Read more. Part of the Mythic Creatures exhibition. Not all myths are just stories--many teach lessons. Characters in myths sometimes lead by example, reminding people how they should behave. Other times, mythic characters lie, cheat or steal, and are then scolded or punished for their bad behavior.

In Japan, people tell stories of tengu, goblinlike creatures that live in the forests, mocking and punishing prideful people. The common Japanese expression "tengu ni naru" even warns people not to become arrogant. Long ago, a man wandering through a forest in Japan came upon a long-nosed, magical goblin called a tengu. Eventually, the tengu agreed to teach the man ninjitsu, a kind of magic.

Using ninjitsu, the man could now turn invisible, swim underwater for hours or run as fast as a horse--just by uttering a few words. But the man was arrogant and soon began abusing his powers, using them to steal from travelers and sometimes even to kill them. One day as he was passing through the mountains, the man came upon a farmer walking slowly along the path. The man was impatient and would not wait for the farmer to move out of his way. He drew his sword and swung at the farmer's neck.

But his sword never found its mark. Looking down, the man saw that his sword was broken. Looking up, he saw the farmer sitting in a tree laughing. The farmer was actually a tengu in disguise.

Try as he might, the man could never perform ninjitsu again and was soon caught and punished. Recorded by American folklorist Richard Dorson in People in Japan tell stories of magical part-bird, part-human creatures called tengu that lurk in the mountains. Tengu are skilled swordsmen known to play tricks on arrogant Buddhist priests and to punish people who misuse knowledge or authority.

According to some stories, people who are prideful or overconfident are reincarnated as tengu; only after a lifetime of good deeds can they be reborn as humans.

Myths & Legends

Tengu were likely introduced to Japan from Korea and China between about AD and and were at first considered to be disruptive demons and omens of war. Over time, however, their image softened into one of mischievous mountain goblins.

As late asthe Japanese government posted official notices to tengu, asking the goblins to temporarily vacate a certain mountain during scheduled visits by the Shogun. The earliest tengu had bird beaks, wings and claws. Later tengu appear more humanlike but with long noses.

Tengu are shape-shifters and can take many forms. But in legends, tengu are often described as having a human's body with wings and a long nose. And since the s, humanlike tengu are often shown wearing the distinctive cap and robe of a group of mountain-dwelling priests called yamabushi.

Not all tengu are created equal. Wise and powerful tengu are often shown in humanlike forms, while less powerful tengu appear more like birds.All over the world there are extraordinary stories—stories that once upon a time were believed to be true but are today limited to the sphere of ancient myths and legends.

The question remains, are those myths and legends stories something that existed in the minds of our ancestors, or were they based on true events? It is true that most of those ancient myths and legends stories appear to the scientific world as fictitious products of vivid imaginations whose goals were purely to explain phenomena beyond their comprehension. Yet is it not arrogant to accuse our ancestors of being uncivilised and ignorant in one breath, then offer them praise and admiration over their monuments, buildings, art, sculptures, and societies in the next?

Morals of Ancient Greek Literature

This only proves that our modern society has two contradictory attitudes toward our past. In this section we will explore some of the most amazing myths and legends from around the world—legends that may hold truths that can unlock the secrets of our ancient origins.

Ancient Origins has been quoted by:. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings.

Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Skip to main content. Mithra was the god of light, purity, goodness, and truth and occupied an important place in the faith of the ancient Aryans. The Spread of Mithra There are various opinions on the spread of the Atlas is one of the most famous Titans in Greek mythology.

He is best-known for bearing the sky on his shoulders, a punishment inflicted on him by Zeus following the Titanomachy. Easter is a festival and holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world who honor the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred three days The Nibelungenliedor "The Song of the Nibelungs", is a Middle High German epic poem first written sometime in the thirteenth century.

Though its author is unknown, The Nibelungenlied remains one Arthurian legend refers to the body of works surrounding King Arthur and his knights. Arthurian legend forms the centerpiece of the Matter of Britain, which is the body of medieval literature and More specifically, bodhisattvas are savior-like beings who forsake their own The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that these goddesses granted inspiration to those involved The mythology of spirit doubles can be traced back thousands of years and was present in many cultures of the past, holding a prominent place in ancient legends, stories, artworks, and in books by In the Norse myths, the moment Odin sat high on the throne of Asgard, he became all-knowing and ever powerful, as written by Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda.

