Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of other waters. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, he was venerated as a chief deity at Thebes, his Roman equivalent is Neptune. Poseidon was protector of seafarers, of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In Homer's Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War. In the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon's fury by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, the complete loss of his ship and companions, a ten-year delay. Poseidon is the subject of a Homeric hymn. In Plato's Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon's domain; the earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Ποσειδάων and Ποσειδάϝονος in Mycenean Greek. The form Ποτειδάϝων appears in Corinth. A common epithet of Poseidon is Ἐνοσίχθων Enosichthon, "Earth-shaker", an epithet, identified in Linear B, as, E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.
The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" and another element meaning "earth", producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth. Walter Burkert finds that "the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove."Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word *δᾶϝον dâwon, "water". There is the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond", or he "knew many things". At least a few sources deem Poseidon as a "prehellenic" word, considering an Indo-European etymology "quite pointless". If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the name po-se-da-wo-ne occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja. A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite.
Poseidon carries the title wa-na-ka in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld. The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute. In the cave of Amnisos Enesidaon is related with the cult of the goddess of childbirth, she was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, Wanax was her male companion in Mycenean cult, it is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, however the interpretetion is still under dispute. In Linear B inscriptions found at Pylos, E-ne-si-da-o-ne is related with Poseidon, Si-to Po-tini-ja is related with Demeter. Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for "the Two Queens and Poseidon"; the "Two Queens" may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in periods. The illuminating exception is the archaic and localised myth of the stallion Poseidon and mare Demeter at Phigalia in isolated and conservative Arcadia, noted by Pausanias as having fallen into desuetude.
The violated Demeter was Demeter Erinys. In Arcadia, Demeter's mare-form was worshiped into historical times, her xoanon of Phigaleia shows. A Medusa type with a horse's head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin representing her power over air and water, it seems that the Arcadian myth is related with the first Greek speaking people who entered the region during the Bronze Age.. Their religious beliefs were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population, it is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus and the Dioskouroi. The horse was related with the liquid element, with the underworld. Poseidon appears as a beast, the river spirit of the underworld, as it happens in northern-European folklore, not unusually in Greece. Poseidon “Wanax”, is the male companion of the goddess of nature. In the relative Minoan myth, Pasiphaë is mating with the white bull, she bears the hybrid creature Minotaur; the Bull was the old pre-Olympian Poseidon. The goddess of nature and her paredros survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered: " Mighty Potnia bore a strong son"In the sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea.
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Marcus Aurelius, called the Philosopher, was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled the Roman Empire with his adoptive brother Lucius Verus until Lucius' death in 169, he was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the Five Good Emperors. He is seen as the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Empire, his personal philosophical writings, now known as Meditations, are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. They have been praised by fellow writers and monarchs – as well as by poets and politicians – centuries after his death. Marcus was born into a Roman patrician family, his father was a praetor, after whose death in 124 Marcus was raised by his paternal grandfather, his mother was a wealthy heiress. He was educated at home, as children from Roman aristocratic families were, credited his maternal grandmother's step-father Lucius Catilius Severus – who helped Marcus' grandfather to raise him – for his education.
His tutors included the artist Diognetus, who may have sparked his interest in philosophy, Tuticius Proclus. Marcus was betrothed to the daughter of Lucius Aelius, his relative Emperor Hadrian's first adopted son and heir. Aelius died in 138 and Hadrian chose as his new heir Antoninus Pius, the husband of Marcus' aunt, on the condition that Antoninus adopt Marcus and the son of Aelius, Lucius Commodus. Antoninus became emperor that year upon Hadrian's death, Marcus and Lucius became joint heirs to the throne. While imperial heir, Marcus studied Latin, his tutors included Herodes Atticus and Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He kept in close correspondence with Fronto for many years afterwards. Marcus was introduced to Stoicism by Quintus Junius Rusticus and by other philosophers such as Apollonius of Chalcedon, he was made the symbolic head of the Roman equites. He was appointed consul with Antoninus in 140 and 145, with his adoptive brother Lucius in 161. On 7 March 161, Antoninus died and the two succeeded to the imperial throne.
Marcus' reign was marked by military conflict. In the East, the Roman Empire fought with a revitalized Parthian Empire and the rebel Kingdom of Armenia. Marcus defeated the Marcomanni and Sarmatians in the Marcomannic Wars; however and other Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. Marcus modified the silver purity of the denarius. Persecution of Christians is believed to have increased during his reign; the Antonine Plague that broke out in 165 or 166 devastated the population of the Roman Empire. It caused the deaths of a quarter of those it affected. Marcus never adopted an heir unlike some of his predecessors. Marcus became the first emperor to die with a living, adult son since Titus succeeded his father Vespasian a century earlier, but Commodus is considered a disappointment as emperor and his succession has long been the subject of debate among both contemporary and modern historians; the Column and Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius still stand in Rome, where they were erected in celebration of Marcus' military victories.
