It is important to understand the nature of the Gods before trying to understand immortal and mortal interactions. Greek literature that dates as far back as Homer describes the Olympian Gods as anthropomorphic, meaning they have human characteristics. Their physical form takes the shape of a human being, which also includes human emotions. An example of a God taking the physical form of a human being takes place in the Odyssey when Athena, Goddess of wisdom, meets with Odysseys’ son to give him instructions. This makes the fact that the Gods acted and behaved much like humans a little more understandable. Walk like a duck and talk like a duck, you might as well be a duck.
What does this have to do with divine interactions with mortals? Since the Gods are basically human in characteristics, they have the same motives as mortals. And since the Gods have the same motives as mortals, their actions are very much so predictable. Devine interactions and relationships with mortal men can be compared to something like a hierarchy. The Gods are the ruling class, whereas the...
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... takes place in book 9 of the Iliad. Agamemnon and Achilles have a disagreement and Agamemnon later says that Zeus is the reason for his irrational thought. He tries to tell Achilles that his thoughts were not his own by saying later in book 19 that Zeus made him think such thoughts.
Sometimes it is just easier to believe that the Gods made people do things that nobody could explain. It is eminent that the ancient Greeks were firm believers in immortal/mortal interactions both physically and psychologically. Ancient Greeks recognized their Gods as an unseen force that had complete control over mortals. They also believed that the Gods intervening was a way of explaining why things happened the way they did.
Fagles, Robert, trans. The Iliad. New York: Penguin Books, 1990.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Farrar, 1998.
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