By “ancient religions” I mean (for example) the ancient Greek belief system, with Zeus and all the rest on Mt. Olympus. Or the Roman state religion - pretty much the same, but the gods had different names. Or the ancient Egyptian religion.
It seems to me that these religions all consisted of a number of gods with specific responsibilities (god of war, goddess of love, god of the harvest, and so on) and if you wanted, for instance, to make someone fall in love with you, you prayed, or sacrificed, to Aphrodite in the hope she’d intercede. But this seems to be all there was to it - unlike modern religions, these gods didn’t make moral rules. There was, as far as I can figure out, no Ancient Greek equivalent to the Ten Commandments. The gods were just there, and could be appealed to, but they didn’t tell people how to live their lives.
Am I right in this? Were there any moral rules attached to these old religions? Or were religion and morality considered to be two separate and unrelated things?
Several myths seem to reinforce certain moral behaviors. The story of Baucis and Philemon has a definite moral of “be hospitable to those in need”. There are MANY stories about hubris, in which those whose sense of undeserved pride made them act above others (and especially the gods) and led to their downfall (Phaeton, Arachne).
The Greek underworld was divided into various areas. In Tarterus, the titans were imprisoned, Sisyphus rolled his rock eternally, and Tantalus hungered and thirsted amid plenty. In the Elysian fields, heroes and virtuous shades enjoyed eternal afterlife in a land of gentle weather and good company. Sounds like a morality to me.