The Greeks believed that at the moment of death, the spirit of the dead left the body as a little breath or a small puff of wind, if you please. The deceased was then prepared for burial. This was all according to time honored rituals. Relatives of the deceased, primarily women, conducted the elaborate burial rituals that were customarily of three parts: the prothesis(laying out of the body), the ekphora (funeral procession), and the cremation of the body. After being washed and anointed with oil, the body was dressed and placed on a high bed within the house they used to live in. During the prothesis, relatives and friends came to mourn and pay their respects, like during an open casket funeral. Following the prothesis, the deceased was brought to the cemetery. The ekphora, usually took place just before dawn. Very few objects were actually placed in the grave, but monumental earth mounds, rectangular built tombs, and elaborate marble statues were often placed in the ground to mark the grave, just as we do now
The Greeks feared death, though. The journey after it was to a land known as the Underworld, ruled by the Greek God, Hades. The first part of the journey required crossing the river Styx. The dead body had to be buried with a coin to pay the boatman, Charon, to take them across. Next, Cereberus, the three-headed guard dog, would have to be appeased with honeycake from the deceased spirit, which also had to be buried in with the deceased.
The Underworld offered punishment for the bad and pleasure for the good. On the one hand, the Elysian Fields, a sunny and green paradise, was the home to those who had a led a good life up on the surface. Others were condemned to a torture. Everlasting torture.For example, Tantalus was forced to be perpetually hungry and thirsty while he was just out of reach to the fruit tree, and lake he was beside. And Sisyphus was forced to a roll a rock up a hill, only to have it return to the bottom where he began the task nonstop.
The Greek, and the Romans believed in similar things when it came to the underworld, and their afterlives. The only thing different, was their beliefs in Gods and Goddess.
The Greek Gods
The Greek Gods are the more commonly known in mythology. Here's what we know about them.
Aphrodite: Goddess of love, beauty, desire, and pleasure. Apollo: God of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, prophecy, poetry, purity, athletism, manly beauty, and enlightenment. Brother to Artemis. He later became associated with the sun. Ares: God of war, bloodshed, and violence. Artemis: Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague. Sister to Apollo. In later times she became associated with the moon. Athena: Goddess of intelligence and skill, warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom Demeter: Goddess of grain, agriculture and the harvest, growth and nourishment. Dionysus: God of wine, parties and festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, drugs, and ecstasy Hades: King of the underworld and the dead, and god of the earth's hidden wealth, both agricultural produce and precious metals. Hephaestus: Crippled god of fire, metalworking, and crafts. Hera: Queen of the heavens and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. Hermes: God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery, trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry. Hestia: Virgin goddess of the hearth, home and chastity Posideon: God of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses; known as the "Earth Shaker" Zeus: King of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and fate.
The Roman Gods
Jupiter - King of the Gods Juno - Queen of the Gods Neptune - God of the Sea Pluto - God of Death Apollo - God of the Sun Diana - Goddess of the Moon Mars - God of War Venus - Goddess of Love Cupid - God of Love Mercury - Messenger of the Gods Minerva - Goddess of Wisdom Ceres - The Earth Goddess Proserpine - Goddess of the Underworld Vulcan - The Smith God Bacchus - God of Wine Saturn - God of Time Vesta - Goddess of the Home Janus - God of Doors Uranus and Gaia - Parents of Saturn Maia - Goddess of Growth Flora - Goddess of Flowers Plutus - God of Wealth (In the picture: Is Charon, the boatman that you must pay to cross the river Styx.)
Information on this topic was provided by both, Wikipedia, and knowledge from the creator of this site. As well as some help from the author, Rick Riordan.