Legend of origin
Origin forecast or myth of origin refers to a meaningful narrative ( narrative ), by means of which individuals or family groups , clans or tribes (an incredible ) famous ancestors or entire nations as their putative progeny or side lines connect, as Ansippung to another " family ". In order to construct a common origin , extensive family trees are drafted or adopted by others (“ fictitious genealogy ”). Social groups refer to such a mythical origin in order to strengthen their sense of togetherness and their cultural cohesion as an ingroup and to differentiate and emphasize themselves from other groups and cultures (foreign groups). The identity- creating stories can be in the form of a saga or legend or a myth or a literary motif , and some etiological stories are also part of it ( explanatory sayings ). The ethnologist Bronisław Malinowski (1884–1942) referred to myths of origin or origin, which are used to justify the legitimacy of individual rituals , property claims or social institutions ( institutions ), as charter (compare “ Charter ” as a basic document).
Often the contents of such legends were first handed down orally and in the process deformed and adorned in each new generation before they were recorded in writing; other narratives took up stories presented or written down by others in order to interweave them with their own. Sometimes the myths are also associated with religious rituals and are withheld from strangers.
A well-known example of an origin myth is the father's story about Abraham and his descendants, which in the three Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam serves in different ways to establish identity (compare identity politics ). In a well-known founding myth , the Greek city of Athens is derived from the combative goddess Athena .
Political myths and continuity theories often follow similar patterns, such as the nationalism of the 19th century, the derivation of the "origin" of Germans, Hungarians, Greeks and other peoples. Such ideologies relate to coherent but only partial historical or linguistic knowledge; they are characterized by an absolute claim with a simultaneous immunization strategy against contradicting research results.
- In the pre-Christian Roman Empire , the Romans cultivated the legend of origin, they descended from the Trojans , after the survivor of the Trojan War Aeneas (according to Virgil's work Aeneid ), a reference to the Trojans. As an individual, the Roman general Julius Caesar traced his list of ancestors back to the goddess Venus , as his ancestral mother through her fictitious grandson "Iulus" ( Ascanius ).
- In antiquity it was customary to choose peoples and groups from the world of legends as ancestors in order to refer to an older past than what actually happened without coming into conflict with an actual historical people. Numerous origines were written as histories of the origins of ancient or medieval clans ( gens ) (see historical function of the origines gentis ). Various Germanic tribes such as the Goths , Lombards , Anglo-Saxons and Franks constructed their own legends of origin, which were initially passed down orally and later put down in writing and enriched with elements of ancient education (see legends of origin of European peoples and German national myths ).
- In order to assert the descent of Jesus of Nazareth from the Israelite King David (tipping), the Gospels of Luke and Matthew created suitable " family trees of Jesus ": strictly agnatic lineages with up to 73 generations in pure father-son-succession. The intention of these lists of ancestors was to proclaim Jesus as a member of the first chosen people of God, Israel, predetermined by their God YHWH himself and fully entitled to inheritance , as the goal of the entire biblical salvation history of Israel and the only possible candidate for the dignity of the Messiah . It was also intended to induce Jews to adopt the Christian religion .
- After their Islamization and during the time of the Mughal rule, some Afghan tribes constructed supposedly Jewish or Arab family trees and were therefore seen as an Arab people for a long time (compare Pashtun origins ).
Current political examples
- In the Balkans, with its changing and highly controversial political borders, there are numerous competing claims with a high ideological impact. In today's Greece , tracing back to the ancient Hellenes (see Fallmerayer's thesis ) is sometimes associated with current claims and comes up against claims of contradicting claims of origin. In Macedonia , the legend of ancestry from the ancient Macedonians and their famous king Alexander the great is occasionally cultivated. In Bulgaria , ancestry is often claimed to be from the Thracians . In Romania , a continuous ancestry from the Dacians was constructed before 1990 , a debate that is still current in part to this day; This Dako-Romance continuity theory is the best-known continuity theory that is still represented in Europe today.
- Comparable conflicts exist due to mutually exclusive myths of origin of Turks and Kurds . The Turkish Seljuks or Oghusen constructed on the one hand a descent of the Oghuz father Oghuz Khan in direct line from the biblical Noah , while on the other hand the Young Turkish movement at the time in so-called Pan-Turanism made Turkish claims to the oasis city of Khiva and the Emirate of Bukhara and the Kurds declared to be "mountain Turks". Even today, nationalists are expanding the Turkish settlement area, citing the Ergenekon legend, to the Chinese Xinjiang . The peoples thus captured, such as Azerbaijanis or Uzbeks, are at least related to one another.
- Saddam Hussein , former President of Iraq , had his family tree rewritten in 1981 to include a relationship with both the Abbasid caliphs and Imam Ali ( cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed ) and the Sultan Saladin - under his rule a continuity of Iraq became ancient Mesopotamia conjured up, he saw himself as the actual successor of Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC, King of Babylon ) and the Neo-Babylonian Empire .
- Two of the five large clan families of the North African Somali , the Isaaq and the Darod , can still be traced back mythologically to an Arab Sheikh Isaaq as ancestor , who is said to have been a descendant of a son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed - a reflection of the actual cultural influence from Arabia and the importance of the Islamic religion for the Somali.
- Origo gentis (ancient legends of the family origin) - mythical ancestral mothers - legends of origin of European peoples - historical myth
- Etiology (explanatory legend ) - Theogony (origin of the gods) - Orphic theogony (text) - Anthropogony (legend about the origin of mankind) - Cosmogony (origin of the world) - African cosmogony
- political myth - continuity theory - national epic - German national mythsnational myths of Switzerland - national history (interpretation pattern) - national feeling (patriotism) - historical politics (partisan interpretation)
- collective memory - cultural memory - Mythomotorik (collectively action-guiding effect of myths) - Culture of Remembrance (handling historicity)
- Klaus Graf: Origin and Coming: Functions of pre-modern founding narratives. In: Archive: Mediaevistik. March 8, 2000 (Presentation on the creation of identity through narratives of origin at the 3rd annual conference of the SFB 541 “Identities and Alterities” at the University of Freiburg).
- Charlotte Seymour-Smith: Dictionary of Anthropology. Hall, Boston 1986, ISBN 0-8161-8817-3 , p. 130 (English); Quote: "Genealogical fiction: A phenomenon related to Genealogical Amnesia, whereby genealogies may be adjusted to suit better the requirements of the present-day social and kinship structure or the interests of the person or group concerned. Actual genealogical ties may be forgotten or suppressed and new ones substituted. This process of readjustment or reconstruction of genealogies reveals aspects of the interplay between the "ideal models" or kinship structure and the realities of relationships between persons and groups. (See Descent: Lineage Theory) ”.
- Bronisław Malinowski : Magic, Science and Religion, and other essays. Waveland, Glencoe IL 1948, pp. 64, 85, 91 and 93 (English; reprint: Read Books 2013, ISBN 978-1-4733-9312-7 ; references in the Google book search ).
- Compare Jacques Benoist-Méchin , Eric Baschet (Ed.): Turkey 1908–1938. The end of the Ottoman Empire. A historical photo report. Swan, Kehl 1980, ISBN 3-89434-004-5 , pp. ??.