Spartan Religion

Good afternoon fellow students today I will be talking to you about Spartan religion In Sparta religion was very unique in contrast to the rest of Greece. The Spartans followed a polytheistic religion, meaning they believed in multiple deities. In Sparta religion had an important role. Religious celebrations demanded attendance by the whole community; each Spartan was expected to play their part in the community religious life. This mentality is in complete contrast to our religion today in western influenced states where religion is more or less a private matter.

The Spartans being polytheistic worshipped many gods. Zeus was the most important god however Heracles, Artemis, Athena, Apollo and Poseidon were also worshipped.

The Spartans accepted and followed a belief that the cosmos or universe was ordered in three stages of existence:
• The realm of human.
• The realm of the Olympian gods.
• The realm of the underworld. It was understood that the realm of human consisted of all created by Zeus, this included man, animal and material items. The realm of the Olympian gods was run by the almighty Zeus and his fellow gods and goddesses. Lastly there was the realm of the underworld or Hades; it is here the dead ancestral spirits lived.

Spartans generally believed that if an ancestral spirit had committed a serious crime or was not given proper burial practice in their previous life they could come back and haunt the living in the realm of the human. Also Spartans believed that if they worshipped an ancestral spirit, the spirit would in turn help them and keep them safe.
In Sparta the inhabitants undertook numerous religious practices in the hope of pleasing the gods. These practices ranged from simple prayers to sacrifices.
The Spartans offered objects to the gods these objects were sometimes of value but were often just promises to do something. Along with these offerings the supplier often desired a favour or blessing in return.

The Spartans prayed...