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Do Myths have any basis on Reality?


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#16    Ever Learning

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:25 PM

Plutarch's lives, Volume 1
Skip all the intros and such until you get to Theseus. the books about famous people from Greece and Rome but does show arguments about these heroes and there authenticity.

Edited by Ever Learning, 02 July 2012 - 02:12 PM.

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#17    Junior Chubb

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:47 PM

I would say a lot of myths are based on an event, they become myths once the story telling of the original event embellishes the original story so that it is almost unbelievable. As well as this I believe many Myths  may be based on coincidence, one event coincides with another these events are then linked together through ignorance and a myth is born.

Unfortunately being Myths we can never really prove this.

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. Anyway, it's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

#18    rashore

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:40 PM

View Postdebmedia, on 02 July 2012 - 09:27 AM, said:

A very simple queston: are there any reality in any mythologycal story? We all know that they are fantasy stories. but i just wonder if there any sort of reality in them. I get a link in wikipedia on similar topic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_understanding_of_Greek_mythology

If any reality in any myth then explain. if there any website or any articles on this topic then do post here.

I think a lot of myths have a grain of truth to them. I don't think they all do though.

It's not mythology.. But ghost and critter legends vs true crime and real critters, one of my fave areas of research. Sometimes a real crime lies behind the myth, but the story has been skewed over the years. Or sometimes a killer described as a beast becomes a beast of non-human nature in enough retellings. Sometimes a real animal is retold into mythic proportions as a generation or two goes by. And sometimes when you dig into a legend, you find there is nothing behind it at all, and it is just simply a legend. Or sometimes you find a hoax behind the legend. Occasionally a mistelling will spawn off a whole different legend that gets passed on.

I bet mythology is a lot like that.. A bunch of different reasons why the legends take root, some based in truth, some just made up. But since that was many centuries ago, and we humans have a fondness for destroying our own records... Probably unlikely we will ever be able to dig the truth out of a lot of mythology.
Kind of makes me wonder... In a thousand years from now, what will Jack the Ripper be? A foul killer of a human- or some sort of mythic critter that stalked the night streets, kind of akin to the minotaur and his maze? In a couple thousand years, what will the legend of WW2 be retold as- if it's even retold at all?


#19    cladking

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 04:26 PM

I believe most or all myth is simply a misunderstanding of ancient writing.  

Up until about 2000 BC man used a "natural language" that was similar to com-
puter code in the way ideas were expressed but language was becoming far too
complex to continue to express ideas this way.  A man from Babel, Sumeria in-
vented a new way to use words and engraved them on a building or tower. This
new way to use words was wildly popular and it spread across the face of the
planet very rapidly.  

It is only dimly remembered but the story is told in numerous languages and ev-
en appears in the new world.  I Corinthians 14 might be a look at the troubles
engendered by the change early on.  Certainly the new language was "confused" and
where scientific predictions had been made just by using proper grammar it now
was a lost art.  

Religion arose to try to save ancient knowledge and myths were the people's man-
gled understanding of important history, science, and technology of the past.

Almost no ancient writing survived because it was unintelligible.  Little attempt
was made to preserve ancient texts.  There might have even been political reasons
to destroy much of it since anyone might come along and reinterpret the very foun-
dations of your belief system. But usually even copying it was out of the question
since it simply wasn't comprehended.  

Man has been on a confused 4000 year detour.

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#20    Arbitran

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:40 PM

View Postcladking, on 02 July 2012 - 04:26 PM, said:

I believe most or all myth is simply a misunderstanding of ancient writing.  

Up until about 2000 BC man used a "natural language" that was similar to com-
puter code in the way ideas were expressed but language was becoming far too
complex to continue to express ideas this way.  A man from Babel, Sumeria in-
vented a new way to use words and engraved them on a building or tower. This
new way to use words was wildly popular and it spread across the face of the
planet very rapidly.  

It is only dimly remembered but the story is told in numerous languages and ev-
en appears in the new world.  I Corinthians 14 might be a look at the troubles
engendered by the change early on.  Certainly the new language was "confused" and
where scientific predictions had been made just by using proper grammar it now
was a lost art.  

Religion arose to try to save ancient knowledge and myths were the people's man-
gled understanding of important history, science, and technology of the past.

Almost no ancient writing survived because it was unintelligible.  Little attempt
was made to preserve ancient texts.  There might have even been political reasons
to destroy much of it since anyone might come along and reinterpret the very foun-
dations of your belief system. But usually even copying it was out of the question
since it simply wasn't comprehended.  

Man has been on a confused 4000 year detour.

