Definition of a myth - an ancient anonymous story usually involving gods and or heroes and would explain some aspect of nature.
myths involve a god or a mortal with supernatural power
a myth will explain natural events such as an earthquake
a myth will detail human flaws or frailities
myths will express a culture’s view of the universe
Other common elements include: metamorphosis, monsters,invisibility, trickery, and gods interference with mortals
Greek Civilization began about 1200 B.C.E. in Greece & Asia Minor
oOral versions of myths were said to appear about 800 B.C.E. (thru storytellers and the Muses)
oWritten versions appear about 700 B.C.E. - Hesiod’ Theogony
Main Sources of Myths
oHesiod and Homer (both poets)
Earth - flat and circular with Greece in the middle and Mt. Olympus the highest point
Mt. Olympus - home of the Olympian gods
Underworld - underneath the earth and the realm of the dead
Oceanus - a river encircling the earth to venture beyond, one would fall from the earth
Mediterranean - divided the world
In the north of Greece - Hyperboreans
These were said to be a very happy people for whom life was sweet. When old people became tired of living, they threw themselves into the sea. This was a land of constant vacation where people lived to be 1,000 years old.
In the south of Greece - Ethiopians
This is said to be a far away place of gods. The Ethiopians who lived there were said to entertain the gods and were on good terms with them.
To the west of Greece - Elysian Fields
This is said to be like a heaven to the Greeks. Only the best and the brightest of the dead were given the right to go to the Elysian Fields.