Essay On Ancient Religions

1333 Words6 Pages
Not So Different
Many ancient civilizations developed unique polytheistic religions that were an integral part of everyday life. However, these religions may not be as unique as they seem. While location and culture of a civilization cause differences in the names, personalities, and functions of deities, there are many types of deities that appear in nearly every religion. Additionally, many civilizations practice religion in similar ways, though there are often differences related to the culture or location of the civilization. How these ancient polytheistic religions show similarities and differences is exemplified through the religions of the ancient Greeks, Japanese, and Mayas. In order to a civilization to survive it requires sun, land,
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Certain characteristics of deities, however, are common amongst ancient religions. One common aspect is having deities that are quick to show vengeance. Therefore worshippers must appease the deities in order to protect themselves. This can be by simply living right as is the case of the Shinto. The Shinto believe that every object, animate or inanimate, may have a spirit or exist as a kami. This makes respect for nature to be a core principle of the religion. By respecting all natural things and praying to the kami, followers of Shinto believe that they are able to appease the kami and prevent natural disasters or other bad events. Other religions require followers to make offerings to gods in order to appease them. In ancient Greece, every city-state had temples devoted to different gods including a patron god of that city state. These temples were not only places where worshippers could go the pray to the gods but also a place where worshippers could make offerings to specific gods in order to appease them. This could be either to try to solve a problem or, more commonly, bribe a god so that they may have luck in the future. These offerings came in many forms including a portion of a family’s harvest or weath. In order the appease the gods of the Maya religion, the priests conduct human sacrifices on top of large pyramids that bring them closer to the gods. The Maya believed
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