The Gods : A Pillar Of Ancient Greek Culture Essays

The Gods : A Pillar Of Ancient Greek Culture Essays

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Along with politics, religion is something that everyone associates as a pillar of ancient Greek culture. The gods played an enormous role in the everyday lives of the Greeks. Although the fantastical gods of ancient Greece do not exist, the impact the gods had on the greeks was real. One of the best ways to see how the Greeks understood the role of the gods is to read stories or plays from Greek culture. Reading this popular culture of the Greeks makes it clear that the role of the gods was not always the same for everyone. Homer’s version of, The Iliad, portrays gods who have human characteristics, enormous moral influence, and take physical actions to change the course of events of the tale. In, The Iliad, the god Apollo literally flicks Patroclus off the wall of Troy. “Three times Patroclus reached the parapet, and three times Apollo’s fingers flicked against the human’s shield and pushed him off. But when he came back a fourth time, like a spirit from beyond, Apollo’s voice split the daylight in two: ‘Get back, Patroclus, back where you belong. Troy is fated to fall, but not to you, more even to Achilles, a better man by far.’” (Iliad pg. 96) The passage displays how real the gods were to some Greeks. The gods were powerful, forceful, and able to take action for or against any mere mortal. The flip side of the gods is the view that they are a moral influence. A constant watcher and reminder to the Greeks: be upright and moral. This pathway of belief played an integral role in shaping the plot of Sophocles’, Antigone. The character of Antigone bases many of her actions on her beliefs that the ancient laws of the gods are more important than the laws of man. Antigone makes this bold statement whilst arguing with Creon: she say...


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...ens gives. “In sum, I say that our city as a whole is a lesson for Greece, and that each of us presents himself as a self-sufficient individual, disposed to the widest possible diversity of actions, with every grace and great versatility.” (Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War pg. 43)
The ancient Greek city states all agreed on the importance of politics, religion, personal honor, and hubris, but the solutions and answers they developed took on a unique character and role. The beauty of the Greek city states is that each common ground was turned over and answered in different ways; creating a well-rounded answer from different perspectives. Many of our cultures and governments today have borrowed little bits from the culture of the Greeks. A wealth of information, learning from the Greek city states provides developed answers for age old, cross-culture topics.

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