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Roman Gods

Roman Gods Name

The foundation of the ancient Roman religion was a belief in an extensive number of gods and goddesses, each of whom was significant in many aspects of daily life in those times.

Although there were thousands of Roman gods, this page will introduce you to the twelve main Roman gods and goddesses.

Greek gods were the source of many of the Roman gods and goddesses.

But as time passed, their multifaceted faith began to progressively decline, and in the fourth century, Christianity acquired more influence and eventually completely replaced the religion of multiple gods.

Rome Religion

Because they thought everything had a guardian spirit watching over it—from rivers to trees to cows to crops—the Romans worshipped many gods.

Every god may have one or more jobs, some of which are quite crucial, such as making sure the sun rose every day or that crops grew in the fields, while others were less so.

The inhabitants of Rome would make at least one daily prayer to their gods. Which god they would pray to would depend on what they needed or wanted.

The Romans absorbed more and more gods into their repertory as the city grew and came into contact with people who worshipped other gods.

The belief was that the god the newcomers to Rome worshipped had to have had some role in their achievement if they had been successful.

The Romans decided to take on gods from other religions.

They would, however, alter their names to reflect Roman names and also facets of their personalities.

Particularly devoted to Greek gods, the Romans adopted many of them into their religion, integrating them with the earlier Ancient gods that the Romans had previously adored.

The Romans gave their gods a great deal of thought and attention.

Sacrifices to the gods were expected, along with devotion.

Roman citizens would attribute practically all of their good or terrible experiences to their worship of the gods, or lack thereof.

Unbelievably, the Romans thought that the best way to show their devotion and speak with the gods was to offer blood.

Bulls, sheep and pigs were therefore frequently sacrificed.

The major 12 gods and goddesses of Rome

This is a list of the twelve major Greek-derived Roman gods and goddesses.

Many of the gods had connections to one another under the direction of Jupiter, their father and the gods' king.

View this family tree to see how the many gods are related:

Roman Gods Goddesses

1. Jupiter : King of the gods and the sky

Symbols: the thunderbolt, the eagle, the oak tree, and Mount Olympus.

The Roman gods Jupiter was considered to be the Roman equivalent of Zeus, the Greek god.

Jupiter was Neptune's and Pluto's sibling.

He was the supreme protector and king of the gods, alternatively referred to as the sky god.

His power extended to the forces of nature and the weather; he was reputed for launching thunderbolts as a warning to the populace of Rome.

He controlled the mountain of Olympus.

Jupiter, represented by the thunderbolt, the eagle, and the oak tree, is easily identifiable by his emblems. 

Frequently depicted amidst clouds or atop Mount Olympus, he was a god of the sky.

Jupiter was the younger sibling of the pantheon's other gods, including Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Pluto, and Neptune.

His parents were the Titans Saturn and Rhea.

As per Greek mythology, Cronos (Saturn), the father of Jupiter, consumed each of his newborn offspring upon discovering that one of them had been chosen to dethrone him as ruler of the gods.

Jupiter was born in a cave on the island of Crete, where his mother, Rhea, concealed him.

Instead, she provided Saturn with a stone that was covered in baby clothes.

Jupiter, as an adult, forced Saturn to vomit his siblings and brothers, engaged in battle with his father, won, and removed him to ascend to the throne of the gods.

2. Juno : Queen of the Roman gods,

8646 - St Petersburg - Hermitage - Jupiter.jpg
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="">Andrew Bossi</a> - originally posted to <a href="//" class="mw-redirect" title="Flickr">Flickr</a> as <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="">8646 - St Petersburg - Hermitage - Jupiter</a>, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Symbol : The cow, the cuckoo and the peacock

The Roman gods Juno was Jupiter's sister and wife. She was named after the Greek goddess Hera.

She was reputedly the Queen of fertility and childbirth, as well as the Heavens.

She went by the title queen of the gods as well. Juno is honoured with the name of June.

The cow, the cuckoo, and the peacock were her symbols.

She held these creatures and birds in high regard. Peacocks pulled her cart rather than horses.

She appears with a blue peacock during the Judgement of Paris in this 16th-century gold hat jewel (see more about that in our Myth of the Trojan War and Women and goddess of the Trojan War blogs).

She is a fertility, childbirth, and marriage goddess.

Even so, she is usually portrayed as calm and restrained.

Punishing them and their children, she sought retribution on Jupiter for his numerous connections with mortal and immortal women.

3. Pluto: God of the underworld


Symbol : Barn owl, headed dog (Cerberus), serpents and the cypress tree

Roman Gods Pluto was the god of the underworld and the brother of Jupiter and Neptune.

The Romans thought that after death, people travelled to the underworld.

