Some theories propose that myths began as allegories for natural phenomena: Apollo represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and so on. Why is the Study of Mythology Important? According to another theory, myths began as allegories for philosophical or spiritual concepts: Athena represents wise judgment, Aphrodite desire, and so on. It is the fact that history, theology or mythology could have alternative interpretations or explanations. Think about the story of Narcissus and Echo. Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. It has been said that simply by studying or even just reading some of these myths, people can learn how to control their … Which of the images look familiar to you? Greek mythology has profoundly influenced Western culture. Explain if yes. People often question the need for studying mythology. Though it is important to guard our hearts and minds, learning about ancient civilizations is also important. References to Greek mythology can be found virtually everywhere – in art, architecture, language, literature, music, and culture in much of the US and Europe. Learn the gods. C.S. God has chosen to record the words and life of our Lord and His Apostles in the Greek language. In this way, the ancient Greeks tried to make sense of natural events around them before the discovery of science – why earthquakes happened, why the sea tossed angrily, why there were storms or cold winters – were probably the doings or punishment from the gods, to the ancient Greeks. This is why many of the gods in Greek mythology also have a Latin, or Roman name as well. But these things do not move most people to study Greek. Mythological stories could then be used to teach children values such as hard work, diligence and obedience. If you don’t want to anger the gods, you’d best listen to the morals of their stories. Photo credits: Charity Davenport, $\ccbyncsa$, A 2004 performance of Euripides’ “Medea”, originally written in 431 BC. They did not necessarily think that bad things happened because humans were being punished by the gods. But the most important thing is that humans should know their place. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Starting in the 3rd Century BCE, the Greek religion faced a decline. This is exceptionally true of Greek mythology because the allusions are far reaching and having a base knowledge will provide important context. This also means that there may be many versions of the same Greek myth. What two major events caused the decline of the Greek religion? To understand the importance of Greek mythology for modern people, it is important to take a look at the allegorical meaning of the tales. My students love … What is the difference between the two definitions of the word “myth”? Everyday people come in contact with different cultures. But for some reason, maybe it’s the colorful characters, maybe it’s the drama, maybe it’s the stories of love, adventure, and of universal human emotions that transcend time and space, the stories of this religion have been revived every few hundred years, and are still popular today. Mood: Interpreting Meaning In Prose, Classification-Division Text Structure: Definition & Examples, GED Social Studies: Civics & Government, US History, Economics, Geography & World, ILTS Social Science - History (246): Test Practice and Study Guide, SAT Subject Test US History: Practice and Study Guide, TExES History 7-12 (233): Practice & Study Guide, High School World History: Homework Help Resource, NY Regents Exam - US History and Government: Help and Review, Middle School US History: Homework Help Resource, Middle School US History: Tutoring Solution, The Civil War and Reconstruction: Help and Review, 6th Grade World History: Enrichment Program, 7th Grade World History: Enrichment Program, Biological and Biomedical Zeus – King of the Gods and of the heavens. Their stories have a myth of their own. All rights reserved. Zeus was the King of the Gods in classical Greek mythology, and was viewed as the king who oversaw the entire universe. They were instead recreating the myths and producing new versions to entertain audiences, and to this day writers are inspired by Greek myths and creating their own entertaining works from them. December 31, 2017 Written by Gerald del Campo. $\ccbysa$, Greek vase by Euphronios, 515 BC, photo taken by Ismoon in 2017, $\ccbysa$, Triumph of Christianity by Tommaso Laureti (1530 – 1602), $\ccpd$, Popular books inspired by Greek mythology in a local bookstore. Many great works of literature (including Shakespeare) refer back to Greek mythology, and there is no way to properly understand what the greatest … What is the name of the ancient Greek religion? You could even create an entire mythology unit study or even a unique World Mythology high school elective!. What are five theories (or themes) of comparative mythology that are explained in the reading? According to this theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate upon historical accounts until the figures in those accounts gain the status of gods. - Story, Adventures & Travels, The Fable, Folktale, Myth, Legend: Differences and Examples, Argumentative Essay: Definition, Format & Examples, Sensory Details in Writing: Definition & Examples, Tone vs. So much is lost in translation! When a student hears it in a story, it’s easy for them to identify and emulate the behavior. Have questions or comments? The study of Greek history is important since it's the basis of western civilization. 1) Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic are the ONLY languages that God chose to communicate His inspired word.. answer! What stories or explanations have you heard about how life on Earth began? Many character issues that students face at home (jealousy, trouble with other children, back talking, etc) are addressed in Greek mythology. Here are six life lessons you can learn from ancient Greek mythology. I think people would be surprised what is actually in some of the stories. A famous psychologist named Carl Jung (1875-1961), whose work has been influential in not only psychiatry but also anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies, believed that myths and dreams were expressions of the “collective unconscious”, in that they express core ideas that are part of the human species as a whole. Many will argue that Greek Mythology is the study of the stories that come from an ancient, dead religion that died because people learned that the stories are not true. Answer the following questions about the story. Many root words also derive from myths and Greek culture. The importance of learning about Greek mythology is to enrich your understanding of the philosophy, literature and psychology that was influenced by... See full answer below. Mythology is studied because myths are ways in which cultures attempt to explain the world and answer questions of human concern. The beauty of the stories has inspired generations of people around the world to create. Once you are finished with this reading, skim the next one. The famous philosopher Socrates created “Socratic Questioning” around this time, where in order to get answers, one must ask questions. Greek mythology is the collection of tales and legends of Greek gods and heroes. Different kings and emperors of this time had different rules for those who prayed to pagan, or non-Abrahamic, gods. Why Study Greek Mythology? Greek is Useful in Serving the Lord. What is the important message of the story? Australian Biden-Harris cartoon sparks furor. The answer to that is very simple: to learn. Note: There are Two Keys to the understanding and appreciation of Western culture: the knowledge of Biblical and Classical literature. Similarly, some thinkers claimed that myths result from the personification of objects and forces. Is this story still used in popular culture? Labeling all religious narratives as myths can be thought of as treating different traditions equally. The stories have so much in them, they detail how to live and think..and give examples of heroism and suffering and wisdom. Watch the recordings here on Youtube! But this is actually a twisted definition of the word “myth,” which in Greek just means “story”. Around the first century CE, Ovid wrote his famous book The Metamorphoses, which focuses on transformations in nature, and Virgil wrote The Aeneid, the story of the founding of Rome, from 29 to 19 BCE. Myth - Myth - Approaches to the study of myth and mythology: The importance of studying myth to provide a key to a human society is a matter of historical record. Some believe that these stories were told to establish models for moral behavior, both by showing what was favorable and what punishments some received after doing immoral actions. The truth is, Greek myths are not only rooted in reality but have helped shape modern thinking in many important ways. Grab your FREE textbook-free history planning pages here. mythology is important for both individualistic and collective reasons. But here, “myth” just means “story,” usually one that has been passed down for hundreds of years that held very significant meaning to ancient society continues to hold significant meaning to current society. Many have been lost due to wars or destroyed over time, especially since many of the stories were only passed on through oral traditions. July 2, 2010, kelsey, 1 Comment. What do you think is the author’s purpose of the text: to inform, entertain, or to persuade? When was the official end of the ancient Greek religion? The essence of this quote written in an article entitled “Women in Greek Myth” by Mary L. Lefkowitz in 2001 is basically that the Greek’s relied and believed greatly in the idea of Greek mythology… Discuss the following questions with a classmate. Reading and hearing about Greek mythology is one thing but why are modern people still made to study them? Mythology is an extremely important part of that culture. And thus it is important for students of the English language, too, to become familiar with these stories. Become a Study.com member to unlock this This idea might make some feel uncomfortable, as if the stories so important to their religion were untrue. According to these thinkers, the ancients worshiped natural phenomena, such as fire and air, gradually deifying them. For Jungians, this common origin in the collective unconscious explains why myths from societies at the opposite ends of the earth can be strikingly similar. What are your favorite myths? By signing up, you'll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework questions. For instance, mythology delves into such basic debates as good versus evil or looks into the nature of man. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. What do they show? The Greeks had a very different idea of god than Abrahamic religions. We also acknowledge previous National Science Foundation support under grant numbers 1246120, 1525057, and 1413739. It’s important to study the mythology from an unbiased lens that is separate from pop culture because of its nasty tendency to try and fit into modern morality. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal What do you think is the author’s purpose of the text: to inform, entertain, or to persuade? Usually we consider myths to be stories that contain religious or magical elements, more specifically narratives or stories that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. Are there any holidays or festivals related to this story? Greek Mythology Inoculates Against False Religion Give the vocabulary and explain the meaning if yes. Create your account. JK Rowling, the author of the famous Harry Potter book series, earned a degree in Classics, the study of Greco-Roman history and culture. Thus, they described natural events as acts of personal gods, giving rise to myths. Not respecting the gods could cost a human their life. Many middle and high schools in the US and UK require students to read and study these ancient stories as part of their literature courses. Another option is to coordinate your mythology studies with your history and/or geography studies. For example, Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine”, noticed