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.
The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits planet Earth and is Earth's only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits; the Moon is after Jupiter's satellite Io the second-densest satellite in the Solar System among those whose densities are known. The Moon is thought to have formed not long after Earth; the most accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia. The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, thus always shows the same side to Earth, the near side; the near side is marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. After the Sun, the Moon is the second-brightest visible celestial object in Earth's sky, its surface is dark, although compared to the night sky it appears bright, with a reflectance just higher than that of worn asphalt.
Its gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon's average orbital distance is 1.28 light-seconds. This is about thirty times the diameter of Earth; the Moon's apparent size in the sky is the same as that of the Sun, since the star is about 400 times the lunar distance and diameter. Therefore, the Moon covers the Sun nearly during a total solar eclipse; this matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future because the Moon's distance from Earth is increasing. The Moon was first reached in September 1959 by an unmanned spacecraft; the United States' NASA Apollo program achieved the only manned lunar missions to date, beginning with the first manned orbital mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, six manned landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. These missions returned lunar rocks which have been used to develop a geological understanding of the Moon's origin, internal structure, the Moon's history. Since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by unmanned spacecraft.
Both the Moon's natural prominence in the earthly sky and its regular cycle of phases as seen from Earth have provided cultural references and influences for human societies and cultures since time immemorial. Such cultural influences can be found in language, lunar calendar systems and mythology; the usual English proper name for Earth's natural satellite is "the Moon", which in nonscientific texts is not capitalized. The noun moon is derived from Old English mōna, which stems from Proto-Germanic *mēnô, which comes from Proto-Indo-European *mḗh₁n̥s "moon", "month", which comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *meh₁- "to measure", the month being the ancient unit of time measured by the Moon; the name "Luna" is used. In literature science fiction, "Luna" is used to distinguish it from other moons, while in poetry, the name has been used to denote personification of Earth's moon; the modern English adjective pertaining to the Moon is lunar, derived from the Latin word for the Moon, luna. The adjective selenic is so used to refer to the Moon that this meaning is not recorded in most major dictionaries.
It is derived from the Ancient Greek word for the Moon, σελήνη, from, however derived the prefix "seleno-", as in selenography, the study of the physical features of the Moon, as well as the element name selenium. Both the Greek goddess Selene and the Roman goddess Diana were alternatively called Cynthia; the names Luna and Selene are reflected in terminology for lunar orbits in words such as apolune and selenocentric. The name Diana comes from the Proto-Indo-European *diw-yo, "heavenly", which comes from the PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," which in many derivatives means "sky and god" and is the origin of Latin dies, "day"; the Moon formed 4.51 billion years ago, some 60 million years after the origin of the Solar System. Several forming mechanisms have been proposed, including the fission of the Moon from Earth's crust through centrifugal force, the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon, the co-formation of Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disk; these hypotheses cannot account for the high angular momentum of the Earth–Moon system.
The prevailing hypothesis is that the Earth–Moon system formed after an impact of a Mars-sized body with the proto-Earth. The impact blasted material into Earth's orbit and the material accreted and formed the Moon; the Moon's far side has a crust, 30 mi thicker than that of the near side. This is thought to be; this hypothesis, although not perfect best explains the evidence. Eighteen months prior to an October 1984 conference on lunar origins, Bill Hartmann, Roger Phillips, Jeff Taylor challenged fellow lunar scientists: "You have eighteen months. Go back to your Apollo data, go back to your computer, do whatever you have to, but make up your mind. Don't come to our conference unless you have something to say about the Moon's birth." At the 1984 conference at Kona, the giant impact hypothesis emerged as the most consensual theory. Before the conference, there were parti
Thoth is one of the ancient Egyptian deities. In art, he was depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him, his feminine counterpart was Seshat, his wife was Ma'at. Thoth's chief temple was located in the city of Ancient Egyptian: ḫmnw χaˈmaːnaw, Egyptological pronunciation: "An Egyptian god called Khemenu", Coptic: Ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Shmun, known as Ἑρμοῦ πόλις Hermoû pólis "The City of Hermes", or in Latin as Hermopolis Magna, during the Hellenistic period through the interpretatio graeca that Thoth was Hermes. Known el-Ashmunein in Egyptian Arabic, it was destroyed in 1826. In Hermopolis, Thoth led "the Ogdoad", a pantheon of eight principal deities, his spouse was Nehmetawy, he had numerous shrines in other cities. Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, being one of the two deities who stood on either side of Ra's solar barge. In the history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, the judgment of the dead.
