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Unformatted text preview: Unit 1 – Beginnings Note: Be sure to pay attention to this information as it will be important in reading and understanding our work this semester. When did recorded history begin? • somewhere in the 5 th millennium B.C.E. • earliest artistic achievements worthy of superior cultures • first decipherable records of man’s higher rational development • beginnings of political and social organizations • history not only the story of past events – also a thought process in the present and future What is myth? • a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of a worldview of a people or a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon • a popular tale that embodies a collective imagination • it is usually shaped by the folk imagination What is the purpose of myth? • to offer a way of apprehending reality, of making sense of nature and human life, no matter how irrational they may appear • to give form to the cosmos and meaning to human life. What is a creation myth? • a symbolic narrative of the beginning of the world as understood in a particular tradition and community • many rituals may be thought of as dramatizations of the creation myth • a culture’s modes of artistic expression (gestures, ritual dances, imagery of visual and verbal arts) find their models and meanings in the myths of creation Major cosmogenic (creation) myths include: • those that feature a supreme creator deity • those that describe the emergence of the world through various stages of development • those that view the world as off-spring of primordial parents What is religion?...
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- Fall '09
- World Literature, ostensibly historical events, good epic poem