8

Did the ancient Greeks consider their deities to be omniscient? Hence does Greek mythology claim to be the definite truth like other religions often do and might this leave more room to question and even apostatize?

  • 2
    I think omniscience is something mainly associated with the Abrahamic the Dharmic faiths, not pagan folk mythologies. The stories involving gods even Zeus being tricked show this is not an inherent trait for gods in Greek mythologies. That said, it seems to me your follow-on questions are more history than mythology, and Greek paganism was not organised / exclusive to such an extent as having apostasy. – Semaphore Jan 15 '18 at 12:38
  • 1
    Your linkage of "an omniscient deity" to a "claim to be the definite truth" seems really suspect. Can you support it? – Spencer Jan 17 '18 at 12:21
  • 1
    Great question. When speaking of knowing or objective truth, we think not of the mythopoesis of Greek mythology, but of Greek philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc.) Zeus may not have been omniscient of omnipotent, but he was powerful, clever, and knew an awful lot. I'll certainly continue to consider the philosophical dimension, and see if that yields material for a formal answer. – DukeZhou Jan 17 '18 at 18:41
6

Not even close.

This can be shown by, for example:

You can find a lot of other examples, of course but the gods don't appear to have anything approaching omniscience.

  • Trying to prove a negative. – Spencer Jan 17 '18 at 13:23
  • @Spencer how so? – David Jan 18 '18 at 14:05
5

The Fates are omniscient. Clotho spun the tread of fate. Lachesis measured it. Atropos cut it. All the while observing the would and knowing every thing between the three of them. Except what would happen to themselves, for Apollo, as a mortal, got them drunk and forced them to tell him how his human master could avoid his fate.

The Graeae could be considered all knowing as well. They knew the three items needed to kill Medusa and where they were. But, they could not see the Perseus would take their eye and tooth.

I realize the Fate nor the Graeae are gods.

  • 1
    Great answer. It raises the point that the concept of omniscience existed, but was separated from god proper. (Zeus as Dios/Διός ) – DukeZhou Jan 17 '18 at 18:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.