Legends of the Earth: Their Geologic Origins
Indiana University Press, 1973 - 305 páginas
Geomythology, the name of a fascinating new science, is a term invented by Dorthy Vitaliano and now increasingly current among both geologists and students of myth. It denotes the study of the actual geologic origins of natural phenomena which were long explained in terms of myth or folklore. Primarily, there are two kinds of geologic folklore, that in which some geologic feature or the occurrence of some geologic phenomenon has inspired a folklore explanation, and that which is the garbled explanation of some actual geologic event, usually a natural catastrophe. In the first case, the scientific exploration is contrasted with the folklore explanation; in the second, possible sources of various myths and legends are examined. Among the widely prevalent myths here treated are those associated with earthquakes, great floods, natural fires, and volcanic eruptions, plagues, and other natural catastrophes. The slower geologic processes are represented by myths associated with natural landforms, rocks and minerals, rivers and mountains, and other outstanding features of the landscape. Examples are also given to show some minor ways in which folklore and geology impinge on one another: misconceptions about geologic phenomena, such as earthquakes, which are so prevalent as to constitute a form of modern folklore, and conversely, ideas long considered to be pure folklore which may prove to have some basis in scientific fact. The most dramatic example of geomythology so far discovered is the theory the origin of the lost continent of Atlantis may be found in the Minoan civilization of Crete, which suddenly disappeared from view around 1450 B.C., about the time of a tremendous eruption know to have occurred in the nearby volcano, Santorin. This theory, variously developed by Marinatos and Galanopoulos, is examined in the light of new evidence gathered in Crete by Mrs. Vitaliano, herself a professional geologist. Other legends which may be associated with the Bronze Age eruption of Santorin-the plagues of Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, the various versions of the Deluge, and other classical myths of the Mediterranean-are also examined in the light of their geologic plausibility. The generous use of photographs enhances this informative and entertaining book.
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LibraryThing ReviewReseña de usuario - ladycato - LibraryThing
I purchased this book, published in 1973, for research purposes. I wanted a comprehensive look at the mythology around earthquakes. I found some new insights here, but the book was uneven, frustrating ... Leer reseña completa
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