Talk:Legendary progenitor

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Legendary progenitor of a dynasty or family[edit]

I have expanded the lede to include this terminology on the basis of the usage in these two sources:

The first one says says "legendary progenitors of the Piast dynasty"

Nora Berend (22 November 2007). Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' c.900-1200. Cambridge University Press. pp. 266–. ISBN 978-0-521-87616-2. Retrieved 2 December 2012.

This one says Melampus is the "legendary founder and progenitor of a great and long-continued family of prophets".

George Grote, Esq. (1854). History of Greece; I. Legendary Greece, II. Grecian History to the Reign of Peisistratus At Athens. National Academies. pp. 122–. NAP:34576. Retrieved 2 December 2012.

The usage would seem unquestionably clear. Paul Bedsontalk 04:39, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

There is a difference between what you are finding - strings of text in Google Books that happen to contain the words 'legendary' and 'progenitor', or even 'legendary progenitor', and a notable concept. Are these 'legendary progenitors', or simply progenitors that happen to be legendary? This is what comes of doing Wikipedia by Google Books search, rather than by scholarship. It is Original Research, plain and simple. Agricolae (talk) 05:04, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry, I am not following you here. There can be legendary progenitors for many things, progenitors that happen to be legendary are legendary progenitors. This is not Google Books searching, all the material is also being cross-referenced on Wikipedia and integrated into what we already have, and don't have. I have been researching religion and mythology for over twenty five years. None of my material is original however. Want to join my religion? You are most welcome. I am Druze. As Druze, I consider all progenitors and the like as prophets for different peoples.Paul Bedsontalk 16:46, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
It is real simple. There either is an established sociological concept at play here that this article is intended to describe, or it is just a collection of instances where one is able to find the phrase "legendary progenitor' applied to something. The former is a legitimate basis for a Wikipedia article if there is scholarly literature examining the phenomenon. The latter is a Google word search result written in more elaborate language. Agricolae (talk) 17:03, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Not at all. Have a read below about how I intend the article to be developed using geographical locations. All the collection of instances relate to a particular country or particular people or dynasty within a country. People reading the article will want to know an example and relevance for their particlar part of the world, and to be able to contrast it with others. I'll get on and do some more expansion to try and sectionalise it so you see what I mean. Paul Bedsontalk 17:31, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't see how this response, that you plan to organize original synthesis around a geographical framework, in any way establishes this as a sociological concept rather than just a magpie collection of anything about which the words 'legendary progenitor' have been used. Agricolae (talk) 18:11, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Dbachmann has already established this as a sociological concept and created this page as a head of a category, which lots of other pages are part of. Please have a look at the "magpie" collection of pages in the Category:Legendary progenitors where many of the names I have already listed exist. It duely needs expansion. If you have any questions with the logic, they may be better taken up with Dbachmann directly. Paul Bedsontalk 18:32, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Because some editor created a page, it is established as a sociological concept, and because a category has been created, that proves it? Take it up with some editor? That is not how it works. If this is a valid sociological concept, it should contain references to its discussion as a sociological concept. 'Editor X created it so it must be real' proves nothing. Agricolae (talk) 18:38, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I am just saying Dbachmann may be able to give you greater insight into his reasoning for creating the page, and definition of the term as he sees it. I know all about it and am simply expanding with reliable, independent, scholarly coverage of the subject. Have a read of some of the sources in the meantime for further explanation about the term. There are plenty. Paul Bedsontalk 19:04, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
You can look the term up as a derived term of progenitor on Wiktionary too [1]. This also needs a sourced definition. Well pointed out. Paul Bedsontalk 19:12, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Given the turnover of Wikipedia editors (and the variability in their competence), we cannot possibly rely on consulting creating editors to determine the rationale and justification for a page. Rather, that must derive from the content of the page itself. Agricolae (talk) 19:23, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Since Paul thinks it's important to look at who created this page it's also worth looking at how this page was created: the first version of the page, created by Dbachmann, suggested that the article be merged with First man or woman. Later someone else temporarily redirected the page to Myth of origins, then changed his mind: [2] [3]. It's only Paul who decided that the page shouldn't be merged, and started expanding the article. But so far he hasn't written more about the topic of the legendary progenitor, he's just added a bunch of randomly chosen examples. Perhaps we should change the page title to List of legendary progenitors. --Akhilleus (talk) 19:58, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

At least originally it had a coherent sociological phenomenon as its topic. List of people turned up by a Google search for the words "legendary progenitor" would seem a more accurate description of the direction it is going. Agricolae (talk)
The Germans have a good similar article describing Founding family defined in terms of an industry or trading company that makes interesting reading. [4] Paul Bedsontalk 20:02, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
First of all, the list has been broken into geographical areas now, as the definition, and figures that the social phenomenon involves differs widely by region. This gives greater coverage for a better understanding fo the subject. Second, I'll try to do some work on better discussion of the subject, like that by Machiavelli added this afternoon. My suggestions about Dbachmann are simply that I know he has access to a massive range of sources, possibly even more than me! Hence he may have some that could help guide and develop the article better. Paul Bedsontalk 20:27, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Why these folks?[edit]