The major sources depicting the life and rule of Marcus are patchy and unreliable. The most important group of sources, the biographies contained in the Historia Augusta, claim to be written by a group of authors at the turn of the 4th century AD, but were in fact written by a single author from about 395 AD; the biographies and the biographies of subordinate emperors and usurpers are unreliable, but the earlier biographies, derived from now-lost earlier sources, are much more accurate. For Marcus' life and rule, the biographies of Hadrian, Antoninus and Lucius are reliable, but those of Aelius Verus and Avidius Cassius are not. A body of correspondence between Marcus' tutor Fronto and various Antonine officials survives in a series of patchy manuscripts, covering the period from c. 138 to 166. Marcus' own Meditations offer a window on his inner life, but are undateable and make few specific references to worldly affairs; the main narrative source for the period is Cassius Dio, a Greek senator from Bithynian Nicaea who wrote a history of Rome from its founding to 229 in eighty books.
Dio is vital for the military history of the period, but his senatorial prejudices and strong opposition to imperial expansion obscure his perspective. Some other literary sources provide specific details: the writings of the physician Galen on the habits of the Antonine elite, the orations of Aelius Aristides on the temper of the times, the constitutions preserved in the Digest and Codex Justinianus on Marcus' legal work. Inscriptions and coin finds supplement the literary sources. Marcus was born in Rome on 26 April 121, his name at birth was Marcus Annius Verus, but some sources assign this name to him upon his father's death and unofficial adoption by his grandfather, upon his coming of age, or at the time of his marriage. He may have been known as Marcus Annius Catilius Severus, at birth or at some point in his youth, or Marcus Catilius Severus Annius Verus. Upon his adoption by Antoninus as heir to the throne, he was known as Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar and, upon his ascension, he was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus until his death.
Chthonic means "subterranean", but the word in English describes deities or spirits of the underworld in Ancient Greek religion. The Greek word khthon is one of several for "earth". Chthonic, a form of khthonie and khthonios, has a precise meaning in Greek; these include, but are not limited to, Persephone and Hades in classical mythology. Nocturnal ritual sacrifice was a common practice in many chthonic cults; when the sacrifice was a living creature, the animal was placed in megaron. In some Greek chthonic cults, the animal was sacrificed on a raised bomos. Offerings were burned whole or buried rather than being cooked and shared among the worshippers. In his book The Mycenaean World and classicist John Chadwick argues that many chthonic deities may be remnants of the native Pre-Hellenic religion and that many of the Olympian deities may come from the Proto-Greeks who overran the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula in the late third millennium BC, he does, note that this may be somewhat of an overgeneralization and that the origins of chthonic and Olympian deities are much more complex.
The German classicist Walter Burkert explicitly rejects the notion of chthonic deities as pre-Greek and the Olympian deities as Indo-European in his book Greek Religion. He comments, "It is the chthonic chaoi which are related to Indo-European, whereas the Olympian sacrifice has connections with Semitic tradition." The myths associating the underworld chthonic deities and fertility were not exclusive. Myths about the Olympian deities described an association with the fertility and prosperity of Earth, such as Demeter and her daughter, who both watched over aspects of the fertility of the land, but Demeter had a Olympian cult while Persephone had a chthonic one due to her association with Hades, by whom she had been captured; the categories Olympian and chthonic were not, however separate. Some Olympian deities, such as Hermes and Zeus received chthonic sacrifices and tithes in certain locations; the deified heroes Heracles and Asclepius might be worshipped as gods or chthonic heroes, depending on the site and the time of origin of the myth.
Moreover, a few deities are not classifiable under these terms. Hecate, for instance, was offered puppies at crossroads – a practice neither typical of an Olympian sacrifice nor of a chthonic sacrifice to Persephone or the heroes – but because of her underworld roles, Hecate is classed as chthonic. In analytical psychology, the term chthonic has been used to describe the spirit of nature within, the unconscious earthly impulses of the Self, one's material depths, not with negative connotations. See anima and animus or shadow; the term chthonic has connotations with regard to gender in cultural anthropology. This was by no means universal. Greek mythology has female deities associated with the sky, such as Dike, goddess of justice, who sits on the right side of Zeus as his advisor, Eos, goddess of dawn – and Hades as god of the underworld; the term allochthon in structural geology is used to describe a large block of rock, moved from its original site of formation by low angle thrust faulting.
