What is Greek mythology?


Quick Answer

Greek mythology is a collection of stories about Greek gods, goddesses, demi-gods and creatures that provide explanations for how things came into existence, natural order and certain Greek traditions. The earliest Greek myths were passed down orally during the Bronze Age, explains The History Channel.

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What is Greek mythology?
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Full Answer

A pantheon of gods and goddesses is the root of Greek mythology. Some Greek myths are stories about how these gods and goddesses mated with humans to produce demi-gods. These gods, goddesses and demi-gods are usually tempted in some way and must show either strength of character or physical strength, sometimes a combination of both, or face some type of severe consequence. In the myth "Narcissus and Echo," for instance, Narcissus is so taken by his own reflection he does nothing but stare at it until he dies.

Another common characteristic of myths is that they sometimes personify nature. Poseidon, for example, is the Greek god of the sea. His moods were believed to dictate how the ocean waters behave. Gods, goddesses and demi-gods who are able to overcome their obstacles become heroes or heroines. Heracles is a hero who is a demi-god. In Greek mythology, he is the son of the god Zeus, ruler of the Olympians, and the human Alcmene. As a demi-god, Heracles possesses super human strength, which he uses to defeat many powerful creatures.

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