polutrope: (moar academia)
This is pretty much my new favorite sentence: "The name is Väinämöinen, due to vowel harmonization, but we had pity on the type-setter."

(it's from a book that argue, among other things, that Hamlet is equivalent to Lucius Junius Brutus, who killed Tarquinius; that Hamlet had a mill, like the Sampo, that ground out salt and is now on the bottom of the ocean; and that Samson is also a parallel figure. Among other things, including, as far as I can tell, that ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is related to their thesis. On the bright side, it's led me to wikipedia Väinämöinen, giving me this picture and has a black-and-white version of this 16th century map. Check out the monsters! they're adorable!)
polutrope: (moar academia)
This paper is now about Väinamöinen. Once upon a time there was a man named Väinamöinen who lived in Finland. He really didn’t have all that much to do with Vergil except that their names start with the same letter and also a crazy Italian man said that the Homeric epics really took place in Finland. Väinamöinen is kind of like Odysseus in a way because they’re both smart but Väinamöinen didn’t do well with women like that time when he married a girl and then she jumped into the North Sea and then he tried to make a wife out of gold and it didn’t work. They are also very different because at the end Väinamöinen represents the old gods and that does not happen with Odysseus, because there was no Christianity in archaic Greece. Also Odysseus didn’t have an illegitimate son who he then abandoned and then had some issues involving marrying his sister by mistake and then she killed herself and then he killed himself too. But that didn’t happen in Homer because he was not Balkan.

[The paper is really about the motivation of Athena in the Odyssey and Venus in the Aeneid. Thesis: the motivations of the goddesses reflect the overall goal of their epics: Athena likes Odysseus personally, while Aeneas, although he is Venus' son, is more important to her as the founder of the empire than as a person. Unfortunately I am having some (that is, a lot) trouble coming up with a good beginning]

(other option for starting this paper: “on a bright day in semi-historic semi-Greece…”)
polutrope: (academia)
So I'm doing reading for the paper due May 19th, not the one due Tuesday morning, or even better, writing the one due Monday afternoon. Whatever, that's what the weekend's for, right?

Anyway, I am glad I did, because I've found my new favorite theories: Olaus Rudbeck, Atlantica, and Daniel Juslenius, Aboa vetus et nova. The first is Swedish, and argues that - wait, I might as well use all of William Wilson's summary - "which 'established' that Sweden was in reality the legendary island Atlantis, the Hyperborean region of Greek mythology... and the source of all culture." Well then.

Of course, the Finns couldn't take this lying down. If the Swedes were going to claim crazy things, well then the Finns were going to claim crazier things! Again, William Wilson summarizes: "He went still farther, boasting that Finnish was actually one of the basic languages created at the confusion of tongues." Of course, this was not all the ancient Finns had done: "The Finns had migrated to their northern home... under the leadership of Noah's grandson Magog. There they had become a mighty warlike nation and had subdued armies as far away as Spain. The women, too, participated in these heroic struggles, for, as Juslenius explained, the Amazons of Greek mythology had lived in Finland."

And nothing like this would be complete without a claim of a great conspiracy against your favored group (which, in the case of people like von Daniken, includes... yourself): "However, the envious Swedes... had destroyed all traces of this learning in order to crush Finnish national feeling."

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