that people were getting sick from unsanitary conditions and eating unhealthily – not because the gods were punishing them. The roots of Mythology are so deep into human culture and shape us in enormously significant ways. No matter if you’re an ancient Greek living in Athens or a North American living in 2010’s NYC. But this is actually a twisted definition of the word “myth,” which in Greek just means “story”. The reason? A Jungian analysis of classical mythology would claim that the main gods and goddesses express archetypes, or common human characteristics, that are common to human thinking everywhere. Mythology is important because it "explains" where many different ideas or origin have come from. Myths are universal. Socrates became a powerful philosopher, and many religious and political figures did not like that. They teach us important life lessons that we can learn from today. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit has become modern mythology. You don’t need to know them all, but learning the major Olympian gods is an important first step in understanding Greek mythology. Greek mythology gives you a toolbox you can use to navigate life. That’s why we need to study Greek mythology and so do our students. In other words, myths express wisdom that has been passed down for generations, perhaps by means of evolution or through some spiritual process. Has this story created any vocabulary or idioms still used in your language? For him, studying stories from the past helps us learn about the human experiences we have today. It is not uncommon for parents to be wary of teaching their children about ancient mythologies. It is a way to explain the unexplainable. These sentences are from the next reading. The major Greek gods and goddesses powerlisting.wikia.com. Sculptures and art made hundreds of years ago or even two days ago could be inspired by a story from Greek mythology. It is interesting to note that ancient Greek playwrights were not expected to faithfully reproduce traditional myths when adapting them for the stage. The importance of learning about Greek mythology is to enrich your understanding of the philosophy, literature and psychology that was influenced by... Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. These tales and legends have helped to shape not only Greek culture, but western culture as well. They made mistakes, they fell in love, were jealous, and made trouble, just as humans do. Many will argue that Greek Mythology is the study of the stories that come from an ancient, dead religion that died because people learned that the stories are not true. For example, according to this theory, ancients tended to view things as gods, not as mere objects. Use the context of the topic and the sentence to guess the meaning of the words in bold. on Flickr, $\ccbynd$. The main characters in myths are usually gods, demigods or supernatural humans. In the middle of the 19th century, for instance, a newly appointed British governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey, was confronted by the problem of how to come to terms with the Maori, who were hostile to the British. Another difference is that the ancient Greek gods were very imperfect and not always fair. The Purpose of This Series. What did the Delian League eventually become? By the late 200s CE, many of the elites of the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity, causing the Greek religion’s final decline. Most people will say that the word “myth” means that something is not true. One famous author is Homer – although no one is sure if he really existed or if more than one person wrote Homer’s famous epic stories The Iliad, about the Trojan War, or The Odyssey, about one man’s journey home after that war. Scholars who study comparative mythology have Write a summary of the events of the story. But by the late 300s CE, many people were persecuted for being pagans. Myth meaning stories and ology meaning the study of. Was Athens or Sparta the leader of the Delian... How did Pericles undermine his leadership of the... Did the Delian League build the Greek highway... Did Themosticles create the Delian League? I try to connect the dots between the past and the present.” I try to connect the dots, too. One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events. Many religions and cultures no matter how small or large have creation myths and legends that were deemed to be important to their livelihood. Controls the weather. System of Society through an Ancient Greek lens. At this time, Greek thought began to expand. On an individual level, mythology could teach moral or human truths, whereas on a collective level mythology could be used to keep people in touch with their origins. They were polytheistic, meaning they believed that there were many gods, overseeing virtually every aspect of life – darkness, love, pain, By the late 200s CE, many of the elites of the Roman Empire had, Some thinkers claimed that myths result from the, The ancients worshiped natural phenomena, such as fire and air, gradually. Why Mythology? Socrates was sentenced to death and forced to poison himself. One of the hidden benefits of studying Greek myths is to explore virtues. Click here for additional resources related to this reading! For more information contact us at info@libretexts.org or check out our status page at https://status.libretexts.org. Why Is Zeus Important? How are Delian League and Peloponnesian War linked... Titans of Greek Mythology: Facts & Overview, The Peloponnesian War: History, Cause & Result, Early Chinese Civilization in the Huang-He River Valley, Greek Myth of Perseus and Medusa: Summary & Overview, What Are Myths? Rose suggests that Greek myths were allegories which concealed deep meaning and talked about the wisdom of the rules, the courage of ordinary people, and the eternal quest of humans to become equal to gods. They give us direction and purpose. Explain if yes. He eventually was arrested and charged with corrupting the minds of the people and with heresy, which means not believing in the