Ancient Greece Religion

Greece has always known to be a very religious country and so was ancient Greece. They have in numerous gods whom they dedicatedly worship. Most of the planets in our solar system are named after Greek gods. Ancient Greek Religion was based on belief. And, each even had a god associated with it.

That is how there were gods of love, war, sea, farming and so on and so forth. The relationship between the ancient Greeks and their gods was rather complicated. The relationship was personal, geographical or general. In the personal relationship with gods, a person interacted directly with the god.

Attic red figure squat Lekythos

Ancient Greek Religion

In a geographical relationship, a god favored a city or state over another city or state. The ancient Greeks believed that the gods were physically and intellectually similar to the mortals. The ancient Greek gods were presumed to have emotions and that is why Greek mythology is filled with tales of revenge, greed, jealousy, and wars among gods.

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The King of Gods

Zeus was the King of Gods and the gods fought and planned for dominance either under Zeus or against him. The ancient Greeks believed that the gods decided their fate so with was futile to have free will or try and outwit the gods.

This would explain the sacrifices and gifts the people of ancient Greece would offer to gods if they sought some form of assistance from them. For instance, a sea voyage was never undertaken before making an offering to Poseidon, god of sea and ocean.

The culture and Religion

In Ancient Greece, there was no issue of converting people to one religion. All people of one culture had the same religion and the religion was defined, they thought, by their experience with God, or deities. Other religions were to them barbarian. An overview of their religions can be seen in their artworks and philosophies.

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Ancient Greek Rituals

The practice of Ancient Greek Religion involves both private and public aspects. Within the home, a religion focused on the hearth and the goddess Hestia. The maintaining of the home fire was an important ritual which served as a focus for worship. Other rituals involved prayers, meals, and storytelling. They also resorted to spiritual methods to find peace.

Lastly, much of Christianity was simply the adoption of the Greek religion with the names changed. As ancient Greece started interacting with other cultures through wars, religion started evolving. Religion in ancient Greece was impacted by Islam, Christianity and early Roman belief system which is evident even today in Greece.