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Exploring ancient Greek religion

Free statement of participation on completion
Exploring ancient Greek religion

The ancient Greeks did not have a term equivalent to the English word ‘religion’. However, their world was populated by numerous figures they both recognised and worshipped as divinities. Among these figures was Amphiaraos, an ancient Greek hero who was later worshipped as a god and popularly associated with healing through the medium of dreams. But there was no sacred book (like those which exist in many religions today) which told the ancient Greeks what to believe about Amphiaraos or how to communicate with him. How, then, did people and communities know how to worship Amphiaraos? 

In this course, you will explore this question by looking at textual and visual evidence relating to Amphiaraos’ sanctuary, which was located at a town called Oropos, in northeast Attica. You will engage with this material to learn about some of the different ways the ancient Greeks interacted with Amphiaraos, both individually and as part of their community.

Interested in taking your learning further? You might find it helpful to explore the Open University’s Classical Studies courses and qualifications.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • develop awareness of the rich and complex relationship between politics and religion in the ancient Greek world
  • understand how to uncover personal experiences in the study of ancient religions
  • feel confident in working with both ancient texts and visual source material to answer questions about ancient Greek religion
  • use Amphiaraos' sanctuary as a case-study for understanding the broader political and personal aspects of ancient Greek religion.

First Published: 06/02/2024

Updated: 06/02/2024

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