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Greek Religion. Paleolithic Age. Plato's Dialetic.

On the OracleÆs Temple at Delphi the following words are written: Bow before the Divine. In this ancient Hellene inscription we see the relationship between Greeks and their religion populated by gods. To the ancient Greeks, the relationship between men and the gods was one in which men were little more than playthings and in which men were expected to accept such a fate. Within ancient Greek religion, the will and supremacy of the gods was never in question. What was in doubt was, always, manÆs willingness or lack of it in submitting himself to that will.

One need only look at a number of Greek classic dramas to see this relationship between the Greeks, religion, and the gods. One recurring theme in these dramas is the treatment of the dead in proportion to the will of man versus the will of the gods. Another is the illustration of the Greek gods as exhibiting a sublime disregard for the impact of their actions upon Greek humans. In the Iliad we see both of these themes. Hector is tricked by Athena and meets his death (Homer 1952, 346). AchillesÆ madness over the death of Patroclus results in his treatment of the corpse of Hector, earning him the enmity of the gods because he has failed to live up to their standards for treatment of the dead (Homer 1952, 346). Likewise, in SophoclesÆ Antigone, we see the conflict between Antigone and Creon played out in the relationship between mortals and the gods. CreonÆs edict that none who fought against Thebes is deserving of proper burial is a vengeance that Antigone rejects because it carries the rule of manmade law above the laws of the god. Unburied, the souls of the dead would be prohibited from passing the river that circles the kingdom of death and forced to wonder for eternity. Antigone buries her brother, recognizing though it means her death she has remained true to the law of the gods and not CreonÆs mortal laws. She admits she ôshall suffer nothing as great as ...

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