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The Mythology Portal

The term mythology can refer to either the study of myths or a body of myths. For example, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece. The term "myth" is often used colloquially to refer to a false story; however, the academic use of the term generally does not pass judgment on its truth or falsity. In the study of folklore, a myth is a religious narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form. Many scholars in other fields use the term "myth" in somewhat different ways. In a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story.

The main characters in myths are usually gods or supernatural heroes. As sacred stories, myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests and closely linked to religion. In the society in which it is told, a myth is usually regarded as a true account of the remote past. In fact, many societies have two categories of traditional narrative—(1) "true stories", or myths, and (2) "false stories", or fables. Myths generally take place in a primordial age, when the world had not yet achieved its current form. They explain how the world gained its current form and how customs, institutions, and taboos were established.

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An engraving of Orion from Johann Bayer's Uranometria, 1603

Orion was a great huntsman of Greek mythology who was placed among the stars as the constellation of Orion. He is described as a great hunter in the ancient Greek epic, the Odyssey, when Ulysses meets him in the underworld. The bare bones of his story are told by the Hellenistic and Roman collectors of myths, but there is no record of him comparable to that of other Greek heroes, such as that of Jason in the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes or in Euripides' Medea. The remaining fragments of legend have provided a fertile field for speculation about the prehistory of Greek myth. Ancient sources tell several different stories about Orion. There are two major versions of his birth and several main versions of his death. The most important recorded episodes are his birth somewhere in Boeotia, his visit to Chios where he met Merope and was blinded by her father, Oenopion, the recovery of his sight at Lemnos, his hunting with Artemis on Crete, his death by the blow of Artemis or of the giant scorpion which became Scorpio, and his elevation to the heavens.

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Airavata
Credit: Sodacan

The Airavata (three-headed white elephant), vehicle of the Hindu God Indra, depicted here in Thai art.

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  • ... that Reeri Yakseya, who is believed to be the most cruel and powerful demon in Sinhalese folklore, can assume 18 different apparitions?


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Featured Articles: Featured article Ahalya, Featured article Ancient Egyptian literature, Featured article King Arthur, Featured article Ganesha, Featured article Greek mythology, Featured article Iravan, Featured article Orion (mythology), Featured article Vampire, Featured article Vithoba

Featured Lists: Featured list List of valkyrie names in Norse mythology

Good Articles:  2012 phenomenon,  Æsir–Vanir War,  Ala (demon),  Ardhanarishvara,  Battle of Barry,  Bhikshatana,  Chamunda,  Chhinnamasta,  Consorts of Ganesha,  Cú Chulainn,  Dhumavati,  Einherjar,  Eir,  Erebus,  Fairy Flag,  Fenrir,  Gerðr,  Hel (being),  Huginn and Muninn,  Iðunn,  Ila (Hinduism),  Kabandha,  Kali,  Kamadhenu,  Kangiten,  Keshi (demon),  Khandoba,  Krishna,  Kubera,  LGBT themes in Hindu mythology,  Manasa,  Mandodari,  Matangi,  Matrikas,  Maya Sita,  Mohini,  Myrrha,  Mythology of Carnivàle,  Naraka (Hinduism),  Prester John,  Prithu,  Putana,  Rati,  Ratatoskr,  Revanta,  Satyavati,  Sharabha,  Shashthi,  Shiva,  Sif,  Tara (Ramayana),  Troilus,  Tuisto,  Valhalla,  Valkyrie,  Vampire folklore by region,  Varaha,  Varahi,  Veðrfölnir and eagle  Zduhać

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Trojan Horse

The Trojan War was a war waged, according to legend, against the city of Troy in Asia Minor by the armies of the Achaeans, following the kidnapping (or elopement) of Helen of Sparta by Paris of Troy. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in a cycle of epic poems of which only two, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, survive intact. The Iliad describes an episode late in this war, and the Odyssey describes the journey home of one of the Greek leaders, Odysseus. Other parts of the story, and different versions, were elaborated by later Greek poets, and by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid.

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Legendary creatures

Tyr and Fenrir

In Norse mythology, Fenrir (Old Norse "fen-dweller"), Fenrisúlfr (Old Norse "Fenris wolf"), Hróðvitnir (Old Norse "fame-wolf"), or Vánagandr (Old Norse "the monster of the river Ván") is a monstrous wolf. Fenrir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, Fenrir is the father of the wolves Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson, is a son of Loki, and is foretold to kill the god Odin during the events of Ragnarök, but will in turn be killed by Odin's son Víðarr.

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