The Egyptian pronunciation of ḏḥwty is not known, but may be reconstructed as *ḏiḥautī pronounced * or *. This reconstruction is based on the Ancient Greek borrowing Thōth or Theut and the fact that the name was transliterated into Sahidic Coptic variously as ⲑⲟⲟⲩⲧ Thoout, ⲑⲱⲑ Thōth, ⲑⲟⲟⲧ Thoot, ⲑⲁⲩⲧ Thaut, as well as Bohairic Coptic ⲑⲱⲟⲩⲧ Thōout; these spellings reflect known sound changes from earlier Egyptian such as the loss of ḏ palatalization and merger of ḥ with h i.e. initial ḏḥ > th > tʰ. The loss of pre-Coptic final y/j is common. Following Egyptological convention, which eschews vowel reconstruction, the consonant skeleton ḏḥwty would be rendered "Djehuti" and the god is sometimes found under this name. However, the Greek form "Thoth" is more common. According to Theodor Hopfner, Thoth's Egyptian name written as ḏḥwty originated from ḏḥw, claimed to be the oldest known name for the ibis written as hbj; the addition of - ty denotes. Hence Thoth's name would mean "He, like the ibis", according to this interpretation.
Other forms of the name ḏḥwty using older transcriptions include Jehuti, Tahuti, Zehuti, Techu, or Tetu. Multiple titles for Thoth, similar to the pharaonic titulary, are known, including A, Lord of Khemennu, Khenti, Hab, A'an. In addition, Thoth was known by specific aspects of himself, for instance the moon god Iah-Djehuty, representing the Moon for the entire month; the Greeks related Thoth to their god Hermes due to functions. One of Thoth's titles, "Thrice great" was translated to the Greek τρισμέγιστος, making Hermes Trismegistus. Thoth has been depicted in many ways depending on the era and on the aspect the artist wished to convey, he is depicted in his human form with the head of an ibis. In this form, he can be represented as the reckoner of times and seasons by a headdress of the lunar disk sitting on top of a crescent moon resting on his head; when depicted as a form of Shu or Ankher, he was depicted to be wearing the respective god's headdress. Sometimes he was seen in art to be wearing the Atef crown or the United Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt.
When not depicted in this common form, he sometimes takes the form of the ibis directly. He appears as a dog-faced baboon or a man with the head of a baboon when he is A'an, the god of equilibrium. In the form of A'ah-Djehuty he took a more human-looking form; these forms are metaphors for Thoth's attributes. The Egyptians did not believe these gods looked like humans with animal heads. For example, Ma'at is depicted with an ostrich feather, "the feather of truth," on her head, or with a feather for a head. Thoth's roles in Egyptian mythology were many, he served as scribe of the gods, credited with the invention of writing and Egyptian hieroglyphs. In the underworld, Duat, he appeared as an ape, the god of equilibrium, who reported when the scales weighing the deceased's heart against the feather, representing the principle of Maat, was even; the ancient Egyptians regarded Thoth as One, self-begotten, self-produced. He was the master of both physical and moral law, making proper use of Ma'at, he is credited with making the calculations for the establishment of the heavens, stars and everything in them.