He is the Allfather who lives in all The elixir of immortality known also as the elixir of life is a mythical substance believed to grant those who consume it eternal life.

Various civilizations throughout human history have their own There are several Japanese mythology is collectively chronicled in the Kojikithe oldest historical record written in Japan in AD, and in the Nihon Shoki written in As was common practice before the age of They are credited with the creation of humanity.

In addition, Fuxi is believed to have introduced several As the name of the poem suggests, the story is about Sir Gawain, oneMany Chinese fables tell an entertaining story to illustrate a moral lesson.

Here are a few such stories. His wife was very angelic and virtuous, who was loved and respected dearly by the husband.

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Looking at the gold, his wife said calmly and gently, 'As you know, it is usually said that a true man never drinks the stolen water. How can you take such a piece of gold home which is not yours? One day, his wife was weaving on the loom, when Leyangtsi entered. At his coming, the wife seemed to be worried, and she at once asked the reason why he came back so soon. The husband explained how he missed her. The wife got angry with what the husband did.

His wife declared, 'If something is stopped halfway, it is just like the cut cloth on the loom. The cloth will only be useful if finished. But now, it has been nothing but a mess, and so it is with your study. He left home resolutely and went on with his study. He didn't return home to see his beloved wife until gaining great achievements. For centuries, the story has often been used as a model to inspire those who would back out in competitions.

The bride was very willful. One day, she had an idea that a coat of fox fur would look pretty on her. So she asked her husband to get her one.

But the coat was rare and too expensive. The helpless husband was forced to walk around on the hillside. Just at the moment, a fox was walking by.

He lost no time to catch it by the tail. Could you offer me a sheet of your skin? That isn't a big deal, is it? But let my tail go so that I can pull off the skin for you. But the moment the fox got free, she ran away as quickly as she could into the forest. The story can be used to illustrate that it is hard to ask someone to act against his own will, even in a seemingly negligible manner. He decided to present the valuable jade to the emperor to show his official loyalty to his sovereign, Chuli.

Unluckily, the jade was judged as a common stone by the court jaders—those who worked with and estimated the value of jade in ancient China—which made Emperor Chuli very angry and had Bian Heh's left foot cut down cruelly. Emperor Chuwu also had it checked by the jaders in the court. And the conclusion resulted in the same fact that Bian Heh lost the other foot. However, the moment he thought of what he had incurred, he couldn't help crying beside a hill.

He could not stop crying for several days and nights; he almost wept his heart out and even blood was dropping from his eyes. And it happened to be heard by the emperor in the court. He ordered his men to find out why he was so sad. Bian Heh sobbed out "Call a spade a spade. Why was a real jade mistaken as a plain stone again and again?I often wonder how the East and the West came to view mythological creatures so differently.

Are dragons lucky or scary? Are rabbits wise or timid?

famous myths with morals

I gave such questions a lot of thought when I created invisible animal companions for the characters in my book Moon Princess.

Have a Happy new year of the Monkey! The most famous monkey in China is surely Sun Wukong. He is one of the main characters in a Chinese classic, The Journey to the West. At first Sun Wukong is a very naughty monkey, eager to take over the world, and it costs Buddha a lot of effort to tame him. He later becomes a loyal companion to the monk Xuanzang on his adventurous journey from China to India and back again.

Hou Yi had a potion to become immortal, but it was sufficient only for one. The potion made her fly all the way to the moon, where she is still today, watching the world.

When the moon is the brightest, during the Chinese Moon Festivalyou can try to spot her up there. Many stories are told all over Asia about the Jade Rabbit. He is closely associated with the medical profession, frequently shown carrying a mortar and pestle.

famous myths with morals

They fell in love, married and had children. But when the goddess found out about them, she banished them both to different sides of the Milky Way. However, once a year, magpies will help out and form a bridge between the two lovers. Who in the Western world would have thought that magpies can be so kind?

