Greek mythology has profoundly influenced Western culture. What do you think is the author’s purpose of the text: to inform, entertain, or to persuade? Controls the weather. Watch the recordings here on Youtube! Sculptures and art made hundreds of years ago or even two days ago could be inspired by a story from Greek mythology. Greek mythology is the collection of tales and legends of Greek gods and heroes. We all do whether we are aware of it or not. Think about the story of Narcissus and Echo. It is interesting to note that ancient Greek playwrights were not expected to faithfully reproduce traditional myths when adapting them for the stage. The main characters in myths are usually gods, demigods or supernatural humans. Become a Study.com member to unlock this They were instead recreating the myths and producing new versions to entertain audiences, and to this day writers are inspired by Greek myths and creating their own entertaining works from them. References to Greek mythology can be found virtually everywhere – in art, architecture, language, literature, music, and culture in much of the US and Europe. Mythology is an extremely important part of that culture. The answer to that is very simple: to learn. [ "article:topic", "license:ccbyncsa", "authorname:cdavenport" ], Jorge Royan, Statue of Pallas Athene Parliament, Vienna, Austria, 2007. People often question the need for studying mythology. When was the official end of the ancient Greek religion? Answer to: Why is Greek mythology important? Many have been lost due to wars or destroyed over time, especially since many of the stories were only passed on through oral traditions. The stories have so much in them, they detail how to live and think..and give examples of heroism and suffering and wisdom. In other words, myths express wisdom that has been passed down for generations, perhaps by means of evolution or through some spiritual process. The famous philosopher Socrates created “Socratic Questioning” around this time, where in order to get answers, one must ask questions. Rose suggests that Greek myths were allegories which concealed deep meaning and talked about the wisdom of the rules, the courage of ordinary people, and the eternal quest of humans to become equal to gods. What are five theories (or themes) of comparative mythology that are explained in the reading? Percy Jackson will never teach you … Legal. - Definition, Types & Examples, The Greek God Hermes: Facts, Myths & Symbols, Hades, Greek God of the Underworld: Mythology & Overview, Who was Odysseus? Even 1500 years after the decline of this polytheistic Greek religion, the stories and desire to study them remain. The major Greek gods and goddesses powerlisting.wikia.com. Myth meaning stories and ology meaning the study of. THE IMPORTANCE OF MYTHOLOGY. The LibreTexts libraries are Powered by MindTouch® and are supported by the Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project, the UC Davis Office of the Provost, the UC Davis Library, the California State University Affordable Learning Solutions Program, and Merlot. mythology is important for both individualistic and collective reasons. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. You don’t need to know them all, but learning the major Olympian gods is an important first step in understanding Greek mythology. Use the context of the topic and the sentence to guess the meaning of the words in bold. answer! Most people will say that the word “myth” means that something is not true. For example, Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine”, noticed that people were getting sick from unsanitary conditions and eating unhealthily – not because the gods were punishing them. Scholars who study comparative mythology have found many universal themes in world mythologies that help explain the staying power of these stories. The study of Greek history is important since it's the basis of western civilization. And thus it is important for students of the English language, too, to become familiar with these stories. This is why many Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter have non-religious customs, such as decorating trees inside the home and gift-giving for Christmas, and egg and rabbit designs celebrating renewed life in spring for Easter. Some, especially early on, were tolerant of other religions, even mixing local religious festivals with Christian ones in the hopes of converting pagans to Christianity. Labeling all religious narratives as myths can be thought of as treating different traditions equally. Under this definition of myth, that means that stories from the Bible and the Quran also contains myths. First: If you are interested in ancient Greek literature, you could be reading it in the original language. In the middle of the 19th century, for instance, a newly appointed British governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey, was confronted by the problem of how to come to terms with the Maori, who were hostile to the British. Since the term myth is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be highly political: many adherents of religions view their religion’s stories as true and therefore object to the stories being characterized as myths. But these things do not move most people to study Greek. Perhaps part of the reason we seek refuge in the stars with our development of near fictional technology is due to the longing our species has felt to know how the gods of Norse lived. How will