Myths: Euhemerus

Euhemerus (4th Cent BC) was an early Greek mythologist and folklorist. For him myths are often distorted accounts of history. A euhemerism (named after Euhemerus) takes a human hero and in retelling the story over and over again makes him more heroic than he really was/is. This happens all the time. Most cultures appear to have developed, and continue to develop Hero Myths that the average person tends to want to emulate and become like. Joseph Campbell wrote about the monomyth or “hero’s journey.” The idea of a Hero Myth in contemporary societies is alive and well. There is no shortage of present day overrated, euhemeristic characters—> politicians, celebrities of all kinds, movie stars, preachers, business leaders, and sports stars. Over time some of these individuals become mythological characters;  eg. there are people and groups trying to make Ronald Reagan a mythic character.


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