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Roman Gods

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Jupiter (Greek Zeus)
King of the gods/ god of the sky/ weather
Jupiter's symbols
throne/ scepter (symbol of political power- see picture)/ thunderbolt
Jupiter's character
Most stories refer to his amorous conquests, which caused the jealousy of his wife Juno.
Queen of the gods. god of marriage/ women
Juno (Greek Hera)
Symbols of Juno
peacock
Juno's character
Suffered the philandering of her husband and frequently sought vengeance on his lovers.
Neptune (Greek Poseidon)
God of the sea/ earthquakes/ horses and bulls
Neptune's symbols
trident/ dolphin/ horses
Neptune in Rome
The focus of prayers of both sailors at sea (travel in the Mediterranean was vital for the growth of Roman power) and those at the races (god of horses)
Dis Pater (Greek Pluto, also known as this by Romans)
God of death/ underworld
Flora and Faunus
gods of growth and fertility
Cupid
god of love, son of Venus. Could inflame human hearts with love by piercing them with an arrow.
Janus
god of gates and doorways/ beginning and endings. Protector of the house.
God of the sun/ education/ music and the arts/ archery/ prophecy
Apollo (also Apollo in Greek)
Apollo's symbols
lyre and bow
Goddess of the moon/ hunting/ childbirth
Diana (Greek Artemis)
Diana's symbols
moon/ bow and arrows
Mars (Greek Ares)
God of war/ agriculture
Mars' symbols
armour
Roman Mars
As he was the father of Romulus, all Romans liked to believe they were descended from Mars. As war was so central to their society, only Jupiter was more important than Mars.
Venus
Goddess of love & beauty
Goddess of the home/ hearth
Vesta (Greek Hestia)
Vesta's symbols
fire
Roman Vesta
Of vital importance to families as the hearth (fireplace) was a home's source of light, heat and cooking.
Symbol of Mercury
winged sandals/ caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes)
Mercury (Greek Hermes)
Messenger of the gods. god of travel and trade
Goddess of wisdom/ weaving and crafts/ war
Minerva (Greek Athena)
Symbols of Athena
owl/ aegis (see picture- Athena's shield)
Ceres (Greek Demeter)
Goddess of agriculture/ harvest
Ceres' symbols
flowers/ fruit/ grain
Ceres in Rome
She became prominent in the city in 496 BC when she was adopted to drive away a famine.
Ceres' daughter Prosperpina
Abducted by Neptune into the Underworld. She spent a few months of each year in the Underworld- during those months her mother Ceres would fast from grief, and so no crops would grow. The Romans believed that this caused winter.
God of wine/ drama/ revelry
Bacchus (Greek Dionysus)
Symbols of Bacchus (Greek Dionysus)
thyrsus (see picture)/ vines/ ivy/ animal skins
Vulcan (Greek Hephaestus)
God of fire/ metal-working/ artisans (craftsmen)
Symbols of Vulcan
anvil/ hammer
Vulcan's character
He lived under Mt Etna, a volcano in Sicily. He was married to Venus but she preferred Mars. When Venus was unfaithful he would hit the metal so hard that it would cause a volcanic eruption (which is how the Romans believed that the volcano erupted).
Vulcan in Rome
Romans relied heavily on the production of iron (weapons) so he was an important god
Venus (Greek Aphrodite)
goddess of love and beauty
Symbols of Venus
sea shell
Roman Venus
Important to Romans as she was the mother of Aeneas, one of their founders.
Olympian family
most important 12 gods: Jupiter/ Neptune/ Mars/ Apollo/ Vulcan/ Mercury/ Bacchus/ Juno/ Vesta/ Ceres/ Diana/ Minerva/ Venus
Why were they called the Olympians?
They were believed to live at the top of Mt Olympus in Greece (seen as a fictional place in the sky)
How were the gods perceived?
Immortal and ageless
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