40 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. Among saints remembered for their peaceful relations with dangerous animals not the least is Gerasimos, shown in icons healing a lion. The story behind the image comes down to us from John Moschos, a monk of Saint Theodosius Monastery near Bethlehem and author of The Spiritual Meadow, a book written in the course of journeys he made in the late sixth and early seventh centuries.

      Looking back on these "mythical" stories of lion tamers and people with extraordinary facility with animals, one can now see that these interactions are much more common in the modern world.

      People can earn the trust of animals, tame, and even train them. As a result, we view these people now as talented rather than magical and/or "helped by god" as they may have been in the past.

  2. May 2021
    1. The Welsh name for Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa, means grave and is pronounced like "er with-va".The story goes in a legend that the giant Rhita Gawr, the king of Wales, was buried under a cairn of stones on the summit of the mountain, following a battle with King Arthur.It is said that the giant defeated 30 kings of Britain, taking their beards to create a cloak of the beards, reaching from his shoulder to the floor.
    1. As the author Ursula Le Guin once put it, if you wish to understand that which is enduring, you’re better off exploring the capaciousness of myths than fine-tuning present lines of reasoning. “True myth may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is.”

  3. Apr 2021
    1. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, educators train medical students in slow looking to hone their observational skills, but as West notes, it’s not just about noticing small physical details that might inform a diagnosis.

      I'm reminded of the research implied by Arthur Conan Doyle's writing about Sherlock Holmes. We hear about the time and effort spent studying the smallest things, but we don't see it, instead we see the mythical application of it at the "right" times to solve cases in spectacular fashion.

      No one focuses on the time spent studying and learning and instead we mythologize the effects at the other end.

      Another example of this is the fêting of Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's last theorem, while simultaneously ignoring the decades of work he poured into studying and solving it not to mention the work of thousands before him to help give him a platform on which to see things differently.

  4. Sep 2020
    1. The Mabinogion, translated by Sioned DaviesIn You Goddess! we use “supernatural female” as a definition of goddess and this allows us to include the story of Blodeuwedd, who was created out of flowers by a wizard as a wife for his friend, but who kicks over the traces and finds her own partner. Bloeuwedd appears in this medieval collection of Welsh stories. The first English translation was published in the 19th century by the linguist, go-getter and driver of the Welsh renaissance, Lady Charlotte Guest. This 2007 translation by Sioned Davies is a fantastic contemporary version. In the past Blodeuwedd has been taken as a cautionary tale about adultery, but to modern readers she appears as a floral rebel breaking free from male control. Sadly things don’t end well for her and her metamorphosis from vegetable to human ends with her wizard enemy turning her into an owl. She lives on as the inspiration for Alan Garner’s The Owl Service.

      This has been on my list for a bit. I'm also reminded that I ought to get back to The Celtic Myths: A Guide to the Ancient Gods and Legends by Miranda Aldhouse-Green

  5. Aug 2020
    1. For the uninitiated, selkies come from Scottish folklore, stemming particularly from the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland. Selkies, a kind of mythical creature that shapeshifts from a seal to a human form. In many examples of selkie legends, part of the lore typically involves a woman selkie who loses her pelt to a man of the land. When this happens, she is tied to him so long as she is unable to find her pelt, and therefore unable to return to her seal form and her ocean habitat.
  6. Dec 2019

      The novel’s subtitle invokes the trickster hero of Greek mythology, Prometheus, who defies the Gods by stealing fire (a symbol of knowledge) and giving it to humanity. Akin to Victor Frankenstein, Prometheus is also credited with the creation of man, which he fashions out of clay. As punishment for the disobedience, Zeus condemns Prometheus to eternal torment: he is chained to a rock for eternity while an eagle feeds on his liver. Shelley’s husband Percy would later take up the Prometheus myth in the closet drama Prometheus Unbound, published in 1819. Reading the novel against the myth, we can understand Prometheus’s punishment for the Gods akin to Victor’s psychological torment for defying nature.

