Berkeley : University of California, 1971. Nilsson, Martin P. A History of Greek Religion. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1964. Roman, Luke and Monica Roman. Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology.
One thing Ancient Greece was known for was its religion. In Greece the religion was based mostly on myths (“Religion”). There was a god or goddess that represented a different role in the everyday life of a Greek citizen (“Religion”). Each deity was believed to provide and protect for the people of Greece (“Religion”). “To receive benefits from the gods, they had to offer prayers, sacrifices, and gifts” (“Religion”).
Religion was an integral part of ancient Greek society and there were various ways in which the people could communicate directly or indirectly with the Olympian gods. Ancient Greeks could receive messages from the gods though a medium of a priestess or priest at oracles such as Delphi, Asclepius and Dodona. One of the biggest and most widespread ways to communicate indirectly with the gods was to sacrifice a valuable part of the harvest or a healthy animal such as an ox or sheep. Home rituals were also important to an ancient Greek household, as they were a way of communicating directly with the gods and they were performed in many aspects of life such as birth and marriage. Oracles were used in ancient Greece as a way of the gods communicating with mortals through a mediator; this was often at oracular shrines which the people turned to for advice (Joint Association of Classical Teachers, 1984).
Greek and Roman Creation have similarities and differences. “Greek mythology was created about one thousand years ago before Roman mythology. In the beginning Romans’ gods were thought not as humans but on the standard of which a human being should live their life. Roman creation is based on the Greek story of creation. However, Roman scholars and poets decided to change the names of the Greek gods and goddesses so that there would be a distinction between the two.” (“Greek Mythology vs. Roman Mythology”) Greek and Roman Religion had its first appearance in classical Literature; Greek Mythology already had its definitive form.
Greek palaces and temples, consisting of massive columns, were built for the gods or other religious purposes. The temples found at the center of the polis, the acropolis, were made as earthen dwellings for the gods, a place for storage of sacred objects and offerings, and also served out tasks for the polis such as keeping records. Temples, along with other sacred places were sometimes only open to certain peoples or cults, and people who were not ritually purified or had “religious pollution” were not allowed to enter sacred places (Adkins & Adkins 338). The fact that the religion centers are in the middle of the cities symbolizes how Greek religion was central to Grecian life, it was one of the most important things to them. The temples also represent the architectural and cultural achievements of the Greeks.
Greek Gods - The Historical Background Greek gods were an essential part of Greek mythology. Our proper knowledge of the ancient Greek gods can be traced back to Homer who wrote The Iliad and The Odysse. It is also believed that the myths were heavily influenced by the Mycenaean culture that existed in Greece from 1700 to 1100 BC. However there is some evidence that the beginnings of Greek mythology and beliefs can be traced back to the ancient Middle Eastern cultures. There are many similarities between the mythology of these ancient Middle Eastern cultures and the ancient Greeks.
Point Greek Mythology are the beliefs and ritual observances of the ancient Greeks, who became the first Western civilization about 2000 BC. It consists mainly of a body of diverse stories and legends about a variety of deities. The Greek myths were often recited aloud, not simply for amusement, but as an essential part of the education of Greek citizens. Piece of background knowledge Greek mythology had become fully developed by about the 700s BC. The mythology was interwoven with every aspect of Greek life.
After discoveries from the Trojan War, this logic had changed and become reversed, gathering people once again into Greek history. To the Ancient Greeks, Mythology was at the heart of everyday life, and highly regarded as part of their history. The word “myth” originates from the Greek word “mythos” meaning “speech” and later known as “fable” or “legend.” (Myth. 2). This shows how the age of gods and mortals, origin theories and the Greek conception of philosophy are highly evident in proving that Greek society had evolved around the folklore and storytelling that had helped shape their society in believing in gods in order for their safety and stability.
Both Roman and Greek religions were influenced by omens and sacrifice. In Greece, religion revolved heavily on sacrifices because these ancient people hoped to turn the favor of the gods. This favor was highly valued because the Greek citizens believed that having the gods favor would allow them to receive whatever they wished. The belief during this time period stated the only way to invoke the favor of the gods was through some form of sacrifice. These sacrifices would occur at feasts or special ceremonies and before and after a battle.