Greek mythology is the repertoire of myths and teachings that originated in ancient Greece on a wide spectrum of topics like their gods, heroes, the different ritual practices, the phenomenon of nature, and the significance of their cult. These myths and teachings come in the form of stories which have been told and retold from one generation to another, and today, these stories are popular among people around the world.
Many stories which are considered to be a part of Greek mythology today have had their roots in other cultures and myths. While the Greek mythology is considered to be 2,500 years old, some stories that have originated in a different culture may be more than 4,500 years old.
In addition to narratives, Greek myths are present in the form of sculptures, paintings and other representational arts. Vase paintings and votive gifts were the most common mediums of showcasing such arts.
The most renowned literary source for Greek mythology has been Homer’s poems and epics. Other luminaries who are known to have contributed to the Greek myths are Plutarch and Pausanias.
Greek mythology has had a great impact on the culture, art and literature of Greece. Whether it was ancient poets or contemporary ones, Greek mythology has been the source of inspiration of many luminaries in the literary world. Many artists have been influenced by Greek mythology as well.
The Greeks and Romans believed the Greek mythology to be a part of their history. They found pride in being able to trace their descent to the families of one of the heroes or Gods. There were very few who doubted or questioned the facts behind these myths and teachings. This was before 5th century BC when Homer’s epos was considered to be the basis of Greek acculturation. As philosophy and rationalism replaced the myths, many began to criticize the mythological genealogies.
Today, Greek mythology is an interesting topic which garners attention from many curious minds, but most of it is taken with a pinch of doubt and while we will still find Greek mythology to be an influence on arts and literature, it is no longer a way of life for the people as it once used to be.