  7. May 2019
    1. They appear only twice (always plural) in the Tanakh, at Psalm 106:37 and Deuteronomy 32:17 both times, it deals with child or animal sacrifices.[6] Although the word is traditionally derived from the root ŠWD (Hebrew: שוד‎ shûd) that conveys the meaning of "acting with violence" or "laying waste"[7] it was possibly a loan-word from Akkadian in which the word shedu referred to a protective, benevolent spirit.[8] The word may also derive from the "Sedim, Assyrian guard spirits"[9] as referenced according to lore "Azazel slept with Naamah and spawned Assyrian guard spirits known as sedim".[10] With the translation of Hebew texts into Greek, under influence of Zorastrian dualism, shedim were translated into daimonia with implicit negativity. Otherwise, later in Judeo-Islamic culture, shedim became the Hebrew word for Jinn with a morally ambivalent attitude
    2. Shedim (Hebrew: שֵׁדִים‎) are spirits or demons in early Jewish mythology. However, they are not necessarily equivalent to the modern connotation of demons as evil entities.[3] Evil spirits were thought as the cause of maladies; conceptual differing from the shedim,[4] who are not evil demigods, but the foreign gods themselves. Shedim are just evil in the sense that they are not God.
  8. Jan 2019
    1. song of the suffrage siren!

      Alliteration. See also "female franchise." I wonder if you could scan the first three sentences: "Men of the South Heed not the song of the suffrage siren Seal your ears against her vocal wiles"

  9. Aug 2018
    1. where eldest Night And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold [ 895 ] Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise

      I'm no physicist or astronomer, but I do think of much of unformed space in our universe or the spewing of forth from the initial white hole from which our galaxy was formed as a kind of Chaos. And the Greeks basically said that in the beginning there was Chaos, and from Chaos sprang Ouranos (Heaven) and Gaia (earth).

      Also I just looked up "Chaos" at etymonline.com:

      late 14c., "gaping void; empty, immeasurable space," from Old French chaos (14c.) or directly from Latin chaos, from Greek khaos "abyss, that which gapes wide open, that which is vast and empty," from khnwos, from PIE root ghieh- "to yawn, gape, be wide open."

      Meaning "utter confusion" (c. 1600) is an extended sense from theological use of chaos in the Vulgate version of "Genesis" (1530s in English) for "the void at the beginning of creation, the confused, formless, elementary state of the universe." The Greek for "disorder" was tarakhe, but the use of chaos here was rooted in Hesiod ("Theogony"), who describes khaos as the primeval emptiness of the Universe, and in Ovid ("Metamorphoses"), who opposes Khaos to Kosmos, "the ordered Universe." Sometimes it was personified as a god, begetter of Erebus and Nyx ("Night").

      Meaning "orderless confusion" in human affairs is from c. 1600. Chaos theory in the modern mathematical sense is attested from c. 1977.

    2. Mee overtook his mother all dismaid, And in embraces forcible and foule Ingendring with me, of that rape begot These yelling Monsters

      Also, in Greek mythology, there is a lot of incest and violence between the earliest gods, the Titans, and many monsters born of their matings.

  10. Apr 2018
    1. Venus

      n. Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory.

    2. La Ceres
    3. Ceres

      n. Roman Mythology. Goddess of agriculture, grain, crops, fertility and motherly relationships.

  11. Mar 2018

      yall know the drill by now

      Sollux rather transparently divides into "sol-lux", the Latin words for "sun" and "light", respectively. As such, his name would literally mean 'Sunlight Catcher'.

      If one would switch the S and P in his name it becomes "Pollux Castor." Pollux and Castor are the two brightest stars in the constellation of Gemini. It is also worth noting that Pollux is a red giant, while Castor is bluish white, complementing the red/blue duality theme. Castor and Pollux were famous mythological twins, which is where Gemini - Latin for "twins" - gets its name. Pollux and Castor were also the names of two characters in the movie Face/Off, a Nicolas Cage flick that came out the same year as Con Air and one that John Egbert has a poster of in his room.


