Explain the advantages and disadvantages for an Athenian of living in a society dominated by so many gods. The people of Athens lived In a polytheistic society where they believed In many gods known as the Olympian. This brought Its advantages as well as its disadvantages. Among the Athenians there were many gods and goddesses whom they believed held great responsibility over their lives. Major ones such as Athena played an important role in their daily lives. Athena is the goddess of war, wisdom and crafts.
She is also the patron goddess of Athens, which was a very important role. The Parthenon was a temple on the Acropolis dedicated to Athena. Within it was a statue of her, made of ivory and gold. Many sacrifices and festivals were held there. The Athenians prayed to Athena during the struggles of war and conflict. They believed she would always think of a way to save them. The olive tree was sacred Athena, olive oil was used frequently In people’s lives, for cooking, lighting and hygiene, It was an important part In their dally life, and people would have thanked Athena for the olive tree often.
During the time of her birthday the Athenians would prepare a grand festival called the Panatela In celebration of her birthday. It Is held every year but every fourth year it is called the Great Pantheism. This festival gives the people of Athens a chance to show off their wealth, power and religion to the neighboring countries and cities. It enables them to display their democracy and its success. Celebrating Ethane’s birthday allows the people of Athens to unite and come together. Athens is surrounded by the sea.
For travel Athenians would have to use ships and boats all the time, due to this they were impressive sailors. Since they traveled by sea they would pray to the God Poseidon who was very important to them. Praying to Poseidon who is the god of the sea would mean a safe Journey through the sea. Offerings were made to the god by fisherman and sailors. They thought that If they pleased the god he would bless them with calm seas. This Is advantageous because It enables them to put their faith In someone.
Around the harvest season the farmers prayed to the goddess Demeter for a good harvest and rich soils. Demeter is the goddess of fertility and agriculture meaning women would have also prayed to her when they are possibly trying to conceive a baby. Family worship is also a way of saying thanks and asking for something to the gods. An altar would have been placed in their courtyard, where the sacrifices would take place to the gods and goddesses. I think this would have shown how strong their faith is.
Many gods meant many festivals which meant a chance to relax and enjoy. It gave Athens an opportunity to demonstrate their power to other countries who are in conflict with them such a Sparta. A clear hierarchy was shown within the gods and goddesses, which meant a clear order and stability among them. There were quite a few natural disasters that occurred such as earthquakes; because of their polytheistic world It meant that they could explain the natural phenomena. However a city dominated by so many gods and goddesses has its drawbacks as well.
For be scared and will lead them to feel insecure. A god is there for people to trust in but if disasters keep happening then the Athenians will not be able to place their trust in the gods and goddesses, which might cause conflicts among them and lead them to have a weak faith. With so many gods it encourages skepticism, due to this they might not be able to believe in the truth since doubts are all they live with. Even so I think the society dominated by so many gods is advantageous to the city’s development and to the Athenians’ lives.