How did omens and prophesy influence citizens and government in ancient Greece and Rome?

Good Essays
Alexander the Great states, “Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.” In this way, Alexander shows the belief of fate in ancient times. By looking at this mindset, the beliefs of these ancient people can be seen. These ancient people also had a strong belief in the omens and prophecies given by the gods. In both Greek and Roman times, omens and prophecies structured the lives of these ancient people through their tradition, stories, and way of living.
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. In many cases the sacrifice was in some way related to the god to whom it was sacrificed (Parker).
By interpreting the signs that were came after the sacrifice, the ancient Greeks and Romans could tell the effect of the sacrifice. One form of this was the interpretation of the dead animal’s entrails by an oracle. Men hoped that the sacrifice would yield a good sign, which would eventually lead to the betterment of their individual life. Though this process was widely accepted during this time, many of the oracles were opposed by the governments that wished to separate religion and politics. Another way to tell if this sacrifice was valid was by an oracle interpreting the number of birds that they had seen (Parker).
Romans and G...

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...rophesy in ancient Greece and Rome are great in all that they do. These signs were part of the ancient religion at the time and still have enduring influences today. Through looking at literature and traditions at this time, and understanding can be reached on how these omens ruled their lives. Though these omens may have come from a very similar religion, the governments treated these prophesies in different ways. In Greece omens were opposed by many government leaders, because these leaders were trying to keep religion and government separate. In Rome, however, the government was created by omens and the region was connected to government throughout its existence. Thus omens and prophesies have greatly influenced the citizens and government in these ancient civilizations and prove that the effects of these omens are evident in all aspects of life during this time.
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