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<  8  ~  A couple of questions for you guys

axcho
Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:30 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
Miorrowind wrote:
I would like to disagree that Greco-Roman myths are any more static than European fairy tales. I could see how you think that because people stopped caring about the Greco-Roman myths a long time ago while fairy tales are still alive and well in our culture and still changing with it. But the Greco-Roman mythology also changed and grew with those cultures while the stories were still alive. I've read many different versions of those myths and they changed based on what part of Greece or Rome they were told in, what era, they changed when the religion was brought over from Greece to Rome, and of course there's always the errors in translation. Plus there's the fact that those myths aren't completely dead: there's always the Disney take. Who watched Disney's Hercules? And were you at the point of yelling at the TV that it wasn't Hercules who killed Medusa or rode the Pegasus? Our culture still at least knows about the myths and people only knowing bits and pieces of them changes them too.

All in all: just because you were told the last version of a Greco-Roman myth, the one that was written down and put in a text book, is the only version doesn't make it so. There are older versions, there are regional variations. Just like with European fairy tales.
Exactly. What we hear are the last versions, the ones that were written down as the old oral culture started to die. The reason the myths are so static is because the culture and society that sustained them and evolved them with each retelling is no longer there. What we see are, for the most part, fossilized remains.

Perhaps you've read it already, but I'd also recommend A Story as Sharp as a Knife to you. If you've ever wanted to learn about some Native American myths (specifically, Haida) this book would be the best place to start. It really opened my eyes to understanding myth.
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