Greek mythology

Article

October 28, 2021

Greek mythology is the set of myths and legends belonging to the culture of Ancient Greece, dealing with its gods and heroes, the nature of the world, the origins and the meaning of its own cults and ritual practices. They were part of the religion of Ancient Greece, whose object of worship was basically the Olympian gods. Modern researchers turn to and study myths in an attempt to shed light on ancient Greek religious and political institutions and civilization, as well as to better understand the nature of myth-making itself. [1] Greek mythology appears explicitly in an extensive collection of stories and implicitly in figurative arts such as painted pottery and votive offerings. Greek myths attempt to explain the origins of the world and detail the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, heroes, and other mythological creatures. These stories were originally disseminated in an oral poetic tradition, although today the myths are known mainly thanks to Greek literature. The oldest known literary sources, the epic poems of the Iliad and the Odyssey, focus on the events surrounding the Trojan War. Two poems of the near contemporary of Homer, Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers and human times, and the origin of human tragedies and sacrificial customs. Myths were also preserved in the Homeric hymns, in fragments of epic poetry from the Trojan cycle, in lyrical poems, in the works of playwrights of the 5th century BC. C., in writings of researchers and poets of the Hellenistic period and in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by authors such as Plutarco and Pausanias. Archaeological finds are an important source of details about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes prominently featured in the decoration of many objects. Geometric designs on pottery from the 8th century BC. They represent scenes of the Trojan cycle, as well as adventures of Heracles. In the subsequent Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods, Homeric mythological scenes and from various other sources appear to supplement the existing literary evidence. [2] Greek mythology has had a wide influence on the culture, art and literature of Western civilization and remains a part of Western cultural heritage and language. Poets and artists have found inspiration in it from ancient times to the present day and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in classical mythological themes. [3]

Sources of Greek mythology

Greek mythology is known today primarily from Greek literature and mythical representations on plastic media dating from the geometric period (about 900-800 BC) onwards. [4]

Literary sources

Mythical tales play an important role in almost all genres of Greek literature. Despite this, the only preserved general mythographic manual from Greek antiquity was the Mythological Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus. This work attempts to reconcile the conflicting stories of the poets and provides a great summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. [5] Apollodorus lived between c. 180-120 BC C. and wrote on many of these subjects, but nevertheless the Library discusses events that took place long after his death, and hence the name Pseudo-Apolodoro. Among the oldest literary sources are Homer's two epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle," but these later minor poems have been almost entirely lost. Apart from their traditional name, the Homeric hymns have no re

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