Iris, Athenian red-figure lekythos C5th B.
Herodotus One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events. Apollo represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and so on. Athena represents wise judgment, Greek hero myths essay desire, and so on.
He believed myths began as allegorical descriptions of nature and gradually came to be interpreted literally.
For example, a poetic description of the sea as "raging" was eventually taken literally and the sea was then thought of as a raging god. Mythopoeic thought Some thinkers claimed that myths result from the personification of objects and forces.
According to these thinkers, the ancients worshiped natural phenomena, such as fire and air, gradually deifying them. Myth and ritual According to the myth-ritual theory, myth is tied to ritual. Forgetting the original reason for a ritual, they account for it by inventing a myth and claiming the ritual commemorates the events described in that myth.
He interpreted myths as accounts of actual historical events — distorted over many retellings. Sallustius  divided myths into five categories — theological, physical or concerning natural lawsanimistic or concerning soulmaterial, and mixed.
Mixed concerns myths that show the interaction between two or more of the previous categories and are particularly used in initiations.
Plato famously condemned poetic myth when discussing education in the Republic. His critique was primarily on the grounds that the uneducated might take the stories of gods and heroes literally. Nevertheless, he constantly referred to myths throughout his writings. As Platonism developed in the phases commonly called Middle Platonism and neoplatonismwriters such as PlutarchPorphyryProclusOlympiodorus, and Damascius wrote explicitly about the symbolic interpretation of traditional and Orphic myths.
The resulting work may expressly refer to a mythological background without itself becoming part of a body of myths Cupid and Psyche. Medieval romance in particular plays with this process of turning myth into literature.
Euhemerism, as stated earlier, refers to the rationalization of myths, putting themes formerly imbued with mythological qualities into pragmatic contexts.
An example of this would be following a cultural or religious paradigm shift notably the re-interpretation of pagan mythology following Christianization.
European Renaissance[ edit ] This panel by Bartolomeo di Giovanni relates the second half of the Metamorphoses. In the upper left, Jupiter emerges from clouds to order Mercury to rescue Io.
Nineteenth century[ edit ] The first modern, Western scholarly theories of myth appeared during the second half of the nineteenth century  — at the same time as the word myth was adopted as a scholarly term in European languages. This movement drew European scholars' attention not only to Classical myths, but also material now associated with Norse mythologyFinnish mythologyand so forth.
Western theories were also partly driven by Europeans' efforts to comprehend and control the cultures, stories and religions they were encountering through colonialism. These encounters included both extremely old texts such as the Sanskrit Rigveda and the Sumerian Epic of Gilgameshand current oral narratives such as mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas or stories told in traditional African religions.
These ideas included the recognition that many Eurasian languages—and therefore, conceivably, stories—were all descended from a lost common ancestor the Indo-European language which could rationally be reconstructed through the comparison of its descendant languages.d Further Reading: The Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell Man and His Symbols Carl Jung The Golden Bough Sir James George Frazier Myths to Live By.
A collection of myths and legend from Classical Greece and Rome, Norse and Celtic mythology, as well as Arthurian legend. Concerning the Origin of Peoples. The Ancient Identity of Hungarians The Hungarian-Hebrew Connexion - An essay realized with the valuable contribution of the Hungarian scholar Hargita Csaba -.
T LIT Understanding Literature (5) VLPA Develops essential tools for close and informed reading of fiction, drama, and poetry.
Considers how a text generates aesthetic pleasure, how it achieves moral or social impact.
Develops skills in literary analysis through reading literary texts, through. Hades is the Greek god of the underworld, the realm of the dead. Explore the myths about Hades, his abduction of Persephone, and the fate of those that defied him. Advertisements - by Cori Nalipinski. I teach a full quarter of Greek/Roman Mythology to 11th and 12th graders.
I started two years ago and have tried to keep my projects interesting to my students and to show them how mythology is relevant to their world today.