Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Mythology and Insects

  • Ron Cherry
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4768

The study of insects and other arthropods in mythology falls into the realm of cultural entomology. However, in order to approach this subject, it is necessary to understand what mythology is. Quite simply, mythology is the study of myths. One definition of a myth commonly used in everyday conversation is that a myth is something false or imaginary. This definition has nothing to do with mythology. As used in mythology, a myth is a story, presented as having actually occurred in a previous age, explaining the cosmological and supernatural traditions of a people, their gods, heroes, cultural traits, religious beliefs, etc. Mytho logy is also closely related to religion as exemplified by the saying, “One man’s religion is another man’s mythology.”

Myths in general may be categorized into certain types such as creation myths, emergence myths, etc., and this is also true of many insect myths. For example, the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy by a beetle is explained in a creation myth of...

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References

  1. Capinera JL (1993) Insects in art and religion: the American Southwest. Am Entomol 39:221–229Google Scholar
  2. Cherry R (1985) Sacred scarabs of ancient Egypt. Bull Entomol Soc Am 31:14–16Google Scholar
  3. Kritsky G, Cherry R (2000) Insect mythology. Writers Club Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  4. Leach M (1984) Funk and Wagnalls standard dictionary of folklore, mythology, and legend. Harper, San Francisco, CAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ron Cherry
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaBelle GladeUSA