In many cases, the priesthood was a heritage position, sons followed fathers as priests at certain temples. Aphrodite 8. The role of the priest was specifically to see to the god they worshiped and the gifts given to that god. Hi pat? I would think it’s a full-time-devoted-to-the-god thing. Greek myth and literature was one of my favorite classes in my undergraduate days, and thinking of the ways that priests, seers, and other religious figures were integrated into the plays and stories of the time is something that’s always interested me. Priests were generally served to a specific god/ goddess who was of the same sex. Demeter 9.
Delving into the historical facet, in my opinion, adds depth and breadth. Polytheistic Greek religion encompassed a myriad of gods, each representing a certain facet of the human condition, and even abstract ideas such as justice and wisdom could have their own personification. The first thing I learned is that the term priest has either changed significantly over time, or another word must define their role better.
Recently, I’ve been working on a short story in which I’ve set it in a Hellenic inspired Atlantis. Artemis 11. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account.
Hades 12. Recently, I’ve been working on a short story in which I’ve set it in a Hellenic inspired Atlantis. 18 thoughts on “The Role of Ancient Greek Priests” Gene Lempp said: July 1, 2011 at 18:12. It is always amazing how people overlook the history of things and just stay with the current definition. Greek priests were also quite influential in their communities. ( Log Out /
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Dionysos These Olympian go… In most cases, it was a custom that priests were the same sex as the god they served. One interesting practice regarding Poseidon is that he was gifted horses on a number of occasions that were cast into the sea in offering. ( Log Out / Even Alexander The Great performed this ritual.
Great info. Hera 7. Pages in category "Ancient Greek priests" The following 7 pages are in this category, out of 7 total. The terms an author uses can either enhance the reader’s belief in what’s happening or destroy it. Wow, great information there Pat! Their position to deal directly with the gods put them in a position that people would seek them out for advice. I love learning anything about ancient Greek culture so thank you for posting this! Apollo 4. It is always amazing how people overlook the history of things and just stay with the current definition. I also found out that the gifts given to gods could run a wide range of things, from statues of the gods, to gifts of tools, to simple crafted objects with oaths engraved into them. ( Log Out /
From what I’ve learned, the requirement to not be married came about because the church was having to support too many retired priests and their wives.
How intriguing… I love to learn about the histories of words and people. Thanks for stopping by! As you indicate, they also had wives and children. I was an administrator for a high fantasy RPG forum, the setting for which is loosely based on the late middle ages. This alone was neat, but the next thing I learned was that because the duties of the priest were not ‘full time,’ most priests had an actual job in addition to their role. Hermes 6. I actually found some more notes on that, there’s an academic belief that Poseidon started as an equestrian god before the ancestors of the Ancient Greeks began living on islands. This is pretty interesting, especially about the priests having another profession. Making this decision, I’ve done a significant amount of research on the Ancient Greek religion, since one of the characters is a priest of Poseidon. Thanks Melissa, I hate to say this, but I honestly don’t remember anymore. Priesthood - Priesthood - Ancient Greece and Rome: The ancient Greeks were devoid of hierarchical institutions composed of men and women through whom the gods were approached, though priests and priestesses could be found in many places engaging in specific sacerdotal functions and ritual acts. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. He became a sea god after that. And thank you your information was so great for my assessment. It was surprising to have women be priestesses because of the lack of role they had in Ancient Greece. Herodotus’ persistent interpretatio Graeca is analogous to a distinctive trend in the modern understanding of Greek priests. Although, many ancient priests and priestesses had very much in common, sometimes their duties varied depending on which ancient gods they served. One thing that I didn’t know, however, is that the priesthood (for lack of a better word) was a part-time job. Sounds like all your research paid off. Discovering the realities behind the terms we use and the reasons why our societies function the way they do is both fascinating and productive. Do Ancient Greek priests have a higher role then the priestess. I was shocked to learn it myself! In ancient Greece, both men and women could become priests and priestesses. Hephaistos 13. Ares 10. ( Log Out / Part of my job was to help preserve that setting, which meant doing things like reminding people that words like “okay,” “recon,” or “surveiling” were not okay, and hot air balloons were actually anachronistic. I knew about the horses, but part-time-priests is very interesting. I haven’t found if anyone knows WHY that is, but it’s still interesting. The Role of Ancient Greek Priests. A widespread approach to the concept of Greek priests is the via negativa that defines them in terms of how the Greek evidence frustrates our Christianizing expectations of what priests and priesthoods should be. That’s gruesome. That explanation wouldn’t surprise me, considering the evolution of other Greek gods. They also were in charge of running rituals on the holy days. A Greek priest didn’t look out for the worshipers. Making this decision, I’ve done a significant amount of research on the Ancient Greek religion, since one of the characters is a priest of Poseidon. So much changes! Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
There was at least one history text that I got a lot of the information from, but it’s an aggregate of multiple sources over a couple of weeks. What references did u used to get this. Poseidon 5. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Athena 3. A number of examples I found included sailors (An common profession in Greece) and artisans.
But the last part is haunting, sacrificing the horses by throwing them into the sea. Strabo (12.5.3) writes that the priests were potentates in “ancient times.” These priests had used to castrate themselves as devotees of the Mother of the Gods which was a symbolic sacrifice of their own individual fertility. Although, many ancient priests and priestesses had very much in common, sometimes their duties varied depending on which ancient gods they served. 12 Replies. If you know the past you can find the future. In ancient Greece, both men and women could become priests and priestesses. Umm where did u get your research from? In most cases, it was a custom that priests were the same sex as the god they served. Zeus 2. Wow, great information there Pat! The most important gods, though, were the Olympian gods led by Zeus: 1. (This was writing research, and while I try to keep tabs on sources for that kind of writing, I’m less rigorous than when I’m sourcing resource for school or work purposes.). Priests helped with religious ceremonies, and delivered prayers to the civilians worshipping the gods, but they weren’t religious experts though. This list may not reflect recent changes ().
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