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Mythology, Folk Tales,
and Fables
Ancient myths were told by people to
explain their history and the natural
world around them.
Ancient myths originated in the area
around the Mediterranean Sea: Greece
and Rome.
Ancient myths were passed on orally
from generation to generation
A.Myths teach us about great
GREEK & ROMAN civilizations
B. Modern Day Influences:
1. Art or law
2. Architecture
3. Astronomy
4. Mathematics
5. Philosophy
6. Medicine
7. Monetary systems
8. Government
C. Democracy
D. Reveal truths about ourselves
II. What is a myth?
Explains mysteries of the
Explains the creation
Explains a person’s role in the
III. Collectors of the Myths
A.Originated around the
Mediterranean Sea
B. Passed by word of mouth
C. Famous Greek poets were:
1. Homer who wrote The Iliad &
The Odyssey
2. Hesiod who wrote Theogony &
Works and Days
D. Famous Roman poets were:
1. Less serious about religion
2. Ovid who wrote Metamorphoses
3. Virgil who wrote Aeneid
IV. Uses of Mythology
A.Never merely silly or superstitious
B. Used for these purposes:
1. To explain the creation of the
2. To explain natural phenomena
3. To give story form to ancient
religious practices
4. To teach moral lessons
5. To explain history
6. To express, as dreams do, the
deepest fears & hopes of the
human race
V. Myths of Creation
A.There were many stories
B. Hesiod wrote a creation story
C. Patriarchal means male-dominated
D. The story begins with Chaos & birth
of Earth (Gaea – Earth Mother &
Sky (Uranus – Earth Father)
E. Golden Age follows
F. Rise of Zeus
VI. Gods and Goddesses
A. Myths tell about gods &
B. Divinities lived on Mount
C. Spend time with ordinary
D. Represent good & evil
MYTH: a story that explains something about
the world and typically involves gods or other
super human beings
ORIGIN MYTH: stories that explain how
something in the world came to be
FABLE: a brief story in prose or verse that
teaches a moral or gives a practical lesson
about how to get along in life
QUEST: a long and perilous journey taken
in search of something of great value
PARTS OF A QUEST: a hero, villains
representing evil, obstacles to overcome,
riddles or puzzling questions to answer, a
reward at the end
FOLK TALE: a story, with no known
author, that originally was passed on from
one generation to another by word of mouth
TALL TALE: an exaggerated, fanciful
story that gets “taller & taller” & more farfetched, the more it is told and retold