The Practice Of Mythology By Eric Csapo Essay

1297 Words May 11th, 2016 null Page
The Practice of “Mythology”
In his research on mythology, Eric Csapo examines its large role in the ancient Mediterranean. He begins with a rejection to begin his argument with a definition of myth. He states that “it [the definition] is rather always the final precipitate of an already elaborate theory” so he starts on the basis of any theoretical interpretation, he asks what we mean by “myth.” Csapo immediately addresses the flaw of selectivity in the vocabulary used to describe a story. Most commonly the words myth, folktale, and legend are confused and misappropriated. One delineation he discusses is that myths, in theory, are based on ritual and as a product of humans, are received as true accounts of the past. He continues with the discrepancy of the word truth that anthropologists struggle with. This said, Csapo ultimately rejects these confining definitions for their cross-cultural differences and ends with the notion that myth is a social ideology that stresses the reception over the content.
Taking a different approach to defining myth, Lowell Edmunds focusses on the practice and purpose of mythos and logos, synonymous terms used in antiquity that translate to story. He continues with anecdotes that aim to differentiate the terms. Supported by Homer’s Iliad, Edmund argues that mythoi refer to the performance of speech which create what we now call arguable myth, folktale, and legend. Whereas logos is the less specific act of storytelling that Plato deemed…

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