The Ancient Greeks were Polytheists

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The ancient Greeks were polytheists (the worship of or belief in multiple deities) who viewed their gods as a family of immortals who intervened in the lives of human beings. There are many Greek gods, however there are 12 major Olympian gods. The reason for the name Olympian gods, is because of the mythical place Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus was the highest mountain in Greece and was so full of beauty and uniqueness which led the ancient Greeks to believe that that’s where their gods are from and lived. The twelve gods consist of, Zeus- the king of the god and sky, Hera- the queen of the gods, Poseidon- the god of the sea, Demeter- the god of agriculture & grain, Athena- the god of war & wisdom, Ares- the god of war & strife, Apollo- the god of solar light, medicine & music, Artemis- the god of hunting, wildlife & the moon, Hermes- the male messenger of the gods, Aphrodite- god of love, beauty & protection and Hestia- the god of hearth and domestic life. It was important to the Greeks to please the gods because the happy gods helped you, but unhappy gods punished you. People could pray in their homes or there were also public shrines where they could pray and leave gifts.

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It is believed that Greek mythology might’ve developed from the religions of the people of Crete. Though there have been parts of Greek mythology beliefs around for a while, it wasn’t until around 700 B.C that Greek mythology had become fully developed. The earliest Greek myths were part of an oral tradition that began in the Bronze Age. states, Greek mythology emphasized the weakness of humans in contrast to the great and terrifying powers of nature.and In the Greek imagination, literature, and art, the gods were given human bodies and characters – both good and bad – and just as ordinary men and women, they married, had children The gods even became patrons of cities. The Greeks did look to their gods for guidance however, Greek mythology had unique characteristics.

Ancient religions such as Hinduism or Judaism, Greek mythology did not involve special revelations or spiritual teachings. It also varied widely in practice and belief, with no formal structure, such as a church government, and no written code, such as a sacred book. Some Gods were worshipped at sacred sites and temples in Greek communities in ceremonies carried out by priests and their attendants. Some of the rituals people did were to have animal sacrifices, libations, myths to explain the origins of mankind and give the gods a human face, temples which dominated the urban landscape, city festivals and national sporting and artistic competitions.” Believe it or not, the Greeks did not believe that all the gods held power.

They believed that some did have special powers, but they were equally as flawed as humans were.
Though Greek mythology was fiction, the myths were viewed as true accounts. Greek mythology has had a great influence on the arts and literature of Western civilization, thanks to the Greek culture. The influence of Greek mythology on our world today can be found in our science, arts and literature and our language. Most may not be familiar with Greek mythology, or at least that’s what they think.

Taken from Impact of Greek Mythology on Western culture, they state, most people who have no formal knowledge of Greek mythology still know that Hercules was a strongman and that Venus (the Roman version of the Greek Aphrodite) is the goddess of love. Despite the fact that very few people still speak ancient Greek, the Greek mythology has shaped the way we speak on many levels. For example, in today’s age an unpleasant woman may be called a “harpy” which comes from Greek mythology as a winged monster with a woman’s torso and a bird’s feet. Although we get many individual comparisons, we also received expressions, proverbs and cliches that are direct references to ancient Greek myths. For example, the expression “caught between a rock and a hard place” comes from the tale about sailors being caught between the monsters Scylla and Charybdis of Greek mythology.

Even many constellations are named after characters, beings or monsters from Greek myths, like Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Hercules and Gemini. Some parents or pet owners may choose to name their kid or pets after the Greek Gods or goddesses, some common names from the Greek Gods you might’ve heard before may be Zeus(God of thunder and the sky), Jason (a Greek hero famous for his role as the leader of the Argonaut), Athena (goddess of wisdom), or Helen (legendary beauty from Greek mythology). Greek mythology is around us more than we think of it to be.

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The Ancient Greeks Were Polytheists. (2019, Jul 19). Retrieved February 4, 2023 , from

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