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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
I. THE LANDS OF THE WEST AND THE RISE OF GREECE TO ABOUT 500 B.C.
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CONCEPTIONS OF THE DEITIES
The Greeks made their gods and goddesses after themselves. The Olympian divinities are really magnified men and women, subject to all human passions and appetites, but possessed of more than human power and endowed with immortality. They enjoy the banquet, where they feast on nectar and ambrosia; they take part in the struggles of the battle field; they marry and are given in marriage. The gods, morally, were no better than their worshipers. They might be represented as deceitful, dissolute, and cruel, but they could also be regarded as upholders of truth and virtue. Even Homer could say, "Verily the blessed gods love not evil deeds, but they reverence justice and the righteous acts of men." 
 Odyssey, xiv, 83-84.
IDEAS OF THE OTHER WORLD
Greek ideas of the other world were dismal to an extreme. The after-life in Hades was believed to be a shadowy, joyless copy of the earthly existence. In Hades the shade of great Achilles exclaims sorrowfully, "Nay, speak not comfortably to me of death. Rather would I live on earth as the hireling of another, even with a landless man who had no great livelihood, than bear sway among all the dead."  It was not until several centuries after Homer that happier notions of the future life were taught, or at least suggested, in the Eleusinian mysteries.
 Odyssey, xi, 488-491.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy