Do you believe that legends about a place or time in history have actually occurred and thus real?
Like the legend of Easter Island for instance.
My school days take me back to the days of the difference between myths and legends and even the distinction between these two words have a kind of myth and legend about them too, as their interpretations can be interpreted different too.
However, that is the wonder and magic of myths and legends they leave us guessing at the truth and it is that fascination that has held us captivated as children camped around a fire exchanging stories. We take them through to our twilight years and our maturity and experience subtly twists them too.
The Birth of Legends reigns in Chinese Whispers.
It is interesting and I find it very entertaining, but I don't know if I believe or no (I know it sounds strange.. ) You can't really say either yes or no.
It really depends on the legend. Some legends, like the Arthurian Romances and Easter Island do not have enough definitive proof to document them as being real -- yet there are many theories that make these legends quite possibly true.
Legends like like the Lorelei on the Rhine River who lure sailors to their death? No, that is a mystical legend.
Most legends specially in our country Philippines are overly magical and superstitious, so I often take them as forms of children stories pass on from generations to generations just to animatedly explain the origin of things and places to kids. This belief of mine is also driven by my 0% experience with supernatural beings and occurrences. I honestly haven't experience any supernaturals in my life. Though a lot of people are claiming encounters with them.
I feel that most legends are based at least by some degree on fact. Just for example, the legend of Santa Claus began from the generosity of Saint Nicholas around 280 A.D. The legend of Dracula was based on Vlad Dracula (or known in the 15th century as Vlad The Impaler).
Though the legends are completely fictionalized, they are still begun based on fact.
My contention is that everything comes from something therefore myth and legend must be based in some truth, some real event. With that said, I mean old or ancient legends/myths such as the story of the great flood and the battle of Troy. For generations it was widely believed that the epic war Homer wrote of was purely fictional. We now know now the city really existed for it has been found. There is much evidence to support the war as well. I think over time and telling myths and legends have become exaggerated to the point they are unbelievable in most instances, but the framework, the concepts had to have begun as reality.
I don't doubt that many of the ancient myths have some basis in reality, but many of the more recent ones are less likely, simply because the dynamics of myth creation have changed. The really ancient myths were created during a type devoid of writing and oral traditions took ancient stories more seriously. Why the myths sound so outrageous is that the people telling them likely did not have adequate vocabulary.
***The Very Ancient Myth of Metis and Athena***
Take the myth of Athena's birth, for instance. It starts with Zeus swallowing whole his consort (common law wife), Metis. But she was already pregnant with Athena. Later, Athena is born -- not from her father's stomach, but from his head (the seat of consciousness and wisdom). But she was full grown and wearing armor. For a long time (before I knew about Metis), I thought this is where Athena got her wisdom. But no, she got it from the fact that her mother was the wisest individual of all time.
***Compared to Atlantis***
Now, compare this with the myth of Atlantis. Atlantis was the wisest (most technologically advanced?) nation of all time, but was swallowed whole by the sea. Refugees, possibly leaving the capital (head) city, took with them a fully mature civilization and the "armor" and weapons to protect themselves.
The parallels are striking. And the tectonic collapse of Atlantis makes more sense than a grown man swallowing a fully grown woman all in one gulp.
The fact that Metis (Atlantis in its latter days?) and Athena (children of Atlantis) were female might suggest that both cultures were matriarchal. And in fact, the likely candidates for children of Atlantis were either matriarchal, matrilineal or egalitarian in nature -- many of the Native American tribes of western and central North America, the Basques, Rasenna (Etruscans), Suomi (Finns), Hungarians, Sumerians, Georgians (Colchis), Dravidians, and Mon Khmer. There are many other clues, but one of my favorites is that Georgian for mother is "deda" and for father is "mama."
***Proof of Atlantis?***
And we have proof of an Atlantis-like event occurring right when Plato's lost island supposedly disappeared -- 9600 BC.
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