Myths are traditional stories usually related to the early history of a group of people or a culture. Myths explained natural or social phenomenon. Most involve supernatural beings and events.
Myths are NOT true. They are make-believe and imaginary stories. They may be related to religious beliefs and rituals, used to explain things like fire, the changing seasons, lightning and thunder, or parts of animals, like how an elephant got its trunk. They are also used to teach human's how to behave and live with each other. The characters in myths include gods, goddesses, monsters, and many heroes.
Myths have been created by the Native Americans, Egyptians, Romans, Indians, and other cultures and religions. However, ancient Greek mythology is most often thought of when the subject is related to myths. Their stories about the ancient Greek gods are still popular and told throughout the world today.
Many of the Greeks believed in the myths which helped them to understand (during that time-period), the environment, the passing of time, and about the world. They were interested in their origin just like people of today, and for Ancient Greece, the myths were used for advice, information, a way to maintain contact with ancestors, and for educational purposes. Of course, there were also people who did not believe in them and thought of them as fairy tales.
Mostly during their civilization, the Greeks worshipped the gods and goddesses in relation to their religious beliefs. Greek mythology includes all the stories and tales about the gods and goddesses. The gods and goddess would appear in different stories, but their personalities and powers would not change.
Each of the gods had one or more magical powers, and they used their powers for good, trickery, and for adventure. Since stories were not written down, many of the ancient Greek storytellers recited a story differently.
Many of the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology are related to each other. For example, Hercules is the son of Zeus, and Zeus' wife is his own sister, the goddess Hera (goddess of women, marriage, and childbirth. Poseidon (god of the ocean, earthquakes and horses) is Zeus' and Hades' brother. Apollo (could see the future, heal people, and bring illness) has a twin sister named Artemis. Each of the gods and goddesses had a special place as patrons in Ancient Greece as well, such as Zeus being the god of the sky and lightning. In addition, there are symbols associated with each of the gods and goddesses, as well as individual myths and stories.
Other Greek gods and goddesses include: Cronus, the God of time and he was believed to be the creator of the world. Atlas, often shown holding the Earth because due to a loss he had to hold the heavens on his shoulders. Helios was the God of the Sun who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty and could cause others to fall in love with the wearer of a special belt.
There were many others, and besides the gods and goddesses of Greek Mythology, there were many monsters and creatures as characters in the myths. One such creature was Medusa, a monster called a Gorgon. She had a woman's face but had snakes in place of hair. Anyone who peered into her eyes would be turned to stone.
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