The Future becomes the Present;
The Present becomes the Past;
The Past becomes History;
History becomes Legend;
Legend becomes Myth.
So much of what we know about the Past has become lost in Legend and Myth. And much of it is a mixture of relics, oral histories and should have beens.
Was there a Great Flood such as that survived by Noah? Or was there a memory of a great flood among the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean area that was used by a writer of the Bible to teach a lesson?
In The Rise of Rome Anthony Everitt divides his history into three parts: Legend, Story and History. I am finding the Story section to be quite interesting as it is a blend of fact, as we currently understand it, and fiction. How does one decide what is factual and what is not?
Physical evidence does not tell us the whys of things and the voices of those who lived two thousand years ago are long gone. Some of their writings survive, but what writer, including myself does not bring his own preconceptions, biases and desires to his writing? Ferretting out the “truth” is a fascinating adventure.
How will Future treat our heroes and villains, our stories and legends?
What will it make of George Washington and the Cherry Tree as told by Mason Weems? And, how about, tossing a coin across the Potomac? What will people believe about Washington if the Washington Monument and his head on Mount Rushmore survive into the far future but there are no writings or electronic media?
What will people several thousand years from now make of the 2000 election and its “hanging chads” – I think they’ll have a great chuckle.
Future – Present – Past – History – Legend – Myth. Will the story of the human race continue until it passes the point where we become Myth and that Myth becomes Forgotten?