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Greek vs Roman

Tales beyond belief

Greek vs Roman - Differences between Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses
The Roman religion and the worship of Roman gods and goddesses significantly differed from those of the Greeks. The Roman gods and goddesses were more practical as opposed to the romantic notions of the Greeks. Every vocation and every household transaction had its presiding Roman gods or goddesses. Roman religion was officially endorsed by the state and exerted considerable influence over the government of Rome.

The Roman gods and goddesses were consulted before important decisions were made, such as going to war. Rites and ceremonies were practised to interpret the will of the gods by studying various omens such as the flight patterns of the birds, the behaviour of animals and the interpretation of dreams and natural phenomena. Priests called Augurs 'read' the entrails of animal sacrifices. Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the people and popular worship, Roman gods and goddesses were worshipped at every public event, including the gladiatorial games, where blood sacrifices were made to the Roman gods and goddesses.

Differences, Similarities and Comparison of Greek vs Roman Beliefs
There were many similarities between the roles, attributes, symbols and characters of the Greek vs Roman gods but their forms of worship and their religions had significant differences. The following list provides details of the differences, similarities and a comparison between Greek vs Roman gods, mythology, beliefs and practises.

The Greeks

  • Greeks revered the poet

  • Poetical & fanciful myths about individuals

  • The Greeks were highly imaginative and developed their fantastic mythology

  • Greek mythology was developed first

  • Greek mythology focussed on the personality traits of gods

  • Individualistic, emphasis placed on the heroic deeds and achievements and actions of individuals

  • Greek religion had little influence on politics

  • Greek priests were revered as teachers and healers of individuals

  • Greeks were less superstitious than the Romans

  • Fewer festivals

  • Olympic style games

  • Votive religion, based on the exchange of gifts (offerings) for the gods blessings.

  • Greeks made blood sacrifices but the killing of animals were not part of the ceremonies

  • Less emphasis on household gods and ancestors

The Romans

  • Romans revered the warrior

  • Practical myths focussing on the gods relevance to everyday life and the Roman state

  • The Romans borrowed existing mythology, names were changed. Stories of the wars and founders of Rome were included in their mythology

  • Roman mythology was developed 1000 years later

  • Roman mythology focussed on practical roles and achievements

  • Non-Individualistic, emphasis placed on the achievements and actions of Romans and Rome

  • Roman religion was officially endorsed by the state and exerted considerable influence over the government of Rome

  • Roman Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the people and popular worship

  • Rites and ceremonies were practised to interpret the will of the gods by studying omens Flight patterns of birds, dream interpretation. Priests called Augurs 'read' the entrails of animal sacrifices.

  • Numerous festivals, about one day in four was set apart for the worship of particular gods, celebrated by feasts, games and sacrifices

  • Gladiatorial games

  • Roman gods were worshipped at every public event, including the gladiatorial games

  • Based on appeasing the gods and requesting their help to avenge enemies.

  • Romans used 'Curse tablets'

  • Highly public blood sacrifices and killing

  • Families would honor their household spirits and ancestors

Gods and Deities
Greek and Roman Gods & Mythology

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