Focus Question: What were the religious beliefs, customs and policies of Greek religion and how did the gods fit in?
Greek religion spans from the Minoan and Mycenaean periods to the days of Hellenistic (ending in 31 B.C.E.) Greece, when the Romans invaded and took over Greece. The Greeks primary way of worship was through cult practices. However there were so many variations dependent on the area in which a person comes from that it can be said that there were multiple Greek religions. When talking about Greek religion though we must keep in mind that the Greek language did not have a term for religion' in the sense of what we know it to be today, rather the Greeks spoke of their religious happenings as ta theia', roughly translated having things to do with the gods'. Even though they didn't have a word for religion we cannot assume that they didn't have rules and principles that governed their practices. The Greeks did have a word for belief, so the Greeks definitely believed in the gods no matter what they called the practice.
There are hundreds of gods that the Greeks worshiped but there were primarily twelve: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Apollo, Aphrodite, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus, Athena, Hermes, Dionysus, and Demeter. That being said there was no universal truth for each god. The stories of each God were different dependent on the town and this story usually made the god or goddess distinct. Each town also had its own primary god, for example Athens had Athena, Corinth had Aphrodite, Delphi and Delos had Apollo and of course Olympus had Zeus. Though most places were sacred for one primary God, the larger cities had temples to various important gods.
There was no single true way to worship the gods. Each individual city was responsible for its own temples and sacrifices, but it was up to the wealthy to finance the festivals, games, and dramas held in honor of the gods. There was a main group of priests that were responsible for the...