Euhemerus and Euhemerism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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EUHEMERUS AND EUHEMERISM. Euhemerus, a Greek (c. 340–260 BCE), achieved fame as the result of an imaginative story he wrote that speaks, in a certain fashion, about the origins of divinities. After his death, Euhemerus's name became identified with a special, widely discussed and disputed way of interpreting religion. Euhemerism had an impact for many centuries. Even today, no one dealing with the history of scholarship of religion will leave Euhemerus unmentioned. Very little is known about Euhemerus himself. What is known is precisely what tradition has made him: the originator of euhemerism, an elucidation of religion that explains the gods as elevated images of historical individuals whose acts were beneficial to those around them.

The term euhemerism came to refer to a method of empirical explanation applied to the accounts of gods found in sacred traditions. Indeed, Aristotle, the first great Greek thinker with...

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This section contains 1,483 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Euhemerus and Euhemerism Encyclopedia Article
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Euhemerus and Euhemerism from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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