Founding myths feature prominently in Greek mythology. “Ancient Greek rituals were bound to prominent local groups and hence to specific localities”, Walter Burkert has observed. “i.e. the sanctuaries and altars that had been set up for all time”. Thus Greek and Hebrew founding myths established the special relationship between a deity and local people, who traced their origins from a hero and authenticated their ancestral rights through the founding myth. Greek founding myths often embody a justification for the ancient overturning of an older, archaic order, reformulating a historical event anchored in the social and natural world to valorize current community practices, creating symbolic narratives of “collective importance” enriched with metaphor in order to account for traditional chronologies, and constructing an etiology considered to be plausible among those with a cultural investment.
In the Greek view, the mythic past had deep roots in historic time, its legends treated as facts, as Carlo Brillante has noted, its heroic protagonists seen as links between the “age of origins” and the mortal, everyday world that succeeded it.
Source: Origin myth – Wikipedia