From the Greek "allo", meaning other, "chthon", designating the process of the land mass being moved under the earth and connecting two horizontally stacked décollements and thus "under the earth". Burkert, Greek Religion, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-36281-0 Chadwick, John; the Mycenaean World. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. 85. ISBN 978-0-521-29037-1. Dillon, Matthew. Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415202728. Media related to Chthonic beings at Wikimedia Commons
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, originating in the 7th century BC from the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were incorporated into classical Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands; the Etruscan system of belief was an immanent polytheism. Long after the assimilation of the Etruscans, Seneca the Younger said that the difference between the Romans and the Etruscans was thatWhereas we believe lightning to be released as a result of the collision of clouds, they believe that the clouds collide so as to release lightning: for as they attribute all to deity, they are led to believe not that things have a meaning insofar as they occur, but rather that they occur because they must have a meaning.
Around the mun or muni, or tombs, were the man or mani, the souls of the ancestors. In iconography after the 5th century BC, the deceased are shown traveling to the underworld. In several instances of Etruscan art, such as in the François Tomb in Vulci, a spirit of the dead is identified by the term hinthial " underneath". A god was called an ais; the abode of a god was a sacred place, such as a favi, a grave or temple. There, one would need to make a fler, or "offering". Three layers of deities are portrayed in Etruscan art. One appears to be lesser divinities of an indigenous origin: the sun. Ruling over them were higher deities that seem to reflect the Indo-European system: Tin or Tinia, the sky, Uni his wife, Cel, the earth goddess; as a third layer, the Greek gods were adopted by the Etruscan system during the Etruscan Orientalizing Period of 750/700-600 BC. Examples are Aritimi and Pacha, over time the primary trinity became Tinia and Menrva; the Etruscans believed their religion had been revealed to them by seers, the two main ones being Tages, a childlike figure born from tilled land, gifted with prescience, Vegoia, a female figure.
The Etruscans believed in intimate contact with divinity. They did nothing without proper consultation with the signs from them; these practices were taken over in total by the Romans. The Etruscan scriptures were a corpus of texts termed the Etrusca Disciplina; this name appears in Valerius Maximus, Marcus Tullius Cicero refers to a disciplina in his writings on the subject. Massimo Pallottino summarizes the known scriptures as the Libri Haruspicini, containing the theory and rules of divination from animal entrails; the last was composed of the Libri Fatales, detailing the religiously correct methods of founding cities and shrines, draining fields, formulating laws and ordinances, measuring space and dividing time. The revelations of the prophet Tages were given in the Libri Tagetici, which included the Libri Haruspicini and the Acherontici, those of the prophetess Vegoia in the Libri Vegoici, which included the Libri Fulgurales and part of the Libri Rituales; these works did not present prophecies or scriptures in the ordinary sense: the Etrusca Disciplina foretold nothing itself.
The Etruscans appear to have had religion and no great visions. Instead they concentrated on the problem of the will of the gods: questioning why, if the gods created the universe and humanity and have a will and a plan for everyone and everything in it, they did not devise a system for communicating that will in a clear manner; the Etruscans accepted the inscrutability of their gods' wills. They did not attempt to rationalize or explain divine actions or formulate any doctrines of the gods' intentions; as answer to the problem of ascertaining the divine will, they developed an elaborate system of divination. These revelations may not be otherwise understandable and may not be pleasant or easy, but are perilous to doubt; the Etrusca Disciplina therefore was a set of rules for the conduct of all sorts of divination. Cicero saidFor a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, to religious observances.
He quipped, regarding d
The Capitoline Triad was a group of three deities who were worshipped in ancient Roman religion in an elaborate temple on Rome's Capitoline Hill. It comprised Jupiter and Minerva; the triad held a central place in the public religion of Rome. The three deities who are most referred to as the "Capitoline Triad" are Jupiter, the king of the gods; this grouping of a male god and two goddesses was unusual in ancient Indo-European religions, is certainly derived from the Etruscan trio of Tinia, the supreme deity, his wife, Menrva, their daughter and the goddess of wisdom. In some interpretations, this group replaced an original Archaic Triad. Jupiter and Minerva were honored in temples known as Capitolia, which were built on hills and other prominent areas in many cities in Italy and the provinces during the Augustan and Julio-Claudian periods. Most had a triple cella; the earliest known example of a Capitolium outside of Italy was at Emporion. According to Ovid, Terminus had a place there, since he had a shrine there before it was built and, as the god of boundary stones, refused to yield.
