Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ
The Tigris is the eastern of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq and empties into the Persian Gulf; the Tigris is 1,750 km long, rising in the Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey about 25 km southeast of the city of Elazig and about 30 km from the headwaters of the Euphrates. The river flows for 400 km through Turkish territory before becoming the border between Syria and Turkey; this stretch of 44 km is the only part of the river, located in Syria. Close to its confluence with the Euphrates, the Tigris splits into several channels. First, the artificial Shatt al-Hayy branches off. Second, the Shatt al-Muminah and Majar al-Kabir branch off to feed the Central Marshes. Further downstream, two other distributary channels branch off, which feed the Hawizeh Marshes; the main channel continues southwards and is joined by the Al-Kassarah, which drains the Hawizeh Marshes. The Tigris joins the Euphrates near al-Qurnah to form the Shatt-al-Arab.
According to Pliny and other ancient historians, the Euphrates had its outlet into the sea separate from that of the Tigris. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, stands on the banks of the Tigris; the port city of Basra straddles the Shatt al-Arab. In ancient times, many of the great cities of Mesopotamia stood on or near the Tigris, drawing water from it to irrigate the civilization of the Sumerians. Notable Tigris-side cities included Nineveh and Seleucia, while the city of Lagash was irrigated by the Tigris via a canal dug around 2900 B. C; the Tigris has long been an important transport route in a desert country. Shallow-draft vessels can go as far as Baghdad, but rafts are needed for transport upstream to Mosul. General Francis Rawdon Chesney hauled two steamers overland through Syria in 1836 to explore the possibility of an overland and river route to India. One steamer, the Tigris, was wrecked in a storm which killed twenty. Chesney proved the river navigable to powered craft; the Euphrates and Tigris Steam Navigation Company was established in 1861 by the Lynch Brothers trading company.
They had 2 steamers in service. By 1908 ten steamers were on the river. Tourists boarded steam yachts to venture inland as this was the first age of archaeological tourism, the sites of Ur and Ctesiphon became popular with European travelers. In the First World War, during the British conquest of Ottoman Mesopotamia and Thames River paddlers were used to supply General Townsend's Army. See Siege of Kut and the Fall of Baghdad; the Tigris Flotilla included vessels Clio, Lawrence, armed tug Comet, armed launches Lewis Pelly, Shaitan and sternwheelers Muzaffari/Muzaffar. These were joined by Royal Navy Fly-class gunboats Butterfly, Dragonfly, Sawfly and Mantis, Tarantula. After the war, river trade declined in importance during the 20th century as the Basra-Baghdad-Mosul railway, an unfinished portion of the Baghdad Railway, was completed and roads took over much of the freight traffic; the Ancient Greek form Tigris meaning "tiger" was adapted from Old Persian Tigrā, itself from Elamite Tigra, itself from Sumerian Idigna.
The original Sumerian Idigna or Idigina was from *id gina "running water", which can be interpreted as "the swift river", contrasted to its neighbour, the Euphrates, whose leisurely pace caused it to deposit more silt and build up a higher bed than the Tigris. The Sumerian form was borrowed into Akkadian as Idiqlat, from there into the other Semitic languages. Another name for the Tigris used in Middle Persian was Arvand Rud "swift river". Today, Arvand Rud refers to the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. In Kurdish, it is known as Ava Mezin, "the Great Water"; the name of the Tigris in languages that have been important in the region: The Tigris is dammed in Iraq and Turkey to provide water for irrigating the arid and semi-desert regions bordering the river valley. Damming has been important for averting floods in Iraq, to which the Tigris has been notoriously prone following April melting of snow in the Turkish mountains. Recent Turkish damming of the river has been the subject of some controversy, for both its environmental effects within Turkey and its potential to reduce the flow of water downstream.
Mosul Dam is the largest dam in Iraq. Water from both rivers is used as a means of pressure during conflicts. In 2014 a major breakthrough in developing consensus between multiple stakeholder representatives of Iraq and Turkey on a Plan of Action for promoting exchange and calibration of data and standards pertaining to Tigris river flows was achieved; the consensus, referred to as the "Geneva Consensus On Tigris River" was reached at a meeting organized in Geneva by the think tank Strategic Foresight Group. In February 2016, the United States Embassy in Iraq as well as the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi issued warnings that Mosul Dam could collapse; the United States warned people to evacuate the floodplain of the Tigris because between 500,000 and 1.5 million people were at risk of drowning due to flash flood if the dam collapses, that the major Iraqi cities of Mosul, Tikrit and Baghdad were at risk. In Sumerian mythology, the Ti
Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter, his mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun and Thor. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is said to have fathered Ares and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was infamous for his erotic escapades; these resulted in many divine and heroic offspring, including Athena, Artemis, Persephone, Perseus, Helen of Troy and the Muses. He was respected as an allfather, chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, all the gods rise in his presence."
