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Ancient myths - Essay Example
Pages 8 (2008 words)
To be able to answer the above, I will first need to set myth apart from history, what is the difference between the two In order to be able to answer how myth is a precursor to history, if in fact it is at all.
The meaning of "Myth" from the Greek "Mythos" is explained as being "traditionally a ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the world view of a person, as by explains aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology , custom or ideas of a society"1…
History is something different all together, history is not used to explain natural phenomenon's or uncover aspects of daily life. History is fact that typically can not be augured. It has evidence, it is fact.
Ken Dowden states "History is what myth isn't .What history tells is true or else it would not be history, only failed history. What myth tells us is in some way false or it would be history"2 Myths can be said to have graduations of credibility, Dowden uses the example of the myth of Athena being born from Zeus head and compares it to Agamemnon's expedition to Troy to show that there are different levels of credibility in myth. As obviously there was never a women born from a mans head. Yet it is suggested that there was a Trojan War and Agamemnon's expedition to Troy has a place in history.
In the example of Dowdens, we can see that myth can be a herald to history, as many believed that Homers epic poem, The Iliad, was based not on a historical reality, but on mythical heroes. ...