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Amanda Roza

Ancient History
December 15, 2016
M15 Reflection
I believe that religion had the biggest impact overall. Egyptians religion was based on
Polytheism. Polytheism is the belief in many gods. They had over 2000 gods and goddesses.
Traditions included the fact that some of their rituals were done at home, they had daily
ceremonies and lots of festivals, they worshiped their gods daily, and a strong belief in afterlife.
Their culture was based off their religion. If they didn't have this religion their culture
would have been completely different. They wouldn't have the festivals, the burial rituals, the
ceremonies, none of it. Their religion is their life.
Take the Romans for example, religion was less a spiritual experience than a relationship
between mankind and the forces which were believed to control people's existence and wellbeing.
The result of such religious attitudes were two things: a state cult, the significant
influence on political and military events of which outlasted the republic, and a private concern,
in which the head of the family over saw the domestic rituals and prayers in the same way as the
representatives of the people performed the public ceremonials.
However, as circumstances and people's view of the world changed, individuals whose
personal religious needs remained unsatisfied turned increasingly during the first century AD to
the mysteries, which were of Greek origin, and to the cults of the east.
Festivals were held in order to please their gods. If the Roman state entertained temples
and rituals for the benefit of the greater gods, then the Romans in the privacy of their own homes

also worshipped their domestic deities. The beginnings of Christianity are very blurry, as far as
historical fact is concerned.
Christianity came about once Jesus himself was born, AD 1, although this remains a little
uncertain and the date was not clearly established it was assumed to likely be around AD 26 and
AD 36, during the reign of Pontius Pilate as prefect of Judaea.
China is another example on how important religion affected their civilization. China is
one of the most ancient civilizations on earth, and Chinese religion is one of the oldest forms of
religion. Evidence of burial practices has been said to have taken place to as early as 5000 BCE.
Today, Chinese religion is a total mix of Chinese folk religion, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism
and Communist anti-religious sentiment.
There is quite a few dynasties in China where religion came into play, such as the Han
Dynasty (206/202 BCE- 220 CE) , The Three Kingdoms (220- 263 CE), Chin Dynasty (221-206
BCE), Chou Dynasty (1111-225 BCE), and the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BCE).
The Han Dynasty was the first dynasty to embrace Confucianism, to give support to all
of the regimes until the end of imperial China. Knowledge of the Five Classics of Confucius
became necessary to hold any important post. The emperors of the Han Dynasty also supported
the development of art, science, technology, literature and religion. It was a period of great
prosperity. During the Han Dynasty, emperors were seen as ruling under the Mandate of Heaven.
They also had the important responsibility of spiritual blessings for the Chinese people. In earlier
periods, one of the nine ministries of state took care of this duty, but later the emperor came to be
more directly involved in official worship and ritual. The rituals of the state were classified into
five elements: fire, water, earth, wood, and metal.

Finally, the importance of Greek religion. In the ancient Greek world, religion was
personal, direct, and present in all areas of life. With formal rituals which included animal
sacrifices and libations, myths to explain the origins of mankind and give the gods a human face,
temples which dominated the urban landscape, city festivals and national sporting and artistic
competitions, religion was never far from the mind of an ancient Greek. In the Greek
imagination, literature, and art, the gods were given human bodies and characters and just as any
typical man and women, they married, had children, fought, and in the stories of Greek
Mythology they directly dived straight into human affairs. These traditions were first recounted
only orally as there was no sacred text in Greek religion and later, attempts were made to put in
writing this tradition, noted by Hesiod in his Theogony and more indirectly in the works of
Homer.

Work Cited
Religions in China." ChinaHighlights. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.
Religion in China." Chinese Religions. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.
Ancient Greek Religion. ReligionFacts.com. 19 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 15 Dec. 2016.
<www.religionfacts.com/greek-religion>
PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.