Although the word Capitolium could be used to refer to any temple dedicated to the Capitoline Triad, it referred to the temple on the Capitoline Hill in Rome known as aedes Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini. The temple was built under the reign of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last King of Rome prior to the establishment of the Roman Republic. Although the temple was shared by Jupiter and Minerva, each deity had a separate cella, with Juno Regina on the left, Minerva on the right, Jupiter Optimus Maximus in the middle, it included a tetrastyle pronaos. Another shrine dedicated to Jupiter, Juno Regina and Minerva was the Capitolium Vetus on the Quirinal Hill, it was thought to be older than the more famous temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill, was still a landmark in Martial's time, in the late 1st century
Ancient Greek religion
Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. These groups varied enough for it to be possible to speak of Greek religions or "cults" in the plural, though most of them shared similarities. Most ancient Greeks recognized the twelve major Olympian gods and goddesses:, although philosophies such as Stoicism and some forms of Platonism used language that seems to assume a single transcendent deity; the worship of these deities, several others, was found across the Greek world, though they have different epithets that distinguished aspects of the deity, reflect the absorption of other local deities into the pan-Hellenic scheme. The religious practices of the Greeks extended beyond mainland Greece, to the islands and coasts of Ionia in Asia Minor, to Magna Graecia, to scattered Greek colonies in the Western Mediterranean, such as Massalia. Early Italian religions such as the Etruscan were influenced by Greek religion in forming much of the ancient Roman religion.
While there were few concepts universal to all the Greek peoples, there were common beliefs shared by many. Ancient Greek theology was polytheistic, based on the assumption that there were many gods and goddesses, as well as a range of lesser supernatural beings of various types. There was a hierarchy of deities, with Zeus, the king of the gods, having a level of control over all the others, although he was not almighty; some deities had dominion over certain aspects of nature. For instance, Zeus was the sky-god, sending thunder and lightning, Poseidon ruled over the sea and earthquakes, Hades projected his remarkable power throughout the realms of death and the Underworld, Helios controlled the sun. Other deities ruled over abstract concepts. All significant deities were visualized as "human" in form, although able to transform themselves into animals or natural phenomena. While being immortal, the gods were not all-good or all-powerful, they had to obey fate, known to Greek mythology as the Moirai, which overrode any of their divine powers or wills.
For instance, in mythology, it was Odysseus' fate to return home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, the gods could only lengthen his journey and make it harder for him, but they could not stop him. The gods had human vices, they would interact with humans, sometimes spawning children with them. At times certain gods would be opposed to others, they would try to outdo each other. In the Iliad, Aphrodite and Apollo support the Trojan side in the Trojan War, while Hera and Poseidon support the Greeks; some gods were associated with a certain city. Athena was associated with the city of Athens, Apollo with Delphi and Delos, Zeus with Olympia and Aphrodite with Corinth, but other gods were worshipped in these cities. Other deities were associated with nations outside of Greece. Identity of names was not a guarantee of a similar cultus. Though the worship of the major deities spread from one locality to another, though most larger cities boasted temples to several major gods, the identification of different gods with different places remained strong to the end.
The Greeks believed in an underworld. One of the most widespread areas of this underworld was ruled over by Hades, a brother of Zeus, was known as Hades. Other well known realms are Tartarus, a place of torment for the damned, Elysium, a place of pleasures for the virtuous. In the early Mycenean religion all the dead went to Hades, but the rise of mystery cults in the Archaic age led to the development of places such as Tartarus and Elysium. A few Greeks, like Achilles, Amphiaraus Ganymede, Melicertes, Peleus, a great number of those who fought in the Trojan and Theban wars, were considered to have been physically immortalized and brought to live forever in either Elysium, the Islands of the Blessed, the ocean, or beneath the ground; such beliefs are found in the most ancient such as Homer and Hesiod. This belief remained strong into the Christian era. For most people at the moment of death there was, however, no hope of anything but continued existence as a disembodied soul; some Greeks, such as the philosophers Pythagoras and Plato embraced the idea of reincarnation, though this was only accepted by a few.
Epicurus taught that the soul was atoms which dissolved at death, so there was no existence after death. Greek religion had an extensive mythology, it consisted of stories of the gods and how they interacted with humans. Myths revolved around heroes and their actions, such as Heracles and his twelve labors and his voyage home and the quest for the Golden Fleece and Theseus and the Minotaur. Many species existed in Greek mythology. Chief among these were the gods and humans, though the Titans frequently appeared in Greek myths. Lesser species included the half-man-half-horse centaurs, the nature based nymphs and the half man, half goat satyrs; some creatures in Greek mythology were monstrous, such as the one-eyed giant Cyclop