Hades and Plouton, often known as Pluto, are the underworld's gods as well as the underworld itself.

This god's first name was Hades, yet the idea changed over time.

Pluto transformed into the name of the actual Underworld, while Pluto came to be known as the god who ruled over it.

Furthermore, Plouto was connected to a devoted marriage to Proserpina, whereas Pluto was said to have kidnapped her.

Following the Titans' defeat in the Titanomachy War, Pluto, sometimes known as Hades, was an Olympian, one of the gods who ruled for several generations.

Together with his spouse, the Earthly goddess Rhea, Cronus held the position of supreme authority in the universe.

As Titan king, he had heard the unsettling prophecy that one of his offspring would usurp him, just as he had his father.

Cronus ate his Titan offspring to stop being dethroned.

Jupiter was one of the ones that Rhea was able to save by tricking Cronus into ingesting a rock.

After being taken to a secret training island in Crete, Jupiter eventually faced his father as an adult.

Cronus was made to recite the other Titans aloud during an argument between family members.

Thereafter, the Titans and Olympians engaged in a ten-year struggle for supremacy over the universe known as the Titanomachy Wars.

Neptune, Pluto, and Jupiter were among the Olympians who triumphed; Cronus was imprisoned in Tartarus, the lowest realm of the Underworld.

Upon Cronus's downfall, his sons inherited the universe.

Jupiter ruled the sky, Pluto oversaw the underworld, and Neptune ruled the ocean.

4. Neptune: God of the Seas.

Symbol : trident, sea, horses, earthquakes, riding a sea monster,

Neptune is the Roman equivalent of Poseidon.

He was the god of the sea, but he was eventually linked to rivers as well.

In art, he is frequently depicted with a trident and a dolphin.

Neptune, the god of the sea, horses, and earthquakes, was frequently depicted driving a chariot of horses or marine creatures while carrying his trident, which he used to control the waves.

Neptune's insignia was his trident, a three-pronged weapon, and the horses and dolphins that draw his chariot.

The stem of this ewer depicts Neptune riding a sea monster and brandishing his trident.

Neptune was assigned responsibility for the sea to protect sailors and mariners, while his brothers Jupiter and Pluto ruled the skies and the underworld.

In addition to the Cyclops Polyphemus, whom Odysseus and his crew blinded in Homer's Odyssey, he also fathered the winged horse Pegasus with the Gorgon Medusa, about whom you can read more on our Who Was Homer blog.

5. Venus: the goddess of beauty and love

Symbol : Doves, roses, and myrtles

Venus is the goddess of love, beauty, and birth.

She is based on the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Venus is said to have been born from the foam of the sea.

That's why she's often shown rising from the water in a calm pose in art.

Venus, also known as Aphrodite, was said to have come out of the white foam that was made when Saturn threw his father Ouranos's cut testicles into the sea.

Venus was considered the beautiful goddess of love, sex, and beauty.

Doves, roses, and myrtles are all signs of Venus. The goddess is shown in this marble relief with a dove next to her right foot and a palm branch, which stands for success, in her left hand.

Venus was married to the master blacksmith Hephaistos, but she had affairs with other gods, including Mars.

Most of the time, Cupid (Eros in Greek), the Roman name for Cupid, is with her.

Cupid is the Greek god of love or lust. 'Aphrodisiac' comes from her name, and venereal comes from Venus.

6. Mars: The God of War 

Symbol : a boar or vulture, spear and shield

Mars was an equivalent Roman god to Ares. As the deity associated with warfare, he was subordinate to Jupiter.

Rome's legendary twin founders, Romulus and Remus, were regarded as Mars's forefathers.

Mars, the godof war, is depicted in this statuette entirely dressed in his signature armour by the Romano-British artists, though lacking the spear and shield that he originally bore.

Mars or Ares, can be identified by his armour and armaments, which are typically a spear and a shield.

Occasionally, a boar or vulture accompanies the god or goddess.

Mars, the Greek equivalent of Mars and the son of Juno and Jupiter, was associated with aggression in combat and wealth.

During the conflict, his half-sister Athena (Minerva) exemplified the more virtuous facets of civil behaviour.

Mars (Ares), despite being unpopular among the other deities of the classical pantheon, was held in high regard in Sparta as the archetype of the exemplary soldier, except his companion Aphrodite.

In contrast, Mars, his Roman counterpart, was considerably more well-liked, ranking second only to Jupiter, and was revered as Rome's protector.

7. Minerva: the Goddess of Wisdom and War.

Symbol: the owl and the olive tree

Minerva is the Roman name for Athena, better known as the goddess of war.

She was also the goddess of trade, crafts, industry, education, and battle.

