Sacred narratives are one of the foundations upon which human societies depend for their existence, since in all societies those narratives help establish the legitimacy of the social order and values. While Western societies have opted to regard tales of the supernatural as their main form of sacred narrative, ancient Chinese societies chose, instead, to regard ancient history as theirs. Even though the narrative contents of myths and ancient history differ, they fulfill the same social function and both are believed to represent “facts” from immemorial antiquity. Therefore, the author uses the concept of the sacred narrative to embrace both myths and ancient history, transcending differences in content between mythological and historical narratives and setting forth an argument based on their common social function. This not only allows mythology studies to be in keeping with historical reality but also contributes to an accurate understanding of the narrative foundations of different social and cultural systems.
JiangGuanyun蔣觀雲MaChangyi馬昌儀“Shenhua, lishi yangcheng zhi renwu 神話、歷史養成之人物 [Figures Fostered by Myths and History]”Zhongguo shenhua xue lun xuan cui 中國神話學論選萃 [Chinese Mythology: A Selection of Writings]1994BeijingZhongguo guangbo dianshi chubanshi