The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, the science of numbers, geometry, medicine, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading and oratory, they further claimed he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge and divine. Thoth has played a prominent role in many of the Egyptian myths. In the Osiris myth, being of great aid to Isis. After Isis gathered together the pieces of Osiris's dismembered body, he gave her the words to resurrect him so she could be impregnated and bring forth Horus. After a battle between Horus and Set in which the latter plucked out Horus' eye, Thoth's counsel provided him the wisdom he needed to recover it; this mythology credits him with the creation of the 365-day calendar. According to the myth, the year was only 360 days long and Nut was sterile during these days, unable to bear children. Thoth gambled with the Moon for
Welsh mythology consists of both folk traditions developed in Wales, traditions developed by the Celtic Britons elsewhere before the end of the first millennium. Like most predominately oral societies found in the prehistoric Britain, Welsh mythology and history was recorded orally by specialists such as druids; this oral record has been altered as result of outside contact and invasion over the years. Much of this altered mythology and history are preserved in medieval Welsh manuscripts which include the Red Book of Hergest, the White Book of Rhydderch, the Book of Aneirin and the Book of Taliesin. Other works connected to Welsh mythology include the ninth century Latin historical compilation Historia Brittonum and Geoffrey of Monmouth's twelfth-century Latin chronicle, Historia Regum Britanniae as well as folklore such as the 1908 The Welsh Fairy Book by William Jenkyn Thomas. Most mythological stories contained in the Mabinogion collection are collectively titled The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, which concentrate on the exploits of various British deities who have been Christianised into kings and heroes.
The only character to appear in every branch is Pryderi fab Pwyll, the king of Dyfed, born in the first Branch, is killed in the fourth, is a reflex of the Celtic god Maponos. The only other recurring characters are Pryderi's mother Rhiannon, associated with the peaceful British prince Manawydan, who becomes her second husband. Manawyadan and his siblings Brân the Blessed and Efnysien are the key players of the second branch, while the fourth branch concerns itself with the exploits of the family of Dôn, which includes the wizard Gwydion, his nephew Lleu Llaw Gyffes, his sister, Arianrhod; the first branch tells of how Pwyll, the prince of Dyfed, exchanges places for a year with Arawn, the ruler of Annwn, defeats Arawn's enemy Hafgan, on his return encounters Rhiannon, a beautiful maiden whose horse cannot be caught up with. He manages to win her hand at the expense of Gwawl, to whom she is betrothed, she bears him a son, but the child disappears soon after his birth. Rhiannon is forced to carry guests on her back as punishment.
The child has been taken by a monster, is rescued by Teyrnon and his wife, who bring him up as their own, calling him Gwri of the Golden hair, until his resemblance to Pwyll becomes apparent. They return him to his real parents, Rhiannon is released from her punishment, the boy is renamed Pryderi. In the second branch, sister of Brân the Blessed, king of Britain, is given in marriage to Matholwch, king of Ireland. Branwen's half-brother Efnysien insults Matholwch by mutilating his horses, but Brân gives him new horses and treasure, including a magical cauldron which can restore the dead to life, in compensation. Matholwch and Branwen have a son, but Matholwch proceeds to mistreat Branwen, beating her and making her a drudge. Branwen trains a starling to take a message to Bran, his army crosses the Irish Sea in ships. The Irish offer to make peace, build a house big enough to entertain Bran, but inside they hang a hundred bags, telling Efnysien they contain flour, when in fact they conceal armed warriors.
Efnysien kills the warriors by squeezing the bags. At the feast, Efnysien throws Gwern on the fire and fighting breaks out. Seeing that the Irish are using the cauldron to revive their dead, Efnysien hides among the corpses and destroys the cauldron, although the effort costs him his life. Only seven men, all Britons, survive the battle, including Pryderi and Bran, mortally wounded by a poisoned spear. Brân asks his companions to take it back to Britain. Branwen dies of grief on returning home. Five pregnant women survive to repopulate Ireland. Pryderi and Manawydan return to Dyfed, where Pryderi marries Manawydan marries Rhiannon. However, a mist descends on the land, leaving it desolate; the four support themselves by hunting at first move to England where they make a living making saddles and shoes of such quality that the local craftsmen cannot compete, drive them from town to town. They return to Dyfed and become hunters again. While hunting, a white boar leads them to a mysterious castle. Pryderi, against Manawydan's advice, does not return.
