The Morality of the Greek Gods

In Ovid’s poems of the gods and the history of Rome, the gods are immoral and relentless in their domination of mankind. In the story of Arachne and Minerva (Athena), Arachne was the greatest weaver in Greece, and challenged Minerva to a weaving contest. Minerva accepts, and Arachne beats her. Minerva, instead of accepting her defeat, destroys Arachne’s work and turns her into a spider.

Apollo and the Satyr
Apollo and the Satyr

In all of the other stories, we see the same pattern. In the story of Jupiter and Io, Jupiter is a lusting brute who cannot control his lust and incurs his wife’s anger repeatedly. In the story of Apollo and Satyr, the Satyr challenges Apollo to a music contest, but Apollo was decreed to have won, and Apollo flayed the Satyr alive. Thus, we see that the gods are unfair and extremely brutal in their retribution towards mankind’s rebellion, and they’re all morally lacking in some way; Jupiter lusts for women, Apollo and Athena for pride and their place in the hierarchy.


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