The Greek Gods And The Father Of The Gods

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The ancient Greeks worshipped many gods, each with a distinct personality and domain. Greek myths explained the origins of the gods and their individual relations with mankind. There were twelve deities in the Greek pantheon who were known as the twelve Olympians. Foremost was Zeus, the sky god and father of the gods, to whom the ox and the oak tree were sacred. Zeus is the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the sky, weather, thunder, law, order and fate. He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea, whom he overthrew, and brother-husband to Hera. In this paper I will discuss the symbols that often accompanied Zeus along with the beliefs that were held about these symbols along with Zeus himself, the cult practices that were performed to honor the father of the gods, the interesting relationship held between the Greeks and the divine and finally the event that came to be in the honor of Zeus and is still very prevalent today. Being the major god of the Greek pantheon, Zeus had cult sites all over Greece. The Greeks worshipped in sanctuaries located, according to the nature of the particular deity, either within the city or in the countryside. A sanctuary was a well-defined sacred space set apart usually by an enclosure wall. Unlike a modern church, a temple was not a place where congregations gathered. Rather, the temple received individuals or small groups for prayer or sacrifice. The temple's priest or priestesses might be minor functionaries under the direction of a high priest. This sacred precinct, also known as a temenos, contained the temple with a monumental cult image of the deity, an outdoor altar, statues and offerings to the gods. The statues of the gods were generally made of wood, stone, clay o... ... middle of paper ... ...enge any wrong done to a stranger. As Zeus Agoraeus, Zeus watches over business at the agora and punishes dishonest traders. As Zeus Aegiochos he is the bearer of the Aegis with which he strikes terror into the impious and his enemies. He avenges those who were wronged, and punishes those who have committed a crime, for he watches the doings and sufferings of all men. He is also regarded as the original source of all prophetic power, from whom all prophetic signs come from. Everything good as well as bad comes from Zeus, and according to his own choice he assigns their good or evil lot to mortals and fate itself was subordinate to him. Zeus played a dominant role, presiding over the Greek Olympian pantheon. He fathered many of the heroes and was featured in many of their local cults. Zeus was the embodiment of Greek religious beliefs and the archetypal Greek deity.

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