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Old 14 September 2009, 07:03 AM
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Icon220 Fairy tales have ancient origin

Popular fairy tales and folk stories are more ancient than was previously thought, according research by biologists.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...nt-origin.html
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Old 14 September 2009, 05:18 PM
Malruhn Malruhn is offline
 
 
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VERY interesting - but it begs the question: How much variation is allowed before you are actually looking at a totally different folk story?
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Old 14 September 2009, 07:55 PM
Tom o' Bedlam Tom o' Bedlam is offline
 
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Wolf

It seems the point of the article isn't so much that the same story has been retold since antiquity, but that the stories we know today have evolved over the generations, similar to how species of animals have done the same.

It doesn't especially surprise me; I remember reading a story in the Thousand and One Nights that was uncannily similar to the modern version of Cinderella; if I'd heard it out of context of the Nights, I might have thought someone had just taken Cinderella and adapted it to a Middle Eastern setting--which is probably something like what actually happened, or vice-versa, but far earlier than I would have otherwise thought the story to existed.

I also found this rather interesting:
Quote:
“The oldest tale we found was an Aesopic fable that dated from about the sixth century BC, so the last common ancestor of all these tales certainly predated this. We are looking at a very ancient tale that evolved over time.”
Possibly an early ancestor of The Three Little Pigs as well?

Last edited by Tom o' Bedlam; 14 September 2009 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 14 September 2009, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malruhn View Post
VERY interesting - but it begs the question: How much variation is allowed before you are actually looking at a totally different folk story?
It's not a totally different folk story no matter how much variation.
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Old 15 September 2009, 12:04 AM
Malruhn Malruhn is offline
 
 
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My point was, take any fable, and match it against any other fable, and there will be similiarities. If you are TRYING to see similiarities, it may be quite easy for a researcher to draw parallels and claim that they are different versions of the exact same fable that is slowly evolving.

I was concerned about researcher bias. I've seen it in many other things, and I was wondering if this was just another example.
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Old 15 September 2009, 12:39 AM
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Artemis Artemis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malruhn View Post
VERY interesting - but it begs the question: How much variation is allowed before you are actually looking at a totally different folk story?
Nitpick: it raises the question.

And it's a good point. I've heard of lots of stories based on other stories that seem pretty different.
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Old 15 September 2009, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
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Nitpick: it raises the question.
Ahhhh. Thank you!
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Old 15 September 2009, 04:16 AM
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crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom o' Bedlam View Post
It doesn't especially surprise me; I remember reading a story in the Thousand and One Nights that was uncannily similar to the modern version of Cinderella; if I'd heard it out of context of the Nights, I might have thought someone had just taken Cinderella and adapted it to a Middle Eastern setting--which is probably something like what actually happened, or vice-versa, but far earlier than I would have otherwise thought the story to existed.
That's especially not surprising with Thousand and One Nights, that collection kept getting added to in the time since the first version was written, so much of the content is probably revised or altered versions of tales from the various cultures the Arabs (I'm not really sure if I should say Arab or Muslim here, but I'm going to go with Arab because of geography) encountered as their empire expanded.
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Old 29 April 2013, 01:15 AM
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Morwen Edhelwen Morwen Edhelwen is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
That's especially not surprising with Thousand and One Nights, that collection kept getting added to in the time since the first version was written, so much of the content is probably revised or altered versions of tales from the various cultures the Arabs (I'm not really sure if I should say Arab or Muslim here, but I'm going to go with Arab because of geography) encountered as their empire expanded.
The earliest two versions were from Ancient Egypt/Greece and China, so maybe it came from there? What was the tale called? Do you remember the title?
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