He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty; the god's name in the nominative is Ζεύς. It is inflected as follows: vocative: Ζεῦ. Diogenes Laërtius quotes Pherecydes of Syros as spelling the name, Ζάς. Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky called *Dyeus ph2tēr; the god is known under this name in the Rigveda, deriving from the root *dyeu-. Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology; the earliest attested forms of the name are the Mycenaean Greek, di-we and, di-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.
Plato, in his Cratylus, gives a folk etymology of Zeus meaning "cause of life always to all things," because of puns between alternate titles of Zeus with the Greek words for life and "because of." This etymology, along with Plato's entire method of deriving etymologies, is not supported by modern scholarship. Cronus sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Hera and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his son as he had overthrown Uranus, his own father, an oracle that Rhea heard and wished to avert; when Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed. Varying versions of the story exist: According to Hyginus ) Zeus was raised by a nymph named Amalthea. Since Saturn ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth and sky and thus, invisible to his father.
According to Pseudo-Apollodorus ) Zeus was raised by a goat named Amalthea in a cave called Dictaeon Antron. A a company of soldiers called Kouretes danced and clashed their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry. After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus's stomach open. Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe; as a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, hidden by Gaia. Together, his brothers and sisters and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy; the defeated Titans were cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans who fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.
After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, Hades the world of the dead. The ancient Earth, could not be claimed. Gaia resented. Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight some of Gaia's other children, the monsters Typhon and Echidna, he left Echidna and her children alive. When Zeus was atop Mount Olympus he was appalled by human sac
Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas but includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language; the name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal.
Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala; the Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal; the Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005; the Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy. The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces.
Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, of which it is a founding member. Nepal is a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative; the military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia. Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected by the sage "Nemi", it is mentioned in Vedic texts. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a protector, he is said to have taught there. The name of the country is identical in origin to the name of the Newar people; the terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history.
Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form. A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people, it has been suggested that "Nepal" may be a Sanskritization of "Newar", or "Newar" may be a form of "Nepal". According to another explanation, the words "Newar" and "Newari" are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V, L to R. Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. Nepal is first mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa as a place exporting blankets, in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. In Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country; the Skanda Purana has a separate chapter, known as "Nepal Mahatmya", with more details. Nepal is mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja.
Legends and ancient texts that mention the region now known as Nepal reach back to the 30th century BC. The Gopal Bansa were one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley; the earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas, peoples mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for many centuries. Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings. Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, came to be known as Gautama Buddha. By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India and became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE. There is a quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from about 645 CE. Stone inscriptions in the Kathmandu Valley are important sources for the history of Nepal.
The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have r
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Alchemy was an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe and Asia, originating in Greco-Roman Egypt in the first few centuries AD. It aims to purify and perfect certain objects. Common aims were chrysopoeia, the transmutation of "base metals" into "noble metals"; the perfection of the human body and soul was thought to permit or result from the alchemical magnum opus and, in the Hellenistic and Western mystery tradition, the achievement of gnosis. In Europe, the creation of a philosopher's stone was variously connected with all of these projects. In English, the term is limited to descriptions of European alchemy, but similar practices existed in the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, the Muslim world. In Europe, following the 12th-century Renaissance produced by the translation of Medieval Islamic works on science and the rediscovery of Aristotelian philosophy, alchemists played a significant role in early modern science.
Islamic and European alchemists developed a structure of basic laboratory techniques, theory and experimental method, some of which are still in use today. However, they continued antiquity's belief in four elements and guarded their work in secrecy including cyphers and cryptic symbolism, their work was guided by Hermetic principles related to magic and religion. Modern discussions of alchemy are split into an examination of its exoteric practical applications and its esoteric spiritual aspects, despite the arguments of scholars like Holmyard and von Franz that they should be understood as complementary; the former is pursued by historians of the physical sciences who examine the subject in terms of early chemistry and charlatanism, the philosophical and religious contexts in which these events occurred. The latter interests historians of esotericism and some philosophers and spiritualists; the subject has made an ongoing impact on literature and the arts. Despite this split, which von Franz believes has existed since the Western traditions' origin in a mix of Greek philosophy, mixed with Egyptian and Mesopotamian technology, numerous sources have stressed an integration of esoteric and exoteric approaches to alchemy as far back as Pseudo-Democritus's first-century AD On Physical and Mystical Matters.
Although alchemy is popularly associated with magic, historian Lawrence M. Principe writes: Most readers are aware of several common claims about alchemy—for example... that it is akin to magic, or that its practice or now is deceptive. These ideas about alchemy emerged after. While each of them might have limited validity within a narrow context, none of them is an accurate depiction of alchemy in general." The word alchemy comes from Old French alquemie, used in Medieval Latin as alchymia. This name was itself brought from the Arabic word al-kīmiyā' composed of two parts: the Late Greek term khēmeía, khēmía, meaning'to fuse or cast a metal', the Arabic definite article al-, meaning'The'. Together this association can be interpreted as'the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form', its roots can be traced to the Egyptian name kēme, meaning'black earth' which refers to the fertile and auriferous soil of the Nile valley, as opposed to red desert sand.
