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How did the Greeks Worship the Gods?

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Kristina Winn

on 20 May 2013

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Transcript of How did the Greeks Worship the Gods?

How did Ancient Greeks honor the Gods? Sanctuaries A sacred place where people honor gods The Greeks prayed to specific gods for things they wanted. For example, a sick person may pray to Apollo (the god of medicine) for a speedy recovery.

Here's three ways Ancient Greeks honored the gods: Sanctuaries were built in areas of great natural beauty. Each site had its own unique traditions. Olympia was where the Olympic games were held. It was perfect for sports because of the wide, level plain. The Greeks believed that Zeus and the other gods took delight in watching them compete. Delphi is where the Greeks honored Apollo. Greeks from all over sent gifts to the sanctuary and since it was considered sacred, no one every robbed it.

The site was most famous for its oracle to Apollo. Oracles were predictions.

The Greeks believed the gods revealed hidden knowledge through these oracles.

The Greeks also called the shrines where these messages were received oracles. These messages were often very hard to understand. Delos was an island thought to be the birthplace of Apollo. They held oracles and Olympics-like competitions there. Eleusis was the site of the sanctuary dedicated to Demeter. Greeks made trips each year here to pray for a good harvest. Clearly Apollo was honored a lot in Greece. Turn to the person sitting next to you and discuss why you think Apollo was such an important god to the Greeks. Turn to the person sitting next to you and discuss:
What does Eleusis and its dedication to Demeter tell us about the Greeks outlook on agriculture? Sacrifices The Greeks also made sacrifices before competing in sports, going off to war, or setting sail on a long voyage. Festivals The Greeks honored their gods and goddesses by holding religious festivals. Many of these festivals centered on sports (think the Olympics). One group of festivals had a lasting influence on western civilization. They were the drama festivals honoring Dionysus, the god of wine. Twice a year, writers throughout Greece composed plays that were presented at festivals that lasted for four days. All businesses were closed, and prisoners were even freed to watch the plays. Many of these plays told stories of Greek gods or heroes. They combined religion and history with entertainment. The most popular plays were tragedies, sad stories in which the hero was brought to ruin by a flaw in his character. Turn to the person sitting next to you and see if you can think of any books, plays, or movies that could be considered tragedies. Tragedies were presented for 3 days at festivals, and the final day was reserved for comedies. Like the comedies of today, the Greeks made fun of a wide range of topics from politics to everyday life. When the gods "answered their prayers," the Greeks would perform animal sacrifices to thank the gods for their help.
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