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The Beliefs and Practices of the Athenians in the time of Pericles The people of Athens in the time of Pericles had many religious beliefs and practices Peoples beliefs and practices were often very important to the way they went about their everyday lives Some of these practices would be visiting the temple praying to the gods and the many different festivals that were conducted throughout the year as a result of beliefs in different gods The first thing that is noticeable about the Athenian culture in Pericles time is that the whole culture revolves around polytheistic beliefs the worship of many gods This is especially evident when looking at the Acropolis with its many temples dedicated to the different deities that were most commonly worshiped Although the Athenians were polytheistic and therefore divided in their allegiances to the gods they all worshiped showed immense respect to the god of their beloved city Athena The Parthenon was the chief temple in the Acropolis it was dedicated to the cities patron goddess Athena On the outside of the temple there was a frieze that depicts the birth of the goddess Athena as well as her battle with the god Poseidon for the city of Athens Another frieze on the temple shows one of the most important religious events that occurred in Athens called the Panathenaic procession This festival occurred once a year and during this festival a new peplos or dress was carried up to the acropolis and placed on the wooden statue of Athena The people of Athens had many beliefs and as a result were very ritualistic when it came to worshiping their gods This show of rituals was encouraged in order for the people to please the gods they were worshiping and in doing so kept the gods from punishing them The most important forms of rituals that were performed were the festivals that the people performed
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