Gods have existed almost since the beginning of mankind, as people had things that they worshiped such as the sun, the moon, and many other things. To me the Greeks had the most unique gods, because they had many gods for many different things such as love, war, etc. The gods were almost like human beings as they interacted in the lives of the people they watched over and the people they cherished. The gods were said to have mixed with the humans to make half mortal and half immortal people, blessed with certain powers. Today we all have one god, because it is the way we were brought up, but there are many types of religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, etc. The Greek gods lived among the people on top of a huge mountain called Mt. Olympus. The Romans took over on the gods and gave them different names, but many of them had the same job or duty. There was a king of the gods and his name was Zeus he was god of the sky, and he had a wife and she was called Hera and her duty was to advise her king on the way to run things. Poseidon was a brother to Zeus and was god of the sea and all that lived under it and dared to cross it as he tested many a sailor. Hades another brother of Zeus ruled the underworld or hell. There are many other gods such as Athena, Aphrodite, Hephaetus, Hermes, Helios, etc. The Greeks loved their gods so they would build temples of worship, statues of praise, and many other things to support them. Today the world of Greek gods are portrayed on the motion picture screen in movies, and even in cartoons. Our belief of many of these gods is that they did not exist, but who do you know that lived in that time. Some conclusions are that they could have existed but the people we know of as gods were probably as human as you or I, and they were just elders of the people, but some specialized in different things.
In the Iliad the gods would take different sides in war and they would interfere in the destinies of the heroes. They would seduce both man and woman, because they were all jealous of one another and that was a great part of the Greek way of life. The Greeks thought it was all right to love either sex, because they thought it was normal to share what they felt. One of the most famous tales is that of Hercules, as he is the son of Zeus and a mortal woman that Zeus seduced so he could have a son to be a hero. Hercules is the god of strength and courage, but he did not become a god right away, because the other gods would not except him, because he was made a god by the seducing of a woman. Zeus would change his form and shape, he would become a winged horse, or any animal, and he would appear as a young man with unbelievable looks. Aphrodite the god of love and a symbol of beauty would help people fall in love and help Zeus find young woman and man so he could have sex with either one. Hera was known to be jealous of all Zeus’s fooling around so she would try to get him back, but Zeus did not care.
The gods were great in stature and great in powers so they did not live in a heaven like the god we know of today, but they live on a mountain. It was not just any ordinary mountain, but it was the biggest mountain in all of Greece and it was called Mt. Olympus. Olympus had a gate like the one in our religion today, but you wouldn’t go there when you die, because they believed you would find peace in your afterlife as they had a heaven. The mountain was not just a home for the gods, but it was up high for the gods to look down on the mortals. The gods did not set any certain standards for mankind, but they were to live life to the fullest. Another unique thing about the Greek gods was they didn’t set any guidelines to worship them, and they didn’t have any codes of law to follow.
The Romans looked up to the Greeks, because they lived life to the fullest and they were a caring society, not won to start a war, but one to sit back and relax. The Romans took over were the Greeks left off, and they gave the gods new names, but most of them the same duties. Zeus to the Greeks was Jupiter to the Romans, Hera’s name was changed to Juno, Aphrodite was Venus, and Posiedon was Neptune. There are many other gods that the Romans took and changed around and here are some of them, Hades was Pluto, Hermes was Mercury, Athena was Minerva, and Hephaestus was Vulcan. The Romans wanted to live the life of the wealthy and to have the power so they modeled there society after the Greeks not just the Athenian, but the powerful Spartans known for there military force.
Zeus was the most powerful of all the gods, but they had a council of the gods on how everything will go down in the lives of the people. They would all suggest things and nothing was final until they all agreed or one of them went and did something behind the others back. Zeus had the final word of course and he could do what he wanted, because he was the king. He is known of his lighting bolts which he would cast down on the people of Greece in storms or when they got out of hand. Zeus would not have had the lighting bolts if it was not for Hephaestus the god of the fire and metallurgy. Hephaestus would make all things for the gods and they would give things to the gods favorite people on earth as gifts. Hermes was the messenger of the gods, as he would watch the people of Greece at his look out and he would run when something was wrong in the country. Hermes was gifted in both sight and speed as he was the fastest thing in the known world. Aphrodite was the goddess of love and she would help out the people who were meant for each other. Athena was the goddess of war and wisdom and she would help out the people in battle by either giving them ideas to defeat there enemies, or help them with weapons there enemies could not match. Eros also known as Cupid to the Romans is the god of erotic love and desire. He is known for playing tricks on people by shooting them with his love arrows and they would fall in love with the person who was closest to them or the first person they saw. Demeter was the god of agriculture and grain and he would help the farmers either have good crops or he would destroy the crops and Demeter was like the farmer’s almanac of today. Poseidon was the god of the sea and he was in command of the water. Poseidon would either help the ships that sailed on his vast sea or he would destroy them if the people had angered the gods. He had control of the sea animals and they would do what he told, he also had control of the waves and since Greece was a peninsula and he could create waves that could wipe out any city-state that the gods wanted. Hades is the god of the underworld, we know him as the devil. Hades would full people and give them gifts so they would sign over their soul or he would get the souls of the people who did bad things. Hades was not alone in the underworld he had a sidekick and his name was Persephone. Persephone was like Hermes as he would watch out for people who would do the wrong things and he would tell Hades and they would write their names in the book of incoming souls. There are a lot more god’s for different things, but these are some of the more important gods that I listed. Here are the names of the other gods, Hera, Apollo god of solar light, medicine, and music, Helios is the god of the Sun, Dionysus is the goddess of wine and vegetation.
The people of Greece would build great buildings and other thing to show there praise to the gods as the built statues and they would had great art works such as vases and painting on wall that stretch across the entire wall. Athens was named after the war goddess Athena and the Parthenon was made in honor of the gods. There are many other things that the Greeks built for the gods and a lot of the art and other things have been lost or it has not been deciphered on all the buildings as of yet.
Today the Greek gods are shown in many motion pictures and even on cartoons. Some of the movies like the Clash of the Titans portrayed the gods as loving to the mortals unless they were doublecrossed by them. Zeus is unfaithful to Hera and he has a son named Persieus. Hera wants her son to become king of the city but Zeus makes her son look like an animal. The movie also shows when the gods are angry and they would destroy the people that did something they did not like. Poseidon is in charge of a monster called the Cracken and he is to destroy another city, but Persieus kills the monster and he marries the princess. They have TV shows on the WB called Hercules the Legendary Journeys and Xena Warrior Princess. They even made a cartoon called Hercules and it shows how all of the gods loved people and it also shows that Hercules is a god but he does not know it.
The Greek gods are probably just myths, but I think that they existed in the hearts of the people of Greece till a more sensible reason came a long. The Greek gods are a great thing in the past, but today we all have one god, but we do not call him the same thing and we do not have the same ideas of worship. Zeus, Hera and the other gods will always have a place in the back of my mind, because they are fascinating and its still a mystery if all the things are said to have done were for real.