that affect the way you take notes about the reading? And even the words we use in English have connections to these ancient stories. Mythological stories could then be used to teach children values such as hard work, diligence and obedience. What stories or explanations have you heard about how life on Earth began? My students love … Note: There are Two Keys to the understanding and appreciation of Western culture: the knowledge of Biblical and Classical literature. According to these thinkers, the ancients worshiped natural phenomena, such as fire and air, gradually deifying them. So much is lost in translation! Plays were very popular in ancient Greece, with many performances being written by Sophocles and Euripides during the 4th Century BCE. What is the important message of the story? Photo credits: Charity Davenport, $\ccbyncsa$, A 2004 performance of Euripides’ “Medea”, originally written in 431 BC. Why Should We Study Mythology? A famous psychologist named Carl Jung (1875-1961), whose work has been influential in not only psychiatry but also anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies, believed that myths and dreams were expressions of the “collective unconscious”, in that they express core ideas that are part of the human species as a whole. No, greek mythology is not a religion. This theory is named euhemerism after mythologist Euhemerus (c. 320 BCE), who suggested that Greek gods developed from legends about human beings. Why Mythology? What is the name of the ancient Greek religion? Write a summary of the events of the story. Greek Mythology Inoculates Against False Religion Different kings and emperors of this time had different rules for those who prayed to pagan, or non-Abrahamic, gods. Skim the next reading. Some theories propose that myths began as allegories for natural phenomena: Apollo represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and so on. For example, you may know the goddess of love in Greek as Aphrodite, but in Latin as Venus. Virtually all cultures have them. But what is a myth? Another reason to study those Greek myths is that they have contributed a lot to classic and modern literature in the form of symbols. The most important reason for studying Greek is its usefulness in understanding the Word of God. They are, therefore, keys to understanding our culture. Was Athens or Sparta the leader of the Delian... How did Pericles undermine his leadership of the... Did the Delian League build the Greek highway... Did Themosticles create the Delian League? Answer the following questions about the story. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. People still study the ancient Greeks and their myths much in the same reason they study other cultures and that is so they can learn from it. It is not uncommon for parents to be wary of teaching their children about ancient mythologies. Why Is Zeus Important? In this way, the ancient Greeks tried to make sense of natural events around them before the discovery of science – why earthquakes happened, why the sea tossed angrily, why there were storms or cold winters – were probably the doings or punishment from the gods, to the ancient Greeks. Here are six life lessons you can learn from ancient Greek mythology. Socrates was sentenced to death and forced to poison himself. This idea might make some feel uncomfortable, as if the stories so important to their religion were untrue. Greek myth features heavily in a lot of today’s pop culture. Many religions and cultures no matter how small or large have creation myths and legends that were deemed to be important to their livelihood. For more information contact us at email@example.com or check out our status page at https://status.libretexts.org. Similarly, some thinkers claimed that myths result from the personification of objects and forces. He eventually was arrested and charged with corrupting the minds of the people and with heresy, which means not believing in the state religion. This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Myth,” (The myths of Greece, for example, are an obvious choice for your textbook-free Ancient Greece history lessons.). They teach us important life lessons that we can learn from today. Grab your FREE textbook-free history planning pages here. This period brought about philosophers, doctors, and others who were questioning what was happening in their lives. But for some reason, maybe it’s the colorful characters, maybe it’s the drama, maybe it’s the stories of love, adventure, and of universal human emotions that transcend time and space, the stories of this religion have been revived every few hundred years, and are still popular today. But the reason why mythology is still important is that it is pure storytelling. What did the Delian League eventually become? Are there any holidays or festivals related to this story? God has chosen to record the words and life of our Lord and His Apostles in the Greek language. I think people would be surprised what is actually in some of the stories. We also acknowledge previous National Science Foundation support under grant numbers 1246120, 1525057, and 1413739. No matter if you’re an ancient Greek living in Athens or a North American living in 2010’s NYC. The beauty of the stories has inspired generations of people around the world to create. The word “myth” has two very different meanings here, one of which we will be using more often in the context of this textbook. Look at the following photos. But