How the Greek Revered Their Gods

explanatory Essay
3757 words
3757 words

How the Greek revered their gods

In ancient times, the Greeks had absolute and undeniable respect for their gods. They demonstrated their admiration by putting in place many rituals and celebrations to reverence the gods that they loved and feared in order to ensure harmony with them. In particular, the focus will be on the religious beliefs of the Greeks, including prayer and sacrifice, as well as on festivals and the arts, such as the ancient Olympic games and theatre. These aspects of their culture made a significant contribution to their quality of life. 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. After all, the Greeks were known for their intellectual distinction of which their means of worship played a huge part. Each city-state, or polis, thus had an affiliated god who protected and guided its residents. Within a given polis, the belief in common gods unified the people. Ultimately, the Greeks yearned for this unity and order in the universe, which is a characteristic that is not unlike that of people today. It might seem contradictory that they believed in many gods and sought organization at the same time, for larger numbers are inherently unstable. But, to the god-fearing Greeks, each god represented a different facet of life that together upheld an organized universe if each of these gods was properly appeased. To satisfy these gods, the Greeks participated in activities such as prayer and sacrifice and erected divine temples and centers for oracles in honor of specific gods. There is evidence of this institutionalization early on in the reign of the Olympian gods, thus forming the Olympian religion.

The Olympian religion lacked the presence of true sentimentality, and the gods were not seen as forgiving or "flawless" as the Christian God is often portrayed. The Greek gods were portrayed as humans, which meant that they were not perfect. That is, the gods made mistakes, felt pain (e.g. Aphrodite in love with the mortal Adonis), and succumbed to anger and their tempers (e.

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  • Explains that at the temple entrance stood an altar, which was required to have a place for the sacred fire, and once it had been used, the altar was not to be moved.
  • Explains that sacrifice was a communal event through which the greeks believed that they were bound together with the gods.
  • Explains that the greeks went to the oracles because communication through a deity was possible there to seek advice or guidance.
  • Explains that a greek wedding ceremony was performed in succession of places. it included the preparation of the bride, removal from her father's house, reception, and presents.
  • Explains that the bride sacrificed her childhood toys to artemis, the virgin goddess, on the day before the wedding. the marital journey from one house to the other happened at night by torchlight.
  • Explains that prayers and rituals united the greeks in a common goal and gave their life meaning.
  • Explains that the greeks held festivals, athletic games, and the arts in honour of the gods. the pythian games were held at delphi, nemea and isthmian games.
  • Explains that the first olympic games started in 776 bc, and included only one competition, the footrace.
  • Explains that olympia became a principal site for the worship of zeus. individuals donated buildings, statues, altars and other dedications to the god.
  • Explains that competition in the olympic games was restricted to greeks only; people who were not greek could not compete. the emphasis on individual athletic accomplishment through public competition was connected to the greek ideal of excellence.
  • Explains that not all athletes lived up to the code of excellence. those who were discovered cheating were fined, and the money was used to make bronze statues of zeus.
  • Explains that the olympic festivals were so revered that a truce was announced to allow visitors and athletes to travel safely to olympia. wars were suspended, armies were prohibited from entering elis or threatening the games.
  • Explains that there were several non-athletic festivals throughout the year associated with different gods, such as anthesteria, mounukhia, and maia.
  • Explains that during the summer solstice, there was a festival called plunteria, which was the festival for washing the ancient statue of athena.
  • Explains that during autumn, there was a minor thanksgiving festival for apollo called boedromia, and puanepsia, which sought divine blessings for the autumn sowing.
  • Explains that agricultural festivals were more concerned with raising human spirits and reviving the crops than with the return of the sun.
  • Explains that religious festivals and rituals were accompanied by hymns to the specific god, and seasonal festivals included singing and dancing. greek tragedy honored the wine god dionysos.
  • Explains how the greeks reverenced their gods in order to maintain a harmonious relationship with them. interaction and worship of them was part of life.
  • Explains walters, h.b., a guide to the exhibition illustrating greek and roman life.
  • Explains that the greeks had absolute and undeniable respect for their gods. they put in place many rituals and celebrations to reverently revere their gods in order to ensure harmony with them.
  • Explains that the ancient greeks practiced a religion that revolved around their reverence to the gods, making their religion polytheistic.
  • Explains that the olympian religion lacked sentimentality, and the greek gods were portrayed as humans, which meant that they were not perfect.
  • Explains that the greeks used the gods as a means to justify anything that they could not understand or scientifically explain.
  • Explains that the major form of worship occurred through prayer and sacrifice at temples, at the oracles or in the homes of the greeks.
  • Explains that the greeks would also think about the gods during their daily routine, but if they had a specific request, the worshipper would take an offering directly to god's temple.
  • Explains that the greeks went to these places of worship to make offerings or present sacrifices to maintain protection from the gods and keep order.
  • Explains that the temples were built with a high regard for nature, as the greeks' was an earth-based culture and never drastically changed the environment in which they were constructed.
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