What are the names of some gods in Roman mythology?

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Rome conquered Greece, it incorporated the Greek gods into its own pantheon. So many Roman gods took on the traits and characteristics of the Greek gods. The major Roman Gods became indistinguishable from their Greek counterparts. Jupiter, for example, is essentially Zeus. Cupid (Roman god of love and romance) is nearly indistinguishable from Eros (Greek god of the same).

Over time, the distinctly Roman Gods (those that had no Greek equivalent) became less prominent. Some faded altogether, their characteristics and powers subsumed by other deities. Dis Pater, Roman god of land for example, was absorbed into Pluto, Greek god of the underworld. 

Not all uniquely Roman Gods fell into oblivion. A number of key Roman deities survived the pantheon clash and continued to be worshiped in their own right. Janus, Roman god of transition, change, beginnings, and endings, was heavily worshiped throughout the Roman empire. Janus was the central deity in many Roman ceremonies marking life transitions. He was prominent in birth ceremonies and funerals, as well as New Year's celebrations and other markers of seasonal change.

Other uniquely Roman Gods without Greek counterparts include: Mithras, patron deity of soldiers; Orcus, punisher of the damned; and the Lares, deities of hearthfire, family, and home. 

 

sibylla0421 | Student

Roman mythology is a fascinating thing to study, and it's a deceptively complex concept. There are literally hundreds of gods, demigods, and various mythological figures in the Roman pantheon, but here are a few of the main ones, in two categories.

Also, keep in mind that the Roman pantheon overlaps quite a bit with the Greek pantheon, but not exactly. Many of the gods exist in both, but my be slightly different. So if you're specifically looking for Roman gods, be wary of information about their Greek counterparts!

The 12 Olympian Gods

The 12 Olympians are the most well known of the Roman gods. They were very powerful and mercurial beings. Unlike most monotheistic deities, the gods were full of flaws, and were often ruled by powerful emotions. 

Roman name (Greek name) and a General description

Jupiter (Zeus): King of the gods, god of lightning, symbolized by the eagle

Neptune (Poseidon): God of the ocean and horses too

Pluto (Hades): The god of the underworld

Juno (Hera): Queen of the gods, wife and sister of Jupiter, goddess of marriage, symbolized by the peacock

Mercury (Hermes): The messenger god, he wears winged sandals and carries the caduceus

Venus (Aphrodite): The goddess of sexual love and beauty. She was born when Uranus' castrated penis fell into the water. Venus is married to Vulcan, but is known for her affairs with Mars.

Mars (Ares): The god of war

Minerva (Athena): Goddess of wisdom and warfare. Minerva's mother was the goddess of Wisdom, Metis, whom Jupiter ate to prevent her offspring from overthrowing him. Minerva later jumped out of his head. 

Diana (Artemis): Goddess of the hunt and the moon

Apollo (Apollo): God of prophesy, music, archery, and the sun. He is the only one with the same name in both Roman and Greek mythology.

Vulcan (Hephaestus): The blacksmith god. His name gives us the term "volcano."

Vesta (Hestia): Goddess of the hearth. The Vestal Virgins were a group of priestesses in Rome who worshiped her.

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