Introduction to Mythology
By Mason Do
What is Mythology?
Mythology was used to explain why things happened, in addition to usually being entertaining. A popular myth is the myth of Perseus and Medusa.
There are variations on how Dionysus(or Bacchus) came to be. One says that Zeus fathered a child with Semele, a mortal. Through trickery by Hera, she died by looking at Zeus' godly glory. Zeus saved Dionysus, who was inside Semele, by sewing him into his leg. Later, he was born, then died, and then his heart was resewed into Zeus to be born again. Dionysus is the god of wine and revelry, and he created wine and brought it to the Greeks, and taught them how to make it. His powers are God strength, resistance to injury, transformation, and immortality. Some of his symbols are ivy, snake, and grapes.
The Kallikantzaroi are goblins in Southeaster European folklore. The story is that they spend the whole year trying to destroy the World Tree to end the world. When they are about to finish the job, The 12 days of Christmas comes; the only time they can go to the surface. When they do, they cause trouble for all people. When the 12 days are over, they return to work, but find that the tree has healed itself. The cycle repeats.
Kallikantzaroi are described as small black human-like creatures with tails, looking similar to the devil. They also have animal parts like boar tusks, goat ears, monkey arms, etc. It is also said that they smell horrible.
The story of the Midas Touch tells the story of King Midas, who finds Dionysus' foster father, Silenus, asleep in his rose garden. Midas realizes this, and treats him hospitably. When Midas returns Silenus to Dionysus, Dionysus allows him a power. King Midas chooses the gold touch, which quickly proves to be a curse. He can't touch his daughter, his food, his drinks, anything. He prayed to Dionysus to to release him of the curse, and Dionysus said to wash in the river Pactolus. He also said that anything turned to gold by him would be reversed if put in the river.
While Midas was saved, there is large moral of the story: Be careful of what you wish for. And don't be greedy.
Modern Day Connection
There's mythology written everywhere, but you might not know it. In My Little Pony, there are pegasus. The Percy Jackson series is based on myths. In video games, there are characters and weapons named after mythical beings, like the Medusa in Dota and the Minotaur's Axe in Wizard 101.