Rome Pantheon Italy Architecture Monument

Pantheon

Pantheon A pantheon (literally “(a temple) of all gods”, “of or common to all gods”) is the particular set of all gods of any polytheistic religion, mythology, or tradition. Significance A pantheon of gods is a common element of polytheistic societies, although not all polytheists have such a pantheon, and not...

Aegeus at right consults the Pythia or oracle of Delphi. Vase 440–430 BC. He was told "Do not loosen the bulging mouth of the wineskin until you have reached the height of Athens, lest you die of grief", which at first he did not understand.

Ancient Greek Religion

Ancient Greek Religion Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs, rituals, 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...

Scenes from Greek mythology depicted in ancient art. Left-to-right, top-to-bottom: the birth of Aphrodite, a revel with Dionysus and Silenus, Adonis playing the kithara for Aphrodite, Heracles slaying the Lernaean Hydra, the Colchian dragon regurgitating Jason in the presence of Athena, Hermes with his mother Maia, the Trojan Horse, and Odysseus's ship sailing past the island of the sirens

Greek Mythology

Greek Mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the...

Ragnarök

Ragnarök In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of events, including a great battle, foretold to lead to the death of a number of great figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), natural disasters and the submersion of the world in water. After these events, the world...

Capitoline Triad

Roman Mythology

Roman Mythology Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome’s legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. “Roman mythology” may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in...

Neptune velificans on a 3rd-century mosaic

Classical Mythology

Classical Mythology Classical mythology, Classical Greco-Roman mythology, Greek and Roman mythology or Greco-Roman mythology is both the body of and the study of myths from the ancient Greeks and Romans as they are used or transformed by cultural reception. Along with philosophy and political thought, mythology represents one of the major survivals of...

Shamash depicted on bronze coin struck in Hatra (c. 117-138 AD)

Ancient Semitic Religion

Ancient Semitic Religion Ancient Semitic religion encompasses the polytheistic religions of the Semitic peoples from the ancient Near East and Northeast Africa. Since the term Semitic itself represents a rough category when referring to cultures, as opposed to languages, the definitive bounds of the term “ancient Semitic religion” are only approximate. Semitic...

The ruins of the excavated city of Ras Shamra, or Ugarit

Ancient Canaanite Religion

Ancient Canaanite Religion Canaanite religion refers to the group of ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites living in the ancient Levant from at least the early Bronze Age through the first centuries of the Common Era. Canaanite religion was polytheistic, and in some cases monolatristic. Canaanite religion describes the belief systems and ritual practices of the people living in the...

Brahmanism

Brahmanism

Brahmanism Brahmanism is an ideology and a way of life, originating from the history of the Vedas, often called a philosophy, practised on the basis of specific inferred beliefs. The fundamental and principle belief of Brahmanism defines Brahman and its attributeless element that was first captured by the Rishis who compiled the Vedas. “That...

Hermeticism

Hermeticism

Hermeticism Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (“thrice-greatest Hermes”). These writings have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition traces its origin to a prisca theologia, a doctrine that affirms the...

Ancient Sumerian cylinder seal impression showing the god Dumuzid being tortured in the underworld by galla demons

Ancient Mesopotamian Underworld

Ancient Mesopotamian Underworld The ancient Mesopotamian underworld, most often known in Sumerian as Kur, Irkalla, Kukku, Arali, or Kigal and in Akkadian as Erṣetu, although it had many names in both languages, was a dark, dreary cavern located deep below the ground, where inhabitants were believed to continue “a shadowy version of life on earth”. The...

Incised sarcophagus slab with the Adoration of the Magi from the Catacombs of Rome, 3rd century. Plaster cast with added colour.

Afterlife in Ancient Religions

Afterlife in Ancient Religions The concept of resurrection is found in the writings of some ancient non-Abrahamic religions in the Middle East. A few extant Egyptian and Canaanite writings allude to dying and rising gods such as Osiris and Baal. Sir James Frazer in his book The Golden Bough relates...

deathland

Death in Norse Paganism

Death in Norse Paganism Death in Norse paganism was associated with varying customs and beliefs. Not only could a Viking funeral be performed a number of ways, the idea of the soul was associated with various notions, as well as of where the dead went in their afterlife, such as Valhalla, Fólkvangr, Hel, and Helgafjell. The soul The...

Egyptian Mummy

Ancient Egyptian Afterlife Beliefs

Ancient Egyptian Afterlife Beliefs Ancient Egyptian afterlife beliefs were centered around a variety of complex rituals, that were influenced by many aspects of Egyptian culture. Religion was a major contributor, since it was an important social practice that bound all Egyptians together. For instance, many of the Egyptian gods played...

The air god Shu, assisted by other gods, holds up Nut, the sky, as Geb, the earth, lies beneath.

Ancient Egyptian Religion

Ancient Egyptian Religion Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians’ interaction with many deities believed to be present in, and in control of, the world. Rituals such as prayer and offerings...

Reconstruction of a food offering after a Viking Age blót

Old Norse Religion

Old Norse Religion Old Norse religion is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. It was displaced by Christianity during the Christianization of Scandinavia. Scholars reconstruct aspects...

Set and Horus adore Ramesses in the small temple at Abu Simbel.

Set (Deity)

Set (Deity) Set or Seth (Setesh, Sutekh, Setekh, or Suty) is a god of chaos, the desert, storms, disorder, violence, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. In Ancient Greek, the god’s name is given as Sēth (Σήθ). Set had a positive role where he accompanies Ra on his solar boat to repel Apep, the serpent...

Devotional scene, with Temple.

Sumerian Religion

Sumerian Religion Sumerian religion was the religion practiced and adhered to by the people of Sumer, the first literate civilization of ancient Mesopotamia. The Sumerians regarded their divinities as responsible for all matters pertaining to the natural and social orders. Before the beginning of kingship in Sumer, the city-states were effectively ruled by theocratic priests and religious officials....

Defaced Dea Roma holding Victory and regarding an altar with a cornucopia and other offerings, copy of a relief panel from an altar or statue base

Religion in Ancient Rome

Religion in Ancient Rome Religion in Ancient Rome includes the ancestral ethnic religion of the city of Rome that the Romans used to define themselves as a people, as well as the religious practices of peoples brought under Roman rule, in so far as they became widely followed in Rome and Italy. The Romans thought of themselves...

Anunnaki Chaos Monster and Sun God

Ancient Mesopotamian Religion

Ancient Mesopotamian Religion Mesopotamian religion refers to the religious beliefs and practices of the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, particularly Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia between circa 3500 BC and 400 AD, after which they largely gave way to Syriac Christianity. The religious development of Mesopotamia and Mesopotamian culture in general was not particularly influenced by the movements of...

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