In China, they are even a symbol for love and happiness. This legend has a happier ending. The story is set in the beautiful city of Hangzhou, famous for its lake. A white snake lived in the lake. She had gained magical powers and could turn herself into a human.

She falls in love with the scholar Xu Xuan and after overcoming many obstacles they finally convince the gods to bless their union.

He clearly is a hero in Chinese mythology: the most powerful and divine creature, controller of the water.The Greek mythology is a sum of fables told by the ancient Greeks to explain the existence of the world, some natural phenomena or just for pleasure, to intrigue the imagination of people. Most of these Ancient Greek myths survive till our days because they have been included in the works of famous ancient writers and historians.

They are, of course, not based on rationalism but on the unbelievable and the supernatural. Some of the ancient Greek myths are shocking, but all are bound to captivate you.

Add your Business Add your business. Sign In. Discover the most famous ancient Greek myths You will find below 29 Greek myths: Odysseus, Jason and the Argonauts, Theseus, the Amazons, Persphone and many more myths. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, is probably the most famous hero of all times. His story is a myth with monsters, bad luck and much adventure. The story of Odysseus is actually the long trip of a man who has only one aim, to go back to his beloved homeland and his family.

Odysseus left Troy after then years of war and started his journey to his home on Ithaca. However, this journey was long and adventurous. The myth of Jason, his fellow Argonauts and the trip to get the Golden Fleece has enthralled the world. This is a story of excitement, danger and adventure. Jason, the legitimate king of Iolcus, sets the voyage on his ship Argo to the foreign land of Colchis to get the Golden Fleece and prove that he is worth to become king.

On the way, he encounters many troubles and delays. Even when he arrives in Colchis, he has to confront the deceptions of the local king. Theseus was a semi-mythical, semi-historical figure. The myth says that he had two fathers, king Aegeus of Athens and god Poseidon.

As he descended from a god, he had super-natural powers. The most famous labor of Theseus was the killing of the Minotaur in Crete Greece to relieve Athens from the burden to sacrifice seven young men and seven young women to this monstrous figure. After the death of king Aegeus, Theseus became king of Athens and legend says that his first wife was an Amazon. The myth says that the Amazons were a tribe of independent, mighty women who had rebelled against the male-dominated society and the atrocities of men.

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They used to live in isolate places, exclude men from their society and make wars against them. Although there are no clear outcomes whether the Amazons really existed or not, they are frequently referred into myths and legends. The myth of Persephone, the sweet daughter of Greek goddess Demeter who was kidnapped by Hades and later became the Queen of the Underworld, is known all over the world.

This is actually the myth of the ancient Greeks to explain the change of the seasons, the eternal cycle of nature's death and rebirth. The myth of Persephone was very popular in the ancient times and it is said that her story was represented in the Eleusinian Mysteries, the most secret celebrations of ancient Greece. The myth of Prometheus holds a special place in Greek mythology. This son of a Titan was regarded as a great benefactor of humankind, the bringer of fire and the original teacher of technology and useful arts to the mankind.

The great love he had for humans would often bring Prometheus into a dangerous conflict with Zeus. In fact, it was Zeus who punished Prometheus into eternal torture for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to the people. The myth of Daedalus and Icarus shows us that the power of man has no limits but also that we should be very careful how to use this power.

Icarus could fly with his wings, however when he flied too close to the sun, his wings were burnt and he fell to the sea. The closest island where Icarus fell and got drowned took its name and it is called Ikaria till today. The myth of Perseus and Andromeda contains very deep wisdom on the interactions of male and female energy. Perseus is one of the greatest heroes of Mythology of Greece.

He was the son of mighty Zeus and mortal woman Danae.Though often regarded as a literary period of compelling tragic and comic figures and stories, Greek literature was, for ancient Greeks, a wellspring of moral guidance. There are countless moral lessons and dicta in the pages of Greek literature. Many of these lessons are interconnected, and some are contradictory. Perhaps one of the most pervasive moral concepts in ancient Greek literature is that all human actions are bound by a predetermined fate.

