Monsters exist in order to be defeated and, preferably, slain. (134)
Ken Dowden’s The Uses of Greek Mythology (Routledge, 1992) provides an excellent guide to the ways in which Greek myth was used to construct Greek historiography that was set in the more remote past.
I particularly like the following quote from the book, which should be meditated upon at length by a fundamentally uncritical strand of scholarship which is unfortunately prevalent today within biblical studies:
No matter how fictional or artificial local myth seems to us, it is always capable of being treated as strict history by interested parties. (89)