Rhiannon finds him clinging to a bowl, unable to speak. The same fate befalls her, the castle disappears. Manawydan and Cigfa return to England as shoemakers, but once again the locals drive them out and they return to Dyfed, they sow three fields of wheat. The next night the second field is destroyed. Manawydan keeps watch over the third field, when he sees it destroyed by mice he catches their leader and decides to hang it. A scholar, a priest and a bishop in turn offer him gifts if he will spare the mouse; when asked what he wants in return for the mouse's life, he demands the release of Pryderi and Rhiannon and the lifting of the enchantment over Dyfed. The bishop agrees, he has been waging magical war against Dyfed because he is a friend of Gwawl, whom Pwyll, Pryderi's father humiliated. While Pryderi rules Dyfed in the south of Wales, Gwynedd in the north of Wales is ruled by Math, son of Mathonwy, his feet must be held by a virgin. Math's nephew Gilfaethwy is in love with Goewin, his current footholder, Gilfaethwy's brother Gwydion tricks Math into going to war against Pry
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins and Artemis, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. Classical Greek myths record little about Leto other than her pregnancy and her search for a place where she could give birth to Apollo and Artemis, since Hera in her jealousy caused all lands to shun her, she found an island, not attached to the ocean floor so it was not considered land and she could give birth. This is her only active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part played. In Roman mythology, Leto's Roman equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun. In Crete, at the city of Dreros, Spyridon Marinatos uncovered an eighth-century post-Minoan hearth house temple in which there were found three unique figures of Apollo and Leto made of brass sheeting hammered over a shaped core.
Walter Burkert notes. Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. In Greek inscriptions, the children of Leto are referred to as the "national gods" of the country, her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos predated Hellenic influence in the region and united the Lycian confederacy of city-states. The Hellenes of Kos claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia. There was a further Letoon at Delos. Leto's primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, who may have been Titans of the sun and moon, her Titan father is called "Coeus", though H. J. Rose considers his name and nature uncertain, he is in one Roman source given the name Polus, which may relate him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole; the name of Leto's mother, "Phoebe", is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo, Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων, throughout Homer. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the origin of the goddess and the meaning of her name.
Older sources speculated that the name is related to the Greek λήθη λωτός lotus. It would thus mean "the hidden one". In 20th-century sources Leto is traditionally derived from Lycian lada, "wife", as her earliest cult was centered in Lycia. Lycian lada may be the origin of the Greek name Λήδα Leda. Other scholars have suggested a Pre-Greek origin. According to Hyginus when Hera, the most conservative of goddesses – for she had the most to lose in changes to the order of nature — discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she realized that the offspring would cement the new order, she was powerless to stop the flow of events. Hera banned Leto from giving birth on "terra firma", the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus "Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo."Antoninus Liberalis is not alone in hinting that Leto came down from Hyperborea in the guise of a she-wolf, or that she sought out the "wolf-country" of Lycia called Tremilis, which she renamed to honour wolves that had befriended her for her denning.
Another late source, Aelian links Leto with wolves and Hyperboreans: Wolves are not delivered of their young, only after twelve days and twelve nights, for the people of Delos maintain that this was the length of time that it took Leto to travel from the Hyperboreoi to Delos. Most accounts agree that she found the barren floating island of Delos, still bearing its archaic name of Asterios, neither mainland nor a real island and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god, to come; the island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and became sacred to Apollo. Callimachus wrote that it is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without travail. By contrast, according to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days for Apollo, in the presence of all the first among the deathless goddesses as witnesses: Dione, Ichnaea and the "loud-moaning" sea-goddess Amphitrite.
