ROMAN MYTHOLOGY Private and Public Gods Roman religion

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ROMAN MYTHOLOGY

ROMAN MYTHOLOGY

Private and Public Gods • Roman religion was divided into two types of gods,

Private and Public Gods • Roman religion was divided into two types of gods, primarily as a result of Rome conquering much of Greece in the Macedonian Wars. • Spirits (Numina) watched over people, families and households • One who Guards the Cradle • One Who Presides over Children’s Food • Rivers, trees, fields and buildings each had their own spirit, or numen. • Tables were set with places for the spirits to join • Romans also had a set of public gods • Roman gods were a blend of deities, with close similarities to the gods worshipped by the ancient Greeks. • Ex. Jupiter and Mars • State worship was much more formal • Each god needed an image – usually a statue or relief in stone or bronze – and an altar or temple at which to offer the prayers and sacrifices.

Divine blessing Romans also believed that many of their gods had played an active

Divine blessing Romans also believed that many of their gods had played an active part in the foundation of Rome. • Venus was believed to be the mother of Aeneas (mythological founder of Roman Empire), making her the divine mother of the Roman people. • Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus, the mythological founders of Rome. • Emperors used the importance of religion for their own ends. • Augustus Caesar • appointed himself as the chief priest – or Pontifex Maximus – • used the appearance of Halley’s Comet to claim that he was, himself, the son of a god. • hired writers and poets to develop myths that weave their greatness into the beginnings of Rome and Roman Empire.

Roman Mythology –How does it compare? • Came 1000 years after the Greeks. •

Roman Mythology –How does it compare? • Came 1000 years after the Greeks. • Origin of Greek Mythology unknown/ Roman mythology has clear origins • Greek Mythology focused on mortal life, earthly accomplishments to acquire fame/ Roman Mythology focused only on mortal life as a means to be rewarded in the afterlife. • Greek religion had little influence on the state/ Roman Mythology was endorsed, and sometimes written, by the state

Greek God Roman Equivalent Identification 1. Jupiter/ Jove Ruler of all gods/men 2. Neptune

Greek God Roman Equivalent Identification 1. Jupiter/ Jove Ruler of all gods/men 2. Neptune God of the seas 3. Pluto Ruler over land of dead 4. Juno Queen of the gods 5. Ceres Goddess of grain 6. Minerva Goddess of wisdom 7. Apollo or Phoebus Apollo God of the sun/music 8. Diana Goddess of moon/hunt 9. Venus Goddess of love/beauty 10. Mars God of war 11. Mercury Messenger god 12. Vulcan God of fire 13. Cupid God of love 14. Proserpina Goddess of the Underworld

Greek God Roman Equivalent Identification Zeus Jupiter/ Jove Ruler of all gods/men Poseidon Neptune

Greek God Roman Equivalent Identification Zeus Jupiter/ Jove Ruler of all gods/men Poseidon Neptune God of the seas Hades Pluto Ruler over land of dead Hera Juno Queen of the gods Demeter Ceres Goddess of grain Athena Minerva Goddess of wisdom Apollo or Phoebus Apollo God of the sun/music Artemis Diana Goddess of moon/hunt Aphrodite Venus Goddess of love/beauty Ares Mars God of war Hermes Mercury Messenger god Hephaestus Vulcan God of fire Eros Cupid God of love

Romulus and Remus (pg. 110) 1. Almost all cultures have stories that explain their

Romulus and Remus (pg. 110) 1. Almost all cultures have stories that explain their beginnings. Why do you think the Romans used Romulus and Remus for that purpose? How does it shine a positive light on Rome? 2. Tell why you think it would be important to the Romans for Mars, the God of War, to be the alleged father of Romulus and Remus. Tell whethere any other elements of war that tie into the story. 3. Like Heracles, Romulus has a remarkable death. How is his death like that of Heracles? What does it contribute to his heroic image? 4. In this myth, the founder of Rome kills his brother and plans the rape and abduction of the Sabine women. Do these actions detract from Romulus’ heroic stature? If not, why? What do they reveal about life at that time?