I certainly agree to some extent. The Dark Ages in particular may have acted as a significant loss of the meaning of myths; for instance, I have contemplated as to whether all cultures had "gods" in the modern sense, or whether it was a mistake of medieval scribes which resulted in our thinking that today. I am not certain that all myths are true (some might just have been campfire stories), but many of them do seem to be well-corroborated accounts of what might have actually occurred in the ancient past.

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#21    DieChecker

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:11 AM

View Postdebmedia, on 02 July 2012 - 09:27 AM, said:

A very simple queston: are there any reality in any mythologycal story? We all know that they are fantasy stories. but i just wonder if there any sort of reality in them. I get a link in wikipedia on similar topic.
http://en.wikipedia....Greek_mythology

If any reality in any myth then explain. if there any website or any articles on this topic then do post here.

View PostArbitran, on 02 July 2012 - 09:40 AM, said:

I believe that myths do contain truth, yes. And even literal truth, occasionally. For instance, the deluge myth has been repeated so many times across the world that I believe that some real significant period of flooding did occur in the distant past. As for all myths being true, it would be very unwise of me to take such a position on faith. But when it comes to myths such as those recorded in the itihasa, those of the ancient Greeks, Chinese, and Japanese, to name a few, I do think that it is reasonable, based on the historical method, to reach the conclusion that the events recorded in the ancient myths might actually have occurred at some time in antiquity.
I also believe many myths have a basis in fact. The Biblical Deluge seems to originate in the flooding of the Black Sea. And over time these myths travel with the merchants and soldiers, and are slowly changed to fit into the local history and cosmology.

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#22    DieChecker

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:17 AM

View Postdebmedia, on 02 July 2012 - 09:49 AM, said:

can anybody give any example comparing a myth with reality? like, one i can tell you, if you read norse mythology, you can get that they belived in multi planet. as they thought there are 9 world. i wonder, how they even think about multi planets when no telescope must found. if there is no advance science, how all myths tells us the process of creation so similar to one we know scientifically?
Well one thing is that the Norse mythology is relatively new. It is not known before the 11th century. So it was most likely a local flavor edition of a hodge podge of various religions, including Roman, Celtic and Christian. All of which were over 1000 years old at the time. The concept of the 9 layers of hell had been estabished at that time, so the 9 worlds of the Norse could possibly be drawn from that.

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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#23    jules99

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:05 AM

"Legend,  fable,  myth  refer to fictitious stories, usually handed down by tradition (although some fables are modern). Legend,  originally denoting a story concerning the life of a saint, is applied to any fictitious story, sometimes involving the supernatural, and usually concerned with a real person, place, or other subject: the legend of the Holy Grail.  A fable  is specifically a fictitious story (often with animals or inanimate things as speakers or actors) designed to teach a moral: a fable about industrious bees.  A myth  is one of a class of stories, usually concerning gods, semidivine heroes, etc., current since primitive times, the purpose of which is to attempt to explain some belief or natural phenomenon: the Greek myth about Demeter."

Just thought I would add a def as I was unclear about the distinction between the words legend, fable and myth and thought maybe others might be too....


#24    The Puzzler

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 03:24 AM

Certainly they do.

For indeed, in these verses, and in what he said of the Cyclopes, he speaks the words of God and nature; for poets are a divine race and often in their strains, by the aid of the Muses and the Graces, they attain truth - Plato.
http://classics.mit....laws.3.iii.html

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#25    debmedia

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:38 AM

I wonder when I find the similarities between myths from many different culture and race, like, there are similarities in creation myth both in Mayan and Egyptian myths. how it is possible? one from Africa, one from America. totally different region. I wonder how there are so many similarities all over the world's myths.

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#26    spud the mackem

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 07:58 AM

View Postdebmedia, on 03 July 2012 - 05:38 AM, said:

I wonder when I find the similarities between myths from many different culture and race, like, there are similarities in creation myth both in Mayan and Egyptian myths. how it is possible? one from Africa, one from America. totally different region. I wonder how there are so many similarities all over the world's myths.
  I reckon similarities throughout the world were caused by people moving about from place to place and telling of what they had seen, but in the telling they added a bit to make it more interesting, but they didnt all speak the same language,and maybe the translation became a little garbled, so for example a terrier became an alsation which became a great dane which became a monster dog then the "dog" was left out so what was a small terrier became a monster and thus a myth,so when the Spanish conquistadors saw the Mayan temples they equated these with the Eygptian pyramids,and so on,does this make sense ?.......cheers

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#27    The Puzzler

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:36 PM

View Postdebmedia, on 03 July 2012 - 05:38 AM, said:

I wonder when I find the similarities between myths from many different culture and race, like, there are similarities in creation myth both in Mayan and Egyptian myths. how it is possible? one from Africa, one from America. totally different region. I wonder how there are so many similarities all over the world's myths.
My own opinion is that creation myths are very ancient. When a group of people left Siberia and crossed into America for the first time, the same mythology stayed with the shamanic Siberians, over time these people spread out and ancient priests were very powerful so one idea became the multitudes ideas, it only takes movements of small groups of powerful people to create dominating ideas throughout different cultures. Possibly the Sami people are even part of this dispersion, ancient movements by ancient peoples with ancient knowledge that spread through powerful shamanic priests imo.

