From greek mythos ("story" ), a myth refers to a wonderful facts story whose protagonists are supernatural characters (gods, monsters) or extraordinary (heroes).
It is said that myths are part of religious system of a culture , which considers them as true stories. They have the function of granting a narrative support to the core beliefs of a community.
The anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss he adds that every myth meets three attributes: it is a existential question , it is formed by irreconcilable opposites and provides the reconciliation of those poles To end the anguish.
In its origin, the myth is a oral story . With the passage of time, its details vary according to the transmission of knowledge from generation to generation. Once societies developed writing, the myth was reworked in literary form , which extended its versions and variants.
When, in ancient times, scientific explanations began to compete with mythical ones, the term myth acquired a pejorative context , which began to be used as a synonym for an extended but false belief or a hoax.
On the other hand, the concept of myth is also often used to refer to historical characters or facts, such as a adjective . For example: "Juan Manuel Fangio is a mythical figure of motor racing".
Scholars have distinguished different kinds of myths, such as cosmogonic (who try to explain the creation of the world), the theogonic (refer to the origin of the gods), the anthropogonic (about the appearance of the human being) and the foundational (birth of cities), among others.