Inca mythology includes many stories and legends that attempt to explain or symbolize Inca beliefs. Scholarly research demonstrates that Incan belief systems were integrated with their view of the cosmos in regard to the way that the Inca observed the motions of the Milky Way and the solar system as seen from Cuzco. From this perspective, their stories depict the movements of constellations and planetary formations, which are all connected to their agricultural cycles; this was important for the Inca, as they relied on cyclical agricultural seasons, which were not only connected to annual cycles, but to a much wider cycle of time. This way of keeping time was deployed in order to ensure the cultural transmission of key information, in spite of regime change or social catastrophes. Many Inca myths have been interpreted from Eurocentric perspectives, which detaches the myths from Inca cosmology and agriculture, depriving these myths of their richness and practical ancient functionality. After the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire by Francisco Pizarro, colonial officials burned the records kept by the Inca.
There is a theory put forward by Gary Urton that the Quipus could have been a binary system capable of recording phonological or logographic data. Still, to date, all, known is based on what was recorded by priests, from the iconography on Inca pottery and architecture, from the myths and legends that have survived among the native peoples of the Andes. Manco Cápac was the Cusco Dynasty at Cusco; the legends and history surrounding him are contradictory those concerning his rule at Cuzco and his origins. In one legend, he was the son of Wiracocha. In another, he was brought up from the depths of Lake Titicaca by the sun god Inti. However, commoners were not allowed to speak the name of Viracocha, an explanation for the need for three foundation legends rather than just one. There were many myths about Manco Cápac and his coming to power. In one myth, Manco Cápac and his brother Pacha Kamaq were sons of the sun god Inti. Manco Cápac was worshiped as a sun god. In another myth, Manco Cápac was sent with Mama Ocllo to Lake Titicaca where they resurfaced and settled on the Isla Del Sol.
According to this legend, Manco Cápac and his siblings were sent up to the earth by the sun god and emerged from the cave of Puma Orco at Paqariq Tampu carrying a golden staff called ‘tapac-yauri’. They were instructed to create a Temple of the Sun in the spot where the staff sank into the earth to honor the sun god Inti, their father. During the journey, one of Manco's brothers was tricked into returning to Puma Urqu and sealed inside, or alternatively was turned to ice, because his reckless and cruel behavior angered the tribes that they were attempting to rule.. In another version of this legend, instead of emerging from a cave in Cuzco, the siblings emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca. Since this was a origin myth than that of Pacaritambo it may have been created as a ploy to bring the powerful Aymara tribes into the fold of the Tawantinsuyo. In the Inca Virachocha legend, Manco Cápac was the son of Inca Viracocha of Paqariq Tampu, 25 km south of Cuzco, he and his brothers. This legend incorporates the golden staff, thought to have been given to Manco Cápac by his father.
Accounts vary, but according to some versions of the legend, the young Manco jealously betrayed his older brothers, killed them, became Cusco. Like the Romans, the Incas permitted the cultures they integrated into their empire to keep their individual religions. Below are some of the various gods worshiped by the peoples of the Incan empire, many of which have overlapping responsibilities and domains. Unless otherwise noted, it can safely be assumed these were worshipped by different ayllus or worshipped in particular former states. Apu was a spirit of mountains. All of the important mountains have their own Apu, some of them receive sacrifices to bring out certain aspects of their being; some rocks and caves are credited as having their own apu. Ataguchu was a god. Catequil was a god of lightning. Cavillace was a virgin goddess who ate a fruit, the sperm of Coniraya, the moon god; when she gave birth to a son, she demanded. No one did, so she put the baby on the ground and it crawled towards Coniraya.
