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Reverse Euhemerization

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    Reverse Euhemerization

    Euhemerization is a process that human being figuratively changes into a god with time while reverse euhemerization according to Chinese scholars, is a procedure through which a mythological creature or god changes to a historical figure, believed to have existed before. Reverse euhemerization happens to people occupied with history than mythology.

    Euhemerization is a theory which was credited to Euhemerus of the earlier Greece mythology. Confusianists virtues are believed to possess the features of gentleman, have decorum as well as culture while Taoism is believed to be the natural process totality or “DO NOTHING”. They have asked many logical forms that questions the existence of these euhemerizational figures. In our days life there are some real euhemerization examples meaning that some real history individuals are still seen as gods. An example of such people is guan Yu, who was an historical hero in the Three Kingdom era and is seen as real euhemerization (Yu, 2001, p.17).

    The myths in the Chinese mythology are commonly intertwined with real Chinese history. They have the notion that, the process of euhemerization involves gods and other supernatural beings are believed to change to recognized historical figures with time Chinese traditional history claims that most prominent figures in the society before the Zhou Dynasty (1122B.C to 256 B.C) were not real human beings. These believe raises the question of whether other historical figures in traditional history had actually lived at any period of time. The notion of gods being seen as actual persons has skepticism on several myths associated with the Chinese people as well as historical documents. But many people have been left wondering what actually the fact is and is it just a fiction or is it true that these euhemerizational creatures exist or is it just imagination of some people who wants the Chinese myths to be believed.

    This believe in reverse euhemerization altered the Chinese myths, initially they used to believe that there were unseen gods which were inform of spirits but they started to believe that these gods were present and lived amongst themselves. One of the places were these gods believed to be found was in the mountains. Some of the mountains that was seen to have this gods were the march mounts or the sacred peaks famously known as he yue. Each of them was; in cardinal direction, fixed and had defined Chinese space.

    Yue comes frequently in the oracle bone inspirations posing as a pictograph of one mountain range on top of another mountain. The Yue include a number of sacrifices made for the gods which encompasses burnt sacrificial offering (Liao), di sacrifice offering which was made for the highest god of all other gods (Glahn, 2004, p.19). The gods were believed to posses the power that could curse the kings as well as the crops. Prayers for rain became most common object after the prayers for harvest (Yellow river).

     During these prayers one needed to refer to the historical march mounts as well as conserving some rituals that were done on all relatively high mountains. Some emissaries were sent to the gods on believe that they would motivate them and as well answer the people’s prayers. It can not exactly be understood the mountains that were meant for the gods. Mount Song which near Luoyang has been mentioned as one of the mountains where these gods were believed to be living. Others included the Central marchmount and Sarah Allan which have been seen to be the place for the god’s cosmic purposes. The word Yue was interpreted to mean lofty peak, speaking peak, the great palace or the Mount song. This is where the gods are believed to assemble and they could be heard to speaking. The gods could sometimes walk around in he peoples houses but sometimes could not be recognized (Allan, 1991, p.98).

    The Great palace mountain (Taishishan) was the central hall in the ancestral pure temple. The people’s leaders used to convene the feudal lords to worship the gods as ask for powers to lead their people. Others have emphasized that Mount Huo which was also known as Taiyueshan or Huotaishan is one of the places where these gods used to recite. The believe of euhemerization led to the birth of Buddhism. Most Chinese had the believe that Buddha was one of the people who had under gone the euhemerization process and transformed from god to human being and he was also believed to be living amongst them. The believers of Buddhism could worship using whatever means possible to praise him. They as well as believed that the living gods were acting as a social leveler. All believers received a heartily welcome as well as encouragement to take part in religious lectures that were designed to create level understanding for the varying audience (Allan, 1991, p. 26).

     The authorities and all religious organizations organized several educational enterprises that were meant for the common audience. They believed that there was equality in the community and that since the god was a human being he would be with them in 5their worship. This encouraged all walks of live, different social classes to leave their families and came to experience the gods. Some went ahead to become nuns and monks, vowing to maintain celibacy and fore gore their desire to get young springs. As time went on some of these believes and cultures as well as the nature these social and literary changes have been ignored.

                The history of china has been affected greatly by the believes of euhemerization as there emerged come several Chinese literature in both written and oral forms. This literature contains storytelling known as chuan-pien which literally contained scrolls that have painted scenes of transformation of euhemerizational creatures. The art work also contained pien-wen, a genre of written popular literature derived from stories that were presented orally by chuan-pien performers. These literatures mostly talked about Chinese historical and legendary myths. They have consequently helped to develop written vernacular literature which contains both drama as well as fiction. It has further resulted to identifying characterizes of the vast majority of the Chinese famous literary genres. The traditional myths and the believe in the living euhemerizational creatures Have therefore been responsible for this the Chinese literature and culture (Yu, 2001, p.53).

                Of late this, this Chinese culture has been affected by the introduction of foreign culture. The desire for foreign food, clothes as well as foreign music and art has changed the Chinese literature work as well as their culture greatly, especially in the eighth century. This has penetrated to every part of the Chinese community to an extent which it had not gone before.


    Allan, S. (1991). The shape of the Turtle: Myth, art and cosmos in early China. New

                California: California University Press; pp. 19.

    Glahn, V. R. (2004). The Divine and the demonic in Chinese Religious culture.

                York: State University of New York Press; pp. 26, 98.

    Yu, K. Y. (2001). The Chinese transformation of Avalokitesvara. Columbia: Columbia    University Press; pp. 17, 53.


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