Greek Mythology by Margot

Origins of the Universe

The creation of the universe the Greeks believed in was called Theogony. The creation begins only with chaos, then out of the void appeared Erebus, the unknown place where death dwells, and night. All was empty, silent, endless, and dark. Love was then born beginning of order, from dark, light emerged, followed by Gaea the Earth.

Erebus slept with night, creating Ether, the heavenly light, and to day the earthly light. Night alone created Doom, Fate,Death,Sleep, Dreams, and all things the dwelled in the darkness, that haunts mankind.

The Earth came into existence when Earth was forcibly separated from her consort Heaven (Uranus) for a time so that she might give birth. To effect this separation, Uranus' genitals were severed by his son Cronus ( father of Zeus) and thrown into the sea, where Aphrodite came to be.

Principal Beliefs

Greek Mythology had main beliefs like;

Fate: Greek religions included concepts that could be said to resemble an ultimate reality. Zeus, the mightiest of gods was afraid of fate or destiny. In Greek philosophy, the concept of ultimate reality was emphasized, often at the expense of traditional beliefs about Gods.

The Universe: The ancient Greeks viewed the Earth as a flat disk floating on the river of ocean. The world was seen as a living thing, with body and soul.

Spirits, Monsters and other beings: Greek religion included in the beliefs of mythical creatures that populates their myths. These creatures include: Amazons, female worriers. Keres, evil female spirits. Medusa, female monster with snakes for hair. Satyrs, half men, half goat. Centaurs, half man half horse. Sirense and Typhon.

Death and the After life: Death was not a 'glorious' thing for ancient Greeks. 'The dead are pathetic in their helplessness' they believed. For people who sinned they were sent to Hades, and Tartarus. But Elysium was a paradise for the good. The Greek also believed in Reincarnation.

Gods: The Gods of Ancient Greek, were the described as human in form but with special abilities. Gods were presented as large, multi generational formality, each having their own specific appearance and personality. The 14 Olympian gods were principal Gods, though only 12 lived on Mount Olympus at a time. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, and Hestia, Demeter, Dionysus, and Hades where the variable gods among the 12.

Riturals

The Ancient Greeks had many rituals to honor Gods. They believed that if they gave the gods something, the Gods would give something back to them. Usually the Greeks would give them something small like a cake of incense, but sometimes large gifts as well, like statues or something personal. An important gift to the Gods was Sacrifice. A group of people would come together to kill an animal near an alter of a God. They would cook it then eat it together. The bones and fat would be burnt for the Gods share. Religious feasting bonded people together and with Gods. whole cities would come together and build temples and giant statues of Gods to honor them.

Another way Greeks rituals to honor the Gods was through competitions. The Olympic Games for example was in Zeus's honor. Greeks would also preform plays or walk long distances with gifts to the gods.

Influences Greek Mythology had on the society

Greek Mythology influenced the lives of the ancient Greeks a lot. The ancient Greeks would perform daily rituals in honor of the Gods. For the Greek Government and society to function they had to hour the Gods. They saw the Gods existed and could influence human affairs, and the Gods welcomed and responded to acts of pity and worship from humans. So the Ancient Greeks lives consisted of daily worship towards the Gods.

Influences of Greek Mythology on Today's society

Though people don't believe in Ancient Mythology any more, lots of parts of the religion have been incorporated into today's society. Many names of people, businesses have been named after Greek Mythology. There are Zodiac signs which are incorporated with everyone's lives. Star constellations etc. Though the religion is no longer believed in there are parts of it which is still a part of many peoples daily lives.

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