Discuss Poseidon and his worship.

Because the Ancient Greeks were a seafaring people from the beginning, Poseidon was always one of their most important gods. He was the paramount god of the polis in Corinth and second only to Athena in Athens. Sailors would sometimes drown horses as a sacrifice to Poseidon in hopes of ensuring a calm voyage.

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Ancient Greece was a society or collection of societies in which almost everyone lived near the sea. Communities formed on islands or in coastal city states, and the Greeks were a seafaring people from the earliest times. The sea god Poseidon was therefore of paramount importance to the Greeks. Poseidon was the brother of Zeus, King of Heaven, and Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and was of similar importance to his brothers. He seems to have been worshiped as widely as Zeus, and there were many temples to him throughout the Greek islands and mainland. In Athens, he was second only to Athena, with whom he was supposed to have a longstanding rivalry. In Corinth, he was regarded as the most important god of the polis.

Perhaps the most famous of the many temples to Poseidon is the one at Cape Sounion. It is recorded that sailors praying for a safe voyage would sometimes go so far as to drown horses as offerings to the sea god, and Alexander the Great sacrificed a four-horse chariot in this way before the Battle of Issus in 333 BC. Before Apollo took over the Oracle at Delphi, it was widely associated with Poseidon, and the two gods were often worshiped in tandem, receiving the same sacrifices and being praised in the same hymns or paeans.

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