The Odyssey Essay

In ancient Greek religion, one belief was when someone dies he needed to re vive at least a rudimentary burial to go on to the afterlife. Then the god Hermes wool d bring the soul and body to the underworld , but the river Styx would not allow him to pass u unless he was given coins (“Death”). In earlier times, the afterlife was thought to be a joyless and somber existence e, though the underworld was onto place of punishment (“Greek Religion”). Unless one WA s someone who had offended the Gods personally, then he would be punished.

The most imp orator thing to do in life was to believe in the gods and perform the proper sacrifices and rituals. T his would avoid appraisals both from gods and fellow human beings(“Greek mythology”). The main way ancient Greeks expected to build a good relationship with the gods was by sacrificing animals. Gel 2 Sacrificing was usually offered to the Olympian Gods, at dawn outside a temple e. A sacrifice represented a gift to the Gods for forgiveness or just happiness. Sacrifices we re also made to Isotonic Gods.

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These sacrifices were of only black animals, and the sacrifice was performed in the evening. Unlike other animals, none of the sacrifices that went to the Catch ionic gods were eaten Greek Religion”). When sacrificing an animal, prayers would be said, t e animal would be killed, and then burned in the fire. Only the main parts of the animals wool d be given to the gods. The rest of the animal would go to the priest to eat. Some animals were: the cows for Hear, the bulls for Zeus, and the pigs for Demeter ( “Greek Religion”). In “The Odyssey’, Odysseus did sacrifice animals.

He did this when he went do Wan to the underworld to hear about his future journey home from Terrifies (Fitzgerald 914: 585). When Odysseus went down to the underworld he had to sacrifice a black lamb into a fire pit just to talk to the prophet. So “The Odyssey/’ did support the death, burial ritual, and belie f systems of the Ancient Greek civilization, by sacrificing to the gods because that was one thin g the Greeks thought strongly about. The Greeks believed if one went against a god he could not go into the So all of Odysseus’ men that ate the sacred cattle of the Sun God.

The men would not go to the afterlife, they would be put in the underworld or be punished as that was what the ancient Greeks believed about everyone who sinned. Even if the me n were good to the gods all their lives, one bite into the cow changed everything! In ancient Greek times the gods were like Nick Minas now a days but the gods were a bit more harsh. Everyone e loved them, would do anything they said,and worshiping them would change one’s future. Gel 3 The Greek culture and many others buried their dead along with supplies of f DOD and other stuff for the “afterlife”.

They also prepared the body for burial, including washing the body and dressing it in a special garment (“Death”). Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the dead was carried across the co mean to be brought to the gods to determine if one would go to the underworld or afterlife fee. When Zeus hit Odysseus ship and the men went into the water, the God probably already k ewe to punish them. In “The Odyssey” the characters who died were not treated specially (“Mythology Odysseus met his mother’s spirit among the dead in the underworld (“Fitzgerald aid 914: 589”). It was news to him, since last he heard she was still alive.

According to the Greer k religion if one committed a sin or did wrong through the gods eyes he would go down to the underworld. ‘The Odyssey” did support Greeks beliefs, by showing that if you sin you will go do Wan to the underworld just like Odysseus mother did. In Homers poem ‘ ‘The Odyssey,” death “is the way of mortals, whenever one of them would die, for the tendons no longer hold flesh and bones together, but the s throng might of blazing fire destroys these things as soon as the spirit has left the white bones , and the soul, having flown away like a dream” (“Schoolwork”).

The Greeks have always be en fascinated by death and the afterlife due to their Gods control over them. Elysium was a paradise inhabited at first only by the very distinguished, but la term by the good. Elysium first appeared in Homer’s Odyssey as the destination of Melee All of Odysseus’ men are definitely not going to Elysium because they disobeyed the Sun God gel 4 dating his secret cattle which automatically means that they will go to the undo rolled for sinning not Elysium. Odysseus has a slight chance to get in.

Reincarnation was the religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, be gang a new life in a new body. The soul still had its identity throughout reincarnation, Plat o indicated that souls did not remember their previous experiences, so Odysseus men wool d not remember their journey back to Ithaca and everything they did wrong to make the Gods frown upon them. But, the human soul entering another body upon death was not popular in Greek religion (“Greek Religion”). Death was not a glorious thing for the ancient Greeks.

In Homer’s e epics, the dead are “pathetic in their helplessness, inhabiting drafty, echoing halls, deprived of the Eire wits, and flitting purposelessly about uttering fatlike noises”(“Death”). In “The Odyssey, Odysseus made some bad decisions, he offended Poseidon and blinded his son (“Fitzgerald 899: 455”). At least Odysseus sacrificed many anima alas to the gods, and listened to Athena and Hermes. Odysseus never gave up on trying to ret ran back to Penelope and Telemeters after his ten year journey, so if the gods decided to punish hi he would not give up.