preview

Religion In Ancient Civilization

Decent Essays
Through religion, civilizations have been able to unify people under a particular religious idea. It was not necessary for everyone to be religious as long as they identified with the same religion as those around them. Religion is subjective and one of the main ways each civilization created an identity is through the concept of new gods and beliefs. Each civilization had some form of religion and throughout history we see an evolutionary change in religious beliefs. The Hebrews and the Middle Age Christians were monotheistic who believed in one true all powerful God. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were extremely polytheistic who believed in many different gods who all played different roles. These differences in religion helped shape…show more content…
Up to this point in history, most civilizations had used religion to explain the unexplainable. The Greeks formed a unique view on religion and belief by looking for answers outside of the gods. Epicurus develops this thought further when he wrote, “principal disturbance in the minds of men arises because they think that these celestial bodies are blessed and immortal” (Epicurus, Self-sufficiency, in SWT, p. 98). Epicurus presents the argument that pleasing the gods is unnecessary and a waste of a person’s time and energy. This Greek thinking was received well in early Roman civilization. Lucretius, a Roman philosopher, agreed Epicurus and considers religion to be a burden to mankind (Lucretius, Denunciation of Religion, in SWT, p. 112). Greek and Roman civilization began to become more secular and religion was considered to be a custom or formality. This development was unique because early civilizations centered their entire beliefs and lives around religion and gods. The Greeks and Romans began to carve out a religious identity that was foreign to many…show more content…
Christianity rejected the Greek and Roman view on religion but instead believed that truth was found only through religion. Christianity developed into many different religious sects but the concepts were all very similar. Christianity was based on moral value, universal love, non-violence, equality, and religion was above the state and worldly affairs (Dr. Agocs, Lecture). This new form of religion went against everything the Greeks and Romans had previously believed and practiced. Christianity began to spread from the Roman civilization and spread throughout the surrounding areas. Those in power in Rome were not pleased with the rise of Christianity. The Christians at Lyons and Vienne in a letter to other Christians in Asia describe the “sufferings heaped upon them by the general populace, clamors, blows, being dragged along, robberies, stonings, imprisonments, and all that an enraged mob loves to inflict” (Christians, Persecutions at Lyons and Vienne, p.
Get Access