The Religion of Expediency
Hegel notes that it has been traditional to treat Greek and Roman religion together since there seems to be a general correspondence among their divinities. But in fact, he claims, they represent two quite different general conceptions. Since the Romans and the Greeks had such different political developments, their cultures and religions are fundamentally distinct. The Roman gods are associated with numerous fixed goals or purposes. Hegel takes this to be an important point of contrast with the Greek religion. For the Greeks, the individual gods had a variety of individual powers and characteristics, but they were never fixed to their goals or ends in a dogged way. The Greek gods can be fickle, changing their minds just as humans tend to do. But the Roman gods are one-dimensional since they are fixed on a single end and are not anything more complex than this end.
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