Defining myth and the birth of philosophy: muthos is a traditional body of stories. They often seem fantastic, bizarre or irrational: the noun muthos and verb mutheomai appear in our earliest works of greek lit - the iliad and. B. c. on into the classical period, greek philosophers find themselves in conflict with mythological tradition: goals and methods of the early greek philosophers were determined by their antagonism toward and interaction with the mythological tradition. They wanted to determine what was true, and how truth compared and contrasted with myth: greek myth was central to greek identity. 800-700 b. c: homer does not posit a polarity between muthos and true, rational exposition. Rather he contrasts muthos with perception, and action. He shows how myths are recited, orally, by professional bards, or exchanged orally between warriors on a battlefield. This allows diomedes to conceive of himself not just as a warrior, but within the network of xenia.