Only Hera kept apart to kidnap Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. Instead, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. Another version, in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo and in an Orphic hymn, states that Artemis was born before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia, that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth there to Apollo. According to the Homeric hymn, the goddesses who assembled to be witnesses at the birth of Apollo were responding to a public occasion in the rites of a dynasty, where the authenticity of the child must be established beyond doubt from the first moment; the dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymn's hearers. The dynasty, so concerned about being authenticated in this myth is the new dynasty of Zeus and the Olympian Pantheon, the goddesses at Delos who bear witness to the rightness of the birth are the great goddesses
A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms; the Sun is sometimes referred to by its Greek name Helios. The English word sun stems from Proto-Germanic *sunnǭ; the Neolithic concept of a "solar barge" is found in the myths of ancient Egypt, with Ra and Horus. Predynasty Egyptian beliefs attribute Atum as Horus as a god of the sky and sun; as the Old Kingdom theocracy gained power, early beliefs were incorporated with the expanding popularity of Ra and the Osiris-Horus mythology. Atum became Ra-Atum, the rays of the setting sun. Osiris became the divine heir to Atum's power on Earth and passes his divine authority to his son Horus. Early Egyptian myths imply the sun is within the lioness, Sekhmet, at night and is reflected in her eyes. Mesopotamian Shamash plays an important role during the Bronze Age, "my Sun" is used as an address to royalty.
South American cultures have a tradition of Sun worship, as with the Incan Inti. Proto-Indo-European religion has the sun as traversing the sky in a chariot. In Germanic mythology this is Sol, in Vedic Surya, in Greek Helios and as Apollo. In Proto-indo-European mythology the sun appears to be a multilayered figure, manifested as a goddess but perceived as the eye of the sky father Dyeus. During the Roman Empire, a festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun was celebrated on the winter solstice—the "rebirth" of the sun—which occurred on December 25 of the Julian calendar. In late antiquity, the theological centrality of the sun in some Imperial religious systems suggest a form of a "solar monotheism"; the religious commemorations on December 25 were replaced under Christian domination of the Empire with the birthday of Christ. The Tiv people consider the Sun to be the son of the supreme being Awondo and the Moon Awondo's daughter; the Barotse tribe believes that the Sun is inhabited by the sky god Nyambi and the Moon is his wife.
Some Sara people worship the sun. Where the sun god is equated with the supreme being, in some African mythologies he or she does not have any special functions or privileges as compared to other deities; the ancient Egyptian god of creation, Amun is believed to reside inside the sun. So is the Akan creator deity and the Dogon deity of creation, Nommo. In Egypt, there was a religion that worshipped the sun directly, was among the first monotheistic religions: Atenism. Sun worship was prevalent in ancient Egyptian religion; the earliest deities associated with the sun are all goddesses: Wadjet, Hathor, Bast and Menhit. First Hathor, Isis, give birth to and nurse Horus and Ra. Hathor the horned-cow is one of the 12 daughters of Ra, is a wet-nurse to Horus. From at least the 4th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, the sun was worshipped as the deity Re, portrayed as a falcon headed god surmounted by the solar disk, surrounded by a serpent. Re gave warmth to the living body, symbolised as an ankh: a "T" shaped amulet with a looped upper half.
The ankh, it was believed, was surrendered with death, but could be preserved in the corpse with appropriate mummification and funerary rites. The supremacy of Re in the Egyptian pantheon was at its highest with the 5th Dynasty, when open air solar temples became common. In the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Ra lost some of his preeminence to Osiris, lord of the West, judge of the dead. In the New Empire period, the sun became identified with the dung beetle, whose spherical ball of dung was identified with the sun. In the form of the sun disc Aten, the sun had a brief resurgence during the Amarna Period when it again became the preeminent, if not only, divinity for the Pharaoh Akhenaton; the Sun's movement across the sky represents a struggle between the Pharaoh's soul and an avatar of Osiris. Ra travels across the sky in his solar-boat; the "solarisation" of several local gods reaches its peak in the period of the fifth dynasty. Rituals to the god Amun who became identified with the sun god Ra were carried out on the top of temple pylons.
