On the same topic, there are theories that there were different groups of people who landed in the Americas across the Atlantic Ocean from West Africa and via different routes from as far away as the Orient in different waves spanning tens to hundreds to thousands of years before Columbus. Any evidence suggesting this would naturally have been unpopular during the post-Columbian colonisation of the continents, and a lot of it would still be considered hotly controversial at present day.We know Christopher Columbus didn't discover America. Did you know that a guy named John Hanson was really the first President? Can you think of any other myths that we've been taught as fact?
That is essentially how legends are born. A past event that gets lost like a needle in a haystack, the haystack representative of the passage of time. Likely how the Loch Ness monster was born. It's all very interesting how these stories come about.Have six people today witness a accident and have them write down what they saw and you get six differing versions of events, and if the camera is on the scene those watching it will perceive in their own way as well. What people think of what they see and say about it will get different with each telling - think of the school yard game of telephone where they sit in a ring and one whispers into someones ear "John likes songs" and you'll likely get "Jean sings songs" at the end. If not something odder.
That's almost exactly how the Arthurian Legends likely came about, I believe. Especially where you mention the possibility of all these different John's having their likes and dislikes woven together into one John. Shall we call him Jonathan Song? There is a theory that there were in fact four different Roman soldiers who contributed to establishing the British government back in the early decades, but as all thier good deeds all got confused, over time they rolled into one individual who became known as King Arthur Pendragon. And there, like you said with John Song, is how so many different, somewhat inconsistent stories of the man could have come about; where exactly he lived (as in where Camelot sat), how he was raised, where he was buried (Avalon ain't a real place), etc. There is even more mystery surrounding his mentor, Merlin, or Myrddin, my favourite ... character?... from the legends. Obviously. I'm sure some of the supporting characters were very real, (i.e. Gwynevere?) while others merely a product of invention for moving the stories along a neat path, one into the other (i.e. Morgana? and maybe even Mordred?). Only speculation, of course. I believe the oldest known text concerning the great king is contained in Geofferey of Monmouth's The History of the King's of Britain while the oldest known work entirely devoted the King Arthur is Thomas Mallory's Le Morte D'Arthur written well he was in prison.Yet someone writes down "John likes songs" and someone might say later what songs John likes, or dislikes and these can be confused; or what kind of songs could be argued and where he heard these songs and if he ever wrote down the lyrics he liked or the notes to the music and if he traveled - and this might all be the same John, or a series of Johns - related grandfather to father to son or to uncle - and pretty soon you have a argument over where he was born, where he died, what he did with his life, who he loved - or liked - beyond songs or if songs might be a name! Was Songs/Song a god or goddess of music? So, it's a story told aloud or told by memory word of mouth, both might be true - and one may be more true than the other, or maybe not. Maybe people remember a story told aloud longer than something write down. We all have those little embarrassing stories our families tell about us and each other - what's the oldest one you've been told about, and what's the oldest one written down?
1390, "relation of incidents" (true or false), from O.Fr. historie, from L. historia "narrative, account, tale, story," from Gk. historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry, history, record, narrative," from historein "inquire," from histor "wise man, judge," from PIE *wid-tor-, from base *weid- "to know," lit. "to see" (see vision ). Related to Gk. idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." In M.E., not differentiated from story; sense of "record of past events" probably first attested 1485. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1567) is now obs. except in natural history. What is historic (1669) is noted or celebrated in history; what is historical (1561) deals with history. Historian "writer of history in the higher sense," distinguished from a mere annalist or chronicler, is from 1531. The O.E. word was þeod-wita.
My Classics professor liked to say, 'history is written by the victors'. I think that holds true. Why the Greco-Roman myths held so much sway over the world could have easily been because they were the dominant power. Why does Christianity and Catholocism hold so much sway today, because those religions have become the dominant powers. At least, that is how I see it.That is certainly interesting information. My only point was to demonstrate that there is no truth to the statement that "history" came from "his story". And I'm truly not trying to be nasty. But as a professional historian, who works in the field, I have to acknowledge the reality that history is written in certain ways (usually by the winners). Why were the Greco-Roman myths so much more dominant over say, the Ancient Kievan Rus? Because the Romans themselves were extremely dominant, and they chose to keep the Greeks dominant, because they admired that culture.
How are myths related to history? Good question. The best answer, at least to me, is that people start telling stories about how the world comes to be, and later are able to keep records about it. Once you have the ability to keep records, you can write history. Before that, it is much harder. What you are doing before you write is keeping oral history, which can EASILY turn into mythology or legend. But never forget Heinrich Schlieman (sp?). Everyone thought he was out of his effing mind until he found the city of Troy. He was able to prove that Homer the Poet was, at least to some degree, Homer the Historian. As for the intervention of Gods and Goddesses and so-forth, I don't know. I'm a Jew. I'm not supposed to believe in such. But then, perhaps God sent what we would call Angels to serve as "Gods" and "Goddesses" to Greece and Troy. That is pure speculation on my part, of course. That is nothing anyone has ever told me. I have to go, as the wife needs TLC. I'll be back later.