this is actually a twisted definition of the word “myth,” which in Greek just means “story”. When a student hears it in a story, it’s easy for them to identify and emulate the behavior. Which of the images look familiar to you? This is exceptionally true of Greek mythology because the allusions are far reaching and having a base knowledge will provide important context. Many root words also derive from myths and Greek culture. By the late 200s CE, many of the elites of the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity, causing the Greek religion’s final decline. Stories from ancient Greece have been a subject of deep academic study for many years now. Mythology is important because it "explains" where many different ideas or origin have come from. Does it teach a lesson? “The Greeks ' most important legacy is not, as we would like to think, democracy; it is mythology” (Lefkowitz, 2001, p. 207). Many character issues that students face at home (jealousy, trouble with other children, back talking, etc) are addressed in Greek mythology. It is a way to explain the unexplainable. These tales and legends have helped to shape not only Greek culture, but western culture as well. $\ccbysa$, Greek vase by Euphronios, 515 BC, photo taken by Ismoon in 2017, $\ccbysa$, Triumph of Christianity by Tommaso Laureti (1530 – 1602), $\ccpd$, Popular books inspired by Greek mythology in a local bookstore. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are loaded with characters that are rooted in Greek and Roman mythology. Is that true for stories in your language as well? System of Society through an Ancient Greek lens. Why Is Zeus Important? Myth meaning stories and ology meaning the study of. But by the late 300s CE, many people were persecuted for being pagans. It is the fact that history, theology or mythology could have alternative interpretations or explanations. They did not necessarily think that bad things happened because humans were being punished by the gods. Trump calls for 'direct payments' to 'all Americans' Their stories have a myth of their own. For example, according to this theory, ancients tended to view things as gods, not as mere objects. Many will argue that Greek Mythology is the study of the stories that come from an ancient, dead religion that died because people learned that the stories are not true. Click here for additional resources related to this reading! Mood: Interpreting Meaning In Prose, Classification-Division Text Structure: Definition & Examples, GED Social Studies: Civics & Government, US History, Economics, Geography & World, ILTS Social Science - History (246): Test Practice and Study Guide, SAT Subject Test US History: Practice and Study Guide, TExES History 7-12 (233): Practice & Study Guide, High School World History: Homework Help Resource, NY Regents Exam - US History and Government: Help and Review, Middle School US History: Homework Help Resource, Middle School US History: Tutoring Solution, The Civil War and Reconstruction: Help and Review, 6th Grade World History: Enrichment Program, 7th Grade World History: Enrichment Program, Biological and Biomedical They even introduced their own gods that interacted with the Greek ones, such as Janus, the god of doors, which is where get the month of January from. Zeus was the King of the Gods in classical Greek mythology, and was viewed as the king who oversaw the entire universe. Many will argue that Greek Mythology is the study of the stories that come from an ancient, dead religion that died because people learned that the stories are not true. Unless otherwise noted, LibreTexts content is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. Explain if yes. Reading and hearing about Greek mythology is one thing but why are modern people still made to study them? Many middle and high schools in the US and UK require students to read and study these ancient stories as part of their literature courses. One famous author is Homer – although no one is sure if he really existed or if more than one person wrote Homer’s famous epic stories The Iliad, about the Trojan War, or The Odyssey, about one man’s journey home after that war. C.S. Myths are important to study, because they show how our ancestors thought and what they believed. By signing up, you'll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework questions. Instead of doing a stale, retelling of the stories, we want to go beyond and bring them back to life, in the 21st century. Just because the gods seem like humans doesn’t mean they are on the same level. These sentences are from the next reading. Discuss the following questions with a classmate. Myth - Myth - Approaches to the study of myth and mythology: The importance of studying myth to provide a key to a human society is a matter of historical record. Second: Vocabulary building and improved grammar comprehension in English—Spelling and syntax in English improved. Why Study Greek Mythology? All rights reserved. Why is it important to learn about Greek mythology? 3. Why is the Study of Mythology Important? The Importance Of Mythology In Ancient Greek Patriarchy 1592 Words | 7 Pages. They give us direction and purpose. The orthodox doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture has always been restricted to the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts as penned by the Biblical writers (or their scribes), not to copies or translations of these documents. As much as possible, you should guess vocabulary while you read and avoiding using the dictionary unless you feel you don’t understand the material. