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536

RELIGION.

deportatio). which did not affect the rights as a citizen of a man sentenced to it. Religion. (I) The gods of the Greeks were originally personifications of the powers of nature, limited in their activity to that province of nature from the phenomena of which they are derived. As these phe­nomena were regarded as acts or sufferings of the gods in question, a cycle of myths was thus developed. In the minds of the people, the special significance of these myths necessarily vanished in proportion as the original connexion of the gods with the phenomena of nature receded to the back­ground, while greater prominence was given to the conception of the gods as personal beings holding sway, primarily in their own province of nature, and then beyond those limits, and no longer exclusively in con­nexion with the powers of nature. In the oldest records of the intellectual life of Greece—the Homeric poems—this transition has already been carried out. The Homeric deities are exclusively occupied with the governing of mortals, whose whole life is represented as being under their influence; while traces of the old connexion with the phenomenaof natureare rarely found, and the old myths had long since become unintelli­gible tales, in which the actions of the gods appeared unreasonable and immoral, since their meaning was no longer clear. In regard to religion, as in other matters, the Homeric poems are of the utmost impor­tance; for if in historical times a certain uni­formity prevails in the representation of the deities, this may be traced in no small de­gree to the influence of Homer and of other poets (especially Hesiod) who were under his influence, and who gave distinct form to the vague representations of an earlier time. Nevertheless this uniformity only existed in a general way, in detail there was the greatest confusion, for the Greeks never attained to a uniform religious system and to fixed religious dogma. They possessed only a contradictory and ambiguous mytho­logy. The only thing which was com­paratively established, was the traditional worship ; but in this there was great diver­sity of place and time.

The common belief was, that the gods , were superhuman, though they were like mortals in form and in the ordinary neces­sities of life (food, drink, sleep); that they had power over nature and human beings; that all good and evil came from them; that their favour could be obtained by behaviour which was pleasing to them, and lost by

' that which displeased them. Among the Greek gods there was no representative ol

! evil, neither in popular belief was there one of absolute perfection and holiness; and the deities were represented as ceing subject to moral weakness and deviation from right —a belief which was fostered by the tra­ditional mythology. The gods possessed immortality, but did not exist from the beginning of all things.

In the opinion of the Greeks, the ruling race of gods, the Olympians—so called from their abode, Olympus—were the third race of gods. The first ruler was Uranus (Heaven), who, by his mother Gcea (Earth), who bore him spontaneously, himself be­came the father of the Titans. He was ex­pelled by his son CrOnus, whose daughters, by his sister Rhea, were Hestia, Dc'me'ter, and Hera, and his sons, Hades (Pluto), PSseidon, and Zeus. He was himself expelled by his last-named sou. When Zeus, by the aid of his brothers and sisters, had overcome the Titans, who rebelled against the new order of things, he divided the world with his brothers. The earth and Olympus remained common property; Hades obtained the nether world; PSseidon, the sea; Zeus, the heavens; and, as being the strongest and wisest, he also had autho­rity over all the other gods, who worked his will, received from him their offices and spheres of action, and served him as helpers in the government of the universe. According to this division of province, the gods are divided into the divinities of heaven and earth and sea.

As in all religions founded on nature, so with the Greeks, the gods of heaven take the first place. They are specially called Olympians ; and, in contrast to the gods of the earth and sea, are called the gods above, or the upper gods. The principal deities after Zeus are Herd, Athene, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Illphcestus, Ares, HermSs, and Hestia. Round them are grouped a number of minor deities, who either escort and serve the upper gods (as, for instance, Thentfs, and the _Horce, the Graces, the Muses, Eros, Nike, Ms, Hebe, Ganymede), or else represent distinct phe­nomena of the heavens, as HellOs (the sun), Selene (the moon), Eos (the dawn); or exe­cute special services in the heaven-ordained government of the universe, as the goddess of birth, Eileithyia, the healing god, Ascll-pius, and the goddesses of destiny (Moene, Nemesis, Tyche). The gods of the sea, besides Poseidon and his spouse Amphi-

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