Nearly all kinds of ancient mythology and religions were constructed from early civilizations trying to make sense of their surroundings. The idea of science was completely unknown to them; rather they explained natural phenomena as done by mythical deities. In Greek mythology this is how we come to certain instances like Apollo, the sun god, or Zeus, the god of the heavens and sky.
The idea of the sun seemingly running across the horizon was rationalized by them as Apollo driving his blazing chariot through the sky. Night was formed by his rest and subsequent absence. Thunderstorms were Zeus' anger. His cherished lightning bolts destroyed those who caused him offense.
And this goes on and on with each of the gods having domain over certain areas of natural life. There is Poseidon, whose domain was the sea. If you wanted to cross the water on a ship, it was an absolute must to pray and sacrifice to him. Hades ruled the underworld. If you wanted love, your prayers would have to be directed to Aphrodite.
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