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Greek Gods in the Ancient World

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What role do the Greek Gods play in the Ancient World? Why do certain Gods have power over nature or human emotions? Are they different in the Ancient World?

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Background:

Key to the existence of Greek religion were the stories and fables transmitted from one generation to the next. Some tales were told in the home, from parents to children. Some tales were told by professional poets who were charged with keeping alive the traditions of the community. Not all were influential on a personal level, but they were obviously successful in that the beliefs survived. The two most important transmitters of Greek traditions were Hesiod and Homer. They systematized a large number of stories and beliefs; as a consequence, their writings achieved something of a canonical status among the Greeks. It is, in fact, because of them that we can even speak of a Greek religion as opposed to multiple, related cults. Greek religion may have been structured by the mythology transmitted through legendary tales, but that doesn't mean everyone accepted all of the stories uncritically. Skeptical reflection, though, didn't really take off until later. The first stage was in the extensive compilation of multiple stories into encyclopedic collections - so long as myths retained the variation that accompanied a purely oral environment, any exacting study and critique was unthinkable. Next, during the Hellenic Age, was the development of history and philosophy as separate fields of study. (http://atheism.about.com/library/decisions/religion/blgrk_rituals03.htm).
Greek mythology/religion is a way the early Greeks explained their reality and the world around them. Mythology is defined as a body of myths (sacred stories) of a particular culture; the study and interpretation of such myths. Example: Zeus was ...

Solution Summary

These questions are addressed: What role do the Greek Gods play in the Ancient World? Why do certain Gods have power over nature or human emotions? Are they different in the Ancient World? Supplemented with an informative article on the Greek religions roday.

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