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Mythologists of late have explicitly attempted to change, rather than bolster, the ordinary sense of myth. Some have traced the term to the Greeks in order to retrieve its original, and less prejudicial, meaning. Mythos, in its earliest usage, was distinguished from logos not because it was thought to be false but, on the contrary, unquestionably true. As Kees Bolle notes in his article "Myth and Mythology" in the Encyclopedia Britannica, "The original Greek term for myth (mythos) denotes 'word' in the sense of a decisive, final pronouncement. It differs from logos, the word whose validity or truth can be argued and demonstrated." • Other scholars, most notably Mircea Eliade, have observed that the stories of "primitive" of "archaic" cultures we designate as myths were, in the cultures in which they arise, regarded as absolutely true. Eliade writes in his classic treatment of the topic, Myth and Reality, that "the myth is regarded as a sacred story, and hence a 'true history,' because it always deals with realities. The cosmogonic myth is 'true' because the existence of the World is there to prove it; the myth of the origin of death is equally true because man's mortality proves it, and so on." Understood from this perspective, myths function in other cultures in exactly the same way as canonical scripture does in our own--in both cases, the stories told explain the otherwise inexplicable; and in both cases, the stories are regarded as unarguably and unchangingly true. • Brian K. Smith
What is Myth then? • A story that explains what is often inexplicable in our lives. • It involves deities (gods/goddesses), who have control over mortals. • It is one culture’s true beliefs – religious ideals
The ancient Greeks believed in freedom and individuality • Opportunity to excel in any direction they chose. • Strive for excellence, no matter what the challenge • They also believed in the balance of mind and body. • The two most important concepts : • "Nothing in excess" and "Know thyself"
The ancient Greeks were a deeply religious people. They worshipped many gods whom they believed appeared in human form and yet were endowed with superhuman strength and ageless beauty.
Sacrifices were made to the gods for: • Safe travels • Bountiful harvest • Health/beauty • Assistance in a great feat