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A Greek revival January 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.

Greece is renowned for its ancient architecture, magnificent ruins, in various states of preservation, of temples dedicated to Zeus, Athena and other ancient deities. The religion that built those temples was outlawed about 1,600 years ago by a Christian emperor.

Most Greeks now are Orthodox Christians, and the Church regards ancient Greek religion as pagan. Even the Greek government did not consider it a religion, until last year, when a group called Ellinais won a court fight for state recognition of the ancient Greek religion.

Now they are pushing for the right to celebrate their rites in “their” temples, The Associated Press reports. The Culture ministry responsible for the protection of ancient monuments forbids entry to most ruins in Athens.

Last weekend, group members held a ceremony honouring Zeus beside the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in downtown Athens. Completed in the second century AD, the temple was the largest in Athens.

A word in your ear >

Orthodox and orthodoxy entered English from ancient Greek by way of Latin. The Greek Orthodoxia combines orthos (straight, right or correct) and doxa (belief, glory). So orthodox means “right-believing.”

Catholic, meaning “universal,” is derived ultimately from the ancient Greek katholikos.

Catholic is widely used as a synonym for Roman Catholic, but the Orthodox Church also considers itself universal.

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