The Concept of Myth

Ubaldo Lugli

Abstract


In search of a scientifically useful minimal definition of the term “myth”, this article traces the development of the concept from the cultural environment of classical Greece, in which it was born, until its modern use in the framework of socio-anthropological studies.

Of all the terms of the vocabulary of religious anthropology “myth’’ is certainly the most used one. Unfortunately, its wide-spread use is directly proportional to its indeterminateness. Moreover, it regards not only the everyday lexis (what is exactly intended, when, for instance, people call an actor or a soccer player “mythic”?), but also  academic communications: various authors can intend by this concept diametrically opposed things.

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