This led to forming many cults to start new religious and philosophical systems. Being “polluted” ritually is an example of the cult, ritualistic aspects of Greek religion … With the rare exceptions mentioned above, Hades was the universal destination of the dead in Greek religion until the latter half of the 5th century BCE. This complexity extended to their view of the afterlife. Sometimes, this can exist in the modern, day for example with holistic healers. "I'd rather be a day-laborer on earth working for a man of little property than lord of all the hosts of the dead." Believing in the same pantheon of gods 4. The "gates of Hades" were guaded by the fearsome hound Cerberus, who wags his tail for new arrivals but does not allow anyone to leave. ), or even earlier. In many societies, ancient and modern, religion has performed a major role in their development, and the Roman Empire was no different. The ancient Greeks worshipped a variety of gods. And lastly, much of Christianity was simply the adoption of the Greek religion with the names changed. "fate." The religious customs of ancient Greece varied greatly from place to place and among the different classes. These are not merely literary fictions; they reflect the beliefs of people who knew that though it might be necessary to offer prayer and sacrifice to the gods, it was not sufficient. Only terrible sinners (like Tantalus, Tityus and Sisyphus) were punished after death; similarly, only a select few ended up in the paradisical Elysian Fields. Amazons - race of female warriors 2. Many of the infamous structures, such as the Parthenon and the Acropolis, were influenced by a particular Greek god or goddess. Although there were atheists among the ancient Greeks, Greek religion pervaded community life. Nevertheless, the "pantheons current among different communities have enough in common to be seen as essentially one system, and were generally understood as such by the Greeks." ReligionFacts provides free, objective information on religion, world religions, comparative religion and religious topics. Introduction to the Ancient Greeks. The beliefs of the average Greek or Roman might have been influenced both by traditional beliefs about the gods and ideas derived from the teachings of the philsophers. Religion played a key role in ancient Greek architecture. --Achilles, in The Iliad. The idea of the “Asclepions” was actually the first form of health spa or retreat. The treatment and entertainment of a guest were of great importance in ancient Greece. Learn. 4. If you check out the ancient Greek religion, you will be impressed to find out a lot of gods and goddesses that the ancient Greek worshiped. It showed their social class and people believed, that by treating their guest properly, they can come in favor of god Zeus, known as the god of travelers and guests. Athena 3. Although many of the building's only purpose was to serve as a temple to the god or goddess in . Previous section. Although the treatments and beliefs are less extreme, the main concept of the Asclepions is … Fate, while not a personal god, was nevertheless "half-personal because so clearly moralistic." For example, we have read about competition to be able to string Odysseus bows. Ancient Greek Religious Beliefs. Ancient Greek religious practice, essentially conservative in nature, was based on time-honored observances, many rooted in the Bronze Age (3000–1050 B.C. The wonderful art of the Greeks was a tribute to their religion, and from the Greek religion speculative philosophy grew. The ancient Greeks believed that Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in mainland Greece, was the home of the gods. 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