by: Ana Mills, Dalton Hare, Candice Taylor
The ancient Greeks were a deeply religious people. They worshipped many gods whom they believed appeared in human form and yet were endowed with superhuman strength and ageless beauty.
The Iliad and the Odyssey, our earliest surviving examples of Greek literature, record men's interactions with various gods and goddesses whose characters and appearances underwent little change in the centuries that followed.
While many sanctuaries honored more than a single god, usually one deity such as Zeus at Olympia or a closely linked pair of deities like Demeter and her daughter Persephone at Eleusis dominated the cult place.
Elsewhere in the arts, various painted scenes on vases, and stone, terracotta and bronze sculptures portray the major gods and goddesses.
The deities were depicted either by themselves or in traditional mythological situations in which they interact with humans and a broad range of minor deities, demi-gods and legendary characters.
The Greek Mind
Jewish culture and civilization during the Hellenistic period was in intense dialogue with Hellenistic culture and civilization, beginning with the translation of Hebrew scriptures into Greek, a translation which survives and which we know as the Septuagint. That's certainly an example of the way in which Greek literary forms and Greek language impacted Jewish civilization and literary traditions.