Myth and Mythology in Ancient and Medieval societies

Roda da Fortuna (2015/1) – Call for Papers

Appel à contributions
Date limite : 30 avril 2015

Responsible Editor: Prof. Guilherme Queiroz de Souza
The deadlines for articles, reviews, interviews and translations are:
– Send until April 30th, 2015
– Confirmation of accepted during June 2015
– Publication during July 2015
Other themes also will be accepted for the session “articles”.
E-mail: revistarodadafortuna[at]gmail.com

More than three decades ago, the historian Paul Veyne used a question to entitle one of his books about the ancient world: Les Grecs ont-ils cru à leurs mythes? After studying the available sources, the author came to the conclusion that, although Greek thinkers from the 6th century B.C. no longer interpreted the myths literally, they were not abandoned because carried a singular pedagogical importance and contributed to “explaining the unexplainable”.[1]
In fact, for millennia mythical narratives created by civilizations around the world sought to explain the origin of the universe, transmit values and examples, build identities, etc. During the Middle Ages, as demonstrated by Jean-Claude Schmitt and Hilário Franco Júnior, Christianity itself had all the facets of a mythology, even though it was not seen as such, since it told a “holy history”.[2]
Currently, the term “myth” is understood both in the sense of “fiction” and in the sense recognized especially among sociologists, ethnologists and historians of religions, of “sacred tradition, primordial revelation, exemplary model”, as Mircea Eliade pointed out.[3] With the rise of a science of mythology, value judgments became obsolete and the myths were no longer perceived as meaningless stories, because if they were no one would have believed them. Due to its strong durability, the myth may also be examined in the “long term” (longue durée) historical.
This Thematic Dossier (2015/1) of the Wheel of Fortune Journal aims to bring together the multiple manifestations of mythical thought in ancient and medieval societies. Among the possibilities of research on the myth, we can mention the analysis of its expressions (messianic, eschatological, etiologic, hierophantic…), symbologies, constancy and alterations in the “long term”, etc.
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[1] VEYNE, Paul. Les Grecs ont-ils cru à leurs mythes? Paris: Le Seuil, 1983.
[2] SCHMITT, Jean-Claude. Problèmes du mythe dans l’Occident médiéval. Razo. Cahiers du Centre d’Études Médiévales de Nice, vol. 8, 1988, p. 03-17; FRANCO JÚNIOR, Hilário. Cristianismo medieval e mitologia: reflexões sobre um problema historiográfico. In: A Eva Barbada. Ensaios de Mitologia Medieval. São Paulo: EDUSP, 1996, p. 45-70.
[3] ELIADE, Mircea. Myth and Reality. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1998, p. 01.