She was ashamed because of Coniraya's low stature among the gods, ran to the coast of Peru, where she changed herself and her son into rocks. Ch'aska or Ch'aska Quyllur was the goddess of dawn and twilight, the planet Coniraya was the moon deity who fashioned his sperm into a fruit, which Cavillaca ate. Copacati was a lake goddess. Ekeko was a god of the wealth; the ancients made dolls that represented him and placed a miniature version of their desires onto the doll. Illapa was a popular weather god, his holiday was on July 25. He was said to use it to create rain, he appeared as a man in shining clothes, carrying stones. He was the main god of the Kingdom of Qulla after which the Qullasuyu province of the
Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist whose work was key in the development of the theory of structuralism and structural anthropology. He held the chair of Social Anthropology at the Collège de France between 1959 and 1982 and was elected a member of the Académie française in 1973, he received numerous honors from universities and institutions throughout the world and has been called, alongside James George Frazer and Franz Boas, the "father of modern anthropology". Lévi-Strauss argued that the "savage" mind had the same structures as the "civilized" mind and that human characteristics are the same everywhere; these observations culminated in his famous book Tristes Tropiques that established his position as one of the central figures in the structuralist school of thought. As well as sociology, his ideas reached into many fields including philosophy. Structuralism has been defined as "the search for the underlying patterns of thought in all forms of human activity."
Claude Lévi-Strauss was born to French Jewish parents who were living in Brussels at the time, where his father was working as a portrait painter. He grew up in Paris, living on a street of the upscale 16th arrondissement named after the artist Claude Lorrain, whose work he admired and wrote about. During the First World War, he lived with his maternal grandfather, the rabbi of the synagogue of Versailles, he attended the Lycée Condorcet. At the Sorbonne in Paris, Lévi-Strauss studied philosophy, he did not pursue his study of law, but passed the agrégation in philosophy in 1931. In 1935, after a few years of secondary-school teaching, he took up a last-minute offer to be part of a French cultural mission to Brazil in which he would serve as a visiting professor of sociology at the University of São Paulo while his wife, served as a visiting professor of ethnology; the couple lived and did their anthropological work in Brazil from 1935 to 1939. During this time, while he was a visiting professor of sociology, Claude undertook his only ethnographic fieldwork.
He accompanied Dina, a trained ethnographer in her own right, a visiting professor at the University of São Paulo, where they conducted research forays into the Mato Grosso and the Amazon Rainforest. They first studied the Bororó Indian tribes, staying among them for a few days. In 1938, they returned for a second, more than half-year-long expedition to study the Nambikwara and Tupi-Kawahib societies. At this time, his wife suffered an eye infection that prevented her from completing the study, which he concluded; this experience cemented Lévi-Strauss's professional identity as an anthropologist. Edmund Leach suggests, from Lévi-Strauss's own accounts in Tristes Tropiques, that he could not have spent more than a few weeks in any one place and was never able to converse with any of his native informants in their native language, uncharacteristic of anthropological research methods of participatory interaction with subjects to gain a full understanding of a culture. In the 1980s, he suggested why he became vegetarian in pieces published in Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica and other publications anthologized in the posthumous book Nous sommes tous des cannibales: "A day will come when the thought that to feed themselves, men of the past raised and massacred living beings and complacently exposed their shredded flesh in displays shall no doubt inspire the same repulsion as that of the travellers of the 16th and 17th century facing cannibal meals of savage American primitives in America, Oceania or Africa."
Claude Lévi-Strauss was an atheist. Lévi-Strauss returned to France in 1939 to take part in the war effort, was assigned as a liaison agent to the Maginot Line. After the French capitulation in 1940, he was employed at a lycée in Montpellier, but was dismissed under the Vichy racial laws. By the same laws, he was denaturalized. Around that time, his first wife and he separated, she stayed behind and worked in the French resistance, while he managed to escape Vichy France by boat to Martinique, from where he was able to continue traveling. In 1941, he was offered a position at the New School for Social Research in New York City and granted admission to the United States. A series of voyages brought him, via South America, to Puerto Rico, where he was investigated by the FBI after German letters in his luggage aroused the suspicions of customs agents. Lévi-Strauss spent most of the war in New York City. Along with Jacques Maritain, Henri Focillon, Roman Jakobson, he was a founding member of the École Libre des Hautes Études, a sort of university-in-exile for French academics.
