Sunday, January 28, 2007

Myth can be good

And speaking of myth,

Archaeologists say they have unearthed Lupercale—the sacred cave where, according to legend, a she-wolf nursed the twin founders of Rome and where the city itself was born.

The long-lost underground chamber was found beneath the remains of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine, a 230-foot-tall (70-meter-tall) hill in the center of the city.
It is obligatory to be sceptical about how Rome was founded and quite reasonable to be sceptical about whether this was the cave that the Romans venerated. But stories like this bring them into the public arena, and when the West rediscovers the narrative that made it great, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.

As an example of the kind of alternative myth-making against which we have to battle, here's a piece by John Pilger in The Guardian according to which Australia is a genocidal, imperialistic project which, if God were attentive, he would have swept away in the sweep of a hand. The foundation of Australia is especially heinous compared to ...

(Regarding the genocide, take your pick from any of the articles on this page.)

(via Dorothy King)

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