Ancient Mysteries Mythology Myths and Myth-Makers

Myths and Myth-Makers

Myths and Myth-Makers
Catalog # SKU3089
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name John Fiske
ISBN 10: 1610334523
ISBN 13: 9781610334525


Myths and Myth-Makers

Old Tales and Superstitions
Interpreted by
Comparative Mythology


John Fiske

Mythology, this very new science, who makes usto follow the beliefs of our fathers, since the cradle of the world until the superstitions of our campaigns. The author researches how our myths came to be, the sources, the people, the cultures... Large Print edition with 15 point font, not a scanned reprint, but a newly formatted reprint.


FEW mediaeval heroes are so widely known as William Tell. His exploits have been celebrated by one of the greatest poets and one of the most popular musicians of modern times. They are doubtless familiar to many who have never heard of Stauffacher or Winkelried, who are quite ignorant of the prowess of Roland, and to whom Arthur and Lancelot, nay, even Charlemagne, are but empty names.

Nevertheless, in spite of his vast reputation, it is very likely that no such person as William Tell ever existed, and it is certain that the story of his shooting the apple from his son's head has no historical value whatever. In spite of the wrath of unlearned but patriotic Swiss, especially of those of the cicerone class, this conclusion is forced upon us as soon as we begin to study the legend in accordance with the canons of modern historical criticism. It is useless to point to Tell's lime-tree, standing to-day in the centre of the market-place at Altdorf, or to quote for our confusion his crossbow preserved in the arsenal at Zurich, as unimpeachable witnesses to the truth of the story. It is in vain that we are told, "The bricks are alive to this day to testify to it; therefore, deny it not." These proofs are not more valid than the handkerchief of St. Veronica, or the fragments of the true cross. For if relics are to be received as evidence, we must needs admit the truth of every miracle narrated by the Bollandists.

The earliest work which makes any allusion to the adventures of William Tell is the chronicle of the younger Melchior Russ, written in 1482. As the shooting of the apple was supposed to have taken place in 1296, this leaves an interval of one hundred and eighty-six years, during which neither a Tell, nor a William, nor the apple, nor the cruelty of Gessler, received any mention. It may also be observed, parenthetically, that the charters of Kussenach, when examined, show that no man by the name of Gessler ever ruled there. The chroniclers of the fifteenth century, Faber and Hammerlin, who minutely describe the tyrannical acts by which the Duke of Austria goaded the Swiss to rebellion, do not once mention Tell's name, or betray the slightest acquaintance with his exploits or with his existence.

340 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover
ISBN-10: 1610334523
ISBN-13: 9781610334525

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