Their gods controlled the forces of nature— the sun and rain, which nourished their crops, and the winds that drove their ships. Although generally benevolent, the gods could be quite capricious and were liable to turn against the community— so it was in everyone's interest to make sure that they should feel relaxed and at home.
Their 'houses' [temples] were the finest, equipped with a staff of servants to look after their every need. They received daily offerings of food and drink along with a proper share of the harvest as well as a share in the profits of any trading or military activity.
The god or goddess was represented by a cult image— usually a seated or standing statue— which occupied the central place in the temple. In the early days they would have been made of wood but, over the years, more permanent and costly materials were preferred— stone or cast bronze.
The finest, such as the great statues of Zeus
at Olympia or Athena from the Parthenon in Athens (both by the
Athenian sculptor Phidias) were of crystelephantine, a
combination of gold and ivory. The statue of Zeus was considered
one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
2. Why did the ancient Greeks build temples?
3. What objects could be found in one of their temples?
4. What activities took place daily inside the temple?
5. Why did the ancient Greeks consider their Gods so important?