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Among the earliest literary sources are Homer's two epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these later and lesser poems now are lost almost entirely.
This category includes the works of: Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths include Apuleius, Petronius, Lollianus, and Heliodorus.
Left-to-right, top-to-bottom: the birth of Aphrodite, a revel with Dionysus and Silenus, Adonis playing the kithara for Aphrodite, Heracles slaying the Lernaean Hydra, the Colchian dragon regurgitating Jason in the presence of Athena, Hermes with his mother Maia, the Trojan Horse, and Odysseus's ship sailing past the island of the sirens Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks.
These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices.
Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.
Unfortunately, the evidence about myths and rituals at Mycenaean and Minoan sites is entirely monumental, as the Linear B script (an ancient form of Greek found in both Crete and mainland Greece) was used mainly to record inventories, although certain names of gods and heroes have been tentatively identified.
These visual representations of myths are important for two reasons.They often treat mythology from a Christian moralizing perspective.