Lesson 1.3: What is Mythology?

Roman fresco found in Villa dei Misteri (Villa of Mysteries), Pompeii, Italy

The Latin word for myth is fabula. Our English word ‘myth’ comes from the Greek word muthos

Myths are tales of gods, heroes, and monsters—and their interactions with people. 

The myths that the Romans believed were very important to them. They helped the Romans understand what made them Roman and what was going on in the world around them. The woods, mountains, trees, and rivers where the Romans lived were seen as alive with divine forces. For example, Neptune (Poseidon) was the god of freshwaters and the sea so sailors would pray to him for safe voyages.

Romans loved to make pictures of their gods and goddesses. 

They painted frescoes of scenes from mythology and made beautiful statues out of marble.

CULTURAL CONNECTION

In Spanish, almost all of the days of the week come from the Latin names of the Roman gods. Also, the Spanish word for week, semana, comes from the Latin word for seven days, septimana!

ROMAN GODSPANISHENGLISH
LunaLunesMonday
MarsMartesTuesday
MercuryMiércolesWednesday
JupiterJuevesThursday
VenusViernesFriday
SaturnSábadoSaturday
SolDomingoSunday