Exploring Mythology & Liminality: A Study of Ancient Greek & Roman Myths - Essay Sample

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Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1531 Words
Date:  2023-05-24


Mythology is simply the study of myths. These myths may be from the early Greeks and the Roman people. Classical mythology refers to tales that belonged to the tradition of the Greeks and Romans. The Greeks and Romans believed that these myths first obtained orally. In scenarios where the literary works carried out by individuals who have researched myths, the work referred to as mythography. The writers are called mythographers (Baudrillard, 2016).

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Liminality comes from the Latin word to mean a threshold. Liminality defined as the standard of ambivalence that takes place in the center stage of a rite of passage. It is performed people no longer possess their solemn rituals but have not started the change to the form, and they will be when there is the completion of the rite (Thomassen, 216). At the liminal stage of ceremonies, the people involved position themselves at the doorway in the middle in their initial way of identity and time structuring and a new form that is established by completion of rites.

Liminal individuals do not have anything, be it status or any rank. A group of liminal individuals viewed as the same and equal. A liminal state compared to that state in which adolescents occupy: they are neither adults nor children. This space considered to be unstable, and the learner may sway between ancient and developing comprehensions, just like adolescents' transit between childhood and adulthood reactions to the status of their transition (Thomassen, 2016). When a learner gets into this liminal space, he or she gets occupied with the mastery project as opposed to the one who retains his or her previous liminality in which comprehensions are unclear.

When there is stress in comprehending threshold ideas, a researcher stays in the position of liminality. This state of liminality is one in which there is a suspension of biased comprehension. The perception acquired by researchers as they pass the doorway may be thrilling, requiring a puzzling feeling of loss. An additional difficulty may be the functioning of an underlying game in which the researcher needs to understand thinking ways and practicing intrinsic within particular disciplines (Thomassen, 2016).

The idea of liminality was initially developed at the beginning of the twentieth century by Arnold Van, but Victor Turner later took over. In the past few years, there has been broadening of the usage of the term liminality. It helps in defining and elaborating on the change in politics and culture and also rites (Thomassen, 2016). In the liminal times, social grading gets dissolved for some time, and future results not taken with seriousness get doubted. Liminality has used and broadened to cover experiences of liminality. It has become ideal for post-industrial society.


Hermes refers to the god and goddess of ancient Greek. They believed Hermes as the god wealth, thieves, travelling, trading, provision of luck, language, sleep and animal husbandry. Besides, he was highly regarded as the mischievous and ingenious of the Olympian gods. He was also the patron of shepherds. Hermes believed to have developed the lyre and, most importantly, the herald messenger of Mt Olympus. His role was guiding and came to symbolize crossing of boundaries. The guide was between the two realms of humanity and gods. Romans recognized this god as Mercury. There is a long history of this god from the 13th to 15th centuries mentioned in the linear B tablets of Mycenaean. Some of these tablets found in Thebes, Knossos, and Pylos (Allan, 208).

The Greeks believed that Hermes was the son of nymph and Zeus, daughters of Titan Atlas. Also, they thought that this god originated as a god of Arcadian fertility, having a special love for the Peloponnese people. Hermes believed to be born in Cyllene mountain in Arcadia. Mythically, Hermes was the father to god pan, pastoral god, and Eudoros, who was among the leaders of Myrmidons. There was no wife given to Hermes by the Greek myth. Hermes' role as both the leader of Nymphs and Graces or charities reflected the idea that Hermes signified movement. Among the gods of Greek, Hermes was the more colorful gods.

At his young age, Hermes believed to have stolen herd of 50 cattle from Pieria secretly from his half-brother. Cleverly, he reversed the hoofmarks by adding bark shoes to avoid trace of their tracks. Since then, they became allied with thieves. Satyrs discovered the stolen hard after Hermes had managed to keep the herd in the cave in Arcadia. A hearing presented before Olympian gods and Zeus, and he was allowed to retain the 48 herds since he had already sacrificed two. It was to go through if he was going to give Apollo his lyre. It shows the link of gods to both moral and physical boundaries, and going against them may have a basis in historical events. Particularly for Zeus as a messenger, Hermes is taking part in various mythological episodes. Hermes gets celebrated after killing the many eye monster that was ordered by Zeus to free Io. Also, he freed Ares from Giant Otus and Ephialtes imprisonment. Hermes' most known role was the leadership of souls to the river Styx located in the Underworld. He was also known for a trickster and stealing character at one time or another Artemis's arrows, Aphrodite's girdle, and Poseidon's trident (Allan, 2018).