  12. May 2017
    1. curse

      This line refers the curse refers to the requirement in greek mythology that you must honor the dead by giving them a proper burial

  13. Oct 2016
    1. Quando fiam uti chelidon

      Translates to: “When shall I be as the swallow?” This is referring to Philomela (daughter of Pandion, King of Athens). In the story, she was transformed into a nightingale or something like that.

  14. Jul 2016
  15. May 2016
    1. Thus, the connection from the Greeks to the pre- sent world is made.

      Having students make this connection will help them realize the importance of myths in today's society. Often times students disregard things that they think are not relevant today because they are so old, but when a connection can be made it helps them to think about these things differently.

    2. Teachers often avoid discussion of myths and folktales after the freshman year because they can envision no way of incorporating the material into their present units

      This is no excuse. There are ways that myths can be incorporated into present units it just takes creativity and time. A good teacher provides meaningful instruction to students no matter how difficult that may be.

    3. My ninth-grade unit on mythology requires stu- dents to learn and tell stories to the class.

      This exercise will help to ensure that students actually understand what they read. I have always found that the best way to measure your understanding of something is to teach it to someone else.

    4. more aware of cultures that have often been better educated about us than we have about them. Knowledge of other people's cultural bases increases both respect for others and an apprecia- tion of our own place in the world

      It is absolutely necessary for students to learn about different cultures and how they interpret different phenomenons of the world. Today's society is so diverse, yet many of our schools fail to incorporate different cultures into instruction. Mythology is a great way to do this.

    5. That such an approach to myths and folktales is rarely taken stems from the lack of background most teachers have in these areas

      I definitely believe that mythology is not taught enough in schools. I never learned about mythology in elementary school. The only reason that I know anything about it is because my mother is an educator and was constantly reading different genres of literature to me as a child. This lack of instruction is going to become a viscous circle if teachers do not start incorporating mythology into their literature lessons. The only way to become comfortable with a genre is if you are exposed to it.

    6. Thus, the connection from the Greeks to the pre- sent world is made.

      Having students make connections to the different lessons they are taught is a great way to have the students participate. This also helps students see similarities between different things. I like how they can make connections between Greek and the present world.

    7. My ninth-grade unit on mythology requires stu- dents to learn and tell stories to the class.

      I like the idea that the students are sharing their work/findings to the class. More classrooms need to be open and have the students collaborating with one another, instead of teachers just lecturing.

    8. An effective ap- proach to mythology should illustrate the connec- tion among international myths, folktales, and leg- ends that continue to be told in current literature and media, including films, songs, television, and cultural icons

      Students should know that there are different ways in which a story could be told. Also, students should know that even though stories have been around for years, doesn't mean they can't be told.

    9. That mythology is any- thing more than a group of long-dead stories does not occur to them.

      I don't agree that mythology is long-dead stories. Even thought these stories may not be "real" there is still some type of idea that students will walk away with.

    10. Students obtain a copy of their story and prepare a five- to eight-minute oral presentation. * An outline of the story should be photocopied for all members of the class and passed out at the time of the presentation. * A visual aid (drawing, film excerpt, craft, or the like) should be integrated into the presentation.

      This is a very interesting way to go about teaching myths (by making the children learn and teach it). This allowed students to be very engaged in the learning process as well as work on presentation and research skills. I really like that they also make worksheets and used aids. I agree with this method of instruction.

    11. Additionally, an understanding of the archetypes and themes that form the bedrock of myths and folktales allows a more effective study of classical and con- temporary literature than a chronological ap- proach

      Looking holistically at the benefits of engaging with different types of literature it is crucial to introduce the and learn about the various archetypes that occur in literature and the differences between such pieces.

    12. should illustrate the connec- tion among international myths, f

      I agree! It is so easy to "other" cultures that are not our own, and the classroom can prove to be a bridge of cultures when it is shown that the country/people might be different but the stories/nature of humanity is not.

