1. Greek religion was diverse and included both civic cults and popular beliefs.
2. The Archaic period saw the worship of Dionysus, including the practice of sparagmos.
3. In the Hellenistic period, mystery cults became more prominent and rulers sometimes invited new gods to settle in times of crisis.
The article "Greek religion | Beliefs, History, & Facts" on Britannica provides a comprehensive overview of the history and beliefs of Greek religion. However, there are some potential biases and missing points of consideration that need to be addressed.
One-sided reporting is evident in the section on the Archaic period, where the article describes the cult of Dionysus as involving "the tearing of living victims to pieces and feasting on their raw flesh." While this was a practice associated with Dionysian worship, it is important to note that it was not a widespread or accepted practice in Greek religion. The article could have provided more context and explanation for this extreme behavior.
The article also presents unsupported claims in its discussion of festivals. For example, it states that many festivals were older than the deity they honored without providing evidence or sources to support this claim. Additionally, while the article notes that magic was widespread in Greek religion, it does not explore how this belief system intersected with other aspects of Greek life or how it was viewed by different social classes.
There are also missing points of consideration in the article's discussion of popular religion. While it briefly mentions nature spirits such as satyrs and sileni, it does not delve into their significance or role in Greek mythology. Similarly, while the article notes that women celebrated the Thesmophoria in honor of Demeter, it does not explain why this festival was significant or what rituals were involved.
The article also has promotional content when discussing mystery cults. It describes them as offering "a personal value to the individual in a large and indifferent world," which could be seen as promoting these cults over traditional forms of worship. Additionally, while the article notes that rulers sometimes invited new gods during times of crisis, it does not explore how this affected existing religious practices or whether there were any negative consequences.
Overall, while "Greek religion | Beliefs, History, & Facts" provides a comprehensive overview of Greek religion, it could benefit from more context, evidence, and exploration of different perspectives.