Today, the pictographic method survives in art, but is rarely found in literature. The archaic Greeks, like the American Indians, recorded events pictographically both in art and poetry,
and when by lapse of time the original meaning of a pictographic composition was forgotten, a new meaning was invented that satisfied contemporary curiosity.
A poetic pictograph was called a 'myth' by the Greeks, but the word had no connotation of untruth, as the adjective 'mythical' has in modern English.
The Romans were not so squeamish as the Greeks, but were on the whole a dull, literal-minded lot, and pictographs puzzled and sometimes annoyed them.
Horace is very scathing on the subject of Centaurs in one of his Epistles. He asks, who ever saw a half-human horse? He did not realise that Centaurs, Silenians,
and the like were merely Pelasgians, pictographically identified as belonging to the Horse, Goat or other totemic fraternities.
Excerpts from The Golden Fleece by Robert Graves, 1944