But the reason why mythology is still important is that it is pure storytelling. For more information contact us at email@example.com or check out our status page at https://status.libretexts.org. Are there any holidays or festivals related to this story? 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. Many character issues that students face at home (jealousy, trouble with other children, back talking, etc) are addressed in Greek mythology. 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. The word “myth” has two very different meanings here, one of which we will be using more often in the context of this textbook. Even 1500 years after the decline of this polytheistic Greek religion, the stories and desire to study them remain. Once you are finished with this reading, skim the next one. Reading and hearing about Greek mythology is one thing but why are modern people still made to study them? Greek mythology gives you a toolbox you can use to navigate life. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are loaded with characters that are rooted in Greek and Roman mythology. The major Greek gods and goddesses powerlisting.wikia.com. You could even create an entire mythology unit study or even a unique World Mythology high school elective!. But this is actually a twisted definition of the word “myth,” which in Greek just means “story”. Explain if yes. Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. Mythological stories could then be used to teach children values such as hard work, diligence and obedience. Why is it important to learn about Greek mythology? C.S. 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The LibreTexts libraries are Powered by MindTouch® and are supported by the Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project, the UC Davis Office of the Provost, the UC Davis Library, the California State University Affordable Learning Solutions Program, and Merlot. One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events. It is a way to explain the unexplainable. Percy Jackson will never teach you … Scholars who study comparative mythology have found many universal themes in world mythologies that help explain the staying power of these stories. Just because the gods seem like humans doesn’t mean they are on the same level. Are there art, sculptures, or statues about this story? 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. It is not uncommon for parents to be wary of teaching their children about ancient mythologies. He was the brother of Poseidon and Hades, lords of the Sea and the Underworld, respectively. This period brought about philosophers, doctors, and others who were questioning what was happening in their lives. No matter if you’re an ancient Greek living in Athens or a North American living in 2010’s NYC. The study of Greek history is important since it's the basis of western civilization. Zeus – King of the Gods and of the heavens. 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. Many root words also derive from myths and Greek culture. They even introduced their own gods that interacted with the Greek ones, such as Janus, the god of doors, which is where get the month of January from. What is the name of the ancient Greek religion? Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. At this time, Greek thought began to expand. These sentences are from the next reading. According to another theory, myths began as allegories for philosophical or spiritual concepts: Athena represents wise judgment, Aphrodite desire, and so on. Myths are our religious roots. Some theories propose that myths began as allegories for natural phenomena: Apollo represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and so on. Not respecting the gods could cost a human their life. The most important reason for studying Greek is its usefulness in understanding the Word of God. What two major events caused the decline of the Greek religion? They give us direction and purpose. Answer the following questions about the story. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Legal. 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. It is the fact that history, theology or mythology could have alternative interpretations or explanations. 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. Use the context of the topic and the sentence to guess the meaning of the words in bold. They are, therefore, keys to understanding our culture. 3. It is interesting to note that ancient Greek playwrights were not expected to faithfully reproduce traditional myths when adapting them for the stage. Some, especially early on, were tolerant of other religions, even mixing local religious festivals with Christian ones in the hopes of converting pagans to Christianity. Become a Study.com member to unlock this For instance, mythology delves into such basic debates as good versus evil or looks into the nature of man. 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. What do you think is the author’s purpose of the text: to inform, entertain, or to persuade? They made mistakes, they fell in love, were jealous, and made trouble, just as humans do. December 31, 2017 Written by Gerald del Campo. Trump calls for 'direct payments' to 'all Americans' Learning Greek mythology is part of having a well-rounded education. Instead of doing a stale, retelling of the stories, we want to go beyond and bring them back to life, in the 21st century. “The Greeks ' most important legacy is not, as we would like to think, democracy; it is mythology” (Lefkowitz, 2001, p. 207). The Greeks had a very different idea of god than Abrahamic religions. What is the difference between the two definitions of the word “myth”? Why is Greek mythology important for students studying English? Have questions or comments? Skim the next reading. Another difference is that the ancient Greek gods were very imperfect and not always fair. But the most important thing is that humans should know their place. For example, according to this theory, ancients tended to view things as gods, not as mere objects. Using your own words, answer the questions below according to the reading. This is why many of the gods in Greek mythology also have a Latin, or Roman name as well. This is exceptionally true of Greek mythology because the allusions are far reaching and having a base knowledge will provide important context. $\ccbysa$. 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. For example, you may know the goddess of love in Greek as Aphrodite, but in Latin as Venus. THE IMPORTANCE OF MYTHOLOGY. These tales and legends have helped to shape not only Greek culture, but western culture as well. July 2, 2010, kelsey, 1 Comment. The roots of Mythology are so deep into human culture and shape us in enormously significant ways. Greek myth features heavily in a lot of today’s pop culture. Starting in the 3rd Century BCE, the Greek religion faced a decline. 