Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Mythology

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[Autom. eng. transl.] The mythology is the science that has as its object the myth but with the same term also means the set of myths of a religion or a culture. Following the esoteric and magical interpretations typical of the humanistic-Renaissance age, the modern scientific studies of the myth spread from the 1700s, when they managed to break free from the theoretical prejudice that considered myths exclusively fantastic products, if not obscure and irrational , to be finally addressed with the conceptual tools of enlightened reason and criticism of positive religions. In the initial strand of the philological investigation of classical mythologies, the masterly lesson of CG Heyne was imposed, which formulated a theory of myth interpreted in a pedagogical sense. The passage from the mythological theories of the Enlightenment to those matured within the pre-romanticism was marked by the figure of JG Herder and by the abandonment of the exclusivity of the philological-scholarly study of the sources, for an innovative polemological-philosophical project: the "new mythology" . Herder inaugurated a perspective that proposed to interpret the myths in light of the mythopoietic faculty of man, a faculty already recognized by GB Vico in the "Principles of a new science" (1725). After Herder, it was F. Schlegel, Schelling, Creuzer, von Arnim, the Grimm brothers who developed romantic mythology. The setting of the mythological problem was renewed by KO Müller in the "Prolegomena to a scientific mythology" (1825) and then, in a different perspective, by H. Usener in "Nomi degli dei" (1895) and in "Mythology" (1904) . E. Cassirer, Otto, Benjamin, Bloch, Adorno and Horkheimer were those who developed, among others, the mythological question in the 1900s, in sharp contrast with the ambiguous re-enactments of the myth made by authors such as A. Rosenberg ("The myth of the XX century ", 1935).
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Mythology
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationL'enciclopedia della filosofia e delle scienze umane
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • mitologia


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