Myths are found in every culture around the world and are used to explain natural phenomena, where people came from, how their civilisation developed and why things happen the way they do. Myths, at their most basic, provide comfort by bringing order and meaning to what can sometimes appear to be a chaotic world.
Mythology (from the Greek mythos for “story of the people” and logos for “word or speech,” thus “spoken story of a people”) is the study and interpretation of often sacred tales or fables of a culture known as myths, or the collection of such stories, which deal with various aspects of the human condition: good and evil; the meaning of suffering; human origins; the origin of place-names, animals, cultural values, and traditions; the meaning of life and death; Myths express a culture’s beliefs and values regarding these topics.
Myths are stories that have been passed down through generations. Some are based on true events, while others are entirely fictitious. But myths are more than just stories; they serve a deeper purpose in both ancient and modern cultures. Myths are sacred stories that describe the world and human experience. Myths are as relevant today as they were in the past. Myths provide timeless answers to timeless questions and serve as a guidepost for each generation. The myths of lost paradise, for example, give people hope that by living virtuously, they will be rewarded with a better life in the afterlife.
Mythology has played an integral part in every civilisation throughout the world. Pre-historic cave paintings, etchings in stone, tombs, and monuments all suggest that, long before human beings set down their myths in words, they had already developed a belief structure.
Every culture on the planet has had and continues to have, some form of mythology. Each generation of storytellers adds another layer of fact and fiction to myths, making the themes and characters of myths timeless and endlessly relevant as they are reinvented and reapplied to the lives of each new generation.