This anthology is primarily intended for scholars across the disciplines looking at trends and narratives in northern Europe. From history to film studies, theater and philology, the contributions represent the teeming variety of approaches to German and Scandinavian studies now emergent in the Academy. Myth showcases not only new inquiries into diverse subject areas, but also new methods of inquiry for future interdisciplinary research.
In 1945 Röhrich returned from the warfront at the age of twenty-three, a wounded amputee. Resuming his education, he published his seminal Märchen und Wirklichkeit (Folktale and Reality) in 1956. Naithani argues that through this and a huge body of scholarship on folktale, folksong, proverbs, and riddles over the next decades, Röhrich transformed folklore scholarship by critically challenging the legacies of Romanticism and Nazism in German folklore work. Sadhana Naithani's book is the first full-length treatment of this extraordinary German scholar written in English.
Egyptian mythology is of highly complex character, and cannot be considered apart from its racial and historical aspects. The Egyptians were, as a Hebrew prophet has declared, a "mingled people", and this view has been confirmed by recent ethnological research: "the process; of racial fusion begun in the Delta at the dawn of history", says Professor Elliot Smith, "spread through the whole land of Egypt". In localities the early Nilotic inhabitants accepted the religious beliefs of settlers, and fused these with their own. They also clung tenaciously to the crude and primitive tribal beliefs of their remote ancestors, and never abandoned an archaic conception even when they acquired new and more enlightened ideas; they accepted myths literally, and regarded with great sanctity ancient ceremonies and usages. They even showed a tendency to multiply rather than to reduce the number of their gods and goddesses, by symbolizing their attributes. As a result, we find it necessary to deal with a bewildering number of deities and a confused mass of beliefs, many of which are obscure and contradictory. But the average Egyptian was never dismayed by inconsistencies in religious matters: he seemed rather to be fascinated by them. There was, strictly speaking, no orthodox creed in Egypt; each provincial centre had its own distinctive theological system, and the religion of an individual appears to have depended mainly on his habits of life. "The Egyptian", as Professor Wiedemann has said, "never attempted to systematize his conceptions of the different divinities into a homogeneous religion. It is open to us to speak of the religious ideas of the Egyptians, but not of an Egyptian religion."Ê
Keywords: myth, legend, ancient, religion, classic