Interest in mythology has grown steadily throughout the last hundred years. Today myths are seen more as serious insights into reality rather than just childish stories. They exist in all societies. Although most myths come from cultures very unlike ours, they may be strikingly similar to our lives and our own situation in the world.
Myths are imaginative traditions about the nature, history, and destiny of the world, the gods, man, and society (Cavendish 8).
"A myth is a story or tradition which claims to enshrine a fundamental truth about the world and human life, which is regarded in its own environment as authorative, but whose truth is not literal, historical, or scientific" (Cavendish 9).
Many myths have a dream-like quality. We find monsters, hybrid beings, and animals that walk and talk like men. Men and animals intermarry, change shape, and possess magical powers (Cavendish 10).
Myths not only reflect man's experience of life, but have also molded it, for people naturally interpret what happens to them in the light of their prevailing attitude to reality, which includes their mythology. One reason for taking mythology seriously is that a society cannot be understood in isolation from its myths. Another is the light which myths cast not only on other people's minds, but also on our own (Cavendish 11).
If mythology is a way of thinking common to human beings in general, then a study of it is as study of ourselves.
There are many types of mythology. Some of the most common are the Greek myths. They are the best known of the world. We also have Roman, German, American, African, Egyptian, Japanese, and many other types of myths.
The best known of the gods is Zeus. Zeus is the father of the gods and of mortals. He did not create us, but was father in sense of protector of Olympian family and human race. He is known as the lord of the sky, the rain god, the cloud gatherer, and he wielded the thunder bolt (Zeus).