Scottish Myths & Legends

The moral lesson is that what people do, either to themselves or to others, is set in stone well before their birth. That is, if a person mistreated somebody, he would be mistreated at some point in his life. Similarly, if a person was kind or helpful to somebody, she would be the beneficiary of some future kindness or help. Excessive pride or hubris is an individual's belief that he is somehow unique and more powerful than some overarching, life-governing principle, typically fate.

All the moral lessons concerning hubris are essentially cautionary. The story of Baucis and Philemon caring for a disguised Zeus and Hermes, who in return rewarded Baucis and Philemon and killed all their neighbors, is a good example. Samuel Hamilton has been writing since The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language.

See disclaimer. Fate Perhaps one of the most pervasive moral concepts in ancient Greek literature is that all human actions are bound by a predetermined fate.

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Pride Excessive pride or hubris is an individual's belief that he is somehow unique and more powerful than some overarching, life-governing principle, typically fate.

About the Author. Photo Credits.But who are the greatest heroes of Greek mythology? Was it the mighty Hercules? Or perhaps brave Achilles? He is perhaps best known for his fantastic feats of strength and daring, often called the "12 Labors.

famous myths with morals

Hercules died after his wife, jealous that he might have another lover, smeared a tunic with deadly centaur's blood, the pain of which drive Hercules to kill himself. Hercules received the honor of being brought to live among the gods on Mount Olympus. Achilles was the Greeks' finest warrior during the Trojan War. His mother, the nymph Thetisdipped him in the River Styx to make him invulnerable in battle—except for his heel, where she gripped the baby.

famous myths with morals

During the Trojan War, Achilles achieved fame by slaying Hector outside the city gates. But he didn't have much time to savor his conquest. Theseus was the Athenian hero who liberated his city from the tyranny of King Minos of Crete. Every year, the city had to send seven men and seven women to Crete to be devoured by the monstrous Minotaur. Theseus vowed to defeat Minos and restore Athens' dignity. With the help of the creature's half-sister, Ariadne, Theseus was able to enter the labyrinth where the monster lived, slay the beast, and find his way out again.

A crafty and capable warrior, Odysseus was the king of Ithaca. During that time, Odysseus and his men faced numerous challenges, including being kidnapped by a cyclopsmenaced by sirens, and finally shipwrecked. Odysseus alone survives, only to face additional tests before finally returning home.

Perseus was the son of Zeus, who disguised himself as a shower of gold in order to impregnate Perseus' mother Danae. After slaying Medusa, Perseus rescued Andromeda from the sea serpent Cetus and wed her.

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He later gave the severed head of Medusa to the goddess Athena. As a young man, he set out on a quest to find the Golden Fleece and thus restore his place on the throne. He assembled a crew of heroes called the Argonauts and set sail. He encountered a number of adventures along the way, including facing down harpies, dragons, and sirens.

Although he was ultimately triumphant, Jason's happiness didn't last long. After he deserted her, his wife Medea murdered his children and he died sad and alone. With divine assistance, Bellerophon succeeded in riding the horse and set out to slay the chimera that menaced Lycia.

Top 10 Popular and Fascinating Myths in Ancient Rome

Having slain the beast, Bellerophon's fame grew until he became convinced that he was not a mortal but a god. He tried to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus, which so enraged Zeus that he caused Bellerophon to fall to earth and die. Known more for his music than his fighting ability, Orpheus is a hero for two reasons. He was an Argonaut in Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece, and he survived a quest that even Theseus failed. Orpheus went to the Underworld to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, who had died of snakebite.

He made his way to the Underworld's royal couple— Hades and Persephone—and persuaded Hades to give him a chance to bring his wife back to life. Cadmus was the Phoenician founder of Thebes. After failing in his quest to find his sister Europa, he wandered the land. During this time, he consulted the Oracle of Delphi, who ordered him to cease his wanderings and settle in Boeotia.

Cadmus killed the dragon, planted its teeth and watched as armed men the Spartoi emerged from the ground. Cadmus married Harmonia, daughter of Ares, but suffered from guilt for having slain the war god's dragon. As repentance, Cadmus and his wife were transformed into snakes. She grew up wild and free, able to hunt as well as a man.


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