Monday, 31 January 2011

Research into Mythology

I've spent some time gaining a better understanding of what Mythology is as a whole, and how different myth's have originated and effected the society they bore from. Here are some key notes on the subject, so this will prodomintly be again a text based post for reference

What is Mythology?
The term "mythology" is also often applied to the entire body of myths of a given culture; thus one may speak of Greek mythology, or Polynesian mythology. Such mythologies usually, though not always, consist of a large number of interrelated stories involving a pantheon of gods and goddesses said to have lived "long ago" and most often to have created the world and the first people to have ever lived. Sometimes these gods and goddesses may be said to live even today and to "inhabit" a sacred location or to be "embodied" by certain objects or animals.

Theories of Mythology:

Allegory:
A form of extended metaphor by which objects, persons, and events refer symbolically to meanings outside the narrative itself.  Thus, allegorical mythology is a way of reading the objects, persons, and events depicted in myth as symbolizing something beyond the story’s plot and the literal meaning of its words

Euhemerism:
The theory, held by Euhemerus that the gods of mythology were but deified mortals, and their deeds only the amplification in imagination of human acts, reaching god like status over time.

Myth-Ritual Theory:
The existence of myth is tied to ritual, this theory claims that myths arose to explain rituals, people begin performing rituals for some reason that is not related to myth; later, after they have forgotten the original reason for a ritual, they try to account for the ritual by inventing a myth and claiming that the ritual commemorates the events described in that myth.

Personification:
That myths resulted from the personification of inanimate objects and forces. According to this, the ancients worshipped natural phenomena such as fire and air, gradually coming to describe them as gods. For example, the ancients tended to view things as persons, not as mere objects; thus, they described natural events as acts of personal gods, thus giving rise to myths.

Locations of Mythological Origins:

Africa
The entire African continent (including countries such as Egypt, Lybia, Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, South Africa, and many others).

Americas
The American continent. The area contains North America (including Native America, Inuit), Mesoamerica (Maya, Aztec), South America (Inca), and the West Indies/Carribean (Voodoo).


Asia
Asia and Asia Minor/Middle East (eastern part of Russia, India, Tibet, Indonesia, China, Korea, Israel, Iran (Persia), Mesopotamia, etc.) It includes major religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam.


Europe
The European countries, including Norse, Celtic, and Classical mythology (Greek and Roman). It also contains the western part of Russia.


Middle East
The region extending from the southeastern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea (including countries in southwest Asia and northeast Africa).

Oceania
The collective name for the islands scattered throughout most of the Pacific Ocean. It consists of Australasia (with Australian Aboriginal), Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.

Keeping these basics in mind, I will start to branch out into different area's of origin. For the purpose of style in this project, I can feel myself avoiding the familar, and perhaps choosing characters of mythology for research futher, from either America, Africa or Oceania.
















Here are some useful websites that may help me with this:

http://www.pantheon.org/areas/mythology/
http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/mythology.htm

2 comments:

  1. More visuals, less text Bobby! :(

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  2. Ah I know I know....but I how can I illustrate this when it's so broad, that's the problem?

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