The ancient Greeks practiced POLYTHEISM, the worship of many gods, or deities. A deity is a being with supernatural powers. Unlike the god of Egypt, however, Greek gods were believed to look and behave like HUMANS.
Greek Religion and Mythology
What was Greek Mythology?
Mythology is the collection of MYTHS or stories that people tell about their gods and heroes. Some myths explain the changing of the SEASON. Others revealed why so much suffering exists in the world. Many myths explained human behavior or taught MORAL lessons. Greek myths and stories are still read and retold today.
Draw Medusa grocery shopping with a hat on
Greek Gods and Goddesses Slide 1/2
In Greek mythology, ZEUS was the supreme ruler of the gods, as well as the lord of the sky and the god of rain. He lived on MOUNT OLYMPUS and threw thunderbolts at those who displeased him. His wife, HERA, protected married women and their household. Zeus had two brothers. The first, POSEIDON, was god of the sea. The other brother, HADES, ruled and lived in the underworld, which was inhabited by the souls of the dead. Other major gods included APOLLO, god of the arts, prophecy, and healing, and Ares, god of war. APHRODITE was goddess of love and beauty, and the goddess Artemis oversaw hunting and childbirth.
Greek Gods and Goddesses Slide 2/2
ATHENA was a popular goddess because, according to one myth, she had given the Greeks a gift of the OLIVE tree. Athena was also the guardian of the city of Athens. Greeks believed that their gods and goddesses behaved like HUMAN beings. The deities fell in love, got married, and had children.
Greek Religion’s Role in Everyday Life
The Greeks honored their gods with public and private religious RITUALS. Public meetings began with prayers and ANIMAL sacrifices. WOMEN played important roles in some of these public ceremonies. Each city-state built temples to its patron deity. On holy days, citizens made sacrifices in front of the gods’ temples. They asked the gods for FAVORS, such as good crops or good health.
What were the main beliefs of the Ancient Greeks about the gods and goddesses?
Athletes competed in sports such as BOXING , wrestling, and running. They displayed their skills to honor the gods. The leading competitions brought together athletes from many CITY-STATES. The most famous sports event was the OLYMPIC games, which honored ZEUS These games took place every FOUR years. During the games, all conflicts between city-states ceased.
The Olympic Games
The Greeks considered groves of trees, springs, and other places to be sacred because they were home to a god or spirit. MOUNT OLYMPUS, in northern Greece, was an important sacred spot. The Greeks believed it was home to the major gods. Another sacred site was DELPHI, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Delphi contained many shrines, but the most important building was the holy temple of the god APOLLO. The temple of Apollo housed Apollo’s priestess, who was known as the Delphic ORACLE. An oracle is someone who predicts what will happen in the future.
Drawing Zeus and Hades as babies.
Greek Literature/Drama Slide 1/2
Greek literature was linked with RELIGION. Religious festivals often included contests between POETS. Performers often write some poems while playing a stringed instrument known as a LYRE. As a result, these poetic songs became known as lyric poetry. The roots of modern WESTERN theater reach back to ancient Greece. The word DRAMA, which means a play or performance on stage, is a Greek word.
Greek Literature/Drama Slide 2/2
Greek drama developed from performances honoring the god Dionysus. Two types of plays; TRAGEDY and COMEDY. Comedies ended happily. They dealt with CURRENT events and made amusing observations about Greek culture, SOCIETY, and politicians.
Draw something you learned from the Greek Unit.