How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

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Eddie
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How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Eddie »

Hello, everyone.

In studying mythology, I've come across a sort of dilemma. Whereas major myth systems (Greco-Roman, Norse, Hindu, etc.) have intact primary sources to study, I haven't come across significant primary sources for lesser-known myth systems like those of the Aztecs and the Egyptians, and Wikipedia and various .com websites can only take a player so far.

In short, what are some significant primary source works from which to study lesser-known myth systems that lack significant works like the Eddas and the Vedas?
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) »

The Popul Vuh (Mayan) is fairly easy to find and read.
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Important Bird Area »

The best primary source for Aztec myth is the Florentine Codex, aka Sahagun's Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana.
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Eddie »

I'm looking into those right now - it looks like my local library has them! For Egyptian mythology, a quick Google search brought me to this book - does anyone know about the usefulness of this book?
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Auroni »

Egyptian myth is sort of a mess anyway; I'd probably just go with comprehensive-looking books about it/Egypt in general.
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Eddie »

For Shinto myth, I came across this online translation of the Kojiki, but I'm finding it difficult to read because all of the names are translated as well ("His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness," etc.). Are there better print translations or secondary source compilations?
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Auroni »

pk14ster wrote:For Shinto myth, I came across this online translation of the Kojiki, but I'm finding it difficult to read because all of the names are translated as well ("His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness," etc.). Are there better print translations or secondary source compilations?
Nobody should do this for the exact reason that you just pointed out.
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Cheynem »

You should probably just read good secondary sources on these myth systems (assuming you are doing this for quizbowl purposes). Scholars have already read, interpreted, and made sense of these lesser known mythologies and generally have books on the subject to read.
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

The Kojiki is one of the least coherent books I've ever read. Part of it is translation, part of it is that 95% of the book is just genealogies and stories that will never be asked about (least of all in high school!). The stories that will get you points can all be easy summarized in secondary sources.

I strongly recommend just general books about the myth system for most of these.
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by at your pleasure »

The volume "Myths from Mesopotamia" is a useful compilation of several of the best-known Mesopotamian stories with some good annotations and they're a fairly quick and enjoyable read.
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Re: How to Study Lesser-known Myth Systems

Post by Emil Nolde »

As ashamed as I am to say it, a whole lot of my myth knowledge comes from Rick Riordan books. Those are actually really good ways that even middle school players can learn basic stuff.
But as I've started to play collegiate questions, the sphere of myth systems gets larger. Now an in-depth knowledge of Aztec, Maya, Shinto, Mesopotamian, Slavic, and Finnish mythology is really what separates you from the pack.
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