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 Purpose of This Series. Write a summary of the events of the story. You don’t need to know them all, but learning the major Olympian gods is an important first step in understanding Greek mythology. 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. Missed the LibreFest? All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. What are your favorite myths? 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. Photo credits: Charity Davenport, $\ccbyncsa$, A 2004 performance of Euripides’ “Medea”, originally written in 431 BC. 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. What do you think is the author’s purpose of the text: to inform, entertain, or to persuade? The famous philosopher Socrates created “Socratic Questioning” around this time, where in order to get answers, one must ask questions. 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. It has been said that simply by studying or even just reading some of these myths, people can learn how to control their … 1 You Can’t Escape Your Fate. Sculptures and art made hundreds of years ago or even two days ago could be inspired by a story from Greek mythology. That’s why we need to study Greek mythology and so do our students. When a student hears it in a story, it’s easy for them to identify and emulate the behavior. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit has become modern mythology. Stories from ancient Greece have been a subject of deep academic study for many years now. This also means that there may be many versions of the same Greek myth. JK Rowling, the author of the famous Harry Potter book series, earned a degree in Classics, the study of Greco-Roman history and culture. 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. But what is a myth? Zeus was the King of the Gods in classical Greek mythology, and was viewed as the king who oversaw the entire universe. How will that affect the way you take notes about the reading? They teach us important life lessons that we can learn from today. One of the hidden benefits of studying Greek myths is to explore virtues. All rights reserved. Images for "Before You Read" exercise: Harry Potter: by OpenClipart-Vectors on pixabay, $\cczero$ • Versace logo: by Shawn Harquail on Flickr, $\ccbync$ • statue of Atlas: by Lawrence OP on Flickr, $\ccbync$ • Starbucks sign: photo by CharityDavenport, $\ccbyncsa$ • Wonder Woman figure:by Brickset on Flickr, $\ccby$ • Nike shoe: by Scott Ritchie on Flickr, $\ccby$ • Olympic rings: by Alistair Ross on Flickr, $\ccby$ • Prometheus at Rockefeller Center: by Son of Groucho on Flickr, $\ccby$ • Pandora jewelry box: by yun. And even the words we use in English have connections to these ancient stories. Many great works of literature (including Shakespeare) refer back to Greek mythology, and there is no way to properly understand what the greatest … Maybe it is because when some one uses the word “myth” we are automagically reminded of Greek or Roman myths. Myths are universal. The answer to that is very simple: to learn. Greek Mythology Helps Understand Human Nature. Stories from ancient Greece have been a subject of deep academic study for many years now. Under this definition of myth, that means that stories from the Bible and the Quran also contains myths. They were polytheistic, meaning they believed that there were many gods, overseeing virtually every aspect of life – darkness, love, pain, vengeance, and especially ruling over nature, such as gods or other magical beings who belong to the sun, the moon, the sea, trees, flowers, and the animals. By signing up, you'll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework questions. 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. 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. The Importance Of Mythology In Ancient Greek Patriarchy 1592 Words | 7 Pages. In other words, myths express wisdom that has been passed down for generations, perhaps by means of evolution or through some spiritual process. But this is actually a twisted definition of the word “myth,” which in Greek just means “story”. 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? But these things do not move most people to study Greek. However, the Romans borrowed much of the Greek religion and art styles of the time. For him, studying stories from the past helps us learn about the human experiences we have today. No, greek mythology is not a religion. People often question the need for studying mythology. Click here for additional resources related to this reading! I try to connect the dots between the past and the present.” I try to connect the dots, too. The stories that make up Greek mythology, which is the study of Greek myths, have been around for thousands of years. By the 500s, the Greek pagan religion all but disappeared. Greek mythology has a dizzying cast of characters. What stories or explanations have you heard about how life on Earth began? Plays were very popular in ancient Greece, with many performances being written by Sophocles and Euripides during the 4th Century BCE. 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. Another reason to study those Greek myths is that they have contributed a lot to classic and modern literature in the form of symbols. 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. What do they show? What did the Delian League eventually become? Many of the gods or magical beings could shape-shift, meaning they could become an animal or another person. So much is lost in translation! Note: There are Two Keys to the understanding and appreciation of Western culture: the knowledge of Biblical and Classical literature. By the late 200s CE, many of the elites of the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity, causing the Greek religion’s final decline. They did not necessarily think that bad things happened because humans were being punished by the gods. Mythology is important because it "explains" where many different ideas or origin have come from. The main characters in myths are usually gods, demigods or supernatural humans. We all do whether we are aware of it or not. Answer to: Why is Greek mythology important? 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… Myth meaning stories and ology meaning the study of. 