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NOTE: this article has employed the usage BC/CE since its inception. (Wetman 10:22, 5 January 2007 (UTC))


User: Wetman has largely rewritten this article, originally from the 1911 Britannica. Judging from the changes, the problem with the original is that it didn't sneer at Euhemerus and his followers enough. The article is now a rather POV history of euhemerism, with excessive emphasis on the bleeding obvious: that Euhemerus's book was fiction, euhemerism is only a theory, and the shocking idea that the early Christians were hostile to paganism.

I was particularly taken aback by the following statement:

Thus few students of comparative religion would now agree with the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica that "all theories of religion which give prominence to ancestor worship and the cult of the dead are to a certain extent Euhemeristic."

Which is something of a misrepresentation of the original article:

All theories of religion which give prominence to ancestor worship and the cult of the dead are to a certain extent Euhemeristic. But as the sole explanation of the origin of the idea of gods it is not accepted by students of comparative religion. 14:47, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"Sneering"? Why? We don't even have any text of Euhemerus to sneer at? Euhemerism is a reductive explication of myth. An axiom derived from the definition of "euhemerist." I do disapprove of "it" without a clear antecedent, as in the anonymous example above. Wetman 17:48, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I don't understand this dispute. Nor do I understand the "Thus few students of comparative religion would now agree with the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica" statement. The "thus" seems a non sequitur to me. isn't "theories of religion which give prominence to ancestor worship and the cult of the dead" pretty much synonymous to "Euhemerism"? dab () 14:27, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Yes indeed. "Thus" is not required. Can you reword my clumsy phrasing to show what— we all agree— "Euhemerism" means? --Wetman 16:49, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

To Dbachmann: What don't you understand about the dispute? It was Wetman who rewrote the passage you quote to disagree with the statement, "theories of religion which give prominence...", which you find a reasonable definition of euhemerism (and now he apparently agrees with you). In my opinion he did this to justify his rewriting the article in line with his own bias, which he admits to above: I do disapprove of "it". He also removed the dispute message from the article without justifying it. 13:37, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Just fix the text to satisfy your own standards won't you. We'd fence with you, but we're out of toothpicks. And log in.--Wetman 18:50, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The part at the end of the introduction stating: ""Euhemerism" is sometimes used to mean naive reductionisms by modern secular thinkers, who 'mis-understand religious people and behavior by attributing to them only those motives (economic, psychological, utilitarian) which the secular thinkers comprehend.'" violates neutrality and needs to be revised. A lot. GeddyIsGodYYZ 13:19, 16 Nov 2006


I think it is time to split the biographical Euhemerus article from the concept of Euhemerism. dab () 17:21, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Seconded. --Ghirlandajo 17:45, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Thirded. Andrewaskew (talk) 06:51, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I propose that we split this page for content reasons. At the moment it is serving two purposes, a biography of Euhemerus and a study of Euhemerism. These are sufficently distinct that readers will most likely be looking for one or the other, not always both.
Euhemerism is currently a section redirect to this article. There is sufficient material here that neither article would become a stub. --Andrewaskew (talk) 06:51, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
 Done --Andrewaskew (talk) 07:03, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Greek name[edit]

Does "Euhemerus" mean "Good day" in Greek?

Latter Day Saints[edit]

I fail to see how the elevation of Adam to an angel in the belief system of the Latter Day Saints qualifies as euhemerism. It doesn't sound like they are *explaining* a myth as originating in some historical event; rather, they believe both that Adam was a historical figure and that he *literally* became an angel. At least that's the way I read it; some who may be more familiar with LDS beliefs might disagree. 04:30, 8 October 2006 (UTC)



What is meant to be conveyed by the following passage: "Euhemerus (Ευήμερος) (flourished around 316 BC)"? To say that a person "flourished" is too unclear for an encyclopedia entry. As I am unfamiliar with anything about Euhemerus besides what appears on his page on de.Wikipedia, I am reluctant to change the entry, but will give the dates listed on the German page: 340 BC-260 BC. -THELEG

Is it better now? No actual year for Euhemerus is possible, only his contemporaneity with Cassander. --Wetman 10:22, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Use as a Noun[edit]

The word 'euhemerus', which brought me to this article, was only known to me as a substantive term for a "lawgiver" or other founder of a religious tradition, a generalization of the individuals to whom it was applied. In spite of significant exposure to Western classics, such as Diogenes Laertius, I was unaware it was an eponymous term, probably because of there being no surviving writings or successor schools. I think there should be some mention of this modern use which embodies the topic in the article.

OED doesn't give euhemerus as an eponymous noun, just euhemerist and euhemerism..--Wetman 21:05, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Which edition? Lycurgus 08:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Euhemerist / Evemerist transliteration[edit]

Many of us would appreciate seeing the alternative transliteration of "euhemerism," to wit "evemerism," included in the dictionary/wikipedia. This word "euhemerism" is currently enjoying some degree of popularity, but the fact remains that nobody is running around today saying "Euhemeros," "euhemerism" or "euhemerist" because these transliterations are difficult to pronounce. Thus, these words have been transliterated from the Greek also as "Evemerus," "evemerism" and "evemerist," for the same reason that the word "euangelion" became "evangelism."

Here are a few book citations where the transliteration "evermerism" is proffered:

In "Christianity and Mythology" (1900, p. 315), J.M. Robertson comments about "Euhemerism (or Evemerism, as the word ought to be written in English)..."

A search of Google books will reveal the use of this term and spelling as "evemerism" dating back to at least as early as 1856, in the London Quarterly, v. 6, which has an entire chapter entitled "Evemerism Fills All History with Fictions."

In the mid-20th century, Edouard Dujardin said:

"Evemerism is the doctrine of Evemeras, a Greek philosopher of the fourth century BC, according to whom the gods were men..."

Furthermore, a Google Book search for the transliteration "evemerist" or "evemerism" reveals 208 books using those terms. Many of those books are 100 years old, given the transliteration authority.

Experts in ancient and modern Greek assert that such a transliteration is appropriate, pointing to the word "evangelist," which, like "Euhemeros" is spelled with a "u" or upsilon in the orignal Greek. Yet, in modern Greek the "eu" is pronounced "ev." As Wikipedia states:

"The word evangelist comes from the Koine Greek word e?a??????? (transliterated as 'euangelion') via Latinised 'Evangelium,' as used in the canonical titles of the four Gospels, authored by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (also known as the Four Evangelists)....The verb form of euangelion, euangelizo (transliterated "evangelism")

The same process may be found with the Greek word "I thank" or "thank you," which is spelled "eucharisto" but which is pronounced "eVkhareesto." Because of the difficulty in pronunciation and the fact that the word is in reality pronounced "evemerism," we are requesting that you included this transliteration in your dictionary/website.

The following relevant link may be helpful:

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Jose5643 15:48, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

If I remember well, all the "Chariots of fire"-like theories of alien visitors in ancient times are based on euhemerism... Shouldn't this be included in the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

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