“Knowledge is power” (Francis Bacon); the ancient Greeks believed in the tellings of oracles; the knowledge they received from them was considered sacred. Oracles play a great part in many myths involving both mortals and gods. There were many different oracles throughout the ancient Greek history. The oracles play their part in each myth and the characters base most of their choices on what they are told. The Greeks thought very highly of the oracles.
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). All the oracular shrines had a fixed method of divination. They observed signs, movement of birds or even the rustle of leaves. Dreams were also often interpreted and a popular method that was used later on involved the use of an entranced priestess called a Pythia who was interpreted by a priest (Oracle, 2013). The most influential oracle was Delphi, though there were many other oracles that were available to the ancient Greek people and they used many different methods of divination, such as, rustling leaves, rushing waters and reflecting mirrors and also inhaling gases or smoke (Joint Association of Classical Teachers, 1984).
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.
The gods would allow them to see what will happen and they would take what they witnessed and tell whoever it concerned. However Seers weren’t the only people who would have visions, Oracles would too. These are Priests who live and dedicate their lives to be in the Temple of the gods. These two different types of visionaries would play an important role in Oedipus Rex. Jocasta’s and Laius’ fate all depends of Oedipus.
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.
Many literary works display the power and jobs of the goddesses. The Greek people lived to please the deities in hope of gaining a better lifestyle. The goddesses of Greece acted as an important part of Greek mythology ( Hamilton 28-35 ). Historians placed the goddesses into categories. The first category included the major goddesses of Olympus.
In Greek Mythology, perhaps one of the most rudimental yet one of the most important elements are the Greek Gods and Goddesses. The ancient Greeks created the stories about the lives and journeys of the Greek Gods, known as myths, simply as an endeavor to elucidate nature and all phenomena which were difficult to explain using modern science and logic. These myths about the Gods were spread around the world by explorers and storytellers, and later merged with Greek religion. To this day, numerous myths survived through many writings and through much art. Each of these myths is very unique, and moreover, tells us much about the Greek Gods.
Often dreams were interpreted. A later and popular method involved the use of entranced persons whose ecstatic cries were interpreted by trained attendants. Before an oracle was questioned consultants underwent rites of purification and sacrifice. There were many established oracles in ancient Greece, the most famous being those of Zeus at Dodona and of Apollo at Delphi and at Didyma in Asia Minor. Other oracular shrines were located in Syria, Egypt, and Italy.
The Odyssean Gods and Their Stories The Odyssean gods are well known throughout Greek mythology. These gods include the following: Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Hermes, Ino, Circe, and Calypso. Throughout the copious books found in Homer’s Odyssey, these gods allow for the main character, Odysseus, to continue his journey home without death catching up with him. Throughout the story, the reader is acquainted with all of the Odyssean gods, and is left with an odd perspective about each and every one of them. Without knowledge about Greek mythology, the audience may be left confused and curious about the origins of the gods and goddesses mentioned throughout the books.
The gods of the ancient Greeks had a complicated genealogy with many generations of gods and goddesses. The tales of these gods were woven into an immense variety of fables. The fables of the Greek gods were handed down through word of mouth, from one generation to another, long before written logs were used (History). The fables that were passed down show that the Greeks used the tales to give answers to the questions, such as where do we come from? How did we get here?