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Euhemerism
(284 words)

[German Version]

is the theory that the gods are human beings deified on account of their merits. It remains unclear when and how the term originated. In myths – “When the gods were human beings…” (Old Babylonian Atrahasis Epic) – and as an exegetical schema (Greek Sophistic School), Euhemerism antedates the eponymous Euhemerus of Messene, an adviser to King Cassandrus of Macedonia from 311 to 298 bce. In his (lost) utopian novel ῾Ιερὰ ἀναγραφή/Hierá anagraphḗ, the human genealogy of the gods and their cults is revealed as a “sacred inscription” in the temple of Zeus …

Cite this page
Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard, “Euhemerism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 08 December 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_04725>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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