World Mythology

Grade Levels: 9-12

Every culture has its own myths. By studying tales from various civilizations, students gain an appreciation for the stories, customs, and folkways of the world's peoples. World Mythology features more than 50 myths and epics from the Middle East, Greece and Rome, the Far East and Pacific Islands, the British Isles, Northern Europe, Africa, and the Americas. An introduction and historical background set the stage for each tale and place the tale in its cultural context. Thoughtful questions at the end of each selection enhance critical thinking as they prompt students to analyze the stories, find similarities and differences, make assumptions, and examine their own responses.

World Mythology




The Middle East

  • The Enuma elish - Babylonia
  • Osiris, Isis, and Horus - Egypt
  • Telepinu - Hittite
  • Gilgamesh - Sumer/Babylonia
  • Esfandyar, the Prince Who Would be King - Persia

Greece and Rome

  • The Creation of the Titans and the Gods - Greece
  • The Ages of Man - Greece
  • Demeter and Persephone - Greece
  • The Labors and Death of Heracles - Greece
  • The Iliad - Greece
  • Jason and the Golden Fleece - Greece
  • Medea - Greece
  • Pyramus and Thisbe - Rome
  • The Aeneid - Rome

The Far East and the Pacific Islands

  • The Creation, Death, and Rebirth of the Universe - India
  • The Ramayana - India
  • The Creation of the Universe and Human Beings - China
  • Chi Li Slays the Serpent - China
  • Amaterasu - Japan
  • Kotan Utannai - Japan
  • The Creation Cycle - Polynesia/Maori
  • The Taming of the Sun - Polynesia/Maori

The British Isles

  • The Ages of the World - Ireland/Scotland
  • Dagda the Good - Ireland/Scotland
  • Beowulf - England/Scandinavia
  • King Arthur - England/France

Northern Europe

  • The Creation, Death, and Rebirth of the Universe
  • The Death of Balder
  • The Theft of Thor's Hammer
  • Sigurd the Volsung


  • The Creation of the Universe and Ife - Nigeria, Yoruba
  • The Origin of Life and Fire - Zaire, Boshongo/Bakuba
  • The Quarrel Between Sagbata and Sogbo - Benin, Fon
  • Gassire's Lute - Ghana, Soninke
  • Bakaridjan Kone - Mali, Segu

The Americas

  • The Creation - Bolivia, Tiahuanaco/Aymara
  • The Children of the Sun - Peru, Inca
  • Wanadi the Creator - Venezuela, Yekuhana
  • The Creation - Guatemala, Maya
  • The Creation Cycle - Mexico, Toltec/Aztec
  • Quezalcoatl - Mexico, Toltec/Aztec
  • The Emergence - United States, Navajo
  • Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away - United States, Crow
  • The Woman Who Fell from the Sky - United States/Canada, Iroquois/Huron
  • Raven and the Sources of Light - United States/Canada, Haida/Tsimshian/Tlingit
  • Sedna - United States/Canada, Inuit
  • Caught by a Hair-String - Canada, Micmac



Index of Characters with Pronounciation Guide