Paul, could you explain the basis for selecting the legendary figures named in the article? This seems to be a random list--we'll, perhaps not that random, I have an inkling that were I to search Google Books for "legendary progenitor", these chaps would pop up in snippet view. And, given that Melampous is called both founder and progenitor, why is this article titled progenitor and not founder? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Akhilleus (talkcontribs) 04:43, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Sure, I can explain all these questions:
  • 1) I am building the article, and am still in the process of collating lots of data on legendary progenitors from around the world. This can soon be split into geographical areas such as Asia, Americas, Europe, Middle East, etc. I intend this to provide a broad and all encompassing view for all nationalities of reader. This can then be developed with sections covering an overview, summary, common and contrasting themes between regions and discussion of sub-concepts becoming apparent such as Spiritual progenitor. All appropriately illustrated and even with the genealogical charts of the Langfedgetal and other legendary progenitors.
  • 2) Most, in fact I have tried to compile all of the sources on this page with full and fascinating previews of the original sources for further reading. Go ahead and try one.
  • 3) The article was created by User:Dbachmann and not myself. I don't argue with this professor, he is one of my favourite Wikipedians and the extent of his and knowledge is beyond question in many regards. Further to that, if you look up "Ancestor" in any reasonable thesaurus, it lists progenitor along with founder as acceptable alternate words for ancestor, hence both can be used. In genealogical terminology, "progenitor" is a far better word to describe ancestors than "founder" or "primogenitor" which implies a singularity of usage. Founder is also better used in terms of an organisation or structure rather than a family or dynasty. You can generally only have one founder or primogenitor, whereas you can have many progenitors and correct use of english is applied. I suggest Dbachmann did the search results and found this the most widely used and appropriate terminology and I agree with his logic. He's created what should be an awesome page after expansion. Paul Bedsontalk 16:38, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
The approach outlined in point 1 sounds an awful lot like Original Research by synthesis as it appears to involve compiling this from scattered references to individual cases (found by Googling the expression), rather than from published scholarly surveys of the topic. Such an approach is discouraged, as the results end up being arbitrary and the decisions for inclusion are based on the conclusions of editors and not those of scholars familiar with the sociological concept. Agricolae (talk) 16:54, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Published scholarly surveys are in there. Oxford Dictionary of Creation Myths, etc. All the sources look quite scholarly to me. I have Googled the expression to get the best sources in place for a full and comprehensive view of the subject. Compilation is not original research, we have discussed that before. If you can please read the category list, you will see similar research has already been done there. None of it is OR. Paul Bedsontalk 18:49, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
If the published surveys are there, why aren't these being cited and used for the examples. Googling an expression just documents the use of the expression. Concluding that a given use of the language belongs under the umbrella of a sociological concept is above our pay grades as editors. It is Original Research. Agricolae (talk) 18:53, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
As I have mentioned earlier, I know the expression exists and have been studying the concept for twenty five years, I am just putting the best available sources in place for full and comprehensive coverage. I will try to provide discussion as you suggest as the compliation of this article goes along. Paul Bedsontalk 19:00, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Incidentally, your suggestion to limit sourcing may create a POV situation from not using a wide variety of sources to reflect accurately on a wide topic. This is also discouraged under WP:NPOV. Paul Bedsontalk 19:06, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
And so it is preferable for all of this to be determined by the whims of one editor doing Google searches? That's not POV? Agricolae (talk) 22:05, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Paul's answers to my question show that there is little justification for having an article under this title. (N.b. as the article stands at this moment it's actually a list, not an article.) Agricolae is quite right to say that answer #1 implies a program of original research—Paul is not following some source that discusses the concept of a legendary progenitor, he's just gathering Google Books snippets that use the phrase and cramming the examples into this article, with the intent of eventually distinguishing between subtypes of progenitor. (I like the preview of how Paul intends to use material rejected at Langfedgetal in this article.) Answer #2 confirms what we'd already surmised, that Paul's "research" consists of searching Google books for "legendary progenitor." Answer #3 is a non-answer. The problem, which Paul does not seem to understand in the slightest, is the difference between creating an article about a phrase—"legendary progenitor"—and a concept—that many peoples around the world have ascribed the origins of various families, clans, peoples, institutions, and social practices to a mythical or legendary personage. Nor has Paul done the legwork to indicate that "legendary progenitor" is the most common way that secondary sources refer to this concept—he's just provided us with an argument for why he likes this phrase better than others that could be used. Here's a case in point: search Google Books for "legendary founder melampous": 97 results. Search Google Books for "legendary progenitor melampous": 0 results. Search for "legendary founder melampus": 955 results. Search for "legendary progenitor melampus": 145 results. --Akhilleus (talk) 20:18, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Take a read with what I've done with the overview section to impress you. It gives good definition, coverage and the importance of the subject and development of the topic. It's also helping to fill in gaps where needed like a page on Siculus that we never had before. All those people from Sicily now have an ancestor to look up to. All part of a good days work imho. Paul Bedsontalk 22:38, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm impressed by the incoherence of the opening paragraph. The first three sentences make almost no sense to me, and I say this as someone who knows a little bit about ancient Greece. What exactly is all of that supposed to mean? Why are Zeus, Hera, Hestia, and Hermes mentioned? Why is charis an important concept to mention in connection with the idea of a legendary progenitor? Why are you relying upon a chapter about the family in Greece written by social psychologists as part of a book about the family in the modern world, when there are plenty of classical scholars who focus on the family in the ancient world? (Among other things, classical scholars would have been able to transliterate genos properly.) Why are you beginning the "overview" section with ancient Greece, when presumably you intend this article to deal with the whole world? (Hint: ancient Greece did not have much historical influence on the Australian Aborigines.) What, exactly, does the election of the pope with the legendary ancestor of the Indo-Aryan peoples? Do any of the works you're citing focus on the idea of a legendary progenitor, or are you simply drawing on scholarship that focuses on other topics, but happens to mention ancestors or progenitors as part of their treatment?
In case it's not clear, this overview does not provide a clear definition of the topic of this article, doesn't make sense, and doesn't provide a suitable structure for expanding the article. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:49, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I'll do some more work on it. It is designed to show the importance and role of legendary progenitors, concentrating in their role within a family context, and their development through history. It perhaps needs further clarification and linking this together with more real world and modern examples. Paul Bedsontalk 07:44, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Which secondary source concentrates on the "importance and role of legendary progenitors"? The source you cited in the overview doesn't. Nor do the sources you've cited for the examples of mythical ancestors on the rest of the page, I would guess: those sources focus on particular mythical individuals but not on the concept of the "legendary progenitor" as such. --Akhilleus (talk) 14:22, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I found
  • Vittorio Cigoli; Eugenia Scabini (1 April 2006). Family Identity: Ties, Symbols, And Transitions. (Pages 4 & 5 in particular) Taylor & [5]

