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Mythology, history relations disputed

| 2016-08-25 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

The notion that mythology and history are mutually exclusive is a product of modern empirical science. Ancient people did not make this distinction, so today’s scholars should avoid recklessly dismissing myths as being “ahistorical,” said Chen Lianshan, a professor from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University. Chen shared his ideas at a symposium marking the publication of the book Comparative Mythology in China co-authored by Ye Shuxian and Tan Jia from the Institute of Literature at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The book suggested that Chinese mythology provided a way for people to understand Chinese culture and history. The mythologies were developed based on a combination of ancient history and literary imagination, said Liu Yuejin, party secretary of the Institute of Literature at CASS, adding that history and literature were like twins in prehistory.