The war years in New York were formative for Lévi-Strauss in several ways. His relationship with Jakobson helped shape his theoretical outlook. In addition, Lévi-Strauss was exposed to the American anthropology espoused by Franz Boas, who taught at Columbia University. In 1942, while having dinner at the Faculty House at Columbia, Boas died of a heart attack in Lévi-Strauss's arms; this intimate association with Boas gave his early work a distinctive American inclination that helped facilitate its acceptance in the U. S. After a brief stint from 1946 to 1947 as a cultural attaché to the French embassy in Washington, DC, Lévi-Strauss returned to Paris in 1948. At this time, he received his state doctorate from the Sorbonne by submitting, in the French tradition, both a "major" and a "minor" doctoral thesis; these were The Family and So
Christian mythology is the body of myths associated with Christianity. The term encompasses a broad variety of legends and stories those considered sacred narratives. Mythological themes and elements occur throughout Christian literature, including recurring myths such as ascending to a mountain, the axis mundi, myths of combat, descent into the Underworld, accounts of a dying-and-rising god, flood stories, stories about the founding of a tribe or city, myths about great heroes of the past and self-sacrifice. Various authors have used it to refer to other mythological and allegorical elements found in the Bible, such as the story of the Leviathan; the term has been applied to myths and legends from the Middle Ages, such as the story of Saint George and the Dragon, the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, the legends of the Parsival. Multiple commentators have classified John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost as a work of Christian mythology; the term has been applied to modern stories revolving around Christian themes and motifs, such as the writings of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Madeleine L'Engle, George MacDonald.
Over the centuries, Christianity has divided into many denominations. Not all of these denominations hold the same set of sacred traditional narratives. For example, the books of the Bible accepted by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches include a number of texts and stories that many Protestant denominations do not accept as canonical. Christian theologian and professor of New Testament, Rudolf Bultmann wrote that: The cosmology of the New Testament is mythical in character; the world is viewed as a three storied structure, with the earth in the center, the heaven above, the underworld beneath. Heaven is the abode of celestial beings -- the angels; the underworld is the place of torment. The earth is more than the scene of natural, everyday events, of the trivial round and common task, it is the scene of the supernatural activity of God and his angels on the one hand, of Satan and his demons on the other. These supernatural forces intervene in the course of nature and in all that men think and will and do.
Miracles are by no means rare. Man is not in control of his own life. Evil spirits may take possession of him. Satan may inspire him with evil thoughts. Alternatively, God may guide his purposes, he may grant him heavenly visions. He may allow him to hear his word of demand, he may give him the supernatural power of his Spirit. History does not follow a smooth unbroken course; this æon is held in bondage by Satan and death, hastens towards its end. That end will come soon, will take the form of a cosmic catastrophe, it will be inaugurated by the "woes" of the last time. The Judge will come from heaven, the dead will rise, the last judgment will take place, men will enter into eternal salvation or damnation. In its broadest academic sense, the word myth means a traditional story. However, many scholars restrict the term "myth" to sacred stories. Folklorists go further, defining myths as "tales believed as true sacred, set in the distant past or other worlds or parts of the world, with extra-human, inhuman, or heroic characters".
In classical Greek, from which the English word myth derives, meant "story, narrative." By the time of Christ, muthos had started to take on the connotations of "fable, fiction," and early Christian writers avoided calling a story from canonical scripture a "myth". Paul warned Timothy to have nothing to do with "godless and silly myths"; this negative meaning of "myth" passed into popular usage. Some modern Christian scholars and writers have attempted to rehabilitate the term "myth" outside academia, describing stories in canonical scripture as "true myth". Several modern Christian writers, such as C. S. Lewis, have described elements of Christianity the story of Christ, as "myth", "true". Others object to associating Christianity with "myth" for a variety of reasons: the association of the term "myth" with polytheism, the use of the term "myth" to indicate falsehood or non-historicity, the lack of an agreed-upon definition of "myth"; as examples of Biblical myths, Every cites the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 and the story of Eve's temptation.
