Etiology (narrative)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Explanatory saga or technical language aetiology , aitiology (from ancient Greek αἰτία aitía "cause" and -logy : "doctrine of the causes ") denotes a meaningful narrative ( narrative ) in mythology , religious studies and narrative research that explains or explains current circumstances through events in the past wants to justify, for example a natural phenomenon , a stone formation, an event, a certain custom or the name of a body of water, mountain or holy place. Such an explanatory narrative can be in the form of a saga , legend , myth or a literary motif . It is often controversial to what extent the narrated events only have to be invented ( fiction ) or take up actual events from the past.

Etiological narratives are not synonymous with the origins of people and peoples or with the founding myths of places.

Etiologies in ancient literature

There were many etiologies in antiquity relating to the origin of animals, plants, peculiar rock formations, local cults and place names , for example Venice : Venetia from the Latin slogan Veni etiam “I came too” - in the lagoon city, often translated as “Come again!” Such The Hellenistic poet Callimachos collected founding myths and presented them around 270 BC. In his work Aitia together. Another example from the ancient literature on Aitia are the metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid around 8 AD (compare Aristotle's aitiai ).

In the biblical creation story of Genesis the rest of the god YHWH on the seventh day is seen as an etiological legend for the Jewish sabbath rest on Saturdays. The biblical story of the Jacob's ladder ( Gen 28, 10–22  EU ) is considered an etiological cult legend to justify Bethel as an ancient place of worship: After awakening from his dream, Jacob calls the place Bet-El “House of God”. The story of Noah at the end of the biblical flood is considered an etiology for a natural event : YHWH makes a covenant with Noah and places the rainbow in the clouds as a covenant symbol.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Andreas SchererEtiology. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (eds.): The scientific biblical dictionary on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff. (Article from September 2008.)
  2. ^ Gerhard von Rad : Theology of the Old Testament. Volume 1: The theology of the historical traditions of Israel (= introduction to evangelical theology. 1, 1, ZDB -ID 518995-0 ). 6th edition. Chr. Kaiser, Munich 1969, p. 51.
  3. ^ Bernhard Kirchmeier: The Noachbund - A comprehensive analysis. Grin, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-640-48301-3 , pp. 24-26 (student thesis; page views in the Google book search).