in Chinese is Yuan Shenhua baiti (One Hundred Selected Chinese Myths), Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1980
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Best in English is Anne Birrell, Chinese Mythology, An Introduction, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1993 Also very good is Michael Loewe, Faith, Myth and Reason in Han China , Indianapolis, Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1985 (reprint of 1982 edition) Euhemerism : Euhemerus (late 4 th 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 worshipped after their deaths and eventually became recognized as gods. This theory is known as “euhemerism” The process of a person becoming, overtime, recognized as a god is called “euhemerization” In Chinese history/mythology, the process is often the opposite: gods, overtime, become accepted as having been historical people The theory that describes this process is “reverse euhemerization” Derk Bodde’s Essay (Important) He mentions that “Chinese scholars” use the term “euhemerization” in a sense opposite to it accepted meaning.
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