Roman gods

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Roman gods

  1. 1. Roman Gods Virgil’s Aeneid
  2. 2. Jupiter (Zeus) <ul><li>Originally sky spirit – important in agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Lost rustic background and became chief god, defender of city and state </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful, middle-aged, bearded </li></ul><ul><li>Jupiter more dignified than Zeus </li></ul><ul><li>Used thunderbolt to warn and punish </li></ul>
  3. 3. Juno (Hera) <ul><li>Originally goddess of light </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible for childbirth, marriage and other female concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Looked after birth rate of nation </li></ul><ul><li>With Jupiter, co-guardian of her people </li></ul><ul><li>Depicted as young and beautiful women, but also dignity of Roman matron </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mars (Ares) <ul><li>Second in importance to Jupiter </li></ul><ul><li>Originally agricultural </li></ul><ul><li>March his month </li></ul><ul><li>As empire became important to Romans he became god of war </li></ul><ul><li>Never completely lost farming role </li></ul><ul><li>Father of the state – features in the story of Romulus and Remus </li></ul><ul><li>Different to Ares who had no loyalty to any side in war </li></ul>
  5. 5. Vesta (Hestia) <ul><li>Personified fire – domestic fire used for cooking, warmth and religious ceremonies </li></ul><ul><li>Every home honoured her every day </li></ul><ul><li>Honoured in a state cult – Vestal Virgins who tended the state fire </li></ul><ul><li>Tales of Hestia do not match Hera </li></ul><ul><li>Truly Roman figure </li></ul>
  6. 6. Minerva (Athene) <ul><li>Patron of crafts and commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Never as important as the Greek Athene </li></ul>
  7. 7. Neptune (Poseidon) <ul><li>Originally a fresh water god </li></ul><ul><li>Under Greek influence identified with the God of the sea </li></ul><ul><li>Less significant role than Poseidon – most Romans dry land people </li></ul><ul><li>Not as much personality as Poseidon </li></ul>
  8. 8. Diana (Artemis) <ul><li>Spirit of woods and mountains </li></ul><ul><li>Original mysterious cult submerged by Greek Artemis – goddess of woods and mountains </li></ul><ul><li>Depicted as beautiful young woman in a short tunic or gown, carrying bow and arrow </li></ul>
  9. 9. Venus (Aphrodite) <ul><li>Spirit of springtime </li></ul><ul><li>This association led to her being merged with Greek Goddess of love and feminine beauty </li></ul><ul><li>Straight laced Romans less enthusiastic about bad example of numerous love affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Good luck </li></ul><ul><li>Cult took after when linked to Aeneas </li></ul><ul><li>Claimed ancestress of Julius Caesar </li></ul><ul><li>Portrayed as beautiful young woman often in nude </li></ul><ul><li>Accompanied by son – god of love (Eros or Cupid) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mercury (Hermes) <ul><li>God of commerce and trade </li></ul><ul><li>First appeared as Roman God around fifth century BC as trade developed at Rome </li></ul><ul><li>By Augustus’ time very important to businessmen </li></ul><ul><li>Thought of as low-class </li></ul><ul><li>Depicted as young man with wide brimmed hat, sandals and little else </li></ul>
  11. 11. Vulcan (Hephaistos) <ul><li>One of oldest Roman Gods </li></ul><ul><li>God of fire </li></ul><ul><li>Patron of metal crafts </li></ul><ul><li>Lacked personality and mythology </li></ul>

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