Many Christians believe parts of the Bible to be metaphorical. Christian tradition contains many stories that do not come from canonical Christian texts yet still illustrate Christian themes; these non-canonical Christian myths include legends and elaborations on canonical Christian mythology. Christian tradition has produced a rich body of legends that were never incorporated into the official scriptures. Legends were a staple of medieval literature. Examples include hagiographies such as the stories of Saint Valentine. A case in point is the historical and canonized Brendan of Clonfort, a 6th-century Irish churchman and founder of abbeys. Round his authentic figure was woven a tissue, arguably legendary rather than historical: the Navigatio or "Journey of Brendan"; the legend discusses mythic events in the sense of supernatural encounters. In this narrative and his shipmates encounter sea monsters, a paradisal island and a floating ice islands and a rock island inhabited by a holy hermit: literal-minded devotés still seek to identify "Brendan's is
Persian mythology are traditional tales and stories of ancient origin, all involving extraordinary or supernatural beings. Drawn from the legendary past of Iran, they reflect the attitudes of the society to which they first belonged - attitudes towards the confrontation of good and evil, the actions of the gods and the exploits of heroes and fabulous creatures. Myths play a crucial part in Iranian culture and our understanding of them is increased when we consider them within the context of Iranian history. For this purpose we must ignore modern political boundaries and look at historical developments in the Greater Iran, a vast area covering the Caucasus, Mesopotamia and Central Asia, beyond the frontiers of present-day Iran; the geography of this region, with its high mountain ranges, plays a significant role in many of the mythological stories. The second millennium BC is regarded as the age of migration because of the emergence in western Iran of a new form of Iranian pottery, similar to earlier wares of north-eastern Iran, suggesting the arrival of the Ancient Iranian peoples.
This pottery, light grey to black in colour, appeared around 1400 BC. It is called Early Grey Ware or Iron I, the latter name indicating the beginning of the Iron Age in this area; the central collection of Persian mythology is the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, written over a thousand years ago. Ferdowsi's work draws with attribution, on the stories and characters of Mazdaism and Zoroastrianism, not only from the Avesta, but from texts such as the Bundahishn and the Denkard as well as many others; the characters of Persian mythology always fall into one of two camps. They are either good; the resultant discord mirrors the nationalistic ideals of the early Islamic era as well as the moral and ethical perceptions of the Zoroastrian period, in which the world was perceived to be locked in a battle between the destructive Ahriman and his hordes of demonic dews and their un-Iranian supporters, versus the Creator Ormuzd, who although not participating in the day-to-day affairs of mankind, was represented in the world by the izads and the righteous ahlav Iranians.
The most famous legendary character in the Persian epics and mythology is Rostam. On the other side of the fence is Zahhak, a symbol of despotism, defeated by Kāve, who led a popular uprising against him. Zahhak was guarded by two vipers. No matter how many times they were beheaded, new heads grew on them to guard him; the snake, like in many other mythologies, was a symbol of evil, but many other animals and birds appear in Iranian mythology, the birds were signs of good omen. Most famous of these is the Simurgh, a large beautiful and powerful bird. Peri, considered a beautiful though evil woman in early mythology became less evil and more beautiful, until during the Islamic period she became a symbol of beauty similar to the houris of Paradise; the conflict between good and evil is prevalent in Persian Zoroastrianism. Iranian mythology List of articles related to Persian mythology Persian folklore Persian literature Proto-Indo-Iranian religion Zoroastrianism Armenian mythology Iran almanac and book of facts 1964-1965.
