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Roman folklore

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Roman folklore is the folklore of ancient Rome, including genres such as myth (Roman mythology), legend, joke, charms, fable, ghostlore, and numerous others.[1] Scholars have published a variety of collections focused on the folklore of ancient Rome.[2] Roman folklore is closely related to Ancient Greek folklore and precedes Italian folklore.

Discover more about Roman folklore related topics

Folklore

Folklore

Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes tales, myths, legends, proverbs, poems, jokes and other oral traditions. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, taking actions for folk beliefs, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact or traditional cultural expression. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can typically gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folklore studies or folkloristics, and it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels.

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

In modern historiography, Ancient Rome refers to Roman civilisation from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. It encompasses the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire.

Myth

Myth

Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. Since "myth" is popularly used to describe stories that are not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be highly controversial. Many religious adherents believe that the narratives told in their respective religious traditions are historical without question, and so object to their identification as myths while labelling traditional narratives from other religions as such. Hence, some scholars may label all religious narratives as "myths" for practical reasons, such as to avoid depreciating any one tradition because cultures interpret each other differently relative to one another. Other scholars may abstain from using the term "myth" altogether for purposes of avoiding placing pejorative overtones on sacred narratives.

Roman mythology

Roman mythology

Roman mythology is the body of myths of ancient Rome as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. One of a wide variety of genres of Roman folklore, Roman mythology may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. Roman mythology draws from the mythology of the Italic peoples and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European mythology.

Legend

Legend

A legend is a genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller or listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human values, and possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. Legend, for its active and passive participants may include miracles. Legends may be transformed over time to keep them fresh and vital.

Joke

Joke

A joke is a display of humour in which words are used within a specific and well-defined narrative structure to make people laugh and is usually not meant to be interpreted literally. It usually takes the form of a story, often with dialogue, and ends in a punch line, whereby the humorous element of the story is revealed; this can be done using a pun or other type of word play, irony or sarcasm, logical incompatibility, hyperbole, or other means. Linguist Robert Hetzron offers the definition:A joke is a short humorous piece of oral literature in which the funniness culminates in the final sentence, called the punchline… In fact, the main condition is that the tension should reach its highest level at the very end. No continuation relieving the tension should be added. As for its being "oral," it is true that jokes may appear printed, but when further transferred, there is no obligation to reproduce the text verbatim, as in the case of poetry.

Fable

Fable

Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized, and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson, which may at the end be added explicitly as a concise maxim or saying.

Ghostlore

Ghostlore

Ghostlore or ghost-lore is a genre of folklore concerning ghosts. Ghostlore occurs throughout recorded history, including contemporary contexts.

Ancient Greek folklore

Ancient Greek folklore

Ancient Greek folklore consists of the folklore of the ancient Greeks. The topic includes genres such as mythology, legend, and folktales. According to classicist William Hansen, "the Greeks and Romans had all the genres of oral narrative known to us, even ghost stories and urban legends, but they also told all kinds that in most of the Western world no longer circulate orally, such as myths and fairytales."

Source: "Roman folklore", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2021, July 16th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_folklore.

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Notes
  1. ^ For example, classicist William Hansen notes that "the Greeks and Romans had all the genres of oral narrative known to us, even ghost stories and urban legends, but they also told all kinds that in most of the Western world no longer circulate orally, such as myths and fairytales." (Hansen 2019: xxv).
  2. ^ Examples include Busk (1877), Halliday (1927), Anderson (2006), and Hansen (2019).
References


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