Ancient Greece thrived from the third millennium to the first century B. The term "ancient Greece" refers culturally to the ways ancient Greeks spoke, worshiped, understood the nature of the physical world, organized their governments, made their livings, entertained themselves, and related to others who were not Greek. Religion was based on polytheism, education was a strong cultural aspect, and social structure was based on either being a citizen or a slave.

Religion was the central role to every aspect of life in ancient Greece. People believed that the gods were everywhere and that they oversaw all human activities, from planting crops to waging war. God's and goddesses were consulted by everyone for a simple activity they needed guidance in. People thought as long as they respected the gods they would receive some sort of support from them.

Religious belief was not based on any kind of text, but myths alone. They myths informed Greeks as to where their deities came from. They also informed how all of the gods and goddesses were related, and how they interacted. Many of the myths informed how all of these gods or goddesses were heroes. Other myths involved an afterlife that was the underworld, where the souls of the dead lived. Many also thought that different gods performed different roles in human activities. Such as Ares, the god of war, as well as Demeter, the goddess of grain. Greeks believed that they had to offer sacrifices, .

prayers, and gifts to receive benefits from gods. They also had to respect where the god's .


The Greeks also held both private and public religious ceremonies. At the private level lived the head of the family, which performed rituals around the sacred family hearth. Small images of household gods and family ancestors, which were kept in cupboards shaped like temples, were respected, cared for, and honored in ritual. In the public level, each city had its own patron god or goddess, who was believed to support and protect the city and its inhabitants.