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Theories of Myth





Theories of Myth

The theory of Vico in the 1700’s reorganized perception of mythology and his efforts to rationalize these “ideal histories” in an understandable fashion permanently changed the orientation of perception of the world regarding myths (Leonard & McClure). His personal life focus was to identify cultural iconic symbols and stories, preserve and organize them into an understandable format so as to make these ancient writings into an approachable and useable format for all of humanity. This important effort forever made myths accessible to the masses and by doing so, removed some of the built-in mystery and vagueness that gives ancient myths their charm. However by doing so, the preservation of story and symbols has forever connected humanity within itself in an identifiable and understandable way.

Sir William Jones provided a further tangent in the 1800’s by solidifying the scholarly fact that all languages were given rise by a proto-Indo European language that provided the basis for cultural and geographical separation (i.e. separate languages and subsequently separate cultures) based on location and even cultural identities (Leonard & McClure). As a recognized authority on many languages, Jones’ template of the origin of language built upon the commonality of early mythology identified by Vico in the previous century.

This commonality links humans in an imperturbable way, and cements our relationships with each other, even in times of strife and chaos. Jones formed the idea that languages evolve over time perhaps leaving little to no trace of the parent language. Particularly in ancient times where little or no writings are left, this idea provides a common linkage in human development over the millenniums.

Herder was a German thinker that contributed to the ideas of “Volkist” theory of Germanic roots. He is credited with the birth of new political ideas given rise...