Mythology Notes - Introduction to Classical Mythology Notes...

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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Classical Mythology Notes Florencia Salinas Professor Hubbard Intro to Classical Mythology 26 August 2010 • Myths involve supernatural characteristics which also involve religious rituals. There were even mystery cults in ancient Greece. They interpreted myth differently from mainstream. • Polytheistic societies tolerated other’s religious beliefs because of similarities (SYNCRETISM, letting 2 cults join). • What is a myth? • The word myth comes from the Greek word mythos meaning a story or a narrative. • It has a plot with affection and could distinguish itself from a historical story. • Teacher’s definition: Traditional story sat in a remote/unspecified past involving supernatural beings or people interacting with the supernatural. May be retold in different ways, but retains same structure. (Not all myths focus on supernatural beings!) • Historical narrative does have a date and setting. Plus writing would be used just for official scriptures such as laws. • Legend is a story of a historical figure. (Greek word is epos). While fable is a story that has an explicit moral lesson (usually with talking animals. Greek word is ainos). Folk tale is a story told by masses primarily for entertainment which may involve evil supernatural being (Greek word is logos). • A myth is part of a system of other myths while a folk tale is more recent or it has an identified past, but they can sometimes structure myths. • It was important for others to change myths to their liking or independent purposes. • Why do people tell myths? • One view to interpret myths is euhemerism. Most gods were really just great human beings, and all myths can be interpreted that way. • Another interpretation was through allegory which holds gods would stand for elements in the world (natural or moral). Prodicus said gods are elements that humans found important and gave it a name. Myths simply explained things humans found amazing and supernatural. Introduction to Classical Mythology Notes • Primitive societies had complicated myths that dealt with more social ideas. Cambridge Anthropologists would compare world myths and rituals were highlighted. • People would make myths to accompany rituals, but only few myths have actual rituals. There is no way of knowing which came first. Both are responses for human’s needs to deal with experiences (transitional stages of life ex. Sex or war). Myths do the same thing as ritual, but in a descriptive (not dramatic) way. 30 August 2010 • (Continuation…) Rituals do not substantially describe myths. They are simply a response to certain experiences such as anxiety. • Psychoanalysis • Came around first or second decades of 21 st century. The method was developed for treating neurological misbehaviors. Motifs in dreams can prove what bothers us....
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2011 for the course CHEM 302 taught by Professor Mccord during the Spring '10 term at University of Texas.

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Mythology Notes - Introduction to Classical Mythology Notes...

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