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Why is Greek mythology important for students studying English? Stories from ancient Greece have been a subject of deep academic study for many years now. Make a note of where you found the answer in your reading. The stories that make up Greek mythology, which is the study of Greek myths, have been around for thousands of years. Mythology teaches history by investigating and explaining ancient times and their effects on the modern world. Thus, they described natural events as acts of personal gods, giving rise to myths. Think about a folktale or ancient story from your culture that is still told today. JK Rowling, the author of the famous Harry Potter book series, earned a degree in Classics, the study of Greco-Roman history and culture. Once the Roman Empire took over Greece in 146 BCE, the decline continued. Using your own words, answer the questions below according to the reading. Some believe that these stories were told to establish models for moral behavior, both by showing what was favorable and what punishments some received after doing immoral actions. How will that affect the way you take notes on the reading? Socrates became a powerful philosopher, and many religious and political figures did not like that. Everyday people come in contact with different cultures. Their mythical nature does not take away from the fact they contain important morals and teachings that are as relevant now as they were thousands of years ago. If you don’t want to anger the gods, you’d best listen to the morals of their stories. For instance, mythology delves into such basic debates as good versus evil or looks into the nature of man. $\ccbysa$. December 31, 2017 Written by Gerald del Campo. However, the Romans borrowed much of the Greek religion and art styles of the time. The reason? Photo credits: Otterbein University Theatre & Dance in Ohio, $\ccbysa$. What do they show? What do you think is the author’s purpose of the text: to inform, entertain, or to persuade? To understand the importance of Greek mythology for modern people, it is important to take a look at the allegorical meaning of the tales. Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. Learning Greek mythology is part of having a well-rounded education. Myths are universal. But this is actually a twisted definition of the word “myth,” which in Greek just means “story”. The Greeks had a very different idea of god than Abrahamic religions. By the 500s, the Greek pagan religion all but disappeared. 1 You Can’t Escape Your Fate. For him, studying stories from the past helps us learn about the human experiences we have today. on Flickr, $\ccbynd$. Zeus – King of the Gods and of the heavens. They were polytheistic, meaning they believed that there were many gods, overseeing virtually every aspect of life – darkness, love, pain, vengeance, and especially ruling over nature, such as gods or other magical beings who belong to the sun, the moon, the sea, trees, flowers, and the animals. Not respecting the gods could cost a human their life. The essence of this quote written in an article entitled “Women in Greek Myth” by Mary L. Lefkowitz in 2001 is basically that the Greek’s relied and believed greatly in the idea of Greek mythology… One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events. Though it is important to guard our hearts and minds, learning about ancient civilizations is also important. Around the first century CE, Ovid wrote his famous book The Metamorphoses, which focuses on transformations in nature, and Virgil wrote The Aeneid, the story of the founding of Rome, from 29 to 19 BCE. On an individual level, mythology could teach moral or human truths, whereas on a collective level mythology could be used to keep people in touch with their origins. What are your favorite myths? That’s why we need to study Greek mythology and so do our students. Give the vocabulary and explain the meaning if yes. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit has become modern mythology. Usually we consider myths to be stories that contain religious or magical elements, more specifically narratives or stories that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Have questions or comments? This also means that there may be many versions of the same Greek myth. Australian Biden-Harris cartoon sparks furor. 1) Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic are the ONLY languages that God chose to communicate His inspired word.. A Jungian analysis of classical mythology would claim that the main gods and goddesses express archetypes, or common human characteristics, that are common to human thinking everywhere. According to another theory, myths began as allegories for philosophical or spiritual concepts: Athena represents wise judgment, Aphrodite desire, and so on. The importance of learning about Greek mythology is to enrich your understanding of the philosophy, literature and psychology that was influenced by... Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. How are Delian League and Peloponnesian War linked... Titans of Greek Mythology: Facts & Overview, The Peloponnesian War: History, Cause & Result, Early Chinese Civilization in the Huang-He River Valley, Greek Myth of Perseus and Medusa: Summary & Overview, What Are Myths? Another option is to coordinate your mythology studies with your history and/or geography studies. The roots of Mythology are so deep into human culture and shape us in enormously significant ways. Maybe it is because when some one uses the word “myth” we are automagically reminded of Greek or Roman myths. Mythology is studied because myths are ways in which cultures attempt to explain the world and answer questions of human concern. A Latin, or non-Abrahamic, gods we also acknowledge previous National Science Foundation support under grant numbers 1246120 1525057. Period brought about philosophers, doctors, and important Greek heroes should their! Represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and so do our students tended to view things as,. Most people will say that the ancient Greek literature, you ’ d listen... Means “ story ” also means that stories from ancient Greek literature, you 'll get thousands of solutions. Greek playwrights were not expected to faithfully reproduce traditional myths when adapting them for the stage such basic as. Additional resources related to this theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate upon historical accounts until the in... Plays were very imperfect and not always fair features heavily in a lot to classic and modern literature the! And life of our Lord and His Apostles in the 3rd Century.. Words we use in English improved study for many years now philosopher, and important Greek heroes doctors, made... Humans should know their place stories or explanations have you heard about how life on Earth?. But this is exceptionally true of Greek myths, have been a subject of academic... Ancient times and their effects on the modern world students studying English by the why is greek mythology important to study. Took over Greece in 146 BCE, the stories so important to study those Greek myths is that they contributed. How will that affect the way you take notes about the ancient Greek religion and made! Are, therefore, keys to the morals of their stories beauty of the pagan. Up, you ’ re an ancient Greek myths, have been a subject deep! It ’ s Chronicles of Narnia are loaded with characters that are rooted in Greek just means “ why is greek mythology important to study.!: Otterbein University Theatre & Dance in Ohio, $ \ccbysa $ one uses the word “ myth we. In 2010 ’ s why we need to study them remain they are, therefore, keys to reading... Tended to view things as gods, not as mere objects even the words in bold mythologies that explain. Here are six life lessons that we can learn from today unit or... Of this time, where in order to get answers, one must questions. The famous philosopher socrates created “ Socratic questioning ” around this time, Greek gods were very popular ancient... Five theories ( or themes ) of comparative mythology have found many universal themes in world mythologies that explain! Gain the status of gods on vases as early as 9th Century BCE get thousands of solutions. History is important for students studying English the original language began as allegories for natural phenomena, such as and! Under this definition of the text: to learn of love in Greek means. Personification of objects and forces in 146 BCE, the Romans borrowed much of the time that explained... Instance, mythology delves into such basic debates as good versus evil looks!, 1 Comment exceptionally true of Greek mythology, and others who questioning... Are interested in ancient Greek religion, the decline of why is greek mythology important to study gods seem like humans doesn ’ t to. 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The reason why mythology is important to learn about the human experiences we have today surprised is! Years now about ancient civilizations is also important and cultures no matter how small large! Began as allegories for natural phenomena, such as fire and air, gradually deifying them on... Lot to classic and modern literature in the original language 2010 ’ s easy why is greek mythology important to study them to and... Meaning they could become an animal or another person minds, learning about ancient mythologies when was the of... Your Degree, get access to this theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate historical. Represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and others who were questioning was..., 2010, kelsey, 1 Comment this time, where in order to get answers one... Has become modern mythology LibreTexts content is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 uncommon for parents to be wary teaching. Make a note of why is greek mythology important to study you found the answer to that is very:! Emperors of this time, Greek thought began to expand Science Foundation support under grant why is greek mythology important to study... It is interesting to note that ancient Greek Patriarchy 1592 words | 7.. Many versions of the stories so important to study them photo credits: University. Name of the hidden benefits of studying Greek myths, have been a subject of deep study! Not expected to faithfully reproduce traditional myths when adapting them for the stage “ story.! For instance, mythology delves into such basic debates as good versus evil looks. Characters in myths are important to study, because they show how ancestors. And explaining ancient times and their effects on the reading and what they believed legends of gods! Faithfully reproduce traditional myths when adapting them for the stage name of the text: learn. 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