Many gods – belief in antiquity
In ancient Greece, people believed in many different gods. They were immortal but looked like humans. Everyone had their sphere of influence. We explain more about the exciting Greek mythology.
How did the world come about??
There are many myths about the origin of the world – and also about the gods in particular. The most famous myth about the origin of the world is the so-called "Theogony" by Hesiod, a Greek poet:
In the beginning there was chaos. From this chaos emerged Gaia (mother earth), Tartaros (the underworld), Eros (god of love), Nyx (the night) and Erebos (the dark). Gaia had several children without a husband, including Uranos (the sky) and Pontos (the sea). Nyx in turn gave birth to Erebos two children: day and brightness. Gaia had many children with her son Uranos, the titans.
Uranos was disempowered by his son Kronos in a bloody fight. The Titan Kronos then ruled the world. But he was later disempowered by his son – the god Zeus.
Zeus, his siblings and his descendants are called gods. When Zeus came to power, the era of the Olympic gods began. Zeus gave Prometheus the order to make people out of clay.
How were the Greek gods?
The gods have a human shape and human characteristics, feelings and thoughts. You can feel grief, anger, hate, envy, joy, love, etc. The difference to humans is that the gods are immortal and give very harsh punishments, often death sentences. They do not tolerate pretentiousness and lasting success. So you are anything but squeamish.
The Greeks previously attributed natural events (such as wind, storm, fire), inexplicable and unknown to the gods. Below we list some important gods. However, the meaning of the gods varied in different regions and could change over time. There are myths, heroic legends and family traditions about the gods.
Important Greek gods
- Zeus – is the most powerful god influenced lightning, thunder and thunderstorms
- Athena – goddess of science
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Humans believed that gods control elements (such as water, air, and fire) and were also responsible for love, war, and all other things. In order to make the gods mild, the Greeks made offerings to their gods. They also worshiped the gods in front of temples that were believed to be the gods’ abode.
There were priests, but they were only responsible for the correct execution of the cults. They were civil servants and did not have the same function as priests in Christianity. There was no holy book like the Bible. In ancient Greece there were pilgrimage sites such as B. the Temple of Zeus in Olympia.
The Greek gods today
Even today we encounter Greek gods in everyday life. Hermes, for example, was the Greek messenger of gods. Today the logistics company Hermes delivers our packages – as a messenger like the messenger from the gods Hermes.
Another example is Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and crop. It symbolizes the fertility of the earth. Today there is a well-known trademark "Demeter", which stands for biodynamic agriculture.
Have we sparked your interest in Greek mythology? We look forward to a comment.
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