What Is Mythology Words Mythos & Logos Myths Stories Of Unknown

Imagination is more important than knowledge

Albert Einstein

Meaning Of Mythology

From the greek words “mythos” (= an ancient story of unknown origin) and “–logos” (=word of), the term “mythology” is used to describe the collection, the “corpus” of myths, where the science of mythology deals with the study of the mythological material, which is essential in order to approach and basically understand the nature and the course of human civilization, both spiritual and material.

Myths are stories of unknown origin that pass from generation to generation, through the centuries, caring information concerning the creation of the world, the lives and acts of gods, heroes, kings, queens and mythical beings.

But a myth is not a fairytale or a folklore story.  It doesn’t take place in an indeterminate space and time, it didn’t happen “once upon a time in a far away land…”, nor it ends with “…happily ever after”.  Mythology begins with the creation of the world and mythical battles of gods in a vague and vast past, but as it continues it starts to take place in a more defined space and time, concerned with specific persons and places – for example in Greek Mythology, Odysseus (Ulysses) is the king of the greek island Ithaca, he has a specific genealogy, he lives at the time of the Trozian War, which appears to be happening one generation after the Argonautic expedition for the Golden Fleece and approximately a hundred years before the Dorians’ descend in Greece.  Myths have completeness, which means that they have beginning, middle and end.  At their majority they are connected between them, with continuity and coherence, constituting parts of wider mythical cycles, which are also connected between them, thus constituting the “corpus” of mythology itself.

A myth is not a bed-time story to get us to sleep.  On the contrary, a myth is a story to keep awake the memory of our past.  Since myths don’t state historical facts, they don’t need to be proven, because a myth by nature – like religion and faith – is self-proved by its own existence.

So as the begging of history is lost in a vague past and long before the first forms of historical records appear, people used myths in order to describe, explain and understand the nature of the world around them, to keep alive the memory of their history as they perceived it, using images and symbols when it could not be expressed differently.  The course of human thinking, stories, cults and religions, beliefs, traditions and customs, were able to hold in time, evolve and survive, leaving us a priceless heritage of knowledge about the childhood of human history and thus the origins of civilization, in its purest form: through the imaginative power of a myth.

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Author: Tessy Parker

16 thoughts on “What Is Mythology Words Mythos & Logos Myths Stories Of Unknown

  1. You said

    On the contrary, a myth is a story to keep awake the memory of our past.

    I wish that was true because I love those mythical creatures like Pegasus, the unicorn and even the fable dragon. Unfortunately they don’t exist and I’m pretty sure they never have.

    I read Ulysses when I did classical studies back in high school and it was a great story and Homer did a great job writing it.

  2. I do agree with your take on Mythology. Also, I think that Mythology can be considered a very important part of the history of man. It gave birth to the foundations of religion, and even the basic behaviour and culture of the people.

  3. Mythology is only a story that reflects our attitude or behaviour and not really exist nor happens.It is sad that many are believing and based their life to myths.

  4. Mythology keeps the past colorful and a beautiful mystery. Aside from that, mythology is also a great way to track past records. How men in those days used to live is a great mystery and most historians rely on literature such as mythology to connect how people evolved into what they are today.

  5. I do agree with what you have said on mythology. mythology helps us understand the basis of our existence, our past, the basis of our culture and traditions. Mythology is a very beautiful mysterious story of our past.

  6. Informative post!

    I never knew so much about mythology! But yes, I would prefer hearing bedtime stories that I guess all of us did when we were young!

    I wonder why some people really believe such myths- even though they know it’s a myth.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Hello Pete,

    Love Greek mythology – always have been intrigued by it – in fact my car is named after the Roman Goddess of outward journies – Abeona….

    By the way – one of my most favorite quotes – Imagination is more important than knowledge.

    I use my imagination for manifestation – we are infinite beings and to imagine is to be!

    In gratitude,

  8. Mythology is just like a fairy tale story for me wherein you are imagining about the heroes and the villains in the story.

  9. For me, mythology is more of a story that has been passed on to generations by elder Greeks or people who lived in ancient times to their children and grandchildren. It’s part of ancient culture to tell stories by word of mouth. I loved mythological stories when I was a child. It’s just too bad that nowadays, most children would only like to entertain themselves via playing video games instead of enriching their knowledge and imaginations with mythology.

  10. To me mythology is a place where you can lose yourself and forget about the problems of modern living. Who cares if they can or can’t be proved, they are great tales.

  11. Hi,

    I love your post on myths. I’ve never really thought about why we have them or what they originated from. Thank you for the information provided here. Sally

  12. It depends on person to person what they take Mythology as, Some take it as Myth, some as a fantasy and some a beautiful blend of some facts with fantasies and myths.

    Greek Mythology has always lured me for its richness and beauty. I have done Masters in English, and have read alot about it. Thanks for the beautiful post :)

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