Written by Daniel Gauss
Before there were gods there was magic. Folks could work directly with nature, perform rituals and nature would respond to their will. When magic failed often enough to engender doubt, the gods were discovered. It was now necessary to reach the spirits behind natural phenomena to get the things wanted from nature. With magic the practitioner felt empowered, as we do today with science. With gods you became dependent on their moods and had to find ways to wheedle them to your favor. In Ancient Greece the gods were anthropomorphized for easier engagement, thus possessing the same emotions as humans and, therefore, the capacity to be manipulated. The Greek gods were, basically, humans who lived forever and who had magical superpowers, but who were also emotionally compelled to care about people. The heroes were their darlings.