Euhemerism is a mythological strategy which presumes that mythological account has come from actual historic occurrences or characters. Euhemerism assumes that historical records become myths because they are overrepresented by the reconstruction and accumulation of processes and changes that represent cultural mood. It was called Euhemerus, the Greek mythologist who resided in the early fourth century BC. Euhemerism is called “historical realism” in the more latest mythological literature, like Bulfinch’s Mythology.
Historically, Eucharist has not been the first to try and rationalize legend: in previous writings including those of Jenofane, Herodotus and Hecateus of Abdera and Ephorus, euhemeristic viewpoints are discovered. However, he was recognized by Euhemerus ‘ lasting impact on subsequent intellectuals, such as the classical poet Ennius (born 239 BC) and contemporary author Antoine Banier (born 1673 AD)Euhemerism Euhemerism mythological strategy presumes mythological account actual historic occurrences characters Euhemerism assumes historical records myths overrepresented reconstruction accumulation processes represent cultural mood called Euhemerus Greek mythologist resided early fourth century Euhemerism called historical realism latest mythological literature Bulfinch Mythology Historically Eucharist rationalize legend previous writings including Jenofane Herodotus Hecateus Abdera Ephorus euhemeristic viewpoints discovered However recognized Euhemerus lasting impact subsequent intellectuals classical poet Ennius born contemporary author Antoine Banier born 1673 Euhemerism approach interpretation mythology mythological accounts presumed originated real historical events personages Euhemerism supposes historical accounts myths exaggerated retelling accumulating elaborations alterations reflect cultural mores named Greek mythographer Euhemerus lived late 4th century literature myth Bulfinch Mythology euhemerism termed historical theory mythology Euhemerus attempt rationalize mythology historical terms euhemeristic views earlier writings including Xenophanes Herodotus Hecataeus Abdera Ephorus However enduring influence Euhemerus thinkers classical poet Ennius modern author Antoine Banier 1673 identified traditional founder school thought Early historyIn scene Plato Phaedrus Socrates offers euhemeristic interpretation myth Boreas Orithyia Phaedrus Tell Socrates isn stretch Ilisus people Boreas carried Orithyia Socrates Phaedrus Couldn spot The stream lovely pure clear girls playing nearby Socrates yards downstream crosses district Arga altar Boreas Phaedrus hadn noticed But Socrates Zeus legend true Socrates Actually place reject intellectuals clever story claim gust North Wind blew rocks playing Pharmaceia killed people carried Boreas Socrates illustrates euhemeristic approach myth Boreas abducting Orithyia story Boreas northern wind rationalised Orithyia pushed rock cliffs equation Boreas natural gust wind accepts Orithyia historical personage But implies equivalent rejecting myth Socrates holding euhemeristic views mocked concept myths rationalized noting mythical creatures absurd forms Centaurs Chimera easily explained ancient skeptic philosophical tradition Theodorus Cyrene Cyrenaics Euhemerus forged method interpretation contemporary religious beliefs Though work lost reputation Euhemerus believed Greek mythology interpreted natural historical events subsequently supernatural characteristics retelling Subsequently Euhemerus considered atheist opponents notably Callimachus DeificationEuhemerus views rooted deification men kings gods apotheosis numerous cultures kings exalted venerated status divine beings worshipped death ruled Dion tyrant ruler Syracuse deified alive modern scholars apotheosis influenced Euhemerus views origin gods Euhemerus living contemporaneous deification Seleucids pharaoization Ptolemies fusion Hellenic Egyptian traditions Tomb ZeusEuhemerus argued Zeus mortal king died Crete tomb inscription bearing This claim originate Euhemerus general sentiment Crete time Epimenidesof Knossos Zeus buried Crete For reason Cretans considered atheists Epimenides called liars Epimenides paradox Callimachus opponent Euhemerus views mythology argued Zeus Cretan tomb fabricated eternal Cretans lie For Cretans built tomb Lord But die eternal Latin scholium Hymns Callimachus attempted account tomb Zeus According scholium original tomb inscription read The tomb Minos son Jupiter time Minos son wore leaving tomb Jupiter This misled Cretans thinking Zeus died buried Influenced Euhemerus Porphyry 3rd century claimed Pythagoras discovered tomb Zeus Crete written tomb surface inscription reading Here died buried Zan Zeus Varro wrote tomb Zeus ChristiansHostile paganism early Christians Church Fathers embraced euhemerism attempt undermine validity pagan gods The euhemerist views early Christian apologists summed Clement Alexandria triumphant Cohortatio gentes Those bow men The Book WisdomThe Wisdom Solomon deuterocanonical book passage Wisdom euhemerist explanation origin idols Early Christian apologistsThe early Christian apologists deployed euhemerist argument support position pagan mythology aggregate fables human Cyprian North African convert