Roman Gods and Goddesses
Posted on 27th December 2020
There were many gods in ancient Roman mythology, some originated from the Greek gods, but were given Roman names.
Jupiter - King of the Gods, and God of the Sky and Thunder.
The son of Saturn and brother of Neptune and Pluto. His weapon was a thunderbolt and his sacred messenger was an eagle; this became the main symbol of the roman army.
Juno - Queen of the Gods and wife of Jupiter.
The Goddess of Marriage, Women and Fertility. Her symbol was the peacock.
Neptune - Prime God, Ruler of the Sea and Protector of Ships. Also worshipped as a God of Horses. He ruled along with his brothers Jupiter and Pluto over Heaven, the Earth and the Underworld.
Pluto - God of Death.
When someone died, they had to cross the river of the dead (styx). They were always buried with a coin to pay the ferryman for the crossing.
Mars - God of War and second in importance only to Jupiter. The most prominent of the Military Gods worshipped in the Roman army and the patron of the Roman legions. He was also the father of Romulus and Remus.
Venus - Goddess of Love, Beauty and Romance.
Julius Caesar claimed Venus as his ancestor. She is central to many religious festivals and was well thought of in Roman religion.
Apollo - God of the Sun. God of Music, Truth and Prophecy.
Diana - Goddess of the Moon and twin sister of Apollo. She was the Goddess of Hunting and is shown carrying her bow and arrows. She had the power to talk to animals and tell them what to do.
Cupid - God of Love, Attraction and Affection.
The son of Venus, portrayed as having wings and carrying a bow and arrow. This is where the saying ‘shot by cupid’s arrow’ comes from.
Mercury - Messenger of the Gods, Patron God of Financial Gain, Commerce, Messages and Communication and God of Luck, Trickery and Thieves. He is the son of Jupiter and the Guide of Souls to the Underworld.
Minerva - Goddess of Wisdom and of Arts and Crafts.
She was the daughter of Jupiter, her symbol is an owl, which is why she is connected to wisdom.
Ceres - Earth Goddess and Goddess of Agriculture, grain and crops.
Shown carrying a grain bundle and was the central God in Rome’s plebian triad.
Proserpina - Goddess of the Underworld.
Abducted by the God of the Underworld she was then rescued by her mother Ceres.
Vulcan - God of Fire and the Smith God.
Made Jupiter’s thunderbolts and worked from the volcano Etna, where the fire created the heat for his forge. The volcano would erupt if he stoked his furnace too hard.
Bacchus - God of Wine and God of Agriculture.
Son of Jupiter, he carried a staff of fennel topped with a pine cone.
Saturn - God of Time and named ‘Old Father Time’.
His reign was depicted as a ‘Golden Age of Plenty and Peace’; his children were Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto representing Air, Water and Death. The three things that time cannot kill.
Vesta - Goddess of the Home.
Symbolised by the sacred fire that burned at her hearth. The flame should never go out; if it did, disaster would fall on Rome.
Janus - God of Beginnings and Transitions (gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings).
Believed to have two doors; one facing the past and one looking to the future. The doors would be open in times of war and closed in times of peace.
Maia - Goddess of Growth.
Identified with earth (terra).
Terra-Mater -Goddess of the Earth ‘Earth Mother’.
Flora - Goddess of Flowers and the Season of Spring; Goddess of Fertility and Youth.
Bellona - Goddess of War.
The twin sister of Mars, seen wearing a helmet and carrying a sword or shield.
Caelus - Primal God of the Sky.
Tagged as: Junior Ancient Rome
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