Understanding Creation Myths/What is a Creation Myth?

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In this lesson, you will begin to understand what a creation myth is, and where they can be found in ancient civilizations.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

A creation myth is a myth dedicated to explaining the creation of the universe, humanity and other key factors. Creation myths were widely believed in the classical world, and remain popular as stories today.

Lesson[edit | edit source]

Key Features of a Creation Myth[edit | edit source]

Creation myths in the classical world are very similar. Most involve the following key features:-

  • A state of chaos
  • The arrival of an organized, ordered, all-powerful being
  • The creation of the Earth, stars, etc, by this all-powerful being

Ancient Civilisations with Creation Myths[edit | edit source]

Egyptian Creation[edit | edit source]

Though you will not be tested on the Egyptian stories of creation, it is good to understand that the Egyptians had a detailed story of creation, similar to other ancient civilizations. In Egyptian mythology, a pyramid-shaped mound (a benben) rose out a sea of chaos called "Nu". From this point on, the story was different. In one of the most popular versions, on top of the mound stood the sun-god Ra, the most powerful of all the Egyptian gods.

Greek Creation[edit | edit source]