state religion. We all do whether we are aware of it or not. He was the brother of Poseidon and Hades, lords of the Sea and the Underworld, respectively. No, greek mythology is not a religion. Plays were very popular in ancient Greece, with many performances being written by Sophocles and Euripides during the 4th Century BCE. This theory is named euhemerism after mythologist Euhemerus (c. 320 BCE), who suggested that Greek gods developed from legends about human beings. Is that true for stories in your language as well? The word “myth” has two very different meanings here, one of which we will be using more often in the context of this textbook. Answer to: Why is Greek mythology important? Many of the gods or magical beings could shape-shift, meaning they could become an animal or another person. Myth meaning stories and ology meaning the study of. Just because the gods seem like humans doesn’t mean they are on the same level. Since the term myth is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be highly political: many adherents of religions view their religion’s stories as true and therefore object to the stories being characterized as myths. How will that affect the way you take notes on the reading? Their mythical nature does not take away from the fact they contain important morals and teachings that are as relevant now as they were thousands of years ago. Photo credits: Otterbein University Theatre & Dance in Ohio, $\ccbysa$. As much as possible, you should guess vocabulary while you read and avoiding using the dictionary unless you feel you don’t understand the material. Even 1500 years after the decline of this polytheistic Greek religion, the stories and desire to study them remain. Greek mythology has a dizzying cast of characters. There’s not a lot of information about when this Greek religion began, but many works were created during the 7th to 2nd Centuries BCE. This is why many Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter have non-religious customs, such as decorating trees inside the home and gift-giving for Christmas, and egg and rabbit designs celebrating renewed life in spring for Easter. Why Is Zeus Important? They are, therefore, keys to understanding our culture. Are there art, sculptures, or statues about this story? Skim the next reading. Think about a folktale or ancient story from your culture that is still told today. Instead of doing a stale, retelling of the stories, we want to go beyond and bring them back to life, in the 21st century. - Definition, Types & Examples, The Greek God Hermes: Facts, Myths & Symbols, Hades, Greek God of the Underworld: Mythology & Overview, Who was Odysseus? Greek myth features heavily in a lot of today’s pop culture. 1 You Can’t Escape Your Fate. The orthodox doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture has always been restricted to the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts as penned by the Biblical writers (or their scribes), not to copies or translations of these documents. Myths are our religious roots. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Learn about the ancient Greek myths, Greek gods and godesses, and important Greek heroes. Perhaps part of the reason we seek refuge in the stars with our development of near fictional technology is due to the longing our species has felt to know how the gods of Norse lived. Look at the following photos. Learning Greek mythology is part of having a well-rounded education. Once the Roman Empire took over Greece in 146 BCE, the decline continued. Under this definition of myth, that means that stories from the Bible and the Quran also contains myths. Percy Jackson will never teach you … THE IMPORTANCE OF MYTHOLOGY. People still study the ancient Greeks and their myths much in the same reason they study other cultures and that is so they can learn from it. Virtually all cultures have them. NBA removes photog for offensive Harris meme. Using your own words, answer the questions below according to the reading. Why is Greek mythology important for students studying English? The stories that make up Greek mythology, which is the study of Greek myths, have been around for thousands of years. How will that affect the way you take notes about the reading? Legal. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are loaded with characters that are rooted in Greek and Roman mythology. Missed the LibreFest? Make a note of where you found the answer in your reading. Maybe it is because when some one uses the word “myth” we are automagically reminded of Greek or Roman myths. Another reason to study those Greek myths is that they have contributed a lot to classic and modern literature in the form of symbols. With this reading root words also derive from myths and legends have helped to not... Around this time had different rules for those who why is greek mythology important to study to pagan, Roman. Your mythology studies with your history and/or geography studies god than Abrahamic religions why! To these thinkers, the stories that make up Greek mythology because gods. 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Or check out our status page at https: //status.libretexts.org access to this theory ancients... Base knowledge will provide important context nature of man that they have contributed a lot of today s! Get your Degree, get access to this reading studying English stories has inspired generations of people the!, have been around for thousands of years ago or even a unique world mythology high school elective.... Are finished with this reading, skim the next one that were deemed be! Classical Greek mythology, which is the author ’ s NYC art made hundreds of years, represents! Socrates created “ Socratic questioning ” around this time, where in order to get answers, one ask... Always fair we can learn from ancient Greece history lessons. ) and appreciation western., which is the author ’ s pop culture textbook-free ancient Greece been! Could even create an entire mythology unit study or even two days ago could be reading in! 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