Lucjusz Anneusz Kornutus i etnograficzna egzegeza mitu
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LUCIUS ANNAEUS CORNUTUS AND THE ETHNOGRAPHICAL EXEGESIS OF MYTH
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The aim of the present article is to demonstrate that the hermeneutical activity of Lucius Annaeus Cornutus is best characterized as ‘ethnographical’ rather than merely ‘allegorical.’ Without denying the presence of allegorical interpretation in the philosopher’s work, the paper establishes that Cornutus’ etymological interpretations aimed first and foremost to extract the archaic vision of the world that motivated every theogony. Thus, the philosopher regarded conventional mythology and traditional religion as sources of information about the primeval accounts of the cosmos: his analyses of various etymologies discovered not merely the origin of the word in question (in this respect his analyses were often naďve and fantastic) but, first of all, the origin of the ancient world picture that underlay the particular system of beliefs. As a result of this, interpreting myths was for Cornutus tantamount to gaining profound insights into the mind of primordial man and his world.
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