2. How did the ancient Greeks perceive the Greek mythical tradition from the days of Homer and Hesiod up to the spread of Christianity during the Roman Empire?
History of the Greeks is the most fascinating considering some of the great writers that keeps the memories of the culture in literature. This also has a link with early Christianity, which is also written in the most read book in the world, the bible. In this paper, we shall be discussing the influence of early Greek writers on modern Christian writers. We shall also be looking at the relationship between Greek and Christianity.
(a) How were Homer and Hesiod viewed by intellectuals, the Greek public, and early Christian writers?
- Greek mythological believes made people more superstitious and hence having less interest in Christianity
- Homer and Hesiod are great epic poem writers who can be compared to the early writers of the bible
- Just like early Christian writers, homer and Hesiod got their inspiration from the unfolding events as well as influenced by supernatural powers (Smith, Wayte 44).
- Despite their intellectual literature, they formed a basis of competition among Christian writes who preached one sovereign God as they revealed the existence of many gods.
(b) In what ways were the Greek people exposed to the Greek myths and how did they react?
- The Greek culture was dominated by wars and the search for supernatural powers in winning battles.
- The overall strength of a community or an individual was based on how successful they were in shading blood (Heinemann 18).
- The constant shading of blood to gain recognition made people desperate for an alternative that would assure them that they could have peace without having to fight battles.
- Greeks who were tired of the frequent wars or felt too weak to engage in physical battles were more receptive to the Christianity as it promised them eternal peace.
- The strength and the rankings of the Roman Empire, which had started gaining a lot of popularity made many people resort to Christianity and its teachings (Smith 32).
(c) How do Homer and Hesiod form a basis for Hellenic identity (Hellenism)?
- Most of the events highlighted in the literature by homer and Hesiod appeared more significant to the Greeks who wanted to be associated with Hellenism.
- Some aspects of the Roman Empire were based on Greek mythology even though their believe system was different. This made it easy for Christianity to spread (Cerrato & Chavez 27).
- Homer and Hesiod remain to be an important aspect of Greek mythology that modern Christian writers derive historical facts from their literature
Cerrato, Lisa & Chavez, Robert. Perseus Classics Collection: An Overview.
Heinemann, William. The Greek Anthology. with an English Translation by. W. R. Paton. William Heinemann Ltd: London 1926. 4.
Smith, William & Wayte, William. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. Albemarle Street: London, 1890.
Smith, William. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. John Murray: London.