Friday, 19 September 2014

The Roman goddesses and gods - an introduction

The Pantheon of Roman gods and the Greek gods with their description


Roman Name of the Roman goddesses and gods
Roman Name of the Greek goddesses and gods
god of the Sun, poetry, music, Oracle
god of wine
goddess of agriculture
god of love
goddess of the hunt
goddess of animals
goddess of flowers and spring
goddess of happiness
god of the beginning and the end
the goddess of marriage
god of heaven and king of the gods
god of war
Messenger of the gods and God of finances, poets and writers
Pallas Athena
goddess of wisdom
god of sea
god of the underworld and death
god of time, harvest and agriculture
goddess of love and beauty
goddess of the heart, the home and the Roman State
god of fire and the forge

Ever more new-Roman deities

The Roman goddess Vesta was borrowed from the Greek, and corresponded to Hestia, the goddess of the hearth fire. She was worshipped in the Temple of Vesta in the Forum. Their circular Temple corresponded to the ancient italic round hut. The eternal flame, which was guarded by six vestal virgins, burned in the temple with 20 columns. She lived in a neighboring House and their "service" took 30 years. The Roman virgins to guard the Temple had to live as virgins. If one of them fell, she was walled up alive. And if one did not pay attention and let the external fire extinguish, she was scourged to death by the Pontiff Maximus. However, when a criminal who had been sentenced to death, on his way to the execution met a vestal virgin, he was pardoned. Vestal virgins were so highly regarded that even Senators made place for them when they met in the street. The Roman rulers deposited their testaments in the Temple of Vesta.

Examples of how Romans paid homage to their gods

Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, was worshipped when a famine in Rome broke out in the year 496 BC. To her together with Liber (gr. Dionysos) and Libera (gr. Persephone) a temple was donated. Mars was the God of war and thus the God of the soldiers and the military. The month of March was dedicated to him, because he was originally the old Latin god of agriculture and of spring. On March 1, the Roman Mars priests who came from twelve noble families, held their celebrations in honor of Mars. The farmers went with a bull, a pig and a sheep goat across the fields and sacrificed the animals to the deity of Mars. Mercury was the God of traders, poets and writers. At the Circus Maximus, who was at the same time also the Corn Exchange of Rome, he had his temple. Here was also the seat of the panel of the Roman merchants (mercuriales).

Venus is the goddess of love and beauty. She is the mother of Aeneas and thus the ancestress of the family of the Iulier which they worshipped as Generix. She was also the Roman goddess of the garden for the farmers. Neptune as God of the water was the Greek Poseidon in the Roman pantheon. Apollo, initially considered as a healing god, later became the god of arts, divination, the exiles and the displaced persons. In the Roman Empire, he was also Sol, the Sun God of the Romans. His sister was Diane, who was the Greek god artemis, a goddess of the hunt.

Roman gods

In addition to the old and new gods, Romans worshipped further divine beings, the Lares, Penates and Manes. The Lares were the gods of the house and the spirits of the deceased who looked after the house. They even remained when a Roman family left their house. The Penates were the gods of the inhabitants of the houses. You were dependent on their health and prosperity. Her name is derived from the Latin word penus meaning supplies. The Penates accompanied the families, but alsoe the State had his Penates. The Manes were the souls of the dead, which were worshipped by the Romans. They were not only worshipped, even a Festival was celebrated to their honour on 21 February (feralia). Marriage was forbidden on that day, the temples were closed and Roman officials were not allowed to wear official clothing. The Manes are often mentioned under the symbol DM - dis manibus - on Roman gravestones manibus.

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