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Euhemerism


Euhemerism is the theory that the gods, goddesses, and events of mythology are dim memories of people and events of the ancient past kept alive and magnified by retelling. The theory's name comes from the Greek writer Euhemerus who purposed in the fourth century BCE. At that time it was widely accepted by those who wished to intellectualize their traditional faith, and then the Christianis used it to dismiss faith in Pagan deities as imaginary figures not deserving worship.

These latter euhemeristic assumptions have proven inadequate because during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the recent periods there have been resurgences and revivals of Pagan religions. Some elements of the New Age movement have embraced euhemerism depicting mythical lore as memories of terrestrial visitors on earth. But most mythological scholars tend to dismiss such euhemeristic theories as misinterpretation of mythology. A.G.H.


Sources:

Euhemerus. Wikipedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euhemerus>.
Greer, John Michael. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 163