The Pillaged Village is a richly illustrated site dedicated to the mythologies, religious beliefs of ancient medieval civilizations around the world and their representations in the arts.
A myth is an imaginary construction (narrative, representation, ideas) that aims to explain cosmic or social phenomena and, above all, to found a social practice based on the fundamental values of a community in search of its cohesion. It is originally carried by an oral tradition, which provides an explanation for some fundamental aspects of the world and the society that has forged or conveys these myths:
- the creation of the world (cosmogony);
- natural phenomena;
- the status of the human being, and in particular his relationship with the divine, with nature, with other individuals (of another sex, of another group);
- the genesis of a human society and its relations with other societies.
The term mythology therefore applies to two very distinct concepts:
1) to all the deities and legends that concern them, adopted by a tribe or a nation: Indo-European mythology, Scandinavian mythology, etc.;
2) the science of myths, i.e. the critical search for their origin, meaning and development.
The study of myths is mythology. Mythification is the action or process by which historiography, artistic production or popular representations consider, interpret or transform a historical character or episode into a myth.
The term myth is often used to refer to a belief that is obviously wrong at first glance, but which may relate to concrete elements expressed in a symbolic way and shared by a significant number of people. He often stages beings embodying in a symbolic form the forces of nature, aspects of the human condition
Myth (which is intended to be explanatory based on imaginary constructions) is distinguished from legend (which assumes some identifiable historical facts), tale (which is intended to be inventive without explaining), and novel (which “explains” with little foundation). These four types of fictional narratives are sometimes confused.
In addition to the Greco-Roman civilization, there are also medieval, Celtic and Nordic European civilizations, but also more exotic ones such as those of the Americas or Asia. In addition to mythology you will also find an overview of ancient history and some architectural elements on the theme of ancient civilizations.
The bibliography page provides references to books that address these topics.