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Religion, society, and gender roles in the Iliad

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 289
  • Category: Greece

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The story of the Iliad is predicated on the act of the God Apollo who has sent a plague against the Greeks in retaliation for the abduction of Chryseis (Astynome). These basic themes of the abduction and enslavement of women as primary motivators for struggle and conquest demonstrate the ancient Greek depiction of women as a form of treasure or bounty in the Iliad.

            In the Iliad, the Gods actively participate in the events of mortals and in fact sire mortal children to do battle. This is evidence of a pantheistic cosmology, which posits a diverse number of Gods with diverse powers and spheres of influence. Also, diverse ambitions. An example is when Hera and Poseidon directly intervene to inspire the Greeks in books thirteen and fourteen

            Because human activity in the Iliad is a central concern of the immortal Gods, individuals

are often regarded more important than their societies as a whole. They are blessed by or cursed by specific deities as Achilleas whose sea-nymph mother dipped him in the River Styx, making him nearly an immortal. Greeks in Homer’s time regarded Divine intervention as commonplace and at the root of struggles both epic and mundane.

            When Achilles fought with the river god Scamander  The intervention of  Hera and Hephaestus are what saved him from drowning. This shows the Greek belief in fate, which is also demonstrated by Zeus sending the Gods to restrain Achilleas from sacking Troy – until it was Troy’s appointed time. Rather than individuals being judged by their devotion to morality or even to specific gods, the Greeks depicted a universe where the whims of the Gods functioned as the primary motivation for events. /wiki/Chariot

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