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World Mythologies : Home

Research guide to mythologies from various civilizations.

What is mythology?


"Imaginative poetic stories, traditions, etc., concerning religious beliefs, gods, and supernatural and heroic human beings. Mythology often involves a cosmogony—an attempted explanation of the origin of the universe, of mankind, or of a particular race or culture."

"The term also refers to the formal study of such stories, traditions, etc. Myths have been interpreted in several ways. One ancient theory, first advanced by the Greek Euhemerus (300 BC) and called euhemerism, holds that there is an element of historical truth in myths and that mythical characters are only kings or other heroes given the honour of deification by the populace. Plato also adopted a critical view of Greek mythology because of its immorality and sought to introduce worthier ideals by inventing more rational myths."

"Anthropology and psychoanalysis have thrown new light on the function of myths. Among primitive peoples they serve to provide an explanation or justification for social institutions. They also appear to embody universal values or patterns with regard to human psychology, as in Freud's interpretation of the child's relationship to its parents in terms of the Oedipus myth."

"The mythologies of particular cultures have provided the material of most of the world's great literature and art, as in Egypt, Greece and Rome, and in Hinduism."

"mythology." The Macmillan Encyclopedia. Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 2003. Credo Reference. Web. 25 January 2013.

HUM 210 World Mythologies at Oakton

HUM210 - World Mythologies

Course explores the nature of mythology. Content includes themes, archetypal figures and situations, symbolism and figurative language found in selected folklore and legendary narratives.IAI H9 901 3 Credit Hours (lecture: 3; lab: 0) IAI Code: H9 901

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