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Overview of Greek Mythology

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Greek mythology is a body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks concerning Titans, gods, and heroes. According to Alan Dundes, a myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind assumed their present form (Dundes 1). Though now it may be referred to as mythology, to the ancient Greeks it was an aspect of their religion. Like many other pre-Christian societies, the ancient Greeks deemed things that were important in their lives, such as fire, water, air, and lightning to be gods which govern the world. The gods of the ancient Greeks had a complicated genealogy with many generations of gods and goddesses. The tales of these gods were woven into an immense variety of fables. The fables of the Greek gods were handed down through word of mouth, from one generation to another, long before written logs were used (History). The fables that were passed down show that the Greeks used the tales to give answers to the questions, such as where do we come from? How did we get here? Why are we here? Questions like these are human nature and the basis of all religions.

Mohandas Gandhi once said “It is the permanent element in human nature which counts no cost too great in order to find full expression and which leaves the soul utterly restless until it has found itself, known its Maker and appreciated the true correspondence between the Maker and itself” (Bharathi 43). By this Gandhi means that humans as a race have a perpetual need to understand the world around them and justify their place within it, and for the Greeks this was done with mythology.

The earliest literary embodiment of the Greek myths is in the poems of Homer. Here the tales appear in their simplest and most naïve form. The Gods are be...

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