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Jan 25, 2018
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
fabian
stent
hymeneal
euhemerism
roland

Council of the gods
Council of the gods (1517-1518)
Art: Raphael

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

euhemerism

PRONUNCIATION:
(yoo-HEE-muh-riz-uhm, -HEM-)

MEANING:
noun: The idea that gods are based on historical heroes whose stories became exaggerated in retelling.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Euhemerus, a fourth-century BCE Greek writer, who proposed that the gods of mythology were based on real heroes whose accounts became exaggerated with time. Earliest documented use: 1846.

NOTES:
In India, fans of some politicians and movie actors have built temples for them. But those are all lightweight deities. Look for the First Church of Stable Genius opening a place of worship near you. See here and here.

USAGE:
“I suspect that the scholarly assumption that somewhere beneath the legend there must lurk a real historical founder is a modern case of Euhemerism.”
Robert Price; Of Myth and Men; Free Inquiry (Buffalo, New York); Winter 1999/2000.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind. -William Somerset Maugham, writer (25 Jan 1874-1965)

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