Gods of Worship

Gods of Worship

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Gods of Worship


Early beliefs are the origin for the standard of living today. Beliefs from long ago have adapted and evolved. Early concepts of Religion have some of the basic traits that are included in Religions even today. The most surprising fact is that many early cultures had no way to communicate with eachother but they still had many of the same beliefs and concepts. The early Aztecs and the early Greeks are perfect examples of these early cultures. Of course, this leaves many questions to be answered. What were the religious concepts of the early Greeks? What were the early concepts of the early Aztecs? How are these cultures the same?
     The early Greeks appear to be quite intelligent. The Greeks had a system of gods. They had 12 basic gods, often called the Olympians, called Zeus, Hera, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hestia, Hermes, Demeter, and Poseidon.
     Zeus was the head of the gods. He was the spiritual father of gods and people. His wife, Hera, was the queen of heaven and the guardian of marriage. Other gods associated with heaven were Hephaestus, god of fire and metal workers; Athena, goddess of wisdom and war; and Apollo, god of light, music, and poetry. Artemis was the goddess of wildlife and the moon; Ares, god of war; and Aphrodite, the goddess of love, were the other gods of heaven. These gods were joined by Hestia, goddess of the earth; and Hermes, messenger of the gods, and ruler of science and invention. Poseidon was the god of the sea, and he ruled a group of lesser sea gods. Last but not least, Demeter was the goddess of agriculture.
          The Greeks had many other lesser gods to go with the 12 chief gods. Their concept of the gods is very complex. They believed their gods were immortal and controlled all aspects of nature. The Greeks acknowledged that thier well being rested on the will of the gods. The Gods severly punished mortals who showed unacceptable behavior. However, the general relations between people and gods were friendly.
          Each Greek City devoted itself to a god(s). Often citizens of these citys would build temples of worship for their god(s). Children would learn about the gods in their home, and they would conduct worship inside their home. However, different parts of the home were reserved for prayer to different gods. The Greek civilization had a god for almost everything physical and emotional.

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Gods were a chief part of the Greek life. Although the Greeks evolved into different religions and thinking about gods in time, they still remember their original gods through stories and legends.
          The Aztec people were very powerful and advanced. They ruled the area of southern Mexico from the 14th to the 16th century. Their empire started in a swampy piece of land that surrounded a small island of dry land. Here, the Aztec priests saw a cactus growing out of a rock, and perched on top, an eagle eating a snake. According to religious legend, that was exactly the spot they were supposed to start their empire.
          In Aztec religion, numerous gods ruled over daily life. Among these were Uitzilopochtli, the sun god, and Coyolxauchi who was the moongodess. Tlaloc was the rain god, and Quetzalcoatl, inventor of the calender, associated with Venus, and god of ressurection.
          Human and Animal sacrifices were a major part of Aztec religion. For warriors, the ultimate honor was to be killed in battle or to be used as a sacrifice in religious ceremonys. Prisoners were often used in the less important ceremonys. Whoever was being sacrificed would assend the steps of the pyramid, where a priest would stretch them across a convex stone and rip their hearts out with a knife.
          How can two cultures have very similar beliefs but never come in contact with eachother? That is one question on the minds of many people. The Greeks and Aztecs had very similar beliefs. Both cultures were polytheistic, with gods to represent nature and other aspects of life. For both the Greeks and Aztecs religion was a major part of life. Although the Greeks never sacrificed anyone, being honored by the Gods was the biggest honor they could have. In life everything was for the Gods. In sports both cultures honored the gods either by dedication or sacrifice. The answer to why both cultures had similar religious beliefs, among other beliefs, has yet to be found.
          Like dust in the wind, early cultures rose and fell often. Although some cultures lasted longer through war and peace, all have disapeared. Only a fraction of the old culture has remained the same, but many of the old beliefs have evolved. Religion is no exception. Religion has evolved and although civilization is spread out, everything still remains the same.
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