How do they start?

Discussion in 'General Mythology' started by Diana, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Diana

    Diana Member

    How do most myths start? Are they just something people make up and it catches on or are they loosely based on some type of truth?
  2. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member

    Great question, and from what I can understand, it comes from a little bit of both. Some historians do believe that myths were based on actual happenings, and built upon as the story was spread. But honestly, my personal belief is that they were stories made up by the people to explain things they did not understand.
  3. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    Wow Diana! That is a whole can of worms. Scholars cannot even agree on what exactly constitutes a myth.
    For example, does a myth have to originaly accompany a religious ritual in order to be considered a true myth.
    Putting that aside, I think Pegasus summed up the myth creating process; at least partially.
    I'd like to add that if there is a core of history or fact, then it is considered more of a legend than a myth.
    King Arthur is a perfect example of this.
    Although when I use mythology in a loose sense, I like to include myth, legend, and that third area, folklore.
    I like to think of myths as dealing with gods and cosmic events. They developed over a long period of time as they were told by different storytellors until somebody finally wrote some down.
    They helped people better cope and understand the world around them.
    I don't think they always had to be sacred; some are for fun.
    Scholars also argue on how myths spread (esp. to help explain similarities).
    Some say it is diffusion: a story begins in one place and moves to to other areas.
    Some say it is due to the fact that we are all human and therefore if two myths from two far away places are very similar, it does not
    always mean that one of the two civilizations took it from the other.
  4. Bobby Givens

    Bobby Givens New Member

    I think some are oral stories that get passed down and eventually taken for truth. Sometimes I think they have some kernel of truth but then they get added to like a game of telephone.
  5. Travis

    Travis Member

    Good question. I think most myths are originated for or at least inspired by true events. Then the events were modified, stylized, magnified or dramatized to make them more "worth telling".
  6. Diana

    Diana Member

    I guess those are all good points. I think many started as a way to pass on things, before books were so common and perhaps each generation added more to it until it got to the point it is at now.
  7. Rhonda Tharp

    Rhonda Tharp Active Member

    It's a way for the culture to explain their "perfect beginnings" or creation, it explains their whole existence, gives them purpose
  8. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    A mythology story, as I understand it, is a story told with the need to explain something, either a seemingly phenomenal event, or else to identify where we and the world around us came from. Any story that stems from a kernel of truth, like an event or person(s) which made a great impact, told with exaggerations and shrouding the truth in fantasy, is a legend.

Share This Page