The Mycenaean civilization was one of the most developed civilizations of the Ancient Greece. It had the unique system of beliefs that differed from the classical religion of the country. Therefore, this paper will discuss the features of the Mycenaean Greeks’ religion.
To begin with, the Mycenaean civilization praised the gods and goddesses. The goddesses were not actual divine creatures because they were called ‘ladies’ or ‘mistresses.’ For example, the Greek goddess Athena is mentioned in the Mycenaean scripts as ‘mistress Athena’ (Hooker 124). Also, this civilization praised Demeter and Persephone. Despite the similarities, many of the female gods such as Diwia or Komawenteia had no equivalents in the religion of Classical Greece. Therefore, it is obvious that the Mycenaean civilization respected and believed in goddesses despite the patriarchal religion.
Furthermore, the ancient Greeks believed that humanity passed through many periods, which had its features and specific events. The presented periods were called the Ages of Man. According to Hesiod, there were five ages, but the first period called the Golden Age was the best for the humankind (Hooker 202). The humans lived in harmony with Gods, and they were not forced to work in order to feed themselves because nature produced all the necessary food (Hooker 208). The people were able to see the gods and interact with them. Moreover, the death was peaceful and harmonious because their spirits continued to live on Earth.
Regarding ancient heroes, they entered the underworld, and Heracles is not an exception. Such practice allowed him to prove the power and purpose. As underworld was the place inhabited by the dead, no one was able to come back from that place. Therefore, for Hercules, it was the only way to show the people that he is a true hero and son of god. In my opinion, the presented ritual was important to Hercules to test himself and understand his own power.
To conclude, the Mycenaean civilization had a unique religion. Their goddesses cannot be considered the actual gods because they were called ‘ladies’ or ‘mistresses.’ Mycenaeans were convinced that the Golden Age was the period when the humanity reached its prosperity. Finally, they let Hercules enter the underworld as it was the only way for him to show the people his divine nature.
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