According to the Egyptologist Wallis Budge, the Arabic word al-kīmiyaʾ means "the Egyptian ", borrowing from the Coptic word for "Egypt", kēme. This Coptic word derives from Demotic kmỉ, itself from ancient Egyptian kmt; the ancient Egyptian word referred to both the country and the colour "black". However, according to Mahn, this theory may be an example of folk etymology. Assuming an Egyptian origin, chemistry is defined as follows: Chemistry, from the ancient Egyptian word "khēmia" meaning transmutation of earth, is the science of matter at the atomic to molecular scale, dealing with collections of atoms, such as molecules and metals. Thus, according to Budge and others, chemistry derives from an Egyptian word khemein or khēmia, "preparation of black powder" derived from the name khem, Egypt. A decree of Diocletian, written about 300 AD in Greek, speaks against "the ancient writings of the Egyptians, which treat of the khēmia transmutation of gold and silver"; the Medieval Latin form was influenced by Greek chymeia meaning'mixture' and referring to pharmaceutical chemistry.
Alchemy is several philosophical traditions spanning three continents. These traditions' general penchant for cryptic and symbolic language makes it hard to trace their mutual influences and "genetic" relationships. One can distinguish at least three major strands, which appear to be independent, at least in their earlier stages: Chinese alchemy, centered in China and its zone of cultural influence. Chinese alchemy was connected to Ta
Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives or stories that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are gods, demigods or supernatural humans. Stories of everyday human beings, although of leaders of some type, are contained in legends, as opposed to myths. Myths are endorsed by rulers and priests or priestesses, are linked to religion or spirituality. In fact, many societies group their myths and history together, considering myths and legends to be true accounts of their remote past. In particular, creation myths take place in a primordial age when the world had not achieved its form. Other myths explain how a society's customs and taboos were established and sanctified. There is a complex relationship between recital of myths and enactment of rituals; the study of myth began in ancient history. Rival classes of the Greek myths by Euhemerus and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and revived by Renaissance mythographers.
Today, the study of myth continues in a wide variety of academic fields, including folklore studies and psychology. The term mythology may either refer to the study of myths in general, or a body of myths regarding a particular subject; the academic comparisons of bodies of myth is known as comparative mythology. Since the term myth is used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be political: many adherents of religions view their religion's stories as true and therefore object to the stories being characterised as myths. Scholars now speak of Christian mythology, Jewish mythology, Islamic mythology, Hindu mythology, so forth. Traditionally, Western scholarship, with its Judaeo-Christian heritage, has viewed narratives in the Abrahamic religions as being the province of theology rather than mythology. Labelling all religious narratives as myths can be thought of as treating different traditions with parity. Definitions of myth to some extent vary by scholar.
Finnish folklorist Lauri Honko offers a cited definition: Myth, a story of the gods, a religious account of the beginning of the world, the creation, fundamental events, the exemplary deeds of the gods as a result of which the world and culture were created together with all parts thereof and given their order, which still obtains. A myth expresses and confirms society's religious values and norms, it provides a pattern of behavior to be imitated, testifies to the efficacy of ritual with its practical ends and establishes the sanctity of cult. Scholars in other fields use the term myth in varied ways. In a broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story, popular misconception or imaginary entity. However, while myth and other folklore genres may overlap, myth is thought to differ from genres such as legend and folktale in that neither are considered to be sacred narratives; some kinds of folktales, such as fairy stories, are not considered true by anyone, may be seen as distinct from myths for this reason.
Main characters in myths are gods, demigods or supernatural humans, while legends feature humans as their main characters. However, many exceptions or combinations exist, as in the Iliad and Aeneid. Moreover, as stories spread between cultures or as faiths change, myths can come to be considered folktales, their divine characters recast as either as humans or demihumans such as giants and faeries. Conversely and literary material may acquire mythological qualities over time. For example, the Matter of Britain and the Matter of France, seem distantly to originate in historical events of the fifth and eighth-centuries and became mythologised over the following centuries. In colloquial use, the word myth can be used of a collectively held belief that has no basis in fact, or any false story; this usage, pejorative, arose from labeling the religious myths and beliefs of other cultures as incorrect, but it has spread to cover non-religious beliefs as well. However, as used by folklorists and academics in other relevant fields, such as anthropology, the term myth has no implication whether the narrative may be understood as true or otherwise.
In present use, mythology refers to the collected myths of a group of people, but may mean the study of such myths. For example, Greek mythology, Roman mythology and Hittite mythology all describe the body of myths retold among those cultures. Folklorist Alan Dundes defines myth as a sacred narrative that explains how the world and humanity evolved into their present form. Dundes classified a sacred narrative as "a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of a society". Anthropologist Bruce Lincoln defines myth as "ideology in narrative form." The compilation or description of myths is sometimes known as mythography, a term which can be used of a scholarly anthology of myths. Key mythographers in the Classical tradition include Ovid, whose tellings of myths have been profoundingly influential.