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Author Topic: Myths and the Average Greek  (Read 2106 times)

Astani

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Myths and the Average Greek
« on: October 07, 2011, 10:07:42 pm »
I wanna know if way back when, in Classical and Hellenistic Greece (and even later), did the common man believe that the gods he worshipped were the gods written of by the poets. Did he believe that what happened in mythology actually happened in the world?

Or did they know to differentiate between the gods they worship and the gods poets write about?

Somewhat related to my old thread on the old board:

http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=15981.0

but instead of talking about philosophers, let's talk about the common worshipper.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 12:56:25 pm by RandallS »

Nyktelios

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Re: Myths and the Average Greek
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 10:23:35 pm »
Quote from: Astani;24431
I wanna know if way back when, in Classical and Hellenistic Greece (and even later), did the common man believe that the gods he worshipped were the gods written of by the poets. Did he believe that what happened in mythology actually happened in the world?

Or did they know to differentiate between the gods they worship and the gods poets write about?

Somewhat related to my old thread on the old board:

http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=15981.0

but instead of talking about philosophers, let's talk about the common worshipper.

 
They were probably familiar with the myths from the songs of aoidoi (bards), as most people were illiterate, and they probably did consider them to be the same beings as the gods they worshiped. I don't know if they thought the myths were literally true, though. I think they did consider Homer to be history, but they didn't really think in terms of "true versus false", and didn't distinguish between literal fact and poetry until thinkers of late periods. The distinction between myth and history didn't really matter to them.

Darkhawk

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Re: Myths and the Average Greek
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 10:42:10 pm »
Quote from: Astani;24431


 
You may be interested in the book Did the Greeks Believe In Their Myths?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 10:42:30 pm by Darkhawk »
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RandallS

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Re: Myths and the Average Greek
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 10:48:56 pm »
Quote from: Astani;24431
I wanna know if way back when, in Classical and Hellenistic Greece (and even later), did the common man believe that the gods he worshipped were the gods written of by the poets. Did he believe that what happened in mythology actually happened in the world?

It's hard to know what the "common man" Greek believed then just as it is hard to know what the "common man" Christian believes today (and it will be even harder to know 2000+ years from now). In both cases, it is probably not what the "theology scholars" of the time thought.
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Astani

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Re: Myths and the Average Greek
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 09:28:26 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;24441
You may be interested in the book Did the Greeks Believe In Their Myths?

 
I most certainly am! Thx for the link.

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