    13. The fact that our educational system does not place a heavy emphasis on mythology and folktales does not address the reality that they nevertheless play a large part in our culture.

      Folk tales and mythological literature have and always will play an important role in our culture, not to mention the fruitful discussions on writers craft that always can take place, they are so important for students to learn.

  16. Apr 2016
    1. A glance at this list makes it apparent that there is room for discussion about the similarities and repeated motifs among tales.

      Looking at the relationships between works is crucial for learning about literature as a whole. It is often the history of the time that affects literature so looking at how stories relate outside of plot line is so beneficial for the classroom discussion.

    2. That mythology is any- thing more than a group of long-dead stories does not occur to them

      it so important to stress to students that although stories may not be "real" the morals and what the story is saying may very well be.

    3. A second day of discussion could utilize cine- matic examples of the trickster. These range from the silent-film work of Charlie Chaplin through the Marx Brothers and The Music Man (1962) into the present where the archetype shows up in such works as Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Animal House (1978), Beetlejuice (1988),

      I think this is such an awesome approach to providing a deeper understanding of the key components of mythology to students, especially to those who are visual learners! This is an excellent unit and maybe I will incorporate it into my future teaching!

    4. And because of unfamiliarity with the subject, few teachers design units or courses with an in-depth approac

      I feel that often times, teachers are ill prepared to teach such concentrated, but undeniably valuable, lessons. I think colleges should require courses that provide future educators with a well-rounded framework, ensuring that they will be able to effectively teach concentrations in literature, math, and science.

    5. . An effective ap- proach to mythology should illustrate the connec- tion among international myths, folktales, and leg- ends that continue to be told in current literature and media, including films, songs, television, and cultural icons

      I think this is an awesome strategy on effectively teaching mythology. Incorporating mythology with forms of media that current students are well adapted to, such as films, songs, and television, is a great way to enhance comprehensions amongst connections.

    6. and mythmaking is very much alive, a multicultural expression of universal symbols and belief

      I think this is a very true and great definition of both mythmaking and mythology. As Jeff House mentioned previously, we oftentimes think of Greek tales as well as tales of other ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Romans. Mythology is a wonderful way for students to grasp an understanding of the key values of another culture, in a fun and creative way.

  17. May 2015
    1. Lethe (Leith)

      The River Lethe was one of the rivers of Hades in Greek mythology. Exposure to its waters was held to lead to loss of memory, or, more intriguingly, a state of "unmindfulness" and oblivion. From this origin, it has re-appeared throughout western culture, from Dante to Tony Banks's first solo album (River Lethe in popular culture, Wikipedia).

      By providing the alternative spelling of Leith, Alasdair Roberts 'doubles' this meaning with the Water of Leith, a river that runs through Edinburgh, and co-locates ancient Greek and contemporary Scots mythology.

      The idea of eternal return is bound up with memory, with cultures being compelled to repeat and confront the missteps of the past. So the oblivion of forgetfulness provided by the endless Lethe provides a form of antidote or escape.

    2. Eternal Return

      The concept of eternal return has a chequered history through philosophy and culture, but Alasdair Roberts is invoking the particular use of the term by the religious historian Mircea Eliade. The Wikipedia entry) says that Eliade's eternal return is "a belief, expressed... in religious behaviour, in the ability to return to the mythical age, to become contemporary with the events described in one's myths".

      Thus, through the medium of song, we are taken back to become contemporary with, among other things, the Crusades and the falls of Jericho and of Babylon.

      From Alasdair's interview by Tyler Wilcox in 2009:

      the first song in some ways explores the idea of “eternal return” – I was reading Mircea Eliade on the subject, and Nietzsche obviously wrote about it – I became obsessed with the idea and the various ways in which it could be configured. There’s obviously the classic image of the ouroboros serpent… but I was also think about it in terms of the myth of progress – when what we think of as progress is actually destruction. Like Kekulé’s ring, Benzene. And the fact that I personally constantly return to Song as a form of “expression” or creation rather than, say, improvisation or composition.