Mythology refers variously to the collected myths of a group of people or to the study of such myths.
A folklore genre, myth is a feature of every culture . Many sources for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of nature or personification of natural phenomena, to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events to explanations of existing rituals. A culture 's collective mythology helps convey belonging, shared and religious experiences, behavioral models, and moral and practical lessons.
The study of myth began in ancienthistory . Rival classes of the Greek myths by Euhemerus, Plato and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and later revived by Renaissance mythographers. The nineteenth-century comparative mythology reinterpreted myth as a primitive and failed counterpart of science (Tylor), a " disease of language " (Müller), or a misinterpretation of magical ritual (Frazer).
Recent approaches often view myths as manifestations of psychological, cultural, or societal truths, rather than as inaccurate historical accounts.