Fourth edition, new print. Published by Echo of Iran, Tehran 1965. Iranian Mythology by Albert J. Carnoy Indo-Iranian Mythology Iran Almanac 2006
A symbol is a mark, sign or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise different concepts and experiences. All communication is achieved through the use of symbols. Symbols take the form of words, gestures, ideas or visual images and are used to convey other ideas and beliefs. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a blue line might represent a river. Numerals are symbols for numbers. Alphabetic letters may be symbols for sounds. Personal names are symbols representing individuals. A red rose may symbolize compassion; the variable'x', in a mathematical equation, may symbolize the position of a particle in space. In cartography, an organized collection of symbols forms a legend for a map; the word symbol derives from the Greek σύμβολον symbolon, meaning "token, watchword" from σύν syn "together" and βάλλω bállō " "I throw, put."
The sense evolution in Greek is from "throwing things together" to "contrasting" to "comparing" to "token used in comparisons to determine if something is genuine." Hence, "outward sign" of something. The meaning "something which stands for something else" was first recorded in 1590, in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene. Symbols are a means of complex communication that can have multiple levels of meaning. Symbols are the basis of all human understanding and serve as vehicles of conception for all human knowledge. Symbols facilitate understanding of the world in which we live, thus serving as the grounds upon which we make judgments. In this way, people use symbols not only to make sense of the world around them, but to identify and cooperate in society through constitutive rhetoric. Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture. Thus, symbols carry meanings. In considering the effect of a symbol on the psyche, in his seminal essay The Symbol without Meaning Joseph Campbell proposes the following definition: A symbol is an energy evoking, directing, agent.
Expanding on what he means by this definition Campbell says: a symbol, like everything else, shows a double aspect. We must distinguish, therefore between the ` meaning' of the symbol, it seems to me clear that all the great and little symbolical systems of the past functioned on three levels: the corporeal of waking consciousness, the spiritual of dream, the ineffable of the unknowable. The term'meaning' can refer only to the first two but these, are in the charge of science –, the province as we have said, not of symbols but of signs; the ineffable, the unknowable, can be only sensed. It is the province of art, not'expression' or primarily, but a quest for, formulation of, experience evoking, energy-waking images: yielding what Sir Herbert Read has aptly termed a'sensuous apprehension of being'. Heinrich Zimmer gives a concise overview of the nature, perennial relevance, of symbols. Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions and images are. Through all of these a transcendent reality is mirrored.
There are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them; each civilisation, every age, must bring forth its own." In the book Signs and Symbols, it is stated that A symbol... is a visual image or sign representing an idea -- a deeper indicator of a universal truth. Semiotics is the study of signs and signification as communicative behavior. Semiotics studies focus on the relationship of the signifier and the signified taking into account interpretation of visual cues, body language and other contextual clues. Semiotics is linked with psychology. Semioticians thus not only study what a symbol implies, but how it got its meaning and how it functions to make meaning in society. Symbols allow the human brain continuously to create meaning using sensory input and decode symbols through both denotation and connotation.
An alternative definition of symbol, distinguishing it from the term sign was proposed by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung. In his studies on what is now called Jungian archetypes, a sign stands for something known, as a word stands for its referent, he contrasted a sign with a symbol: something, unknown and that cannot be made clear or precise. An example of a symbol in this sense is Christ. Kenneth Burke described Homo sapiens as a "symbol-using, symbol making, symbol misusing animal" to suggest that a person creates symbols as well as misuses them. One example he uses to indicate what he means by the misuse of symbol is the story of a man who, when told that a particular food item was whale blubber, could keep from throwing it up, his friend discovered it was just a dumpling. But the man's reaction was a direct consequence of the symbol of "blubber" representing something inedible in his mind. In addition, the symbol of "blubber" was created by the man through various kinds of learning. Burke goes on to describe symbols as being derived from Sigmund Freud's work on condensation and displacement, further stating that symbols are not just relevant to the theory of dreams but to "normal symbol systems".
He says they are relat
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.
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