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Mycenaean Greeks

Matriarchal religion (female dominated) came before the Patriarchal religion (male dominated) among the Mycenaean Greeks. The Greeks believed that creation moved from the female dominated society to the male dominated society. The Mycenaean Greeks portrayed political sophistication through combination of patriarchal religion with the matriarchal religion. For example, when Cronus takes over power as the leader of the world, there is a transition in the divine family from mother domination to father domination under the leadership of Zeus. Rhea was a powerful goddess just like her mother and she manages to win power from Cronus after seeking the help of the mother. Rhea undertakes her plan through her son Zheus. In addition, Zheus becomes the ruler after the approval of his mother. This shows integration of patriarchal religion with matriarchal religion.

There are five ages of man. These are the gold age, silver age, Bronze Age, heroes’ age, and the Iron Age. The way of life among humankind worsens with transition from the gold age to the Iron Age. The mortals of the gold age were the first people to inhabit the other and were pure hearted since they respected fellow human beings and the gods. The mortals of the silver age were juvenile but less virtuous than in the old age. As such, their life in old age was short and not happy.  The third generation was named after bronze since the people made their weapons from bronze. They loved the god of war and lived with the sword. In the fourth generation (age of heroes), human beings became more noble. Some of them died in the wars. Hesiod believes that these four ages were the best. This is because people did not practice the activities experienced in the fifth generation (Iron Age). In the fifth generation, people concentrate on accumulation of property and do not believe that the earth can provide enough for them. They are disrespectful even to their parents.

Heracles was the strongest and the most popular Greek Hero. Just like the other heroes, Heracles must enter the underworld. For the case of Heracles, he had to enter the underworld in response to a command from Eurystheus. This was the twelfth and the final of his labors. Eurystheus commanded him to go for Cerberus, a three headed dog monster protecting the entrance to the Hades dread kingdom. Since Heracles had to obey all the commands of Eurytheus, he had to enter the underworld.