Myths are fantastic stories starring imaginary characters that usually stimulate amazing ideas in people’s minds , and that’s why they like them so much. However, the various types of myths indicate that there is no clear function, and it is very interesting to see what each of these types of myths is used for. INDEX
1. What is a myth
2. Types of myths with examples What is a myth
Since the flourishing of the first civilizations, man has transmitted from generation to generation a series of imaginary storieswhose fantastic events starring gods, heroes, monsters, animals and spirits explain the origin of a phenomenon, the birth of a god or the existence of values, among other things.
As you will discover in the next point, the different kinds of myth that exist allow us to explain everything from how the world was created or how the human being was born, to how a city was founded or what is the origin of envy. Myths are rooted in popular beliefs and, therefore, are part of a series of religious traditions, but they also offer moral rules of behavior and ways of understanding those phenomena that are difficult to explain.
For this reason, myths and mythologies are part of a collective way of understanding the world., religiosity, values ​​and the human and social dimension. One of its characteristics is that the author of the myth is unknown, and that being transmitted orally they have been transformed through the centuries. 7 types of myths, characteristics and examples
Below we present the 7 types of myths that exist, their characteristics and some reference examples. 1. Theogonic myths
In the first civilizations, the gods were part of people’s daily lives, since each god represented an area of ​​social life (love, death, hunting, music, femininity, medicine… ) and had a particular history.
To explain the origin of these gods, their attributes and the way they participated in human affairs, the theogonic myths existed. Each civilization had its own, but the ones that have transcended the most are the Greek myths thanks to the Theogony, a literary systematization of these narrations made by Hesiod around the 8th century BC.

  • The 10 most surprising theogonic myths.

The myth of Hercules and the 12 tests
In Greek mythology, when a god conceived a child with a mortal, a hero was born, and one of the best known theogonic myths is that of Hercules, whom the Greeks called Heracles.
According to the mythological narrative, Hercules was the son of the father of the gods, Zeus , and a mortal woman, Alcmene, and after a series of ordeals he was rewarded with the privilege of living on Olympus with the gods.
Hercules was brute, primitive and instinctive, and the gods had rewarded him with superhuman strength in exchange for his lack of intelligence. After killing his wife and his children, he submitted tothe twelve tests of the oracle of the gods.

  • Kill the Nemean lion and skin it.
  • Kill the Hydra of Lerna , a ruthless aquatic monster.
  • Capture the Cerinea doe .
  • Hunt Erimatreo , a wild boar that caused terror.
  • Clean in a single day the stables of Augias , which had the largest herd in the country.
  • Kill the birds of the Stymphalus , which ruined the crops with their droppings.
  • Capture the horses of King Diomedes .
  • Steal the belt of Hippolyta , the Amazon queen.
  • Steal Gerion’s cattle .
  • Steal the apples from the Garden of the Hesperides .
  • Capture Cerberus , and bring him out of the underworld.

2. Cosmogonic myths
The great challenge of all religious beliefs has always been to explain the origin of the world. Cosmogonic myths are mythological narratives that try to answer the mystery of the transition between chaos and the world .
With all the differences that exist between the different civilizations, all the cosmogonic myths fulfill the same functions: to offer an integrating vision of the world , to ensure spiritual tranquility through the transition from stupor to understanding, and to elaborate signs of collective identity for life in community.

  • Cosmogonic myths: 6 great myths of creation.

