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The purpose of this essay is to discuss Roman religion and their polytheistic beliefs. Iwill discuss the roles of the deities they worship and how they are connected to Greekreligion as well. The Romans help a polytheistic belief meaning that they believed in several different gods or deities. The ruler of the gods was known as Jupiter which in Latin means shinning father . Roman mythology says that Jupiter was the son of the god,Saturn, whom he overthrew to become ruler. Jupiter exhibited many characteristics of the Greek main deity, Zeus, including wielding lighting bolts to exercise his authority. The Roman mythology tells us that Jupiter was believed to be the father of many gods, goddesses, and heroes including Apollo, Minerva, and Hercules. According to theRoman beliefs Jupiter was the god of rain, thunder, and lightning. As the protector ofRome, he was named Jupiter Optimus Maximus (the best and the greatest) and he wasworshipped in a temple on the Capitoline hill. As Jupiter Fidius he was guardian of law,defender of truth, and protector of justice and virtue. Jupiter had a wife whom wasnamed Juno. Juno was the protector of women and was worshipped under many names. AsJuno Pronuba she presided over marriage. As Juno Lucina, she aided women in childbirth. As Juno Regina she was the special counselor and protector of the Romanstate. Juno is the Latin counterpart of the queen of the Greek gods Hera. The goddessMinerva was the daughter of Jupiter. She was the goddess of handicrafts. Identifiedfrom an early date with the Greek goddess Athena, she was the patron of the arts andtrade. The three gods, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, made up the triad that was worshippedin the grand temple that adorned Capitoline Hill. This triad became the central cult ofworship for the Roman state. Mercury was another son of Jupiter and of Maia, the daughter of the Titan Atlas.

He was the messenger god. Mercury was also the god of trading and merchants and heshared most of the attributes as his Greek counterpart Hermes. The worship of Mercurywas introduced in 495B.C. when a temple was dedicated to his honor near the CircusMaximus. Neptune, also the son of Saturn and the brother of Jupiter, was the god of the sea.He was originally worshipped as the god of springs and streams until he became with theGreek god of the sea, Poseidon. Jupiter had another brother named Pluto. Pluto, who was the Roman counterpartof the Greek god Hades, was the god of the dead. He along with his brothers, Jupiter andNeptune, Banned together to overthrow their father Saturn. After they succeeded, theyeach chose their domain to live. According to the Roman myths, Jupiter chose the earthand heavens as his realm, Neptune chose the sea, and Pluto chose the underworld realm.He was originally considered to be fierce and unyielding. Later they believed he was thebestower of the earth s blessings. The great mother of the gods was known as Cybele. Cybele is the Latinname of a goddess native to Phrygia in Asia Minor. She was a goddess of natureand fertility known to the Greeks as Rhea, the wife of the Titan Cronus andmother of the Olympian gods. Because she presided of mountains and forests, hercrown was in the form of a city wall. She was known to the Romans also asMater Turrita. In conclusion, you can see that the Roman and the Greek gods sharedmany attributes and roles in the religion and culture of these two civilizations.These were only a mere few of the gods and goddesses of the two polytheisticcivilizations. How do you think they could have had time to worship all of thosedeities who can tell, but one thing is for sure. We will some day be consumed bythis history we now study and someday our civilization will be studied bysomeone else, so I end it with that point to ponder on. Jared Brantley World History 5th Period


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