Ovid's Metamorphoses

Ovid's opening of his poems follows epic poetry traditions. There is an invocation to the gods who have "wrought every change" at the beginning of his Metamorphoses. His work is a treasury of magic and myth, one of the classical antiquities. Roman poet Ovid begins his cycle of tales with the creation of the world. The poem is composed of fifteen books. This book divided into six sections. First, Ovid begins by praying to gods for inspiration and lays out the theme of metamorphosis. Also, he lays down his intentions and to write a poem in a single continuous poem from the origin of the world to his own life (Newlands, 2018). Secondly, Ovid narrates the creation of the world and the formation of human life.

Regarding the general immorality, humans behave wrongly almost immediately after creation, Jupiter and his brother, Neptune drown humanity. Pyrrha and Deucalion are the only survivors composing of pious persons who then become the emerging breed of humanity. Thirdly, this section made up of five books. At this point, the focus put on the interaction between gods and mortals. The first theme concerns rape, where Apollo attempts to rape Daphne and escapes when she was transformed into a tree by her father. However, Jupiter rapes, Calisto, Europa, and Io.

In the second book, he narrates the scenario of a fatal chariot ride that almost destroyed the world. In the third book, he describes various stories of Cadmus's founding of Thebes. Also, he tells about the death of Semele and Actaeon and the birth of Bacchus. Pentheus refuses to worship Bacchus. In the fourth and fifth books, Ovid explains the victory of Perseus over Atlas. A song contest follows between Pierides and Muses. Minerva turns Arachne into a spider, and Muses turn Pierides into magpies. Section four shows Ovid moves into the realm of heroes and heroines. He recounts the exploitation of Jason, who had stolen fleece from the serpent. Besides, he narrates the stories concerning the magic and power of Medea. Also, he points out the miraculous appearance of Mymindons and the sad tales of Procris and Cephalus. The fifth section talks about closer moves to the Trojan War, Achille's fight with Cycnus, and the love between Alcyone and Ceyx. The sixth section made up of the epilogue. Finally, Ovid states his prophecy on the highly regarded Roman future and the immortality of his work (Newlands, 2018).


Allan, A. (2018). Hermes. Routledge.

Baudrillard, J. (2016). The consumer society: Myths and structures. Sage. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dqudDQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Baudrillard,+J.+(2016).+The+consumer+society:+Myths+and+structures.+Sage&ots=2VsDK_495E&sig=BxyEtE0TRyPM8DFycG9knm9rEao&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Baudrillard%2C%20J.%20(2016).%20The%20consumer%20society%3A%20Myths%20and%20structures.%20Sage&f=falseNewlands, C. E., Gale, M. R., & Scourfield, J. H. D. (2018). Violence and Resistance in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Texts and Violence in the Roman World, 140. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=euZNDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA140&dq=Newlands,+C.+E.,+Gale,+M.+R.,+%26+Scourfield,+J.+H.+D.+(2018).+Violence+and+Resistance+in+Ovid%E2%80%99s+++Metamorphoses.+Texts+and+Violence+in+the+Roman+World,+140.&ots=IcMSbNsNNK&sig=KD3AGXhL_i8n8cKF_FWRdRRJBZ4&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=falseThomassen, B. (2016). Liminality and the Modern: Living through the in-between. Routledge. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PDYfDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Thomassen,+B.+(2016).+Liminality+and+the+Modern:+Living+through+the+in-between.+Routledge.&ots=jHkyoGuM6e&sig=WMwjea1479nRqol4puT1cE-38tU&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Thomassen%2C%20B.%20(2016).%20Liminality%20and%20the%20Modern%3A%20Living%20through%20the%20in-between.%20Routledge.&f=false

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Exploring Mythology & Liminality: A Study of Ancient Greek & Roman Myths - Essay Sample. (2023, May 24). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/exploring-mythology-liminality-a-study-of-ancient-greek-roman-myths-essay-sample

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