Greek Mythology: Then and Now Essay

Greek Mythology: Then and Now Essay

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"A myth is a collective term denoting a symbolic narrative in religion, as distinguished from symbolic behavior (cult, ritual) and symbolic places or objects (temples, icons)". (The New Encyclopedia Britannica. Vol. 24)Mythology is a collection of myths meant to explain the universe. Mythological stories were told in many different cultures and civilizations. The existence of myths is known in every society. Many different myths were conceived to explain occurrences that happened in nature.

One of these natural occurrences is the solar eclipse. The word eclipse originates from a Greek word meaning "abandonment". Ana Ruiz states in “The Spirit of Ancient Egypt”, that the ancient Egyptians believed that Apep, a spirit of evil and chaos, swallowed the sun each day thereby causing the sunset. According to the myth every day Apep pursues his eternal battle to destroy Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun, as he travels in his solar barge across the sky. The Egyptians believed that during an eclipse Apep was gaining control over Ra. (109) In Hindu mythology, there is a tale that depicts how long ago the demons and the gods once got together to create a nectar, churned from the milk-ocean, that would give them immortality. When the nectar was being served to the gods, a demon disguised a god, tried to obtain some of the nectar. The Sun and Moon detected the presence of the demon. Lord Visnu, "The Preserver", immediately beheaded the demon. However, it was too late and the demon had already become immortal. It is said that ever since the demon has sought revenge on the Sun and Moon. The myth states that when the Sun and the Moon get too close Rahu, the head of the demon, swallows them up and there is an eclips...

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...more through developments in science, some of the myths have been put to rest. However, we will never have all of the answers and so mythology lives on. It lives on in aspects of our lives such as religion and old ‘wives tales’. As long as man still walks the earth, there will always be myths.

Works Cited

Clayton, John, and Nils Jansma. The Source: Creation-- Eternal Design or Infinite Accident? West Monroe, LA: Howard Pub., 2001. Print.
Clayton, John. Print.

Rosen, Brenda. The Mythical Creatures Bible: the Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print.

Encyclopedia of Ancient Myths and Cultures. London: Quantum, 2003. Print.

"Myth." The New Encyclopedia Britannica. Vol. 24. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007. Print.

"Zeus." The New Encyclopedia Britannica... Vol. 12. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007. Print.

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