Which forms the bulk of the overview a reasonable brief on the subject and went from there to expand the overview to show how it appies worldwide. Paul Bedsontalk 21:09, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

{od} There's very little on pp. 4-5 of Cigoli and Scabini about the concept of a legendary progenitor. Cigoli and Scabini are psychologists; their book is about the family, mostly in the modern day. The first chapter is a historical overview going from ancient Greece to the modern day, and it's about ideas of the family in different societies; mythical ancestors are mentioned in passing. If this is the only source you can find, there's not enough justification for an article on legendary progenitors. The material from Cigoli and Scabini belongs in articles about the Greek and Roman family, and if you're going to write about those topics, there are better sources that can be used—there are entire books that focus on the Greek family, the Roman family, and so on. --Akhilleus (talk) 21:41, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

I have to say that I think the concept of a legendary progenitor very inherently a psychological one. As you can probably tell by the way I've written it, my POV is possibly somewhat a Tibetan Buddhist one and explores their concepts with detail as I am highly knowledgeable in that field. The role of it within family, and of progenitors primarily being of families and showing the importance and development of the role is how I intended it, with a psychological look at it's inherrent benefits expressed and explained in Greek terms. I hope it will make a positive and personal impact on readers approaching it this way, from whatever country. I would like to feature Julia Makarem's article on the psychology of a similar concept, but it is perhaps stretching it a bit too far. [6] (for further reading) I will admit the source for the overview is brief, but in the right direction and I will try to take note of your advice and improve further. Paul Bedsontalk 22:07, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
And yet again you fail to get a fundamental concept of editing in Wikipedia. It is not for writing essays, putting in points you would like to make, and expressing your thoughts. You need to find a sources that review this concept and mirror their coverage, rather than reflecting what you think and what your POV is. Agricolae (talk) 04:34, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
All the sources reflect this concept. The problem is that they come from so many sources from all over the world, the POV is different for everyone on this topic. Fortunately, I know enough about the subject to give a fair NPOV without preferring any particular country selectively. The only breach of NPOV here is the deleted Scandinavian and British legendary progenitors that you have censored from Wikipedia at Langfedgetal for bad formatting. Paul Bedsontalk 19:46, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
What you are describing, where a Wikipedia editor uses their own sensibilities to synthesize the disparate literature, is a form of Original Research and is expressly prohibited. We need to have a scholarly source that reviews this material and produces a synthesis, and then we summarize that source. Not come up with a novel synthesis to reflect our own sensibilities, however unbiased an editor might think they are. If you think you can make a contribution to the field due to your unique NPOV perspective, then write yourself a scholarly paper, get it published, and then you can cite it and summarize it all you want. Agricolae (talk) 21:18, 4 December 2012 (UTC)