The gods of a conquering aristocracy

The gods of most nations claim to have created the world. The Olympians make no such claim. The most they ever did was to conquer it. . . . And when they have conquered their kingdoms, what do they do? Do they attend to the government? Do they promote agriculture? Do they practice trades and industries? Not a bit of it. Why should they do any honest work? They find it easier to live on the revenues and blast with thunderbolts the people who do not pay. They are conquering chieftains, royal buccaneers. They fight, and feast, and play, and make music; they drink deep, and roar with laughter at the lame smith who waits on them. They are never afraid, except of their own king. They never tell lies, except in love and war.

— Gilbert Murray, Five Stages of Greek Religion
via Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy

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