Our Turn: The study of mythology
Mythology is a great wonder to many of us. It has been passed down in both word and writing. Its original creator remains unknown. Despite this, these “tales” as some might say, are still enjoyed to this very day.
Originating from India, many myths are similar. Passed by mouth for many miles, it reached Europe and even Egypt. Twisted and altered, they were recreated with different names and ideas. In Greece you might hear of Aphrodite, Athena or Artemis. In Egypt you might learn of Isis or Set. In Rome it may be Juno or Neptune. Despite this they are still all based around the same ideas.
Most myths have been traced to the 4th millennium. They were told orally until written in 2500 B.C.
Myths were created to explain things that the people could not. The seasons are a good example of this. One Greek myth tells about the goddess, Demeter. In short Demeter was sad whenever her daughter, Persephone, was away in the Underworld. This caused the wintertime. Whenever Persephone was with her, she was happy. This caused spring and summer. In Autumn, it was almost time for Persephone to return to the Underworld, so it remained in between.
Mythology was believed to the society and the culture behind them. For instance the Romans wouldn’t believe the Greek myths and vice-versa. Also, other cultures that did not have any myths would not believe them. Only everyone in that society would believe their own collection of myths.
There are a countless number of myths. Being passed orally each story was told differently. If someone made a mistake, it would entirely change the story and become a new myth. In Rome it was said that everything had a spirit. A lock, a chair, or even a cup had one. People created their own myths about these objects.
Many myths are based around pieces of truth such as the myth about the Trojan War. This myth suggests that Aphrodite was jealous of Queen Helen of Sparta. So Aphrodite caused Helen to fall in love with Paris, the Prince of Troy. When Helen left Sparta; the people thought that she had been kidnapped. They went to Troy to reclaim their Queen and the Trojan War began.
Myths have very much affected the world today. In fact, many common sayings come from Greek mythology. One example of this is the word “panic.” It comes from the Greek god, Pan. Pan was believed to be the very source of sudden worry. Or as it is called today, panic.
So as you can see, mythology has had impact on our culture today. Not only this, but it is a very interesting topic to study.
The reason I wrote my article on mythology is because I have always found it interesting. In the fourth grade I began reading more myths, and that made it all the more fascinating. But I still wondered who wrote the myths, when they were written, and where they originally came from. These were the questions that I answered in my article. After all, I’d only read the actual myths, I had never done any “background” research. So up to this point I’d known nothing more about myths than anyone else.
I learned a lot about mythology when I wrote the article. It was difficult to find the information I was looking for, though. I had to “weed out” the pieces of information buried in my sources. Not only that, but it was difficult to find sources with the information I was looking for. It took a lot of work to write this article, so I hope you enjoyed it!