Dozens of structures and institutions, many of which remain in the modern world, first appeared in ancient Roman civilization. In other words, the ancient Roman civilization was a highly innovative society when compared to earlier and later civilizations. But when it came to faith, the free citizens of ancient Rome followed in the footsteps of their predecessors. Gods and goddesses that appeared hundreds of years before Rome were included in the Roman pantheon with new names but with the same characteristics.
Moreover, the gods and goddesses of ancient Rome had a very large place in the daily life of the Romans, as they took their roots from the pagan faith. So much so that it was believed that a Roman who wanted to “do his job well” in almost every aspect of daily life should “have good relations” with the deity in question. For this reason, the Romans were very careful and respectful when it came to the ancient Roman gods and goddesses. On the other hand, the material and spiritual worlds of Roman citizens were mainly surrounded by 12 great gods and goddesses. Here are the 12 most important gods and goddesses in ancient Roman mythology.
As the empire expanded its borders, new gods and goddesses were introduced to the Roman domain. The only thing that determines whether a sacred object from previous ancient civilizations is to be included in the pantheon is whether that god or goddess fit into Roman culture. So much so that the 12 most important gods and goddesses of Rome were beings that existed almost entirely in ancient Greek mythology, and Jupiter was one of the most important…
Jupiter, corresponding to Zeus, king of the gods in ancient Greece; He was the god of the sky, thunder and, finally, Rome. With the help of his mother, Opis, he survived the massacre perpetrated by his father, Saturn, following a prophecy that one of his sons would destroy him, and later saved his brothers. Thus, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto and Juno came together and succeeded in overthrowing their parent, Saturn. Later, the brothers divided the rule of the world and the sky was placed on the shoulders of Jupiter …
A reflection of Hera in the ancient Greek pantheon, Juna was the wife and sister of Jupiter. Juno has a place of distinction among the ancient Roman gods and goddesses, and is believed to be the patron goddess of Rome. But protecting Rome was not the sole responsibility of this important entity. Juno was also the goddess of childbirth and pregnant women.
Just like Juno, Minerva held a privileged place among the gods and goddesses of ancient Rome. Because she was considered the goddess of strategy, wisdom, art, commerce, justice and victory.
Minerva was sometimes depicted with an owl, especially since she was directly associated with knowledge and wisdom. One of the most important deities in the Roman pantheon, Minerva was identified with the ancient Greek goddess Hera, especially after the second century BC.
Just like the civilizations before it, ancient Roman civilization needed a god to “rule the seas.” This is where Jupiter, Pluto, and Juno’s brother Neptune come into play.
Neptune, the Roman god of the sea and fresh water, is very similar to Poseidon in ancient Greece. It is not surprising that he is often portrayed as an old man with a trident.
Venus, the equivalent of Aphrodite in Greek mythology, was the goddess of love, beauty, lust, and prosperity. He was also a patron of wine and prostitutes. For various reasons, it was the center of many religious festivals in ancient Rome, and many mystery cults arose that placed Venus at the center of their beliefs.
Mars, the ancient Roman god of war; He was the protector of cultivation and the representative of masculinity and aggression. Roman soldiers attached special importance to Mars when it came to the ancient Roman gods and goddesses. Mars, the counterpart of Ares in ancient Greece, was also the father of Romulus, the founder of the city and thus the empire, according to Roman mythology.
The most important ancient Roman gods and goddesses were equivalent to the ancient Greek gods. However, the Romans knew the names of the powerful in Rome. Here, Apollo was one of the few exceptional deities imported from ancient Greece, both in terms of characteristics and name.
Apollo, like his predecessor Apollo of ancient Greece, was the god of healing, music, dance, archery, light, and truth.
Particularly beloved among the Roman poor, Diana was the goddess of the moon, hunting, and childbirth. The ancient Greek version of Diana was called Artemis.
Vulcan was known in many different ways among the ancient Romans: son of Jupiter and Juno, wife of Maia and Venus, father of Caeculus; Some were the god of fire, volcanoes, blacksmithing, and weapons…
Vesta was the virgin goddess of hearth, family, and domestic life in ancient Rome. He was also among the patron deities of the Roman people, so the festivals held in the name of Vesta were held with wide participation throughout Rome. In addition, the temples built in the name of Vesta were set on fire, and only “Vestal virgins” who had dedicated their lives to Vesta and the preservation of Rome were allowed to enter these temples.
One of the twelve important deities of the Roman pantheon, Mercury was the god of luck, theft, commerce, wealth, travelers, connections, and communication. It was believed that he had an influence on trade and material gain, so he was often depicted with a purse in his hand. However, he is also depicted with wings, like his counterpart in Greek mythology, Hermes.
The goddess Ceres was very important to the people living in ancient Rome. Because it was believed that she is the goddess of motherhood, agriculture, grain, plants and marriage. Also, the Romans believed that the cycles of the seasons are also shaped by Ceres’ moods.
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