Portal:Mythology

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The Mythology Portal

Most cultures across the globe have some form of mythology.

Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in society, such as foundational tales. Myths often consist of sacred narratives about gods. The term mythology may either refer to the study of myths in general, or a body of myths regarding a particular subject.

The study of myth began in ancient history. Rival classes of the Greek myths by Euhemerus, Plato and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and later revived by Renaissance mythographers. Today, the study of myth continues in a wide variety of academic fields, including folklore studies, philology, and psychology. The academic comparisons of bodies of myth is known as comparative mythology.

Myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests and are closely linked to religion or spirituality. In fact, many societies group their myths, legends and history together, considering myths to be true accounts of their remote past. Creation myths particularly, take place in a primordial age when the world had not achieved its later form. Other myths explain how a society's customs, institutions and taboos were established and sanctified.

Selected article

Zeus

Zeus (/zjs/; Ancient Greek: Ζεύς; Modern Greek: Δίας) is the King of the Gods in Greek Mythology. Zeus was viewed as a king who oversaw the universe. In Hesiod's Theogony, he assigns the various gods their roles. In the Homeric Hymns he is referred to as the chieftain of the gods. He is also called the "Father of Gods and men", according to Hesiod's Theogony. He ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus in ways representative as both a father as head of the family and a king. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" also derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the Ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward, with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.

Zeus was the child of Cronus and Rhea, and the youngest of his siblings. In most traditions he was married to Hera, although, at the oracle of Dodona, his consort was Dione: according to the Iliad, he is the father of Aphrodite by Dione.

Selected picture

Airavata
Credit: Sodacan

The Airavata (three-headed white elephant), vehicle of the Hindu God Indra, depicted here in Thai art.

Did you know?

  • ... that the demon Maha Sohona, whose head has been replaced with that of a bear, haunts graveyards and feasts on human flesh?


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Selected Myth

Trojan Horse

The Trojan War was a war waged, according to legend, against the city of Troy in Asia Minor by the armies of the Achaeans, following the kidnapping (or elopement) of Helen of Sparta by Paris of Troy. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in a cycle of epic poems of which only two, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, survive intact. The Iliad describes an episode late in this war, and the Odyssey describes the journey home of one of the Greek leaders, Odysseus. Other parts of the story, and different versions, were elaborated by later Greek poets, and by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid.

Legendary creatures

Thunderclouds

An ala or hala (plural: ale or hali) is a mythological creature recorded in the folklore of Bulgarians, Macedonians, and Serbs. Ale are considered demons of bad weather whose main purpose is to lead hail-producing thunderclouds in the direction of fields, vineyards, or orchards to destroy the crops, or loot and take them away. Extremely voracious, ale particularly like to eat children, though their gluttony is not limited to Earth. It is believed they can try to devour the Sun or the Moon causing eclipses; her success would mean the end of the world.

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