Good Example Of Essay On Myth And History
When looking back at the past, it can be hard to always determine the exact events which happened. This is especially true when looking at ancient history, a time when oral tradition accounted for much of the “history.” Because of the lack of actual written documents, there is always a discussion of whether stories from the past are myth or reality.
According to the dictionary, “myth” is defined as, “A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or natural explanation (Dictionary.com).” This means that myth can have some historical elements in it. History is simply a study of the past, and is a discipline that is primary concerned with facts and events which actually happened. Of course, it is sometimes difficult to sort out the facts verses myth, which is why elements of both are included in both. It is usually common for certain stories, which are considered myths, to be loosely based on some actual event that occurred. The ancient world is loaded with certain myths, especially creation and flood myths, which is why it is tricky to fully understand Genesis 1-11.
The most controversial events described in Genesis 1-11 are the creation account, and the story of the flood. When interpreting these events, it is useful to look into other civilizations at the time to see if there is any commonality among the Biblical account and the others. As it turns out, there are many ancient civilizations that have their own creation account, many of which have some similarities to the Biblical account (“Creation Stories”). This means that myth is in play, as it would be hard to exactly determine which facts are true. As a result, the creation story should be read not as literal fact, but within the historical and narrative contexts of the Bible and ancient Hebrew life. The same is true of the flood account. The most similar account to that of the Bible is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which means this too could have mythical elements, but be loosely based on some actual flood occurring throughout Mesopotamia (“The Epic of Gilgamesh”).
"Myth." Dictionary.com. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/myth>.
"CREATION STORIES." History World. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab83>.
"The Epic of Gilgamesh." Assyrian International News Agency. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf>.