The creation of the world according to Chinese cosmogony
The Chinese cosmogony myth explains the formation of the world through a great egg that during the time of absolute darkness housed P’an-Ku inside. After 18,000 years of incubation, the egg cracked . egg with an ax and allowed the light, the white of the egg, to ascend to the heavens, while the yolk formed the earth.
P’an-Ku had remained with his head in the sky and his feet on the ground, and while both expanded, the primeval god prevented them from joining.
He eventually died, and his body split into several pieces that spread throughout the world forming his elements. His breath became the clouds and the winds, is voice in the thunder. One eye was the sun, the other the moon, from her blood water flowed, and her limbs and her trunk erected into five mountains. Her muscles were fields, and her veins were roads. From her hair and her beard appeared the stars of heaven , and flowers and trees were created from her hair and her body hair. Her marrow became jade and pearls, and from her sweat flowed the rain and dew that daily nourishes all living things on earth.
The main characteristics of each type of myths. | 3. The aetiological myths
Etiology is the study of the cause and origin of things. You will have already guessed that the etiological myths try to explain the birth of various things from a fantastic and real point of view. Normally, etiological myths focus on the explanation of the origin of natural phenomena or elements of the world .
For the explanation of earthquakes or storms, the answer as to why there is a full moon or the narration of the origin of a specific animal, etiological myths were used, either because there was no scientific or rational explanation, or to justify the power of the gods . The Aztec myth of the Sun and the Moon
Before there was light, the gods argued about who was going to give such a privilege. Everyone knew that giving birth to the world was a difficult task , since it required throwing oneself into the fire and sacrificing one’s own life. One of the younger gods, Tecuciztecatl, took up the challenge.
Everyone worshiped the brave god, but he needed another partner to complete the company, and no one dared. A weak and ragged old man stepped forward, and while everyone else looked down on him, he offered to accompany the young man.
On the appointed date, Tecuciztecatl tried four times to enter the fire, but each time he approached the bonfire, he regretted it. Nanoatzin, the old man, entered the fire and lay down quietly while everyone worshiped him, so the young god, ashamed, also entered the fire. When the flames went out, the other gods left. Suddenly, a ray of sunlight appeared from the East , rising as a great sun that everyone identified as Nanoatzin. Then another equally bright sun came out, Tecuciztecatl, but the gods agreed to darken it so that it would not detract from the old man, who was the one who had entered first. So they covered the moon with a rabbit and darkened its sky. 4. Anthropogonic myths
After explaining the origin of the gods and the creation of the world, the great task of the mythologies was to give an answer to how man was created . The myth of Adam and Eve is the one we know best, due to the influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but there are many other fantastic stories to explain the origin of man.
Once again, although the anthropogonic myths have very different versions depending on each place, there is a common link: man is a divine creation . The origin of man according to Hinduism
Anthropogonic myths are very relevant because according to how each cultural and religious tradition explains the origin of man, its nature is deduced. In Christianity man arises from original sin, and in Hinduism from the sky and the sun.
According to Hinduism, the first man, Manu, is the son of two divinities: the sun god, Vivasuat, and Saraniu, goddess of the dawn and the clouds . He was called Manu referring to the Sanskrit word manas (mind), defining man as thinking, wise, intelligent.
According to this myth, Manu was endowed with great wisdom and dedicated to virtue, being the progenitor of a dynasty whose race is called manava (humans). The Hindu anthropogonic myth is very particular because, while in most cultures man is a manual creation of the gods, here he is a biological son of the gods, engendered by them . 5. Moral myths
In addition to the origin of the world and of man, and the birth of the gods, myths can also explain feelings, values, human behavior and the rules of conduct of a community. They are the moral rites.
In this case, the myths are elaborate narratives in which a small plot is described in a simple and metaphorical way that allows a moral to be drawn or the allegory to be extracted from the actions of its protagonists. The myth of Narcissus
For example, to explain the origin of complacency and excessive admiration for oneself, the rich Greek mythology developed the myth of Narcissus.
According to this fantastic narrative, Narcissus was a handsome young man with a very beautiful appearance who rejected the multitude of men and women who fell in love with him. One of his suitors was the nymph Echo, whom Hera had condemned to always repeat her last words as punishment for her bad behavior.
One day Narciso asked “Is there anyone here
”, and Eco replied “Here, here”. But Narcissus rejected her and Eco was consumed with sorrow in a cave until only her voice remained.
As a reprimand from her, the goddess of revenge, Nemesis, made her fall in love with her own image reflected in a fountain. In love with his reflection of her, he jumped into the water where he drowned, and in her place a flower called daffodil was born.6. The founding myths
The founding myths tried to explain the origin of cities as creations of the gods, and in many cases these narratives areEntertaining stories that are usually related to the name or symbols of the city .
In addition to the foundation of Rome, which is the most widespread myth, other very important foundational myths are that of the origin of Thebes in Egyptian mythology, or the origin of Israel, the foundational myth of the Jewish people . The founding of Rome
It is the best known founding myth in our culture, and we all have in our heads the image of the she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus .
According to the myth of the founding of Rome, Ascanius founded Alba Longa on the banks of the Tiber River and his descendants reigned successively. One of them was Amulio, who dethroned his brother Numitor and to prevent her from having his descendants, he condemned his daughter Rea Silvia to be part of the virgins of the goddess Vesta.
However, the god Mars spawned Romulus and Remus in Rhea Silvia, who when they were born were deposited in a basket and thrown down the river so that Numitor would not kill them. The twins ran aground on one of the seven hills where they were suckled by a she-wolf named Luperca . Already adults they killed Numitor, seized his throne and founded a new colony. 7. The eschatological myths
Eschatological myths explain the end of the world or the death of man. In fact, there are two kinds of eschatological myths: those that signal the end of the world and civilization , and those that explain the death of man and what lies beyond.
The conception of each religion about the nature of the world and its destiny, or about the nature of man and his transcendence, is contained in the myth about his end. They are usually very rich in details and metaphorical elements . The journey to the afterlife of the Egyptians The richest eschatology in detail is that of Egyptian mythology, because death occupied a great place in the civilization of ancient Egypt. Mummification, the construction of large funerary monuments and burying the dead with a series of objects are just some examples of the importance they gave to the journey to the afterlife.
They even wrote the Book of the Dead, a code that was placed in the sarcophagus next to the dead person to guide them on their journey to the afterlife.
The Egyptians understood death, certainly, as a journey, which began aboard the boat of the god Ra, crossing the entire sky and, going through numerous dangers and difficulties, arriving before the god of the underworld, Anubis, who led him to Osiris, god of the resurrection. This subjects the deceased to a final judgment in which his heart is weighed.