Influence of Religion on Ancient Greece

Topics: Alexander the Great, Ancient Rome, Renaissance Pages: 3 (870 words) Published: August 22, 2013
To what extent was the life of the Ancient Greeks influenced by religion?

The lives of the Ancient Greek people were strongly influenced by religion. The gods and goddesses that they worshipped were the reasons behind everything they had done, were doing and had done. The gods influenced everything from law to warfare, medicine and general life. To the Ancient Greeks, the gods and goddesses created the world, its seasons and everything in it. Everything happened because the god and goddesses willed it. In comparison to the world today, this seems very extreme s there is now a choice as to whether or not people want to believe that a god exists at all. For the average person in modern times, there is no sacrificing, no asking god/s for permission to do everyday things in life as there was back then. In Ancient Greece, in complete contrast to modern times, the gods had a great influence on the practice of the law. In modern times, the only influence that religion has on law is that anyone speaking in court must swear on the Bible that they will tell the truth. This is flawed as atheists who do not believe in god may not uphold the vow. It may also be argued that some of the laws are based on religion, like thou shall not kill but on the other hand, that is just common sense and basic morals. In contrast, in Ancient Greece they used the gods as avengers and made the one on trial swear to tell the truth. As the influence of religion was so strong, one who swore the vow would greatly fear the wrath of the gods. Every person in the courtroom had to swear to the name of the gods and goddesses that they would be truthful, not just the one on trial, although the one on trial had more to fear than the jury. The gods were used in many a court case, ranging from domestic deputes to interstate treaties to be as sure as they possibly could be of a truthful outcome (Cartledge, 2004) which shows just how big the influence of their gods was. The influence of religion on...

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