In Greek literature, the role of sacrifice served many functions. The literal meaning of sacrifice, in most instances, juxtaposes the consequences of its perpetrations, ultimately establishing beneficial results. Most importantly, sacrifice was the basis of the relations maintained between men and gods, establishing a means of contact and interaction. Additionally, the practice of ritual sacrifice helped to classify the gods, and differentiate them from one another: double aspects of a single deity, hierarchical relations between two dietes, or the outstanding nature of one particular deity. And finally, sacrifice functions directly to clarify the political rights of each individual and reveal the structures of their social body (Sissa and Marcel).
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”).
This was of great importance to the Roman people, and helped the empire to expand through its strong religious centre. "The presence of the gods gives the past a certain dignity, and if any nation deserves to be allowed to claim that its ancestors were gods, that people is ours." Livy As can be seen, the strength of the Roman Empire may have had a great deal to do with the belief that the emperors became deities once they had died. This supported them, and strengthened their power, as will be discussed later. The city of Rome itself was also built under religious beliefs: Romulus and Remus, the sons of the god Mars and a mortal (Rhea Silvia), had been suckled by wolves from birth.
Moreover, these topics will be examined in relation to the twelve Olympian gods and their associates. The ancient Greeks practiced a religion that was in effect, a building block to many ensuing pagan religions. This religion revolved around their reverence to the gods. Essentially, the Greeks worshipped numerous gods, making their religion polytheistic. They believed that exercising the opportunity to choose between a wide array of gods to worship offered them a great sense of freedom that they treasured.
Ancient Greeks would regard with respect, the spirits of dead men, women, and children through cult activities focused around the location of the dead individual’s presumed gravesites. The individuals who would receive such honors were referred to as heroes. If the hero was honored in a way that is true, this could be indicated by prosperity and fertility among animals, plants and humans, which was community-wide. If the hero did not receive such suitable honors, due to the fault of one person or action, the whole community could be plagued with sterility and infertility. From the very beginning, hero worship was known as ancestor worship, but by the classical period these two traditions had become separated.
Maybe not in the sense of worship, but people are intrigued to figure out the state of mind of the ancient people that once worshipped these gods. Some civilzations worshipped these gods in hope that they would help them in their daily lives. Most civilizations had gods for everything taht imacted their lives. Civilizations had gods that controlled the weather, the harvest, or
They used the important buildings to worship their gods. Just like the Greeks, Romans built temples to clarify certain gods and goddesses and to worship them. “Each god needed an image – usually a statue or relief in stone or bronze – and an altar or temple at which to offer prayers and sacrifices”. Also, Romans viewed humans as very important aspects in life. They built many buildings for entertainment.
writes, Not only did the great characters of the epic serve as models of conduct for later generations of Greeks, but the figures of the Olympian gods retained, in the prayers, poems, and sculpture of the succeeding centuries, the shapes and attributes set down by Homer. () The Greeks believed in many gods and oracles. The oracle in Oedipus the King is the oracle of Apollo, the Greek god of the sun. Oedipus the King represents Antiquity best because it encompasses the polytheistic beliefs of the time. It is important to understand the beliefs of the time in order to understand what gave the people hope and motivation to perform all deeds.
These myths shaped traditions and the lifestyle of the Greeks, yet additionally myths established morals for the Greeks to follow so as to please or avoid punishment by their Gods. The Greeks learned their socially correct way to behave, treat others, enforce laws, and how to fight battles through tales of mishaps or triumphs in the stories of great heroes, such as Achilles or the stories of their Gods. In the Homeric period the two Greeks poets that influenced and created early Greek myths or religion were Homer and Hesiod. The poems of Hesiod and Homer offered explanations for how humans came to exist as well as who controls and maintains order in the universe. Homer (fl.
The stories often dealt with problems or taught lessons. They were also the focus of religious beliefs most of the time. To find the actual roots of Roman religion is rather difficult because it is mostly based off ancient Greek religion and certain stories and beliefs that were circulating around the Italian peninsula at the time. But the Romans were adamant in identifying their own gods and culture, so they adapted the ancient Greek gods to suit their lifestyle slightly better. The very beginning all the roman stories was the tale of Romulus and Remus.