Ch1NatureMyth

Ch1NatureMyth - Classics 10: Chapter 1: Fall 2011 The...

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Classics 10: Chapter 1: Fall 2011 The Nature of Myth I. What is a Myth? II. The Three Types of Myth: Divine Myth, Legends, Folktales III. Brief Introduction to Ancient Interpretation of Myth (for Weds.)
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Classical Names Some names and words are pronounced in a way that may be close to the original Greek or Latin Many others have acquired a conventional pronunciation, and sometimes the conventional pronunciation will vary (e.g., Aeschylus; Oedipus) Listen carefully in lecture, and note the phonetic spelling in the book when the term is first used The “rules” for pronunciation are described in the textbook on pp. 14-16; see also the Index 674- 94.
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Classical Names Narcissus nar- sis -sus Melos -los Menelaüs me-ne- -us Ge Gaea -a
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I. What is a myth? The textbook website has power points for each chapter, which you may want to consult My versions add/reiterate the details I think matter Myth < Gk mythos (originally = authoritative utterance, speech, plot) “a traditional story with collective importance.” A story is a narrative with plot beginning, middle, end characters (the sum of the choices they have made) conflict and resolution setting (some time in the distant past and either in an unreal place, such as Hades or Olympus [the mountain is a real place, but not as home of the
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“A traditional story with collective importance” Myths are “traditional” tales. Passed down orally as a transmission of a culture’s sense of itself: past wisdom, memories, and models Hence a myth has “collective importance” A myth is a meaningful story for a whole community, however defined, not just an individual
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“Mythos” versus “Logos” A myth has no identifiable author. A myth that is written down in a literary form uses a story that preceded it. e.g. Homer’s Odyssey , though eventually written down (8 th cent. BCE?), depends on earlier anonymous myth of Odysseus and the sack of Troy and his long return home The overall story of Odysseus is a myth Contrasted with logos (rationality) - logy = a reasoned account offered by somebody who stands by it. E. g., biology, geology, archaeology Mythology = the rational study of myths!
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Oral transmission will create constant changes in a myth oral improvisation, audience, occasion, etc. Each change is made to emphasize different
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This note was uploaded on 11/30/2011 for the course CLA 10 taught by Professor Traill during the Fall '08 term at UC Davis.

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Ch1NatureMyth - Classics 10: Chapter 1: Fall 2011 The...

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