Friday, April 10, 2009
myth: 1830 from Greek mythos, "speech, story, myth," of unknown origin. Myths are "stories about divine beings, generally arranged in a coherent system; they are revered as true and sacred; they are endorsed by rulers and priests; and closely linked to religion. Once the link is broken, and the actors in the story are not regarded as gods but as human heros, giants, fairies, it is no longer a myth but a folktale. Where the central central actor is divine but the story is trivial...the result is religious legend, not myth. (J. Simpson & S Roud, Dict. of Eng. Folklore. 2000.