tradgedy of the greek religion

PS I could accept that Buddha may have been an incarnation of Apollo for I am open to all eventualities and realities.
Soomething else occurred to me about the two images posted.

Chrolologically, they are in the right order but the Greek image dates from the pre-Classical period and is used as an example of how the Greeks were starting to change their statues and art.

Dating from around 700/600 BCE, it has a hairstyle reminiscent of the Persian style (the style also appears in Egyptian art), while its stance and features have similarities with the Cretan and Egyptian styles. In fact, this is an example of what the Greeks were leaving behind.

Alexander reached India in the 4thcentury BCE (300 years after the statue was made), when Greek art was radically different. This Greek influence can be clearly identified in Indian coinage, where the human head suddenly appears, then disappears (when the Greeks leave). (see Boardmans book on British Museums coins and seals).

So the Buddha in fact shows influences of a much earlier Greek art but this Greek art in turn shows influences from the East and from the cultures of the Homeric legends, which the Greeks rejected. In turn, these earlier influences had been passed along the 'Silk Trade Route', as we call it now. This route is very old and product from Afghanistan was in Egypt 4 000 BCE.

I hope this sufficiently clouds the answer to the question of who influenced who in the art world. I see it as a mix but identifying which arts influenced which goups is difficult and dating must be carried out very carefully.

One last point: Greek imigary was not confined to the gods but crossed into the human real, whereas Buddha was deified/ spiritual and the imigary was not used for ordinary people. Thus, even if there was a cross-over of style, the meaning of the imigary was very different.
Sorry to hog, I enclose a quote from Sacredstar. Whilst the people concerned might not have seen the statue in connection with Apollo, the fact that it is readily available on the internet and in a fair number of books dealing with Greek art means that, if they have ever seen an statues of Greek origin, this or similar might well have been included. Hippocrates was Greek, so the link with medicine is well established for the westerner.

Remember too that the Greek Gods were somewhat 'mobile', their roles and duties varied with time and requirements.

Sacredstar said:
I raised this because on a Reiki with Quan Yin healing course two elderly ladies that had never seen a spirit before, both saw Apollo and described exactly the same picture. (I should add I had never seen Apollo either and knew not what he looked like)

That same I day I had purchased a copy of the Jesus Sutra's and blow we down when I got home the picture that they had described was exactly the same as Apollo in Jesus Sutra's and Palmer explains the importance of the Apollo and Buddha connection. Also interesting that Apollo is considered to be a GOD of healing and Buddha was also called the Medicine Buddha!

Kim xx
kpreisig said:
Does anyone else think that the destruction of Greek Mythology by Religion is a tradgedy?

On that topic, I need information. Was there a specific time when Greeks began to learn about Science that prooved their beliefs wrong? When did this happen? Was it gradual? Did it first happen in a specifid place? How did this all happen?

If anyone knows of any books that have any information on the intrusion of Science in Greek Mythology, PLEASE let me know.

I am beginning to write a screen play about Greek Mythology, and if possibly I would LOVE it to depict the end of Mythological Beliefs in Greece, and how and why this happened.

Any snipit of information will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks to all!


An interesting post as are some of the replies. I feel I should let you know, as far as the present day devotees of Hellenismos are concerned, reports of the demise of Classical Paganism are greatly exaggerated!

Imperial decrees and ecclesiastical censures provide accounts of survivals of Paganism in Greece from the closure of the academy up until just before the renaiscance

Classical Paganism was revived during the renaiscance due to the work of Plethon.

After the closure of the Academy, the official end of Paganism as a public religion, some of the philosophers went to Harran where the tradition survived until the middle ages to be reintroduced by the crusaders who rediscovered it.

There are groups in Greece who claim an unbroken continuity with ancient practices.

Also the philosophical traditions especially Neoplatonism have survived.:p

Continuity is also found in the surviving Indo-Greek colinies in the East such as the Kalash who still worship the Gods of Olympus in particular Dionysus who they consider their ancestor.:eek:

IMHO What actually happened that was the beliefs of the common people were reinterpreted by the philosophers. the literalistic polytheism which some especially Plato insisted was a misunderstanding of mythology was gradually transformed into a Mystical Monism. :cool:
This philosophical tradition which eventually became the underlying philosophy of Classical Paganism was at the same time becoming more and more mystical and intellectual. The tradfitional practices became a part of folk culture as well as becoming assimilated by newer religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam among others. The religion has survived in some significant forms and has witnessed some new flowerings in some forms of Wicca and Druidry as well as Hellenic Reconstructionism.:D

The Greek authorities have only recently decriminalised the worship of the Gods of Olympus in a legal ruling.:eek:

I'm happy to provide links to the groups mentioned above.:rolleyes:
Therapon said:
Also the philosophical traditions especially Neoplatonism have survived.:p

I remember reading somewhere that Epicureanism survived as well. Do you have any knowledge about that?


Eudaimonist said:
I remember reading somewhere that Epicureanism survived as well. Do you have any knowledge about that?

No I haven't, it would be interesting to find out about if you can remember where you read it. I know there are also Stoic groups around but I'm not sure if these are recent reconstructions, revivals or a survival of the philosophy?

It's easier with Neoplatonism as there is much more written and at the close of antiquity they actually made a determined effort to write down every essential part of the philosophy, so that nothing was left out for future generations. Also Neoplatonism found some accceptance within mainline religions and the friction between them helped keep the school survive as an independent tradition.