We often hear stories, tales, and half-truths that permeate throughout certain cultures. These are the things that often give countries and cultures a big part of their identity – these are what we call myths. Myths are always derived from something that was true, and they always contain a partial amount of truth to them, and this is what makes them so interesting.
No matter what country in the world you go to, or where you are from, you will encounter myths. The interesting thing about them is that they can often range from the very plausible to the utterly absurd. Myths are, or at least were, the way in which we rationalized and explained how our world works. There are so many myths out there, and it’s important to gain an understanding of what mythology is.
What’s a myth?
The actual definition of a myth is a story that is handed down through the generations, designed to give explanations to unknown things. They are almost always linked to religious beliefs and rituals, as well as customs specific to a set of people or nations. Throughout history, we know of myths that have been given and told by specific groups of people, such as the Indians, Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans, and Greeks. It is through a lot of these tales that we can better understand their culture and history.
The function of a myth
People often wonder about the function of a particular myth, as well as what it is meant to mean and symbolize. It’s widely accepted that a myth is designed to explain or rationalize events that people thousands of years ago knew very little about. But, it goes deeper than that – in many ways, a myth is a way of establishing models of behavior. But there are also hugely religious undertones to myths as well, and by telling these myths cultures feel they can get closer to Gods and the divine.
Modern mythology is a strange one, because we so often associated myths with being an ancient thing, and we actually view them as kind of fantastical these days as well. In spite of that, there are still a lot of modern myths that have been developed over the years. The entertainment mediums have continued to tell the tales, through different variant, in films, games, TV, and books.
Furthermore, the existence of urban legends in the modern world shows proof that myths still exist in the modern world, and that magic of storytelling and explaining the world will never die out.
Mythology is so fascinating because there is no country or culture or race in the world that doesn’t have its own kind of mythology.
These are stories often as explanations of parables for the people of the time to learn about things they didn’t fully understand. The most incredible thing about myths is how they differ from culture to culture. You might have the same event or place, and there will be a different myth about it depending on who you talk to. No wonder mythology has fascinated scholars and academics through the years.