Christianity wrote short essay idolorum vanitate Vanity Idols assumes euhemeristic rationale needed demonstration Cyprian That gods common people worship kings account royal memory subsequently began adored people death Thence temples founded images sculptured retain countenances deceased likeness men sacrificed victims celebrated festal days honour Thence posterity rites sacred consolation Cyprian proceeds examples apotheosis Melicertes Leucothea The Castors Castor Pollux die turns live reference daily sharing immortality Heavenly Twins The cave Jupiter Crete sepulchre Cyprian confounding Zeus Dionysus showing Minoan cave cult alive Crete century exposition Cyprian argument marginalize syncretism pagan belief order emphasize individual variety local deities From religion gods variously changed individual nations provinces god worshipped worship ancestors peculiar Eusebius Chronicle employed euhemerism argue Babylonian God Baʿal deified ruler god Belus Assyrian king Euhemeristic views expressed Tertullian idololatria Octavius Marcus Minucius Felix Origen Arnobius dismissal paganism century rationalizing grounds depended reading Cyprian details enormously expanded Isidore Seville compiler influential early medieval encyclopedia devoted chapter diis gentium elucidating numerous examples elaborated genealogies gods principle drawn Lactantius Quos pagani deos asserunt homines olim fuisse produntur Those pagans claim gods mere men Elaborating logically attempted place deified men great periods history divided created mythological dynasties Isidore euhemeristic bent codified rigid parallel sacred history Petrus Comestor appendix translated Historia scholastica written 1160 condensing Isidore provide strict parallels figures pagan legend viewed historicised narrative mighty human spirits patriarchs Old Testament Martin Braga correctione rusticorum wrote idolatry stemmed post deluge survivors Noah family began worship Sun stars God view Greek gods deified descendants Noah real personages Middle AgesChristian writers Middle Ages continued embrace euhemerism Vincent Beauvais Petrus Comestor Roger Bacon Godfrey Viterbo After time Christian apologists views rationalist Greek philosophers And captured purpose Euhemerism explain mundane origins Hellenistic divinities Euhemerism explained simply ways strictest sense movement reflected views Euhemerus Hiera Anagraphe Panchaia historicity family Saturn Uranus The principal sources views handed accounts Lactantius Diodorus widest sense rationalist movement sought explain mundane origins Hellenistic gods heroes mortals Other modern theorists labeled Euhemerism subject classical paganism fostered minds people Middle Ages realization respects ancient Greeks Roman superior error religious beliefs examination principal writings Middle English considerable reading literature English discloses fact people Middle Ages rarely regarded called gods mere figments imagination believed real beings possessing actual power John Daniel Cook Christ myth theoryIn 2011 book The Christ Myth Theory Its Problems Robert Price supported Christ myth theory suggested process searching historical Jesus euhemerism Snorri Sturluson euhemerism Prose Edda composed 1220 Christian Icelandic bard historian Snorri Sturluson proposes Norse gods originally historical leaders kings Odin father gods introduced historical person originally Asia Minor tracing ancestry Priam king Troy Trojan War Odin travels north settle Nordic countries establishes royal families ruling Denmark Sweden Norway time And countries passed great glory spoken gods men Thus Snorri euhemerism early Christian tradition simply discredit divinity gods religion wane model Virgil Aeneid hint divinisation order legitimize Scandinavian rulers modern worldEuhemeristic interpretations mythology continued early modern period 16th century modern times 1711 French historian Antoine Banier Mythologie fable expliqués par histoire The mythology fables ancients explained presented strong arguments euhemerist interpretation Greek mythology Jacob Bryant New System Analysis Ancient Mythology 1744 key work euhemerism period argued Biblical basis early 19th century George Stanley Faber Biblical euhemerist His work The Origin Pagan Idolatry 1816 proposed pagan nations worshipped gods deified men Outside Biblical influenced literature archaeologists embraced euhemerist views discovered myths verify archaeological findings Heinrich Schliemann prominent archaeologist 19th century argued myths embedded historical truths Schliemann advocate historical reality places characters mentioned works Homer excavated Troy claimed discovered artifacts figures Greek mythology including Mask Agamemnon Priam Treasure Herbert Spencer embraced euhemeristic arguments attempt explain anthropocentric origin religion ancestor worship Rationalizing methods interpretation treat myths traditional accounts based historical events continuous feature modern readings mythology The twentieth century poet mythographer Robert Graves offered euhemerist interpretations telling The White Goddess 1948 The Greek Myths 1955 His suggestions myths record justify political religious overthrow earlier cult systems criticized rejected scholars Euhemerism ZodiacPage