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Carleton University
Classical Civilization
CLCV 1002

February 9thQualities of Greek ReligionNot concerned with morality The gods just cared if you payed your dues to them There was no professional priesthood Some priesthoods ran in families sometimes you are chosen and hold the position for the rest of your life They had no sacred book or canonical belief and many city states had different myths of the gods They didnt tell you how to believe or what to believe about the gods Religion was public and also on a local scale There are also no buildings in which congregations gather which is surprising because of their temples and architecture no churches Temples were just the house for the god on earth There was also a cult statue in each temple You might go into the temble to admire the statue but you did not go in to worship the god All religious activity took place in front of the temple at the altar of the god stone platform The central act of religion on the public scale was the sacrifice of an animalthis happened outside Tenets of beliefEpiphanyThe Greeks believed the gods could make themselves present in the world They believed the gods could travel as fast as light or could take on the guise of humans but the humans they took the guise of would always be more beautiful strong or smartReciprocity Xenia They believed the relationship with the gods was a give and take one do ut des latin I give you something you give me something This reciprocity was tangible giving an animalOlympian Worship Public festival Begins with a procession which symbolically includes the whole community There are men women foreigners living in the state and slaves The procession marches its way through the heart of the community and up the the acropolis where the temples are Upon arrival at the altar a herald would say euphemete which meant prayer everyone had to be quiet from this point on for the priest to make a prayerThen came the sacrifice and libationa rite of convivialityThey use the blood to make libations and wrap certain parts of t eanimal carcass in fat and burn it on the altar They use the rest of the carcass to cook and make a feast The bigger the community the larger the sacrifice Hecatombsacrifice of 100 oxen This was all done in order for the gods to grant prayerThey would also hold song dance and athletic competitions Is Olympian religion emotionally unsatisfyingThis hypothesis is based on the fact that Christianity displaced the old Greek religion The premise was that Christianity is better because it is more personal and the old religions are therefore inferior to Christianity Modern scholars have gotten rid of this notion The ancient Greek religion existed for at least 2000 years and we know the olympic and many other customs of the religion were practiced until 600 AD 300 years after the Romans adopted Christianity as their formal religion Belief in the old gods continued in the country side where the state couldnt control it the Romans outlawed the old religions and forbid the use of the old temples for the old religion This is because people had personal relationships with the gods and could call on them for help the presence of the gods was everywhere and everything and so very emotionally satisfying for many Cthonic ReligionEarth and fertility
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