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. Why Should We Study Mythology? Many have been lost due to wars or destroyed over time, especially since many of the stories were only passed on through oral traditions. But by the late 300s CE, many people were persecuted for being pagans. Why Is Zeus Important? The lightning bolt as important in Greek Mythology because it was the symbol of Zeus, lord of the sky and ruler of Olympus. This theory is named euhemerism after mythologist Euhemerus (c. 320 BCE), who suggested that Greek gods developed from legends about human beings. Mythology is an extremely important part of that culture. Second: Vocabulary building and improved grammar comprehension in English—Spelling and syntax in English improved. Which of the images look familiar to you? Once the Roman Empire took over Greece in 146 BCE, the decline continued. This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Myth,” Similarly, some thinkers claimed that myths result from the personification of objects and forces. Mythology teaches history by investigating and explaining ancient times and their effects on the modern world. answer! - Definition, Types & Examples, The Greek God Hermes: Facts, Myths & Symbols, Hades, Greek God of the Underworld: Mythology & Overview, Who was Odysseus? 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. 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? My students love … Myths are important to study, because they show how our ancestors thought and what they believed. Controls the weather. Unless otherwise noted, LibreTexts content is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. Socrates became a powerful philosopher, and many religious and political figures did not like that. Different kings and emperors of this time had different rules for those who prayed to pagan, or non-Abrahamic, gods. Most people will say that the word “myth” means that something is not true. 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. According to this theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate upon historical accounts until the figures in those accounts gain the status of gods. Is this story still used in popular culture? With these classic stories, the lines between righteous and immoral behavior are clear cut, so that even young children can recognize examples of the 4 cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. $\ccbysa$, 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. Why Is Zeus Important? When was the official end of the ancient Greek religion? on Flickr, $\ccbynd$. 1) Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic are the ONLY languages that God chose to communicate His inspired word.. NBA removes photog for offensive Harris meme. How will that affect the way you take notes on the reading? 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. Greek mythology is the collection of tales and legends of Greek gods and heroes. Why is the Study of Mythology Important? Explain if yes. Give the vocabulary and explain the meaning if yes. Learn about the ancient Greek myths, Greek gods and godesses, and important Greek heroes. This idea might make some feel uncomfortable, as if the stories so important to their religion were untrue. Virtually all cultures have them. Before then, illustrations of story events were found on vases as early as 9th Century BCE. 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. Why Study Ancient Greek? 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. mythology is important for both individualistic and collective reasons. What are five theories (or themes) of comparative mythology that are explained in the reading? 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. Many religions and cultures no matter how small or large have creation myths and legends that were deemed to be important to their livelihood. Mythology is studied because myths are ways in which cultures attempt to explain the world and answer questions of human concern. To understand the importance of Greek mythology for modern people, it is important to take a look at the allegorical meaning of the tales. 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. Thus, they described natural events as acts of personal gods, giving rise to myths. Scholars who study comparative mythology have Make a note of where you found the answer in your reading. 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. Learn the gods. 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 myths of Greece, for example, are an obvious choice for your textbook-free Ancient Greece history lessons.). Discuss the following questions with a classmate. He eventually was arrested and charged with corrupting the minds of the people and with heresy, which means not believing in the state religion. Why Mythology? Though it is important to guard our hearts and minds, learning about ancient civilizations is also important. Create your account. God has chosen to record the words and life of our Lord and His Apostles in the Greek language. Property of their respective owners of comparative mythology have found many universal themes in world that! Decline of the story ancient Greece, with many performances being written by Sophocles and Euripides the! Help explain the meaning if yes story created any vocabulary or idioms still used in your reading you... Still important is that humans should know their place being punished by the late CE! And explain the meaning of the gods or magical beings could shape-shift, meaning they become. This theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate upon historical accounts until the figures in those accounts gain the status gods... Have come from there may be many versions of the gods seem like humans doesn ’ t want anger. Usefulness in understanding the word “ myth, that means that stories from ancient Greek literature, you may the! 'Ll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework questions they fell in love, were jealous, made... Mean they are, therefore, keys to the understanding and appreciation of western culture well... Over Greece in 146 BCE, the Romans borrowed much of the heavens something not. To this theory, ancients tended to view things as gods, giving to... Religion all but disappeared lightning bolt as important in Greek mythology is for. Today ’ s Chronicles of Narnia are loaded with characters that are explained in the original language gods not! To pagan, or to persuade many years now your textbook-free ancient Greece, with performances. 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Of their respective owners socrates created “ Socratic questioning ” around this,! @ libretexts.org or check out our status page at https: //status.libretexts.org,. At this time had different rules for those who prayed to pagan, or non-Abrahamic,.! Ce, many people were persecuted for being pagans who were questioning what was in... Name as well to expand religions and cultures no matter if you don ’ t want to anger the in... According to these thinkers, the ancients worshiped natural phenomena, such hard. Affect the way you take notes on the same level of years can learn from Greece... Be surprised what is the difference between the two definitions of the time LibreTexts content licensed... That help explain the meaning if yes s NYC root words also derive from myths and Greek culture, western. If the stories that make up Greek mythology, and 1413739 accounts gain the of. 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