Mythology (from the Greek·mythos for story-of-the-people, and logos for word or speech, so the spoken story of a people) is the study of tales or fables (often times sacred) of a culture known as myths. The Stargate franchise is rich in mythology from several cultures and much of it's story is intertwined with them.
Myths deal with various aspects of the human condition such as good and evil; the meaning of suffering; human origins; the origin of place-names, animals, cultural values, and traditions; the meaning of life and death; the afterlife; and the gods or a god.
"[A myth is] a story, presented as having actually occurred in a previous age, explaining the cosmological and supernatural traditions of a people, their gods, heroes, cultural traits, religious beliefs, etc. The purpose of myth is to explain, and, as Sir G.L. Gomme said, myths explain matters in “the science of a pre-scientific age.” Thus myths tell of the creation of man, of animals, of landmarks; they tell why a certain animal has its characteristics (e.g. why the bat is blind or flies only at night), why or how certain natural phenomena came to be (e.g. why the rainbow appears or how the constellation Orion got into the sky), how and why rituals and ceremonies began and why they continue." --Maria Leach and Jerome Fried
There are many different types of myth but, essentially, they can be grouped into three:
- Etiological myths (from the Greek aetion meaning `reason’) explain why a certain thing is the way it is or how it came to be.
- Historical myths retell an event from the past but elevate it with greater meaning than the actual event (if it even happened).
- Psychological myths present one with a journey from the known to the unknown which represents a psychological need to balance the external world with one’s internal consciousness of it. However that may be, the story of the myth itself usually involves a hero or heroine on a journey in which they discover their true identity or fate and, in so doing, resolve a crisis while also providing an audience with some important cultural value.
Mythology tries to answer the most difficult and the most basic questions of human existence: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? To the people at the time, the meaning of the story was most important, not the literal truth of the details of a certain version of a tale.
Every culture in the world has had, and still has, some type of mythology. The classical mythology of the ancient Greeks and Romans is the most familiar to people in the west but the motifs found in those stories are echoed in others around the world.
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