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The Literature Nook
Presents...
Mythology on the Web

Thanks to my friends at Chihuahua Pharoahs! Received on July 25, 1997.


Both awards received on June 21, 1997 from David at the Forum. David has a splendid site on Rome-a site you don't want to miss!!
Thank you David!

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"There couldn't be a society of people that didn't dream. They'd be dead in two weeks."

-William S. Burroughs

Myths attempt to explain, in complex symbolism, the vital outlines of existence; they also attempt to make more acceptable the painful realities of existence-danger, disease, misfortune, and death-by explaining them as part of a sacred order in the universe.

Links to Mythology-General

Greek Mythology

The richest known mythology is that of the ancient Greeks. It inspired their own poets, then those of Rome and later all whom Roman culture reached. Its influence is found in much of the finest literature, sculpture, and painting produced in Europe and America. The earliest sources of Greek mythical tales are the works of the poets Homer and Hesiod.

Principal Divinities of Mythology
GREEK DEITIES ROMAN EQUIVALENT PROVINCE
Aphrodite Venus Love
Apollo Apollo Light; healing; poetry;
music; prophecy
Ares Mars War
Artemis Diana Nature; the hunt; the moon
Athena Minerva Wisdom
Demeter Ceres Grain; dry products of the earth
Dionysus or Bacchus Liber Grapes; wine
Hades or Pluto Dis The Underworld; the dead
Hephaestus Vulcan fire; crafts
Hera Juno Life of women including:
marriage and childbirth;
Queen of the gods
Hermes Mercury Commerce; travel
Hestia Vesta Hearth and Home
Poseidon Neptune Sea; earthquakes
Zeus Jupiter Sky; king of gods and men

Mythology in Western Art

Links to Greek Mythology

Roman Mythology

Greek myths were adapted by the Romans, who originated almost no mythology of their own except a few tales about early Rome and events that led toward its founding. However, the Romans were important in preserving the Greek mythological heritage and transmitting it to later European civilizations.

Links to Roman Mythology

Norse Mythology

Second to Greek and Roman mythology in its appeal to later centuries is the Norse and Teutonic mythology. The Norsemen, including all Scandinavians, and the Teutons, were descended from Indo-Europeans, as were the Greeks, and there are striking similarities in their myths. The Norse myths, transmitted by word of mouth, were not written down until the 13th century. At the time, a number of heroic and mythological poems were collected and recorded in Iceland. These poems, called the Elder, or Poetic, Edda, had been composed between the years 800 A.D. and 1200. The Younger Edda, written in prose around 1222, is the principal source of information about Norse Mythology.

Norse Mythology
DEITY PROVINCE
Balder Sun; light; wisdom
Frey Sun; rain; fertility; love; marriage
Freyja Love; beauty; fertility; love; marriage
Frigga Nature; marriage; the home; queen of the gods
Loki Fire; strife; evil
Odin Sky; war; wisdom; poetry; magig;
king of the gods
Thor Thunder and lightening; war; agriculture;
protector of men

Links to Norse Mythology

Viking Links

Egyptian Mythology
DEITY PROVINCE
Anubis The dead; embalming
Geb Earth
Horus Sun; light
Isis Earth; moon; nature; magic;
worshipped as a mother goddess
Nephthys The dead
Tefnut Sky; childbirth
Osiris Fertility; the Nile; vegetation; the dead
Re Sun; sky; creation
Seth evil
Tefnut Moisture
Thoth Learning; magic




Links to Egyptian Mythology

Types of Myths

There are many types of myths. However, most of them can be classified as nature myths, semihistorical myths, myths of explanation, creation myths, or myths about the world of the dead.

Nature Myths

Semihistorical Myths

Myths that have some historical basis are called legends. Such myths had their origin in historical events, but the facts were changed and exaggerated through the course of time. Some myths about heroic men in the early periods of various nations are believed to have arisen around the names of famous kings and princes who had actually lived. After death, their courage and achievements were magnified in songs and tales, often to the extent of including deeds humanly impossible.

A major event in Greek mythology was the Trojan War. Many ancient Greek states, it was believed, had been represented in this war by one of the heroes mentioned in Homer's Iliad. However, the Trojan War was considered entirely mythical by scholars until the discoveries made by Heinrich Schliemann near the end of the 19th century. His excavations on the hill of Troy in Asia Minor (now in Turkey) proved that there had been several ancient cities on that site and that one of them belonged to the period recently ascribed to the Trojan War, which occurred between 1240 and 1230 B.C. This and other archaeological discoveries, such as the fact that the city of the Trojan War was destroyed by a man-made fire, indicate that myths based on the Trojan War are semihistorical.

Semihistorical Links

Myths of Explanation

Creation Myths


Adopt-a-Unicorn!

Mythical Beasts and Creatures

Myths About the World of the Dead



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