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euhemerism

[yoo-hee-muh-riz-uh m, -hem-uh-] /yuˈhi məˌrɪz əm, -ˈhɛm ə-/
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
1840-1850
1840-50; Euhemer(us) + -ism
Related forms
euhemerist, noun
euhemeristic, adjective
euhemeristically, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for euhemeristic

euhemerism

/juːˈhiːməˌrɪzəm/
noun
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
Derived Forms
euhemerist, noun
euhemeristic, adjective
euhemeristically, adverb
Word Origin
C19: named after Euhemerus (?300 bc), Greek philosopher who propounded this theory
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for euhemeristic

euhemerism

n.

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 Greek deities actually were historical mortals. His name is literally "good day," from eu "well" (see eu-) + hemera "day" (see ephemera). Related: Euhemerist; euhemeristic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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