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Need some help on my IB essay

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Scholarly Pursuits
Forum Name: The Academy
Forum Discription: Discussions about how to write history and conduct research
Printed Date: 18-Aug-2022 at 10:46
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Topic: Need some help on my IB essay
Posted By: Gubook Janggoon
Subject: Need some help on my IB essay
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 01:39
I was wondering if any of ya'll knew of an academic source that states something along the lines of "Societies use creation myths to legitimize regimes"

I know it's kind of basic, but I need a source like that to kind of round out my extended essay.


Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 01:54
I really can't think of anything of the sort. You mean exactly creation myths, no general religions or mythology but creations myths, which are almost always kind of super simplistic tales. I really can't think of anyone talking on those so specific lines. 



Posted By: Imperator Invictus
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 02:02
Creation myths sound pretty specific. I think the problem is that many regimes derived their legitimacy from gods that were created after the creation story.

I think it might be better to argue from the point that society has used myths (myths in general) to add legitimacy to the ruler, and then introduce creation myths as an element of myths.


Posted By: Gubook Janggoon
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 02:50
Okay, the myth thing sounds good too.

Do any of ya'll know any sources about myths being used as a way to legitimize regimes?


Posted By: Imperator Invictus
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 10:34
I don't know of a specific source that talks about all societies, but since the theme is so prevalent, from pharohs to the Tian Zi to the Tenno, I'm sure you can probably find something scattered around.

One piece of myth that would fit the definition easily is the Aeneid by Vergil, a retelling of the Roman origin myths comissioned by Augustus for the purpose of political legitimization. The Aeneid basically said that Julius Caesar's family decended from the oldest forefather of Rome (who was half-divine) and that the golden age of Caesar and Augustus was destined before Rome was even founded.

Book 6 of the Aeneid:

"Now fix your sight, and stand intent, to see
Your Roman race, and Julian progeny.

The mighty Caesar waits his vital hour,

Impatient for the world, and grasps his promis'd
But next behold the youth of form divine,

Ceasar himself, exalted in his line;

Augustus, promis'd oft, and long foretold,

Sent to the realm that Saturn rul'd of old;

Born to restore a better age of gold.


Posted By: tadamson
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 11:57
The steppes Forum includes several Turkic societies that use their mythical founders.

Most Kingdoms had semi-mythical founding kings  eg earliest Japanese Emperors, Shang and earlier Chinese, Old Kingdom Egyptians 1st and 2nd dynasty etc...



Posted By: Gubook Janggoon
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 15:14
Thanks for the help guys :]


Posted By: Tobodai
Date Posted: 01-Jan-2006 at 04:54
Also, the Iroquois League subtly implied that the first person to ever fall from teh sky to inhabit the Earth was one fo their people, thus using the tired but true method of "we were the first people"

"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton

Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 01-Jan-2006 at 11:00
I'd have thought modern Israel was the closest thing to a modern state justifying itself by a creation myth. Israelis base much of their perceived right to occupy their territory based on the myths of the old testament.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back - -

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