Download Religion Myth and Folklore in the Worlds Epics: The Kalevala by Lauri Honko PDF

By Lauri Honko

The sequence Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social structures either in Western and non-Western societies; particularly, it examines religions of their differentiation from, and intersection with, different cultural structures, similar to artwork, economic system, legislation and politics. Due consciousness is given to paradigmatic case or comparative reports that convey a transparent theoretical orientation with the empirical and historic information of faith and such points of faith as ritual, the non secular mind's eye, buildings of culture, iconography, or media. furthermore, the formation of spiritual groups, their building of identification, and their relation to society and the broader public are key problems with this sequence.


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The true epic always consists of isolated songs which the people do not join together, yet even so these songs form an entity. The literary epic is outwardly uniform, but inwardly like a mosaic. ) According to Propp, the epic, in the conventional, literary sense, is a genre alien to folklore: The people themselves sometimes combine various themes by means of contamination, but the people never create an epic. They would be capable of doing so, but their aesthetic sense does not require it, because they do not aim at outward consistency.

All such things combine to make the poems important vehicles for the maintenance of the norms and values of society, and therefore of cultural identity. Homeric epic is everything at once, different layers of history, legends from various parts of the Greek-speaking world, many dialects melted into one. There is no reason to think that the Homeric tradition ended with the Iliad and the Odyssey, but what we know of it ends in precisely these two individual manifestations of the tradition. And they are the proper object of an analysis of the art of Homer: the paradox of traditional narrative is that what is original is the end of the process, the poems as the expression of the creative art of the rhapsode who dictated them and the receptive art of his audience.

In Phaeacia we hear of the cult of two gods, and they are precisely the two main gods of Athens, Poseidon and Athena. They are also the two great combatants over the fate of Odysseus, and it is an old idea to compare the plot of the Odyssey with the Athenian legend of how the two gods competed to become the patron of Athens: Poseidon let a spring of salt water well forth, whereas Athena planted an olive tree (Murray 1934: 312 — 313). The judge of the competition was king Cecrops, and he awarded the prize to Athena.

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