The Mythology Portal
The term mythology can refer to either the study of myths or a body of myths. For example, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece. The term "myth" is often used colloquially to refer to a false story; however, the academic use of the term generally does not pass judgment on its truth or falsity. In the study of folklore, a myth is a religious narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form. Many scholars in other fields use the term "myth" in somewhat different ways. In a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story.
The main characters in myths are usually gods or supernatural heroes. As sacred stories, myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests and closely linked to religion. In the society in which it is told, a myth is usually regarded as a true account of the remote past. In fact, many societies have two categories of traditional narrative—(1) "true stories", or myths, and (2) "false stories", or fables. Myths generally take place in a primordial age, when the world had not yet achieved its current form. They explain how the world gained its current form and how customs, institutions, and taboos were established.
is a legendary British
leader who, according to medieval histories and romances
, led the defence of Britain against the Saxon
invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore
and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various histories, including those of Gildas
and the Annales Cambriae
. The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth
's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae
. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established an empire over the British Isles
. In fact, many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia
, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon
, the wizard Merlin
, the sword Excalibur
, Arthur's birth at Tintagel
, his final battle against Mordred
and final rest in Avalon
. The 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes
, who added Lancelot
and the Holy Grail
to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature
. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, both in literature and in adaptations for theatre, film, television, comics and other media.
Battle at Lanka, Ramayana by Sahibdin. It depicts monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon-king of the king of Lanka, Ravana in order to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita. The painting depicts multiple events in the battle against the three-headed demon general Trisiras, in bottom left - Trisiras is beheaded by the monkey-companion of Rama - Hanuman.
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The Trojan War was a war waged, according to legend, against the city of Troy in Asia Minor by the armies of the Achaeans, following the kidnapping (or elopement) of Helen of Sparta by Paris of Troy. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in a cycle of epic poems of which only two, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, survive intact. The Iliad describes an episode late in this war, and the Odyssey describes the journey home of one of the Greek leaders, Odysseus. Other parts of the story, and different versions, were elaborated by later Greek poets, and by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid.
In Norse mythology, Fenrir (Old Norse "fen-dweller"), Fenrisúlfr (Old Norse "Fenris wolf"), Hróðvitnir (Old Norse "fame-wolf"), or Vánagandr (Old Norse "the monster of the river Ván") is a monstrous wolf. Fenrir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, Fenrir is the father of the wolves Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson, is a son of Loki, and is foretold to kill the god Odin during the events of Ragnarök, but will in turn be killed by Odin's son Víðarr.
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