Encyclopedia Article


The collected body of narratives that form the base for a world view, philosophy, and religion of a particular culture. Such narratives, or myths, tell stories that often mix supernatural or legendary beings and events with recorded historical ones to allegorically explain the origin, shared history, customs, and religious practices of a given group of people. These stories are passed on through the generations, providing a unifying cultural frame of reference, as well as a basis for social structures, spiritual beliefs, moral standards, and behavior models.

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Odin, a legendary hero and main deity in Norse mythology, 1865, engraving by Ludwig Pietsch is licensed under Public Domain.

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