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Thread: Where does history end & myth begin?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreekLegend View Post
    it's very simple. history is his story. his narrative. his way of looking at things.
    Actually, historia means "an inquiry."
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  2. #12
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    and his story is how many people now a days desribe history. because of the way history is written or perceived.

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    Thanks for the replies here.

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    myth and history are not mutually exclusive. in fact myth IS history.

    example; Demeter.
    Her myth is an aetiological tale to explain the seasonal changes, planting and harvesting, etc. i will assume here that everyone knows the story.

    but if you look at the history of the Hittites in the prior millenia you will find the myth of Telepinus, who disappears and takes away all fertility with Him. He is finally found sleeping in a distant grove by a bee who was sent out by the Mother-goddess. the bee stings Telepinus to awaken Him from His slumbers, He is appeased, and eventually life is restored to normal.
    (as an interesting side note Demeter's priestesses are called 'mellissae'(sp?), or 'bees' ).

    so history does not necessarily end where myth begins, and vice versa.
    Last edited by Theres; October 28th, 2006 at 05:17 PM. Reason: editted to add the word 'necessarily'
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    Well, if you are looking from a genealogical point, history is all a bit fuzzy. Not to discourage you, Sometimes the person who "claims" to be the father isn't really the father. Factor back 100 yearts ago, sometimes who raised a child as the "mother" wasn't the mother. This generally occured when a teen daughter had an unexpected child, and her parents raised the child as thiers. Go a little further back, when orphans were common, and who raised a child might be known in the time as not the biological parent, but in all written and oral records they were.

    Sp enjoy the search for your family tree! Actually, it can be a lot of fun, and wish i knew where to start with mine, thing is, I would have to know WHO really were my parents? the ones I was told, or someone else?
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theres View Post
    myth and history are not mutually exclusive. in fact myth IS history.
    That's the way I like to think of it.


    example; Demeter.
    Her myth is an aetiological tale to explain the seasonal changes, planting and harvesting, etc. i will assume here that everyone knows the story.

    No I've never heard that story but neat. Thanks

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    This topic has recently been brought back to my attention lately and it also reminded me when I was working on my genealogy recently, on the Yngling line which takes me to King Hrothgar and his brother Helgi who are mentioned in Beowulf. This also includes Hrólfr KRAKI (who would be my 45th generation half great uncle because I descend from his half brother Eysteinn) which led me to a good article....

    Origins for Beowulf and Hrólf Kraki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins...;C3%B3lf_Kraki
    Last edited by Haerfest Leah; January 21st, 2007 at 08:36 PM.

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    in my opinion and somewhat limited observations there's usually a grain or 2 of truth in most myths. you just have to look back at the region's history and look at what actually was happening at that time. also keep in mind that a lot of every day things weren't necessarily passed down, some things that may be of import to your search. we may never know what *exactly* happened to something or someone because they didn't think it was important at that time. a good example was mentioned above, about who raises a child and who was there biological parents. the people involved may not have felt it was important, but to your search it is.
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    Its hard to know which is myth or history. I also think it depends on personal research and bias. Either way, sometimes I don't know if it truly matters.

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    Respectfully Disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by Faol-chý View Post
    ...
    Further, members of those cultures who practice oral tradition are aware of the nature of it and are, therefore not apt to take aspects of it quite as 'literally' as those of us who are immersed in the era of writing.
    The problem with oral tradition is not how carefully it is passed on, but its origins and how they came to be interpreted in the first place.

    I use dragons as an example. Cobras and some other reptiles spray venom which causes a 'burning' sensation. After two or three generations of primitive people encountering dragons and re-telling this information, as their culture progressed some enlightened soul connected 'burning' with 'fire' ... and came up with fire-breathing dragons.

    Accuracy is a relative term and is often in the eye of the beholder.

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