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5 -- Part 8: The Greek Experience
Many people found the rituals and ceremonies boring and turned to mystery religions.
Foll owers gained secret knowledge in initiation rituals and were promised eternal life in these religions.
Some people turned away from religion to practical philosophies that provided advice on how to live a good life.
There were advances in astronomy, mathemat ics, and mechanical design.
Doctors used observation and dis section to better understand the way the human body works and to develop treatments for disease.
The temples built for the old Olympian gods were staffed by priests.
They spread Greek religious beliefs throughout the Near East.
The literary, musi cal, and athletic contests were staged in splendid Greek-style buildings, which were sponsored by the transplanted religions.
The civic religions were mostly concerned with ritual and did not include morality or redemption.
People increasingly sought solace from other sources.
Some used philosophy as a guide to life, while others used religion, magic, or astrology.
Others shrugged and spoke of Tyche, which means "fate," "chance," or "doom."
The text was written in Greek and Egyptian.
The incantation is surrounded by a lion-headed snake.
Gions were never very popular.
The religious systems were spread throughout the Hellenistic world.
The temples of the new Greek deities incorporated aspects of both Greek deities, so the mystery religions came to the people.
The belief that by the rituals of initiation, the secrets of the religion were shared, devotees became united with a deity who had also died and risen from the dead was a common concept.
The god sacrificed his life to save the devotee from eternal death.
A period of preparation was put in place for the converts to become holy, that is, to live by the religion's precepts.
The initiation is a ritual of great emotional intensity that symbolizes the entry into a new life.
Some people used mystery religions to overcome Tyche and provide something permanent in a world that seemed unstable, while others turned to philosophy.
A Greek system happy only when they had turned their backs on the world and focused their attention on philosophy.
They differed on what that enduring thing was.
The greatest good was caught in the minds and hearts of many Greeks.
He concluded that violent emotions are not desirable.
He considered poverty good if people had enough food, clothing, and shelter.
People can attain peace and serenity by ignoring the outside world and focusing on their own feelings.
His followers ignored politics because tumult would disturb the soul.
The most popular achieved nothing but good things.
Tyche could destroy their achievements but not the nobility of their lives, but in that way they could triumph Hellenistic philosophies.
Nature was considered an expression of divine will by Zeno and his fellow Stoics, and they believed that people could not be happy if they did not live in accordance with nature.
They said that all people were obliged to help one another and that they were the same.
The concept of natural law was the most lasting achievement of the Stoics.
As all people were brothers, par took of divine reason, and were in harmony with the universe, one natural law governed them all.
Science and medicine were achieved by the Hellenistic culture.
The most notable of the Hellenistic contributors to the field was Aristarchus of Samos.
The sun is larger than the earth and the stars are far away.
He argued against the idea that the earth is the center of the universe, instead suggesting that the earth and planets are in the middle of the sun.
The heliocentric theory was resurrected in the 16th century by the astronomer, and it did not convince the ancient world.
The essentials of geometry have been learned by generations of students.
The greatest thinker of the period was Archimedes.
A clever inventor created a new artil ery, a screw to draw water from a lower to a higher level, and a compound pulley to lift heavy weights.
Pure mathematics was his main interest.
The principle that the weight of a solid floating in a liquid is the same as the weight of the liquid displaced by it was discovered by him.
Hellenic science was used for both war and peace.
Machines that changed warfare were built using theories of mechanics.
Engineers built siege towers.
If these new engines made warfare more efficient, they also added to the misery of the people.
The whole population was embraced by the war.
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