The Greek religion: Huge temples, Deities with unique powers
One of the oldest, the Greek religion is popular for its distinctness. It originated in ancient Greece and a lot of people still follow it. The Greek religion is famous across the world for God & Goddess, gigantic temples, beautiful festivals, artistic narration and many more things.
In the ancient era, the Greeks believed in religion because they thought that it would make their lives better. This ancient religion is a polytheistic religion, which means they believe in more than 1 god! Fun fact, the Greek religion is the same as Roman’s with almost the same deities.
90% of the Greece population follows the Greek religion. This ancient religion also had an impact on early Italian religions. Many archeologists find similarities between Hindu & Greek deities.
What’s the source of the Greek religion?
The most interesting thing about the Greek religion is, there is no ancient original text to explain the culture. Instead, until the Bronze Age, it was just an oral tradition of sharing the myths. Later in the Archaic and Classical Age people wrote the literature.
In ‘Theogony’ (Book with religious narration) a poet named Hesiod 1st time wrote the details of the Greek religion. He has mentioned the origin, journey of the universe from nothing to being, Gods and Goddess, elements, etc in it.
During the 8th century, a poet called Homer mentioned the Greek religion in his epic the Iliad and the Odyssey. However, he didn’t mention the Gods and Goddesses and narrated only the mythical stories.
Who are the gods and goddesses in the Greek religion?
There are major 12 Olympian Gods and Goddesses who are a lot like normal humans and live on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. Each one has a unique personality and power that defines them. Gods and Goddesses are everywhere from their lives to the environment around them. Happy deities would reward them and unhappy ones would punish, this is the basic belief.
These deities don’t only look like a human; in fact, they have good & bad characters same as humans. They even get married and have kids like any normal human being. The Greeks worship these deities every day. These Gods and Goddesses could transform themselves into anything as mentioned in the Greek religion.
Following are the main Gods & Goddesses :
1. Zeus: The king of all the gods and the god of thunder and sky who rules Mount Olympus as a king.
2. Hera: The queen of the gods and goddess of women, childbirth and marriage. She is also the wife and sister of the king Zeus. Yes, Zeus married his sister!
3. Aphrodite (Venus): The goddess of beauty and love.
4. Apollo (Apollo): The god of Sun & light, prophecy music and poetry and knowledge.
5. Ares (Mars): The god of courage and war.
6. Artemis (Diana): The goddess of hunting, animals and the Moon.
7. Athena (Minerva): The goddess of wisdom and defense.
8. Demeter (Ceres): The goddess of agriculture and harvest.
9. Dionysus (Bacchus): The god of wine and festivity.
10. Hephaestus (Vulcan): The god of fire, metalworking and sculpture. He is also the son of Zeus and Hera.
11.Hermes (Mercury): The god of travel, hospitality and trade. He is also Zeus’s personal messenger.
12.Poseidon (Neptune): The god of the sea, streams, earthquakes and horses.
How are the temples in the Greek religion?
In the Greek religion, the temples are home to the deities, not a place to worship for ordinary people. Temples would normally have one god or goddess’ humongous statue in it to rest and priests would normally take care of the temples. The Greeks celebrate festivals and religious ceremonies outside the temples. According to a belief of the Greek religion, priests can talk to the Gods and Goddesses.
Many festivals are held in honor of the deities. The temples show the wealth, riches and power of the city. E.g. temples built in Athens are from the best stone and are decorated with paintings, statues and carvings. People worship different gods and goddesses according to their wishes.
What are the famous narrations of the Greek religion?
It tells us great stories of human heroes as well which teach us about different human natures. They are put in a very interesting way in the Greek religion.
1. Heracles, the adventurer who performed 12 impossible labors for King Eurystheus and later people worshipped him as a god for his accomplishment.
2. Pandora, the first woman whose curiosity brought evil to mankind.
3. Pygmalion, the king who fell in love with an ivory statue.
4. Arachne, the weaver who was turned into a spider for her arrogance.
5. Handsome Trojan prince Ganymede, he became the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses.
6. Midas, the king with the golden touch.
7. Narcissus, the young man who fell in love with his own reflection.
We can witness the religious structures in Greece even today. They still hold value to the locals and the management allows the visitors to be part of events. The tales of the Greek religion are still alive among the generations to carry on.
We can see beautiful artistic narrations of the Greek religion in paintings, sculptures, pottery paintings, etc. Today, it is one of the intriguing subjects for many people and a lot of visitors from all over the world come to see the beauty of the origin place of the Greek religion.
At Secret temples, you will learn about many ancient temples and religions.