Skip to comments.'Myths' Are More Plausible than Fiction
Posted on 07/24/2012 8:31:13 PM PDT by rjbemsha
[Research] "findings support historians' belief that ancient myths ... may be based, at least in part, on real communities and people."
Researchers from Coventry University analysed the texts of three ancient stories and compared the complex web of characters' relationships with the type of "social networks" that occur in real life.
The results showed that the societies depicted in the stories strongly mirrored real social networks that had been mapped out by others. But modern fiction differed from the ancient myths, as well as from real social networks, in telltale ways.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
In other words, the findings suggest that 'myths' have more elements of truth than fiction.
Also see http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/07/is-mythology-like-facebook.html?rss=1
Technically, there is nothing inherent in the word “myth” that requires it to be false or not true. The myth of Odysseus is a myth even if every word about him were (somehow) true
When I read this ( in translation ) I was quite moved by the everyday truth of its depiction, and I consulted Pope's Iliad, which includes Observations on each book. He notes, of this description:
All these are but small circumstances, but so artfully chosen that every reader immediately feels the force of them, and represents the whole in the utmost liveliness to his imagination.
The same may be said of our scientific myth of the solar system as it is presented to school children, and the public. The most revealing mythic element in this presentation is the ubiquitous depiction of the planets on a compressed distance scale, so that they are bunched together. When you say "solar system" this is how people will think of it, never minding the justifications for these depictions in the name of expediency. How can this image be rectified with the actual observation of the planets by ones own eyes in the night sky? Only by contortions which are absent from the minds of the unwashed, who accept these depictions purely as myth.
And it is modern man that considers those works from the ancients as myth—— I tend to think they are true accounts
the longer article is strange, because it suggests that the people in the myth know a lot of folks that we don’t know who they are (i.e. they are not in the story) and this resembles reality...
But I suspect that a lot of people listening to the Iliad or Beowulf would probably know who these folks are (their stories were lost). So the writer of the essay is probably wrong in saying this.
Modern novels don’t tend to put someone unknown in the story, however, because that is the modern “rule”.
However, the criticism breaks down for Lord of the Rings, because Tolkien’s books are full of characters who we don’t know who they are or what he’s talking about (unless you read the 14 volume collected works)...
I’ve studied more Latin than Greek, but I don’t believe that’s true.
Liddell and Scott give:
mythologia (in Greek letters): romance, fiction, legend, story-telling
Try a review of the work of Joseph Campbell. The myth can be legend or, in more modern parlance, reputation. It can easily be either true or false and still be myth.
If the work was nothing but an ornament to these Popes, Copernicus and his functionaries worried a great deal about its reception by the Church. It's a long and well known story, with the finished work and its apologetic preface coming into Copernicus' hands the very day he died.
It was fifteen Popes later, under Urban VIII, that Galileo received his sentence of condemnation:
We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and confessed by you as above, have rendered yourself in the judgement of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely of having believed and held the doctrine which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures - that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world; ...
Dialogues gave Galileo's enemies a pretext and they seized it. His former friend, the Pope, did nothing to help him, though it is unlikely he would have without the insult Galileo had given him in Dialogues.
Copernicus' literary agent, the Lutheran cleric, Andreas Osiander, inserted the following unattributed preface to De revolutionibus:
"Beware if you seek truth in astronomy, lest you leave this book a greater fool than when you came to it."
It was an attempt to ward off eccliastical wrath. While the Church was indifferent to heliocentricism, Luther personally believed it to be heresey and was violently opposed to it at the time of publication. Osiander also placed in the disclaimer that helocentricism was only an "hypothesis", what we today would call a mathematical model and did not represent reality. Copernicus only saw the final edition on his death bed and he was outraged by Osiander's insertions. Copernicus thought he had discovered the truth, that the planets did revolve around the sun, but by that time there was nothing he could about it.
Thanks rjbemsha.There has seldom been a more "one of those topics" than this one. :')
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
“don”t try to test this theory at home - we’re what you call “professionals”...
That’s what they said right before they bounced a cannonball into someone’s house.
I am reading Game of Thrones, and the author must not have learned the rule about not mentioning extraneous people. As each chapter starts, I cannot usually remember if we are talking about someone we have already met, and whose story I should know, or if it is someone brand new. It is becoming exhausting, and turning into a reading slog. Lord of the Rings, and even The Silmarillion, are the souls of brevity in comparison ;)
Physicists Study Homer’s Iliad and Other Classics for Hidden Truths