September 28 - September 28, 2007 The Ancient Greek...

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September 28, 2007 The Ancient Greek Pantheon Gods o Polytheism: ( polu - “many” + theos “god”) Pantheon: all gods recognized by a given religion Hierarchy of gods, spirits, etc. Implications of polytheism Each god defined a relationship to other gods Theodicy (“divine justice”: explanation of suffering, evil) o Nature of Greek divinities Anthropomorphic: like humans in form, behavior Supernatural powers Exempt from many human laws (incest, rape, murder etc.) o Olympian gods (literary pantheon = 12) Divine family ruled by Zeus Artificial hierarchy of the “literary pantheon” Panhellenic construct: epics harmonize local theologies Evidence: tabulation of cult site Cults from EIA to Archaic Period Apollo – 44 Athene – 33 Artemis – 32 Demeter – 18 Zeus – 17 Here – 12 Aphrodite – 9 Poseidon – 7 Dionysus – 6 Hermes – 3 Ares – 1 Hephaistos – 1 Zeus rules as father and king (figuratively and/or literally) 3 rd generation to rule universe after creation Ouranos > Kronos and Titans > Zeus and Olympians Called “Olympians” after Mt. Olympos
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September 28 - September 28, 2007 The Ancient Greek...

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