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Fables and Folklore
Mythology
Greek and Roman Mythologies

Why are myths made?

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October 24, 2010 4:52AM

To explain a practice or belief, to include a story as part of a people's traditions and culture or to make something up for whatever purpose are among the reasons for why myths are made.

Specifically, a myth may explain a belief in the end of the world. For example, the Doomsday belief may trace back to some ancient person seeing the rise and fall of civilizations and applying that cycle of creation and destruction on a global or universal level.

Or a myth may be a way by which a people distinguishes themselves from perceived outsiders. For example, the ancient Greek and Roman legends and myths were ways of uniting the peoples of Greece and then of Rome. The stories provided a common set of gods, a common reference point by which Greeks and hen Romans led their lives.

Or a myth may be an opportunity for letting the imagination run wild and making something up for any number of reasons. For example, a myth may be a story that is made up about one's supposedly superhuman powers and abilities.