Ancient civilizations such as Norsemen, Greeks and Egyptians created fantastical stories about Gods and Goddesses, monsters and heroes to explain the world around them. Before science, gods were the only possible explanation for such phenomenon as the sun moving across the sky (explained through the existence of Ra in Ancient Eqypt) or thunderbolts (explained through Zeus's anger in Ancient Greece). Many Native American tribes believed a giant turtle carried the Earth on its back depositing it at the current location.

Each civilization has its own mythology unique to their specific culture. Though, science today has replaced this extravagant resource, this does not mean the stories do not remain a staple for many authors today such as Rick Riordan or the infamous J.K. Rowling. The ability to draw upon this rich cultural history and spin it into a whole new story creates an irresistible research opportunity in itself.

Think of it this way. An apprehensive reader chooses Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone simply because all of her friends have read it. Now that young reader is able to discuss the book with friends as hoped but, a character within the story has drawn some interest. Firenze is a Centaur, pulled from Greek mythology. Other authors, Rick Riordan for example utilizes centaurs or A Wrinkle in Time has a centaur on the cover.

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