The Greek Way - Chapter 15, The Religion of the Greeks Summary & Analysis

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If the reader is to understand the Greek mind and the essence of Athenian thought, the reader must come to an understanding of Greek religion. Many have read Homer and Hesiod and the writings of fifth century Greece and come away with merely a picture of a religion populated with gods and goddesses who are very human in their flaws and foibles. Indeed, many have concluded that the religion of ancient Greece was not worth serious consideration. "The reason people think if it in this way," says Hamilton, "is that Greek religion has got confused with Greek mythology."

Greek mythology is not Greek religion. The essence of Greek religion in the fifth century is not about placating a divine pantheon conceived in the image of humanity. What, then, are the characteristics of this religion? These...

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