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#28    lightly

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 01:09 PM

I like that idea puzz.   People carry ideas with them, the earliest travelers didn't travel around empty headed.
  I think we would be surprised to learn how very old, and shared,  some concepts and "myths" and practices are.  Many similar ideas were developed independently ,  many were shared. Both means are attributable to human nature ?
   Which is which is hard to tell from our current perspective.

I too am impressed by world wide similarities in creation stories debmedia.   The striking  similarities of so many of them seem to me to support a larger and more enduring sharing of ideas than we can explain .  Good topic!

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#29    PersonFromPorlock

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 01:33 PM

For a specific example, how about the unicorn? Probably started out as the ancient Greeks describing the Indian rhinoceros as "a hippopotamus (Greek for 'water horse') with a horn" and eventually the 'water' part got dropped.

Also, don't overlook the possibility of a word in one language resembling the word for something else in another language, with the two things eventually getting conflated into a description of  something that never was.

Edited by PersonFromPorlock, 03 July 2012 - 01:36 PM.


#30    The Puzzler

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:07 AM

View PostPersonFromPorlock, on 03 July 2012 - 01:33 PM, said:

For a specific example, how about the unicorn? Probably started out as the ancient Greeks describing the Indian rhinoceros as "a hippopotamus (Greek for 'water horse') with a horn" and eventually the 'water' part got dropped.

Also, don't overlook the possibility of a word in one language resembling the word for something else in another language, with the two things eventually getting conflated into a description of  something that never was.
I got curious and found this...

Classic Unicorn has little to do with celtic tradition.Gajus Julius Ceasar in his Bellum Gallicum feeds the fiction of a real horse category which has the "differentia specifica" of one "corn". Caesar writes that this "kind" of horse in the French forests can sleep upwards because this horse uses that "corn" as a leverage and sleeping tree bar. (Source:My Kitchen Latin reading of "De Bellum Gallicum", Caesar, G.J. )
http://en.wikipedia....icorn.22_in_Job


Unicorns are not found in Greek mythology, but rather in accounts of natural history, for Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of the unicorn, which they located in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them. The earliest description is from Ctesias who described them as wild asses, fleet of foot, having a horn a cubit and a half in length and colored white, red and black.[1] Aristotle must be following Ctesias when he mentions two one-horned animals, the oryx (a kind of antelope) and the so-called "Indian ass".[2][3] Strabo says that in the Caucasus there were one-horned horses with stag-like heads.[4] Pliny the Elder mentions the oryx and an Indian ox (perhaps a rhinoceros) as one-horned beasts, as well as "a very fierce animal called the monoceros which has the head of the stag, the feet of the elephant, and the tail of the boar, while the rest of the body is like that of the horse; it makes a deep lowing noise, and has a single black horn, which projects from the middle of its forehead, two cubits in length."[5] In On the Nature of Animals (Περὶ Ζῴων Ἰδιότητος, De natura animalium), Aelian, quoting Ctesias, adds that India produces also a one-horned horse (iii. 41; iv. 52),[6][7] and says (xvi. 20)[8] that the monoceros (Greek: μονόκερως) was sometimes called cartazonos (Greek: καρτάζωνος), which may be a form of the Arabic karkadann, meaning "rhinoceros".
Cosmas Indicopleustes, a merchant of Alexandria, who lived in the 6th century, and made a voyage to India, and subsequently wrote works on cosmography, gives a figure of the unicorn, not, as he says, from actual sight of it, but reproduced from four figures of it in brass contained in the palace of the King of Ethiopia. He states, from report, that "it is impossible to take this ferocious beast alive; and that all its strength lies in its horn. When it finds itself pursued and in danger of capture, it throws itself from a precipice, and turns so aptly in falling, that it receives all the shock upon the horn, and so escapes safe and sound."[9][10]
A one-horned animal (which may be just a bull in profile) is found on some seals from the Indus Valley Civilization.[11] Seals with such a design are thought to be a mark of high social rank

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicorn

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