3.1. Greek and Romans (What changed with Hellenistic and Roman Rule?)

Different Views of the Afterlife

Afterlife Exercise 1

At his death he will not take along anything,

his glory will not go down after him.

During his life his soul uttered blessings;

“They will praise you, for you do well for yourself.”

But he will join the company of his fathers,

never again to see the light.

In his prime, man does not understand.

He is like the beasts—they perish.

Afterlife Exercise 2

Death, I think, is actually nothing but the separation of two things from each other, the soul and the body...

When a man who has lived a just and pious life comes to his end, he goes to the Isles of the Blessed, to make his abode in complete happiness, beyond the reach of evils.

But when one who has lived in an unjust and godless way dies, he goes to the prison of payment and retribution, the one they call Tartarus.

Afterlife Exercise 3

The human body is a fleeting thing, but a virtuous name will never be annihilated.

Have respect for your name, for it will stand by you more than thousands of precious treasures.

The good things of life last a number of days, but a good name, for days without number.

Afterlife Exercise 4

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, others to reproach and everlasting disgrace.

Afterlife Exercise 5

So also is the resurrection of the dead.

It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.

It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious.

It is sown weak; it is raised powerful.

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

Views of the Afterlife Outside Ancient Judaism and Christianity


What is worth dying for?