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Ancient Greece – Religion

Ancient Greece was a society very much based on religion. With periods of great conquest, the religion underwent many evolutions.

Ancient Greece – Religion

Greek gods were plentiful. You know many of them, even if you don’t realize it. A quick look at the planets in the solar system reveals names derived from Greek gods. For instance, Uranus is considered one of the two founding gods of the world by the ancient Greeks. That being said, ancient Greece religion was a bit more complicated than just names.

Religion in ancient Greece was based on belief in what we will call event deities. There were gods for love, war, the sea and so on. The gods were also anthropomorphic, which means the Greeks believed them to be physically and intellectually similar to humans. They were also attributed with strong emotions, as evidenced by the endless tales of their jealousy, revenge and wars.

The Greeks believed Zeus was the king of the gods. In turn, the gods fought and schemed for dominance under and against Zeus. They resided in Mt. Olympus and were known as the Olympians. These Olympian gods had come into power by defeating the Titan, a previous set of gods.

The relationship between the people of ancient Greece and the gods was complicated. The relationship could be personal when a god interacted directly with a person, geographic when a god favored a city or state, or very general. Regardless of the relationship, the Greeks believed the gods decided much of their fate, to wit, free will wasn’t much of a factor in the game. Given this view, the Greeks often made sacrifices and gifts to the gods, particularly those they sought assistance from. A long ocean voyage was never undertaken without first making an offering to Poseidon.

As Greece began to interface with other cultures, typically through war, religious views began to evolve. Islam, Christianity and the early Roman belief system had major impacts and all can still be seen today in modern Greece. Alas, the ancient Greece religion of belief in Olympian gods such as Zeus has passed into ancient history.

Richard Monk is with FactsMonk.com - a site with facts about everything. Visit us to read more about Greece.

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