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Greek And Roman Comparison Essay

6976 words - 28 pages

Greek and Roman Comparison
Lisa Lain
June 1, 2015
Zachary Lenz

Greek and Roman Comparison
The Greek and Roman empires were very important to the history of the world. With their empires came religions and philosophies. While their religions were much different, both the Greeks and the Romans turned to Christianity at some point. Their philosophies were also quite different. They each studied the building blocks of the universe and created their own theories. With any empire come societal struggles. Both the Greek and Roman empires dealt with such struggles but the main aspect of the struggles varied. Territorial expansion was very important in both the Greek and the ...view middle of the document...

First, the Greek philosophers were questioning what the universe was made of. Several different Greek philosophers had different theories of the building blocks of the universe. When the Romans were conquering Greece, they learned of these philosophies and began writing them as their own philosophical ideas, only in Latin instead. It was not until later that the Romans started creating their own philosophical ideas.
The Greeks had no uniform faith or creed when it came to religion. Even though all the Greeks worshiped Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, and other deities, “the cults of these gods and goddesses varied from polis to polis” (McKay, Hill, Buckler, Ebrey, & Beck, 2007, pg. 103). The Greek religion was more of a ritual than a belief and had no Bible or other sacred books. Within the Greek religion, one did not have to practice certain virtues, follow rules of life, or live decent life’s to participate in the religious rituals. In the Greek religion, priests and priestesses cared for the temples and sacred property. They also conducted the proper rituals. The Greeks did not have churches; the congregations would visit the temples on matters of private concern. The temples included an altar that stood outside and sacrifices were made at such altars for the appropriate god (McKay et al., 2007).
There were many different gods worshiped by the Greeks. These gods all were believed to be a god of certain events. The Greek gods and goddesses included Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, and others (McKay et al., 2007). Zeus was the “leader of the Olympic gods, and god of lightning, thunder, and the heavens” (“List of Greek Gods and Goddesses”). Hera was the “goddess of goddesses, women, and marriage and wife of Zeus” (“List of Greek Gods and Goddesses”). Apollo was the “god of the sun, music, healing, and herding” (“List of Greek Gods and Goddesses”). Athena was the “goddess of wisdom, poetry, art, and the strategic side of war” (“List of Greek Gods and Goddesses”). Artemis was the “goddess of moon, hunting, and nursing” (“List of Greek Gods and Goddesses”). In addition to worshipping the gods and goddesses, the Greeks honored some heroes, the most notable being Herakles (or Hercules). “Each polis had its own minor deities, each with his or her own cult” (pg. 103), besides the Olympic gods (McKay et al., 2007). Greek religion in each polis included these minor deities in their worshipping. All were expected to worship these gods and minor deities during the festivals, whether they believed in the deities that were being worshipped or not (McKay et al., 2007).
Over time some Greeks starting turning to “mystery religions like those of the Eleusinian mysteries in Attica and of Trophonios in Boeotia” (McKay et al., 2007, pg. 103). These religions were similar to early Christianity with similar practices and the promise of life after death. Each individual who turned to these religious beliefs had to go through...

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