5 Answers

  1. The ironic attitude towards the gods is already noted in the Iliad; a religious person would never have dared to joke so much about the battle of the gods as does Homer, who is recorded no later than the ninth and eighth centuries. Further — more: one of the first historians, Hecateus of Miletus, in the VI century directly called mythology “empty fiction”. Finally, the sophists in the fifth century came to the conclusion that there are no gods, or at least that there is no way to know them, and therefore there is nothing to say about it. All those who were influenced by the sophists thought similarly. Among them, first of all, Democritus, who declared that the afterlife and the gods are invented by those who have lived a miserable life, and, thinking about death, was afraid, which is why he began to console himself with all sorts of fantasies.

  2. Myth, as you know, is a kind of plane of perception of the surrounding world, a special, dynamically developing reality. As soon as a myth is written down, it takes on a complete form, ceases to develop and becomes no longer a myth , but a set of instructive or entertaining examples. It should be understood that the ancient Greek myths at our disposal are such examples written down by ancient Greek mythographers, collected and woven from various, often contradictory, sources.

    It is always noteworthy that ancient Greek myths have many variations and are full of a large number of details. However, based on the work of Pausanias, we can understand that initially different versions of myths developed in different areas, then they were recorded in the written tradition. Then, artistic authors had a hand in the myths. Hesiod first tried to organize the mythology, as a result of which he had to reconcile many conflicting versions. Then artistic authors made their contribution: playwrights, using the plots of myths already recorded in the written tradition, treated them freely to create a greater dramatic effect. This is an example of the cruel Medea, who entered world literature in the image created by the playwright Euripides. I.e., certain deified forces eventually become personified and enter fiction, which inevitably leads to their simplification and subordination of images to the laws of literary genres. The work was completed by later mythographers who tried to collect all the information and references from written sources and weave a kind of colorful narrative: when all these Olympian gods enter into relationships, quarrel, are present at the same time in many places and even have their own burial places (!). Thus, the myths at our disposal are already fairy tales, and not texts for religious purposes.

    To answer the question, we must date the end of mythological consciousness to the beginning of philosophy. Even in the fragments of Thales, a different interpretation of the divine can be seen, it is actively developed by natural philosophers, and classical philosophers (e.g. Plato) openly sound the idea that the gods depicted in the recorded myths are just fairy-tale characters. However, here we can talk about the ideas of the intellectual elite. The consciousness of the broad masses of the population is poorly known to us, and we should not forget about the existence of state cults of officially revered gods (the same Athena in Athens).

  3. I will allow you an ironic remark that never. Some intellectuals and philosophers guessed that there were no gods, but the main mass did not care. The main elements of the cults of antiquity and Hellenism (this is when syncretism with the religion of Egypt and others went) smoothly flowed into Christianity, became Christianity, it is difficult to ignore this.

    The Greeks took the gods very seriously, judging by the fact that they condemned them with the phrase “for insulting the gods”, and not for insulting abstract morality and law.

    In the Roman era, citizens came to their colosseums to see, among other things, mockeries and parodies of all the well-known Greek myths, that is, they were clearly skeptical of all this, but at the same time temples to deities in cities did not go anywhere-a difficult question.

  4. A myth is not a fairy tale. Myth identifies the dream with reality. Who among Homer's contemporaries could doubt the reality of Zeus? Who among the ancient Indians would have dared to challenge the existence of the formidable Shiva? The world of myth was and is-beyond doubt.

  5. On the one hand, the myth is initially “separated” from the surrounding reality. The events of any myth take place in a certain “mythological” time, “the time of dreams”, “once upon a time”. And, accordingly, we can say that people immediately treated the myth as a fairy tale. Exactly in the sense that few people expected to meet a centaur on the way from home to the market. If by “fairy tale” we mean the certainty that there were no centaurs and no “once upon a time”, then everyone has a different approach. And now, for example, we can say with sufficient confidence that it is unlikely that Hercules fought with a Hydra, but how incredible was the Argonauts ' voyage to Colchis? And there's nothing to say about Troy )

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