Where on earth did you get this idea from? I'm sure 'religion' existed well before the Ancient Greeks appeared on the scene. I expect ancient cave dwellers came up with the idea of a Creator or God and then started to put together all manner of ideas ABOUT that Creator way, way, back. Just a glance at a night sky on a clear night would be enough to fill such observers with awe.
It's true the Ancient Greeks had a pantheon of gods such as Zeus and Aphropdite, but then, too, did the Norsemen (Vikings) with Odin, Thor and the like. And, of course, the people of Asia had and still have their gods.
The idea of One God isn't new either. However, I tend to go along with the view that there is One God and everything and every thing is a part of Her/Him/It. Oh, and I don't believe "It," Her, He, is an old guy with long white hair and a flowing beard who looks like the late Charlton Heston. The human characteristics we bestow on 'God' are cause of a great deal of our angst: e.g. Making God angry. God's punishement, et cetera. These are all thought up in the minds of human beings - sometimes to maintain power over an ignorant laity.
No, the Ancient Greeks didn't create religion. They probably inherited a lot of their ideas from what had already gone before.
They didn't - religion has existed pretty much from the day humanity developed language - and there's plenty of evidence to support that.
Religion pre-dates the Greek philosophers. Greek religion was not the first religion. And Greek religion pre-dates Greek philosophy. The Greek philosophers received the religion of their ancestors. They questioned it and developed it. In some ways, they moved away from religion - as in the belief that the gods were like powerful people - and were much more philosophical, seeing the gods were more connected with principles and ideas.
Although Greek philosophers didn't create "religion" they did much to codify it. Aristotle in his Politics, Book I , expressed the belief that some people were "natural slaves". This powerful notion became not only the foundation for later Christianity which was used to justify enslaving millions of Africans but was used for European "progress" and "development".
Thomas Paine wrote this concerning religion - The word religion is a word of forced application when used with respect to the worship of God. The root of the word is the Latin verb ligo, comes religo, to tie or bind over again, to make more fast - from religo, comes the substantive religo, which, with the addition of n makes the English substantive religion.
By definition religion "to tie or bind" is the perfect tool for enslavement. It is most deceptive... His In Service
So it stands to reason that after being dumb founded by the Spiritual knowledge pillaged from Egypt those Greek philosophers not only had to abandon their ideas but craft new ones that eventually enslaved the minds of men.
I agree with everyone else, here, that the Greeks did not "originate" religion or the idea of it, but they did create their own religions. And there were many reasons.
Some of the earlier gods were symbolic for either actual individuals or groups in prehistory.
Take for instance the myth of Athena's birth. This could be an alternate version of Plato's Atlantis story, the latter of which came by way of Egypt.
The name "Athena" is thought by many linguists to be non-Greek in origin.
Her story begins with Zeus and his former girlfriend, Metis -- one of the Titans -- the wisest individual of all time. Zeus had heard that his children by Metis would one day overthrow him as king of the gods, so Zeus swallowed Metis whole. Later, Athena (already conceived), was born full grown from her father's head and wearing armor and carrying weapons. Ouch!
Compare these details to the story of Atlantis. Atlantis was the most advanced (wisest) nation of all time. Atlantis threatened to take over the entire world, but was swallowed whole by the sea. The refugees, perhaps many of them fleeing the capital (head) city, settled in Europe. They were fully mature as a civilization, carrying the weapons and armor needed to protect themselves.
This goddess compares favorably with the Etruscan goddess, Minerva. In many respects they are equivalent. The Etruscans spoke an agglutinative language with some interesting ties to Basque. It seems that the words for mother and father were very similar, but gender swapped. And yet, in the Etruscan pantheon, the god of endings and goddess of beginnings had names which matched by gender the Basque words for mother and father. It seems in some of the cultures founded by children of Atlantis, the switch from matriarchal to patriarchal society was accompanied with the term staying with the role rather than the gender. So, if mothers ruled, men became the new mothers.
It's also interesting to note that in Colchis (modern Georgia), where they also speak an agglutinative language with apparent ties to Basque, the word for mother is "deda," while the word for father is "mama."
Both Metis (late Atlantis) and Athena (children of Atlantis) were female, suggesting that both cultures were matriarchal. And when the princess of Colchis flew away on a golden dragon after leaving her second husband (king of Athens) after Jason of the Argonauts, she may have given us one more piece of mythology: a matriarchal group, ama-Atlan -- mother Atlantis (Amazon).
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