Chapter

War and religion

Louis Rawlings

in The Ancient Greeks at War

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780719056574
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700839 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719056574.003.0010
War and religion

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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This chapter examines how the religious values of the ancient Greeks influenced their conduct of wars, campaigns and battles. It discusses how Greek communities prepared for and came to terms with war through their methods of communication with the divine and use of rituals and it asks what the Greeks believed was the contribution of their gods to war. This chapter explains that the Greeks believed their gods to have been actively involved in the mortal pursuits of warfare and combat, and the nature of Greek polytheism allowed for a bewildering fragmentation of the roles and responsibilities of war-gods. It also discusses the Greeks' pre- and post-battle rituals, their funerals and mourning and commemoration.

Keywords: religious values; wars; ancient Greeks; rituals; polytheism; war-gods; funerals; mourning; commemoration

Chapter.  12572 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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