from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A theory attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun The doctrine that polytheistic mythology arose exclusively, or in the main, out of the deification of dead heroes; the system of mythological interpretation which reduces the gods to the level of distinguished men, and so regards the myths as founded on real histories; hence, the derivation of mythology from history.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun The theory, held by Euhemerus, that the gods of mythology were but deified mortals, and their deeds only the amplification in imagination of human acts.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A
beliefattributing the origins of the godsto the deificationof heroesafter their deaths.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
The most widespread of these revived views is euhemerism — the doctrine of Euhemerus that the gods are simply idealizations of famous mortals — and the most influential euhemerist treatise of the period is A. Banier's La Mythologie et les fables ex - pliquées par l'histoire (1711; revised 1715, and exten - sively, 1738-40).
Benjamin Hederich (1724) present myth as idolatry, lean to euhemerism and nod mechanically toward
The first, and the most prosaic, is euhemerism: the gods were only men, famous or powerful men, who had been deified after their death through the adulation of their contemporaries.
As an orthodox mythologist, Banier finds euhemerism useful: as merely falsified or mistaken history, myth can be corrected and fitted back into biblical chronology and sacred history.
There is another side to euhemerism, and another consequence.
So deeply spread and so deeply rooted was the belief in ecstasy as a divinely-caused state, that the apologists declared that euhemerism -- i.e. the attempt to explain the heathen religions by the deification of men -- failed because of the fact of oracles.
Deification and euhemerism are equally natural to the
In Çivaism, in contradistinction to Vishnuism, there is not a trace of the euhemerism which has been suspected in the
A study of antiquity conducted in such a fashion could hardly have coloured mediæval thought with any real classicism, even if it had been devoted to much more genuine specimens of antiquity than the semi-Oriental medley of the Pseudo-Callisthenes and the bit of bald euhemerism which had better have been devoted to Hephæstus than ascribed to his priest.
Nothing can be more childish than the punctilious euhemerism by which all the miraculous elements of the