Greek and Roman Gods Lecture notes from guest professor that describe Greek and Roman gods, including mystery religions and some traditions surrounding the religion in general (votives, polytheism, etc).

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Classical Studies
Sheila Ager

Greek and Roman Gods October1210 701 PM Greeks and Romans tended to deify nature Revolved around the gods that lived on Mount Olympus Polytheist religion because of the deification of nature what would the sky have to do with the water Nothing so there was a god for everything Different generations of gods Anthropomorphic gods had human shape and acted like humans Had mental and emotional processes that are humanistic Community oriented not personal like Christianity Gods protected communities and for the most part communities would appeal to the gods Minor household gods were individually worshipped Romans have a state hearth protected and worshipped by Vestal Virgins Very ritualistic events and gods required ritual communications with the gods Central act of worship was sacrificeQuid pro quo basis People could promise gods votives that is things they would do for them upon safe return or whatever favour was asked of them ie ill build you a statue when I get back from Corinth if you protect me and I get back safe Otherwise they would sacrifice to gods for protection or favour Supplemented by mystery religions Olympian religion not really spiritualmystery cults were Eleusis mystery religion was that of Demeter goddess of grain grain was essential to life daughter Persephone is the wife of Hades she spends half her time in the underground and half time above ground symbolizes life after death and gave spiritual essence to people Roman mystery religion Isis again powerful being representing death and rebirth Religions were a mystery because they have to be initiated into the religion Mystery religions also not exclusive can believe in roman religion and mystery religion whereas a Christian is only a Christian and nothing elsePowerful beings that live forever IndoEuropean origins Rendered their gods in human formGenerally good lookingHad purpleblue blood called ichorAte ambrosia and drank nectar Gods lived on mount OlympusGreek attempt to lift them into a sacred higher area Gods were localized not omniscient or omnipotent Not creators of the universe Not all powerfulfates were all powerful Elder Generation October1210 708 PM ZeusWielder of thunder and lightning o Wouldnt be able to explain thunder and lightning extremely scary thingMost powerful
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