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Why did the Greeks build temples - Essay Example

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Greek temples are still the most historic sites in the world. The list of surviving Greek temples is more then what one can imagine. This speaks of fine construction work by the Greeks. Greek temples not only exist in Greece only but they can also be seen along Mediterranean…
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Why did the Greeks build temples
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Why did the Greeks build temples

Download file to see previous pages... Classical temples can be grouped in two categories and these are Ionic and Doric. These styles are known as orders that can be identified in types of column used in temples. Ancient Greek temples were not built for worship or for receiving spiritual comfort. These were basically built for god or goddess who protected the community. Gods controlled the natural calamities and other hazards as well. Gods were capricious at some times and they could harm the community. That is why it was important for everyone to take care of god’s comfort to avoid problems. Their houses were specimen of good construction especially those built during the Dark Age. Gods were keenly looked after. Gods received share in food, harvest, business, trading and military activity. Peripteral, Doric and Ionic orders were the masterpiece constructions in ancient Greek. All the orders differ in type of construction, style and usage of material1. Cult images were mostly used in all the temples to represent god. These images still speak of the mastery of designers. Statue representation at centre of the temple was either sitting of standing. Initially statues were made of wood but with the passage of time cut stones and different materials were used. Zeus statue was liked worldwide and for some time it remained the part of Seven Wonders of the World2. Another purpose of Greek temples was to house statues of deities. Varieties of statues were placed in a single temple for worshipping and offerings. Specific offerings were a feature of Greek temples in Greece. Offerings might include flowers, jewellery, precious belongings of a person. All the offerings presented by citizens were permanently preserved in the temple. Great construction work reflects the attachment of ancient Greeks with their gods. Temples also served as linkage between sacred and secular in ancient Greece. Altar was the place specified for sacrifices and offerings in a temple. Olympia and Delphi were the places where treasury was a small building introduced for offerings to god and goddess. The other important parts of the temples which were not part of the religious practice places includes council house, law court, fountain house, separate place for women to fill their vases with water from community fountain. The temples were also linked with open assembly area or market place in the rear3. Normally the part of temple opened for the public was either a cave or line of trees for worship. The sacred enclosure of the temple building was commonly known as Temenos. This place reflected the rural origin of cults. Public was not allowed to move around in the complete temple. Only priests had the privilege of divine presence for showing and performing as representatives of the whole community. Common public was normally not allowed to perform in religious festivals and gatherings. Although they were encouraged to contribute financially as temple was the house of gods. People usually offered lavish sacrifices to gods in the shape of livestock and personal belongings4. Different occasions of athletics and dramatic production was a regular feature in ancient Greek. Gods and goddess were presented with rare objects, garments, jewellery and cutlery by the community. Community normally loved to gift statues of young men and women as symbol of deep reverence towards gods. Kore was found in sixth century BC in Athens. Offering of joint prayers with the community normally took place in temple at the end of any gathering or festival5. There is no doubt that temple is the most important building of the Greeks. Statues in temple were placed facing east so that rising sun is first seen from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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