Ch 1: Ancient Religious Practices

About This Chapter

The Ancient Religious Practices chapter of this History of Major World Religions Study Guide course is the most efficient way to study important concepts surrounding ancient religions. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus includes lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure you understand the essential concepts associated with ancient religions.

Who's It For?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering ancient religion material will benefit from the lessons in this chapter. There is no faster or easier way to learn about the history of ancient religion. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who want to learn a broad topic in a short amount of time
  • Students who are looking for easy ways to identify the most important information on the topic
  • Students who have fallen behind in memorizing events and people associated with ancient religion
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning about world religions (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who have limited time to study for an upcoming exam

How It Works:

  • Watch each video in the course to review all key topics.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with a short quiz.
  • Complete your review with the ancient religion chapter exam.

Why It Works:

  • Study Efficiently: The lessons in this course cover only information you need to know.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Take the ancient religion chapter exam to make sure you're prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any world religion question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students Will Review:

This chapter summarizes the material students need to know about ancient religion for a standard world religion course. Topics covered include:

  • Religion and theories about religious foundation
  • Differences between polytheism and monotheism
  • Various cultures' myths, including Greek, Roman and Babylonian
  • Meso-American religions
  • Early religious practices and significance

23 Lessons in Chapter 1: Ancient Religious Practices
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is Religion? - Definition & Role in Society

1. What Is Religion? - Definition & Role in Society

This lesson will focus on the traits of religion. Using the works of Tillich and Noss, it will highlight religion's belief in the supernatural, its inclusion of a moral code, and its use of prescribed ritual acts.

Theories on the Origins of Religion: Overview

2. Theories on the Origins of Religion: Overview

This lesson will explore the many theories on the origins of religion. In doing so, it will highlight the works of Kant, Muller, Frazer, Marx and Freud. It will also explain animism and nature worship.

What's the Difference Between Polytheism and Monotheism?

3. What's the Difference Between Polytheism and Monotheism?

There have been many religions throughout human history, and each one has had a unique set of beliefs. In this lesson, we're going to look at the two main categories into which most of the world's religions fit and then compare them to each other.

Primal Religions: Types & Practices

4. Primal Religions: Types & Practices

This lesson will explore the many traits of the primal religions of past and present. In doing so, it will highlight animism, totemism and the use of shamans in the primal religions of the world.

Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess

5. Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess

What kind of problems do we encounter when talking about ancient religions? What are the Mother Goddess figures, and where do they pop up throughout history? Watch this lesson to learn about one of the earliest forms of religious worship.

Religions of Sumer and Akkad: Definition & History

6. Religions of Sumer and Akkad: Definition & History

This lesson will explore the religion of ancient Sumer and its Akkadian empire. In doing this, it will highlight the Sumerian pantheon, their ziggurats, and their belief in the afterlife.

What Are the Myths of Babylon? - Definition & Significance

7. What Are the Myths of Babylon? - Definition & Significance

This lesson will explore the creation myth of ancient Babylon as compiled in the Enuma Elish. In doing this, it will highlight the Babylonian belief in Marduk as the supreme being and the creation of humans to serve him.

The Epic of Gilgamesh

8. The Epic of Gilgamesh

Witness the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of adventure, love and friendship. This long poem will help us examine the hallmarks of civilization for a Sumerian and the importance of dreams. We'll also cover the Sumerian contributions to the epic form of literature.

Greek Myth and Religion

9. Greek Myth and Religion

This lecture examines the troubles of generalizing Greek religion, before doing just that. It lists the major Olympian gods and their roles. It then explores the function of heroes in Greek religion. Next, the relationship between gods and men is laid out. Finally, it explores aspects of Greek myth that reemerge in Christianity.

The Odyssey: Greek Epic

10. The Odyssey: Greek Epic

This lecture provides a rough outline of the exploits of Odysseus in Homer's epic poem ''The Odyssey''. You'll learn plot details about this epic poem, in addition to hearing about how this important tale relates to Greek culture and literary works throughout history.

Roman Myths and Religion

11. Roman Myths and Religion

This lesson compares Roman gods to their Greek predecessors and enumerates the similarities and differences between Greek and Roman religion. Finally, Roman religion's relationship with mystery cults, especially Christianity, is briefly explored.

Gods of the Home: Primal Roman Religious Practices

12. Gods of the Home: Primal Roman Religious Practices

This lesson will explore the religions of early Rome. In doing this, it will highlight the Roman deities, Janus and Vesta. It will also explain the concept of numina, and the importance of Roman Lares and Penates.

The Religions of Meso-America

13. The Religions of Meso-America

This lesson will explore the bygone religions of Meso-America, specifically the Mayan and Aztec belief systems. In doing this, it will highlight their belief in animism, their sacred calendars, and the use of human sacrifice as a means of worship.

The Meso-American Religious Rites of Passage

14. The Meso-American Religious Rites of Passage

This lesson will explain the Mesoamerican rites of passage. In doing this, it will explore the ancient cultures and ceremonial practices of the Mayan and Aztec people of Mexico and Central America.

Aztec Gods & Goddesses: Names & Meanings

15. Aztec Gods & Goddesses: Names & Meanings

In this lesson, we will explore some of the numerous gods and goddesses of ancient Aztec mythology. We will discover the role they played in Aztec life and detail the responsibilities of the most important deities.

Mayan Gods & Goddesses: Lesson for Kids

16. Mayan Gods & Goddesses: Lesson for Kids

Do you know who the Lady Rainbow was? How about the Mayan god whose name means lizard? In this lesson, find out interesting facts about the most popular Mayan gods and goddesses and discover why they were important!

Shinto Religion: Definition & Gods

17. Shinto Religion: Definition & Gods

There are a few major religions that define life in East Asia. In this lesson, we're going to explore the indigenous Japanese religion of Shinto and examine its tenets and role in Japanese life.

The Goddess Cybele in Mythology

18. The Goddess Cybele in Mythology

The Greco-Roman goddess Cybele was considered the Great Mother of the Gods. In this lesson, you'll learn more about Cybele, her role in ancient mythology and how she was worshiped.

Yggdrasil the Tree of Life: Norse Mythology & Symbol

19. Yggdrasil the Tree of Life: Norse Mythology & Symbol

To understand the cosmos in Norse mythology, we have to start with Yggdrasil. In this lesson, we'll explore the tree of life and see what role it played in the beliefs of the Norse.

Creatures in Irish Mythology: Fairies, Banshees & Monsters

20. Creatures in Irish Mythology: Fairies, Banshees & Monsters

The folklore behind mythical creatures like fairies, banshees, and monsters have been cherished and passed along for many generations. Several of these stories have roots within Irish history and survive as an important addition to Irish culture. This lesson will examine several magical stories within Irish mythology.

Women in Irish Mythology: Characters & Folklore

21. Women in Irish Mythology: Characters & Folklore

Women, from the terrifying to the heroic, were instrumental in ancient Irish mythology. Their strong character and powerful presence has set the tone throughout Irish history, and persists even today.

Irish Mythology: Gods & Symbols

22. Irish Mythology: Gods & Symbols

In this lesson, you will be introduced to several of the major gods and goddesses of the Celtic tradition. Some of these descriptions will also include major symbols associated with those deities.

Slavic Mythology: Gods, Stories & Symbols

23. Slavic Mythology: Gods, Stories & Symbols

Slavic mythology tales and fables have been passed down orally and preserved by other means. In this lesson, learn about the rivalry between gods Perun and Veles, and how night and day came to be. You'll also learn about major symbols and rituals.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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