A Pylon mirrored the hieroglyph for'horizon' or akhet, a depiction of two hills "between which the sun rose and set", associated with recreation and rebirth. On the first Pylon of the temple of Isis at Philae, the pharaoh is shown slaying his enemies in the presence of Isis and Hathor. In the eighteenth dynasty, the earliest-known monotheistic head of state, Akhenaten changed the polytheistic religion of Egypt to a monotheistic one, Atenism of the solar-disk and is the first recorded state monotheism. All other deities were replaced by the Aten, including Amun-Ra, the reigning sun god of Akhenaten's own region. Unlike other deities, the Aten did not have multiple forms, his only image was a disk—a symbol of the sun. Soon after Akhenaten's death, worship of the traditional deities was reestablished by the religious leaders who had adopted the Aten during the reign of Akhenaten. In Aztec mythology, Tonatiuh was the sun god; the Aztec people considered him the leader of Tollan. He was known
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by their use of the Germanic languages. Their history stretches from the 2nd millennium BCE up to the present day. Proto-Germanic peoples are believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome, it is from Roman authors. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, some established close relations with the Romans serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes rising to the highest offices in the Roman military.
Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus. The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire, their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position; this kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America.
With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity. In about 222 BCE, the first use of the Latin term "Germani" appears in the Fasti Capitolini inscription de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ; this may be referring to Gaul or related people. The term Germani shows up again written by Poseidonios, but is a quotation inserted by the author Athenaios who wrote much later. Somewhat the first surviving detailed discussions of Germani and Germania are those of Julius Caesar, whose memoirs are based on first-hand experience. From Caesar's perspective, Germania was a geographical area of land on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Gaul, which Caesar left outside direct Roman control; this word provides the etymological origin of the modern concept of "Germanic" languages and Germany as a geographical abstraction. For some classical authors Germania included regions of Sarmatia, as well as an area under Roman control on the west bank of the Rhine.
Additionally, in the south there were Celtic peoples still living east of the Rhine and north of the Alps. Caesar and others noted differences of culture which could be found on the east of the Rhine, but the theme of all these cultural references was that this was a wild and dangerous region, less civilized than Gaul, a place that required additional military vigilance. Caesar used the term Germani for a specific tribal grouping in northeastern Belgic Gaul, west of the Rhine, the largest part of whom were the Eburones, he made clear. These are the so-called Germani Cisrhenani, whom Caesar believed to be related to the peoples east of the Rhine, descended from immigrants into Gaul. Tacitus suggests that this was the original meaning of the word "Germani" – as the name of a single tribal nation west of the Rhine, ancestral to the Tungri, not the name of a whole race as it came to mean, he suggested that two large Belgic tribes neighbouring Caesar's Germani, the Nervii and the Treveri, liked to call themselves Germanic in his time, in order not to be associated with Gaulish indolence.
Caesar described this group of tribes both as Germani. Gauls are associated with Celtic languages, the term Germani is associated with Germanic languages, but Caesar did not discuss languages in detail; the geographer Ptolemy described the place where these people lived as Germania, which according to his accounts was bordered by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, but he circumscribed into Greater Germania an area which included Jutland and an enormous island known as Scandia. While saying that the Germani had ancestry across the Rhine, Caesar did not describe these tribes as recent immigrants, saying that they had defended themselves some generations earlier from the invading Cimbri and Teutones, it has been claimed, for example by Maurits Gysseling, that the place names of this region show evidence of an early presence of Germanic languages, as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Celtic culture and language were however influential als