The study of epidemic and endemic diseases generally has brought to light an array of facts which very strongly suggest that an intimate association exists between the soil and the appearance and propagation of certain diseases; but although experiments and observations allow this view to be looked upon as well established, still the precise role played by the soil in an aetiological respect is by no means so well understood as to make it possible to separate the factors and dogmatize on their effects.
The anecdotes told of Gaia Caecilia are aetiological myths intended to explain certain usages at Roman marriages.
According to Roscher (in his Lexikon der Mythologie), who identifies the ciris with the heron, the story of Nisus and Scylla (like these of Acdon, Procne, Philomela and Tereus) was invented to give an aetiological explanation of the characteristics of certain birds.
While Theseus was in Crete, Minos, 1 The story of Theseus is a strange mixture of (mostly fictitious) political tradition, of aetiological myths invented to explain misunderstood acts of ritual and of a cycle of tales of adventure analogous to the story of the labours of Heracles.
Various aetiological explanations of the name Parthenius were given by the ancients, e.g.
It is impossible to trace a safe path through the complicated aetiological myths, the fragments of reshaped legend and tradition, or the adjustment of rival theologies.
When the real nature of the ritual had become lost or obscured, it was natural to explain it by the help of an aetiological myth; in European folklore, images, corresponding to those burnt at the Daedala, were sometimes called Judas Iscariot or Luther (Golden Bough,2 iii.
At the present time we are quite uncertain what is the ultimate cause of new growths; in all probability there may be one or more aetiological factors at play disturbing that perfect condition of equilibrium of normal tissues.
It is doubtful whether the distinction drawn between pestis minor and pestis major has a real aetiological basis.
An aetiological myth is one which is regarded as having been invented ex post facto to explain some fact, name or coincidence, the true account or origin of which has been forgotten.