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Humanities 2018, 7(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020047

Folklore in Antiquity

1
Department of Hebrew Literature and Graduate Program in the Study of Folklore and Folk Culture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
2
Department of Hebrew Literature, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 8410501, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
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Abstract

Folklore exists in all human groups, small and big. Since early modernity, scholars have provided various definitions of the phenomenon, but earlier texts may also reveal awareness and reflection on the specific character folklore. In this short article, we wish to explore and look into the various definitions and characterizations of folklore given by ancient writers from various times and cultures. We will try to draw a cultural map of awareness to the phenomenon of folklore in ancient Near-Eastern texts, Greco-Roman culture, the Hebrew Bible, Early Christianity and Rabbinic literature. The main questions we wish do deal with are where and if we can find explicit mention of folklore; which folk genres are dominant in ancient writings and what was the social context of ancient folklore? That is to say, whom those text integrated in social frameworks, enabling their users to gain power or to undermine existing cultural, theological and social structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: folk genres; ethnography; Greco-Roman Literature; Biblical Literature; Rabbinic Literature; Early Christianity; Ancient Near East; Jewish Folklore folk genres; ethnography; Greco-Roman Literature; Biblical Literature; Rabbinic Literature; Early Christianity; Ancient Near East; Jewish Folklore
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hasan-Rokem, G.; Weiss, H. Folklore in Antiquity. Humanities 2018, 7, 47.

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