Why Study Mythology

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					Introduction to Mythology

      What are myths?
    Why do we study them?
               Myths Defined
• Old stories created to explain religious beliefs,
  events in nature, and transmit the beliefs and
  values of a culture (taught proper behavior):
   - about gods, goddesses, men, women, heroes
    -adventures, tragedies, devotion, vengeance
• Repeated for hundreds of years before written
  down and often changed by the minds of
  different ages.
• Mixture of morals, poetry, and history
                Types of Myths
•   Told merely for entertainment
•   Reflect religious rituals thousands of years old
•   Used to explain scientific facts or theories
•   Studies of psychology
Men and gods in Greek Mythology
      “The Greek Miracle”

• Greeks modeled the gods after themselves.
• Mankind was at center of the Greek world.
• Man was the ideal of the Greek search for

• All of the above ideas are joined in the
  concept called “the Greek miracle.”
       Why are Myths Studied?
• They have had a deep and thorough influence
  on all great literatures.
• Myths have a huge influence on the arts,
  especially music (muses), but also sculpture
  and painting.
• Important link with the past—how ancient
  people regarded the world
• The sheer beauty, imagination, and
  entertainment value of myths
               Where We See Myths
• Told over and over in new cultures and languages; adapted to
  modern culture
• Allusions in literature (think Cyrano), movies, video games,
  animated characters
• Vocabulary—museum, labyrinth, marathon, months-January
• Scientific terms—arachnid, hyperborean
• Geographic names-Aurora, Il, planets, constellations
• Brand names—Prometheus Productions
• People’s names—Helen, Diana
• In advertising—Goodyear (winged sandal), Atlas Van Lines,
  Mobil Oil (winged horse), FTD (males with wings on cap and
  sandals), etc.

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