Maths Meets Myths: Quantitative Approaches to Ancient Narratives

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Ralph Kenna, Máirín MacCarron, Pádraig MacCarron
Springer, Sep 22, 2016 - Science - 228 pages

With an emphasis on exploring measurable aspects of ancient narratives, Maths Meets Myths sets out to investigate age-old material with new techniques. This book collects, for the first time, novel quantitative approaches to studying sources from the past, such as chronicles, epics, folktales, and myths. It contributes significantly to recent efforts in bringing together natural scientists and humanities scholars in investigations aimed at achieving greater understanding of our cultural inheritance.

Accordingly, each contribution reports on a modern quantitative approach applicable to narrative sources from the past, or describes those which would be amenable to such treatment and why they are important.

This volume is a unique state-of-the-art compendium on an emerging research field which also addresses anyone with interests in quantitative approaches to humanities.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Cognitive and Network Constraints in Real Life and Literature
7
A Networks Approach to Mythological Epics
21
Medieval Historical Hagiographical and Biographical Networks
44
Peopling of the New World from Data on Distributions of Folklore Motifs
71
Bioinformatics Approaches to the Study of International Folktales
90
Analyses of a Virtual World
115
Conceptual Mapping of Supernatural Phenomena in a Large Folklore Corpus
131
Complex Networks of Words in Fables
159
Analysing and Restoring the Chronology of the Irish Annals
176
Mapping Literate Networks in Early Medieval Ireland
195
The Myth of the Struggle for Supremacy Between Two Groups of Deities Reconsidered
213
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