Hilarious Ancient Greek Beliefs & Traditions

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 11 April 2022
Hilarious Ancient Greek Beliefs & Traditions
Greeks are known to be philosophers and innovators. However, there is another side to the Greeks: the side where traditional beliefs, many of which are rooted in ancient times, overtake all sense of reason.

Here are some of the funniest and weirdest Ancient Greek beliefs and traditions!

1. Sneezing Prevents You From Getting Pregnant

This isn’t just some old wives’ tale, you see. Soranus, an ancient Greek physician, actually believed that women sneezing would act as a form of contraception, thus preventing pregnancy. After making love, he instructed women to squat, sneeze, and rinse.

2. Magical Sweat Was A Cure-All

Ancient Greeks admired their athletes and saw them as celebrities of a sort. Not only were they revered, but they were also thought to have magical sweat. How it worked: The athletes all performed naked and were rubbed with olive oil, and the sweat which they expelled during competitions was considered to have magical healing powers.

Slaves would scrape the sweaty skin of athletes after competitions. This sweat/oil mixture was called “gloios.” The gloios was in turn bottled and sold as an all-healing ointment for aches and pains.

3. There Is Evil In The Air

There is one ancient Greek superstition that is even now completely interwoven into the society of modern Greece. Generations upon generations have passed down the belief of the evil eye, or “mati.” There is evidence of the evil eye having an influence on the traditions of Greek society as far back as the 6th century BC when it commonly appeared on drinking vessels.

It is believed that someone can cast the evil eye onto another person out of envy (either good or bad) and jealousy. You are said to be hexed with the evil eye if you are dizzy or if you have a headache and yawn a lot. The good news is that you can have the “spell” broken by someone who knows how to perform a special ritual involving oil, water, and prayers.

4. The Island Of Mykonos Is A Breeding Ground For Vampires

Before the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, there were creatures endemic in Greek folklore who were considered to be dangerous. These “walking dead” creatures were called vrykolakes.

As the legend goes, vrykolakes would leave their graves at night and knock on the doors of their presumptive victims, saying their names aloud. If there was no answer after the first knock, no harm came to the innocent.

To read this article in full, please visit: greekreporter.com