Religion In Ancient Greece
Religion is feelings, beliefs and, emotions that define the relationships between people and god. Belief in God was created in almost the same way in all civilizations. Natural phenomena had played a major role in the formation of people’s religious beliefs. When people were faced with storms, fires, earthquakes and more, they began to think that there were more powerful things. At that time the polytheistic system was more spread than other religions. Polytheism defines almost all religions except Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Mythology consists of stories about heroes, a super-natural force and is also an important part of all civilizations. If we are talking about religion and mythology, Ancient Greece is the first thing comes to mind. The ancient Greek religion and myths were highly regarded because the Greeks thought that religious powers were caring for them. Greek mythology was also one of the most popular things which represent ancient Greece.
The Greeks had believed in gods and goddesses. Over time, these beliefs began to take on a larger role. When the government system started to work and cities ruled by people, society may disobey them. Men who have management skills and power were chosen as a leader by society. However, as the number of the population grew, managing them became more difficult. It was understood that the crowd would not obey one like themselves. It was difficult to believe because leaders also can be defeated. Society wanted to see someone, more powerful and special. People who want to have power had to find something that makes them different. Everyone believed in God’s power and feared God. What if represent someone who can talk directly to God. So, liars who wanted to manage the crowd started to use religion as a tool. Let’s call these groups “Priests”. Priests were seen as important human beings as they were believed to have the power to communicate with the gods. How do priests stop them if people do not follow the rules? The answer was so simple. If you disobey the rules, God will punish you. If you behave well, good things will happen to you. In ancient Greece, people were polytheist, which means they believed in many deities. Although there were several gods and goddesses, Olympian gods were considered dominants of the religion system. “There were many gods but only a few major gods; it was customary to speak of ‘the twelve gods’ meaning the twelve principal divinities.” These deities are Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, Hestia, and Dionysius. There were some different things made their gods and goddesses different from others. Greek deities looked like a human and even they might kill each other. Zeus was the leader of all Gods. In Ancient Greece, people believed that different gods and goddesses had different responsibilities and represented even some abstract ideas. Why did Greeks believe in different gods? All people did not take the same place in society. In society, everyone had different jobs, different purposes and they pray the gods depending on their situations. God may not be enough for all these things. On the other hand, there are a lot of kinds of natural phenomena and this also makes possible to have different deities. For example, Poseidon was considered God of sea and seamen prayed to him. There were also Gods who responsible for wealth, commerce and so on. This made easier to manage people. The Greeks had built a lot of temples and they dedicated these temples to gods and goddesses. Worship had taken a big place in Greeks life. Worship of Greeks was an almost daily ritual and even making sacrifices. The most common form of worship was sacrificing animals, especially goats and sheep. For example, it was thought that this was some kind of sacrifice when the families reserved part of the dinner for Hestia. The Greeks believed life after death. Priests made people believe that but why. The reason is if people do not live well, they might do something against the government. Society might think that I have nothing to lose. However if they believe in life after death they will definitely, afraid to be against priests. Because, it was considered that if you did not behave well in this life, you will also spoil your life after death. People who feel death, they started to pray to Hades. In ancient Greece, the Olympic Games were very famous and these games aimed to honor Zeus. Ten heroes also take a great place in Greek mythology. For example, “Thetis bathed Achilles as an infant in the waters of the River Styx, thus making him all but immortal: only the heel by which she held him remained vulnerable, however, as prophesized, this proved costly because Achilles eventually died from an arrow wound in that heel.”
In conclusion, religion is one of the main parts of all civilizations. In my opinion, it is impossible to imagine any civilization without religion. Religion has affected almost every part of civilization and is an indispensable part of civilization. In ancient Greece, priests used religion to control people. In ancient Greece, religion was basically a religion of the story. Olympian gods were considered more powerful and faithful. All gods and goddesses had a special duty. Worship and sacrificing took an important place in the Greek religious system. Greeks followed daily rituals and worship in temples. Temples were considered the holy place and people came there to pray gods. Greek mythology is rich with stories and content of these stories are about the nature of the universe, deities, heroes and their life.