Portal:Mythology

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The Mythology Portal

The term mythology can refer to either the study of myths or a body of myths. For example, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece. The term "myth" is often used colloquially to refer to a false story; however, the academic use of the term generally does not pass judgment on its truth or falsity. In the study of folklore, a myth is a religious narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form. Many scholars in other fields use the term "myth" in somewhat different ways. In a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story.

The main characters in myths are usually gods or supernatural heroes. As sacred stories, myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests and closely linked to religion. In the society in which it is told, a myth is usually regarded as a true account of the remote past. In fact, many societies have two categories of traditional narrative—(1) "true stories", or myths, and (2) "false stories", or fables. Myths generally take place in a primordial age, when the world had not yet achieved its current form. They explain how the world gained its current form and how customs, institutions, and taboos were established.

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Selected article

Achilles killing a Trojan prisonner in front of Charun.

Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece. Modern scholars refer to the myths and study them in an attempt to throw light on the religious and political institutions of Ancient Greece, its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.

Greek mythology is embodied explicitly in a large collection of narratives and implicitly in representational arts, such as vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth explains the origins of the world and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and other mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from Greek literature.

The oldest known Greek literary sources, the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, focus on events surrounding the Trojan War. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, and the origin of sacrificial practices.

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Battle at Lanka, Ramayana, Udaipur, 1649-53.jpg

Battle at Lanka, Ramayana by Sahibdin. It depicts monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon-king of the king of Lanka, Ravana in order to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita. The painting depicts multiple events in the battle against the three-headed demon general Trisiras, in bottom left - Trisiras is beheaded by the monkey-companion of Rama - Hanuman.

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Did you know?

An eight-armed seated woman dressed in a sari, holding a child and various weapons, ripping the womb of a woman, lying on her lap, while trampling a man

  • ... that Tamil Hindu parents dedicate their one-month-old children to the goddess Periyachi (pictured), who is depicted ripping a woman's womb?


Did you know?

Prithu

  • ... that according to Hindu mythology, the "first king" Prithu chased the Earth in the form of a cow (pictured), who eventually agreed to yield her milk as all the world's grain and vegetation?

Statue of Bochica




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Recognised content

Featured Articles: Featured article Ahalya, Featured article Ancient Egyptian literature, Featured article King Arthur, Featured article Ganesha, Featured article Greek mythology, Featured article Iravan, Featured article Orion (mythology), Featured article Vampire, Featured article Vithoba

Featured Lists: Featured list List of valkyrie names in Norse mythology

Good Articles:  2012 phenomenon,  Æsir–Vanir War,  Ala (demon),  Ardhanarishvara,  Battle of Barry,  Bhikshatana,  Chamunda,  Chhinnamasta,  Consorts of Ganesha,  Cú Chulainn,  Dhumavati,  Einherjar,  Eir,  Erebus,  Fairy Flag,  Fenrir,  Gerðr,  Hel (being),  Huginn and Muninn,  Iðunn,  Ila (Hinduism),  Kabandha,  Kali,  Kamadhenu,  Kangiten,  Keshi (demon),  Khandoba,  Krishna,  Kubera,  LGBT themes in Hindu mythology,  Manasa,  Mandodari,  Matangi,  Matrikas,  Maya Sita,  Mohini,  Myrrha,  Mythology of Carnivàle,  Naraka (Hinduism),  Prester John,  Prithu,  Putana,  Rati,  Ratatoskr,  Revanta,  Satyavati,  Sharabha,  Shashthi,  Shiva,  Sif,  Tara (Ramayana),  Troilus,  Tuisto,  Valhalla,  Valkyrie,  Vampire folklore by region,  Varaha,  Varahi,  Veðrfölnir and eagle  Zduhać

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School of Comparative Mythology

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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.

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Legendary creatures

Scene from Nosferatu

Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures and according to speculation by literary historian Brian Frost that the "belief in vampires and bloodsucking demons is as old as man himself", and may go back to "prehistoric times", the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent.

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