s From Other CulturesAncient Greek Beliefs of Religion and Death Differs From Other CulturesHow does the Ancient Greek beliefs of religion and death differ with theview of other cultural groups? Death, the way it is represented in Homer’s book,The Odyssey, is always caused by human error.
Whether their death was caused bygreed, selfishness, or just being curious, many people died in The Odyssey.Still, the question of what happens after we die remains. Many religions havedifferent beliefs of religious ideas from the Ancient Greeks. Afterlife, is abelief where the comparisons among religions become extremely close. The Greekbeliefs of gods and death are different from the modern day beliefs of otherreligions such as Judaism and Ancient Egyptian beliefs.For example, The Odyssey begins with a scene containing a conversationamong the gods. The goddess Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, is discussingthe matter of Odysseus with Zeus, the head god and god of sky (Homer 10). Ofcourse these are not the only Greek gods and goddesses.
Other examples of Greekgods and goddesses are Apollo, god of music, poetry, medicine, archery, andyoung unmarried men and Hestes, goddess of the home. As you can see, the Greeksbelieved in many gods unlike the people of the Jewish fate who believed in onegod. The Jewish god does not have an emblem that which it is represented by.The belief is that the god is represented by everything. For example, membersof the Jewish religion believe god is everywhere, in everything, and representedby everything they do.
Another example of the religious differences is howAncient Egyptians believed in idol gods which are gods represented in statues.Ancient Greek beliefs are different from those of other societies because ofdifferences between how gods are represented in Judaism and Ancient Egyptianbeliefs.Equally important are the Ancient Greek views of death. Death caused byhuman error is widespread throughout the book.
Human error is encountered ineach one of Odysseus’s adventures on his return home. The Kyklopes representedthe greediness, selfishness, and uncilvilization of Odysseus’s men. Odysseusfell asleep and his men unleashed a bag of bad winds, throwing them off path(Homer 315). Skylla and Kharybdis was a representation of death from naturewhen Odysseus’s men stopped rowing and six of the men were killed. The Seirenes,with their beautiful singing voices represent suicide death.
Hades, probablythe most down to Earth adventure, represents time and fate. Many religions usetime and fate as representations of why people die. Ancient Egyptians believedthat when a person died, they were hand picked by god and therefore sacrificed.Modern day occurrences make this seem more and more untrue. Time and fate do notdemonstrate the reasons of death. For example, the act of random violence isbecoming more of a regular practice of unjustified death, unlike the AncientGreek ways which always had a reason for death.
Therefore, this is anotherdifference between Ancient Greek beliefs and current religions and beliefs.Next, what happens after death is a question that is yet to be answered.The people of Ancient Greece believe of the Underworld. Hades is the god of theUnderworld and has a special throne and place on the council chamber. It isbelieved that Hades leads those through the Underworld and will guide them totheir designated place (Evslin 276). It is believed that each of the ways thata person could be guided is similar to the Christian beliefs of heaven and helland the beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians of weighing the soul for good and badkarma (McDonald 356).
The Jewish religion believes that the destined messiahwill appear in Israel. This is why many people wish to be buried in Israel, theholy land of the Jewish people. It is believed the messiah will guide theJewish people through the afterlife and the closer you are buried to the messiah,the closer you are to the front of the line. The Jewish religion teaches thatwhen the messiah appears, it will guide the souls to a heaven like or hell likesurroundings to live forever (Yedwab).Finally, it is obvious that religions and beliefs differ, but still theoverall belief that souls determine their afterlife is apparent through manyreligions. Each of the religions discussed have their own individual beliefs ofother topics such as religious scrolls and ways of teaching. In Judaism,believing in more that one god would be considered unholy.
Also, in Judaism,separating the body to remove organs is considered wrong. In Ancient Egyptianbeliefs, all vital organs of the body were removed when the person was buriedand placed in jars and buried with them. In Ancient Greek beliefs, the body waskept intact. In The Odyssey, it began with with a conversation among the gods,but are the gods real? Was this just an excuse to have reasons why occurrenceshappen and to explain ideas to people? Is that true for all religions?English