euhemerist

euhemerism

[yoo-hee-muh-riz-uhm, -hem-uh-]
noun
1.
(often initial capital letter) the theory of Euhemerus that the mythologies of various gods arose out of the deification of dead heroes.
2.
the theory that mythology is derived from history.

Origin:
1840–50; Euhemer(us) + -ism

euhemerist, noun
euhemeristic, adjective
euhemeristically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
euhemerism (juːˈhiːməˌrɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the theory that gods arose out of the deification of historical heroes
2.  any interpretation of myths that derives the gods from outstanding men and seeks the source of mythology in history
 
[C19: named after Euhemerus (?300 bc), Greek philosopher who propounded this theory]
 
eu'hemerist
 
n
 
euhemer'istic
 
adj
 
euhemer'istically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Euhemerism
1846, "the method of regarding myths as glorified accounts of actual events or persons," from Euhemerus of Sicily (4c. B.C.E.), who wrote "Iera Anagraphe," in which he maintained the Gk. deities were actually historical mortals.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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