Gods are everywhere in Athens. You cannot take the
briefest walk without being reminded that the world is full of deities.
There is a "Herm"
by the main door of every house, as well as a row of them across the
Agora. At many of the street crossings there are little shrines to
Hecate; or statues of Apollo Agyieus, the street guardian; or else a bay
tree stands there, a graceful reminder of this same god, to which it is
sacred. In every house there is the small alter whereon garlands and
fruit offerings are daily laid to Zeus Herkeios, and another altar to
Hestia. On one or both of these altars a little food and a little wine
are cast at every meal. All public meetings or court sessions open with
sacrifice; in short, to attempt any semi-important public or private act
without inviting the friendly attention of the deity is unthinkable. To
a well-bred Athenian this is second instinct; he considers it as
inevitable as the common courtesies of speech among gentlemen.
sums up the current opinion well, "All men who have any decency, in the
attempting of matters great or small, always invoke divine aid."