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Lecture

Mythology lecture 1.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
Lee Sawchuk
Semester
Winter

Description
What is Myth?  Sacred narrative, relates to culture and societal history  Moral backbone  Supernatural/divine/heroic figures  Traditional stories. Not necessarily religious, sometimes related but mostly a justification of action  “Traditional tale with collective social importance” (Burkett)  Homer: o Illiad and Odyssey o One of the first to use the word “myth”  “Muthos”  Used as emphatic utterance  command  Story present but basically a single command o Illiad: “but he sent him away harshly, and laid upon him a stern muthos: „Let me not find you…‟”  Hesiod: o Theogony o Distinction between truth and lies in Muthos  Pindar: o „Professional poet‟  hired to celebrate actions/feats/etc. o 6-5 thBCE poet o Claimed to be giving true versions of myth  Plato: o Beginning of 5 th century (Greek enlightenment) o Philosophically examining muthos o Distinction between muthos (without reasoning or authority  fable) and logos (logical account)  Aristotle: o Muthos of tragedy is “the imitation of an action” o Myth is merely the medium through which a message can be imparted Types of Myths  Divine Myths o About supernatural beings (i.e. gods/monsters o Often etiological (Gk. Aition – cause, origin)  explaining orig
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