Mythology Definition

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mythology

When you think of mythology, the Greek or Roman gods probably come to mind. These are the most well-known mythologies in Western society, and references to the gods in these belief systems are abundant.

However, mythology does not have to be part of these ancient belief systems. Instead, they can include any types of stories or beliefs that are widespread in a society. This post is all about mythology – what they are, and how they are relevant to English use!

Meaning

Mythology is actually a set of beliefs. Anything that a group of people believe – whether it is about nature, how various things in society work, or something else – about something.

The collection of stories, known individually as myths, are usually relevant to religion or culture. In modern times, they can relate to society and social norms as well.

The set of beliefs nowadays that are most familiar are Greek and Roman myths. Some of them include the story of Hades, god of the underworld, and Persephone, daughter of Demeter. That is the story that explains some natural phenomenon, specifically how the four seasons came to be.

Mythology, in modern terms, can be a set of beliefs about any culture or society. Included in these are things like urban legends and superstitions.

Examples

  • I believe that there is still much we have not discovered about the way ancient Roman mythology impacts modern Italian society!
  • I can’t believe that you actually think the mythology the company spews is based in fact.

Dialogue

Eddie: Could you help me understand something? What is this story in Greek mythology of Odysseus and the Trojan Horse?

Newt: Yeah, no problem! It starts with Zeus, the leader and father of the gods, receiving an apple that is meant for the “most beautiful goddess of all”.

Eddie: That was a problem because none of the goddesses, especially Athena, Hera and Aphrodite, thought anyone else was worthy of it, right?

Newt: Yes, mythology is a lot like human life, with all kinds of emotions like greed or jealousy. Zeus didn’t want to deal with the choice, so he told Paris, the human son of the king of Troy, to judge.

Eddie: So, long story short, that leads to a war between the gods. The important part of this myth is about the Trojan Horse. So what happened there?

Newt: Okay, both sides realized that neither was getting anywhere, so the side opposing Troy created a wooden horse. They meant for it to look like a gift, but it was large enough for the rest of the army to fit into it. They rolled it up to the city gates, and waited for the Troy army to roll it in!

Eddie: They actually fell for it?

Newt: Yes, they did. When the soldiers got inside the city walls, they basically took it down from the inside.

Eddie: Wow. That’s quite a myth. What should I learn from it?

Newt: Well, it could just be a story. However, many modern discussions could reference the Trojan Horse – especially in cybersecurity. A Trojan Horse is something that looks harmless, but can actually be detrimental to a system. In computers, it could be a big virus that aims to take down the network.

Eddie: I see. Thanks a lot!

Other words you can create: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc (ex: mug – mugger)

Myth

A myth is one out of the set of mythology stories. It is sometimes used to refer to a made-up story (ie. “Santa Claus is a myth”).

  • You heard what? That is a complete myth. The most you will earn as a regular teacher is about average salary; you could only get that if you become some sort of principal.
  • The old myth says that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, any wish of yours will be granted.

Mythical

Something that is mythical is something that comes from a myth. It is not real, and is often referring to animals (mythical creatures or mythical beasts).

  • Polly created a mythical world where animals could talk, and they helped us solve problems and get ourselves all over the world.
  • Animals such as werewolves and selkies are mythical beings often used in supernatural stories.

More for you:
What does Deferred mean? Deferred definition.
What does Ethical mean? Ethical definition.

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