mythology

(Greek: mythos, tale; logos, science)

The product partly of the tendency of the human mind to realize, and partly of man's attempts to account for, the origin of such factors in life as fire, disease, and death, and to explain the succession of natural phenomena in an age of ignorance when a fanciful personification of nature's forces occupied the place of scientific knowledge. Hence arose the mystical stories of the gods, many of which in later generations gave scandal because of their absurdity and immorality. Mythology, being born of ignorance and imagination, has no legitimate place in sound religious belief. The principal divisions of myths correspond to the chief problemg which the world presents to the curiosity of man. A few examples are myths of starg, the sun, the moon, death, heroism, and romance. The best known systems of mythology are the Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian. The most famous gods are the Babylonian Gilgamesh and Ishtar; the Egyptian Osiris, Isis, Ra, Ptah, and Toth; the Greek and Roman Zeus (Jupiter), Hera (Juno), Ares (Mars), Hermes (Mercury), Aphrodite (Venus), PaIlas Athene (Minerva), Apollo, Hephaestus (Vulcan), Eros (Cupid), and Dionysus (Bacchus); the Scandinavian Odin (Woden), Thor, Freya, and Tiw, for whom respectively are named the days of the week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Tuesday.

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