The term mythology can refer to a body of myths or to any traditional story. A myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form. The main characters in myths are usually gods or supernatural heroes.
The study of myth began in ancient history. Rival classes of the Greek myths by Euhemerus, Plato and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and later revived by Renaissance mythographers. The nineteenth-century comparative mythology reinterpreted myth as a primitive and failed counterpart of science (Tylor), a "disease of language" (Müller), or a misinterpretation of magical ritual (Frazer).
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