She was Jupiter's daughter and, according to legend, emerged fully grown from his forehead, clothed in armour.

According to legend, she sprung from Jupiter's head.

She also gave her name to the city of Athens.

Minerva (Roman) and Athena (Greek) were frequently depicted wearing helmets to represent their military might.

Her icons (symbols) are the owl and the olive tree.

In the foundation myth of Athens, Athena (Minerva) defeated Poseidon (Neptune) in a contest for the patronage of the city by planting the first olive tree, thus its identification with her.

In contrast, Neptune provided Athens with a spring of salted water that was significantly less beneficial to the city.

This tetradrachm coin from the 5th century BC Athens depicts Athena wearing a crested helmet adorned with olive leaves, with an owl with an olive spray on the reverse side.

8. Apollo: The Sun God, ruler of music and dance

Symbol: Sun, bow and arrow, lyre, and swan

The Greek name Apollo remained intact, and the Romans also used it, calling him Phoebus.

Being a god of archery, music, dance, health, illness, and the sun and light, Apollo had numerous roles and duties.

The Romans revered him as a god of great power because he was the son of Jupiter (Zeus).

The only deity in classical mythology whose name appears in both Greek and Roman mythology is Apollo.

Arthur, Artemis's, or Diana's twin brother. Apollo is associated with numerous things, such as the sun, music, archery, healing, and prophecy.

The sun, bow and arrow, lyre, and swan are among his symbols, as one would expect.

Above his head, a white sun shone brightly on this Paestan bell-krater, a big bowl used for mixing wine, dating back to the 4th century BC.

Jupiter and Leto had a son and a daughter, Apollo and Diana.

When Jupiter's wife, Juno, learned that Leto was pregnant, she forbade her from giving birth on Earth.

Leto discovered the 'floating' island of Delos in the Cyclades archipelago of Greece.

It was on this island that Apollo and Artemis were safely born.

The island was eventually dedicated to Apollo because legend has it that swans circled the island seven times after the twins were born, which is why they are associated with Apollo.

Jupiter gave his son a swan-drawn golden chariot as an additional gift.

9. Diana: the Huntress God

Symbol: stag or hunting dog

Diana is what the Romans called Artemis. Diana was the twin sister of Apollo.

She was the goddess of hunting, wild animals, purity, and giving birth.

Romans who lived in the countryside liked her.

Often, she is shown with a stag or a hunting dog.

She is the only goddess whose dress is shorter, with the end pulled up and tied with a belt so she can run easily.

The story of the hunter, Actaeon is one of her best-known myths.

Ovid's Metamorphoses says that Actaeon accidentally walked into Diana's garden while she was bathing and saw the goddess naked.

She splashed him with water, cursed him, and turned him into a deer to get back at him. His hunting dogs then killed him.

It is a bronze statue of Artemis from Ephesus on modern-day Turkey's west coast.

It was made in the second or first century BC and shows the goddess with her skirt raised, ready to run.

At Ephesus, there was a big temple to Diana.

It was listed among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

10. The celestial messenger

Symbol: caduceus, winged sandals, winged cap, and a tortoise.

The Roman deity of translation, interpretation, and divine messengers is Mercury, who is also known as Hermes (Greek).

He was a messenger for the Olympian gods and was thought to be the smartest of them all.

Prosperity, good fortune, and business were also under his sway.

Also, he served as a guardian god for both livestock and travelers.

Among Hermes' emblems are a tortoise, his wing sandals and helmet, and the caduceus, a staff intertwined with two snakes.

Born to Jupiter and the nymph Maia, Mercury was the second-youngest Olympian god—the youngest being Dionysos.

With his winged shoes, he could swiftly move between the heavenly and mortal realms, and it was his job to carry souls to Pluto.

He was also regarded as a deity who protected shopkeepers and criminals.

He wore a chlamys, had the caduceus in his left hand, and wore his winged sandals.

The small Greek cloak, known as a chlamys, was sometimes the only garment worn by young messengers and soldiers, which is why it was associated with Mercury.

God of time, Saturn

Symbol: a scythe

Saturn was known as the god of time; he was the first king of the gods.

Saturn is carrying a crop-cutting tool called a scythe. 

Among the most well-liked Roman festivities was the Saturnalia, honouring Saturn.

The world was divided among Neptune, Pluto, and Jupiter, Saturn's sons, after his death.

In classical Roman religion, Saturn was a god and an avatar in Roman mythology.

He was called a god of agriculture, time, generation, dissolution, riches, abundance, and recurring rebirth, as well as freedom.

The legendary reign of Saturn was portrayed as a prosperous and peaceful Golden Age.

He became confused with the Greek Titan Cronus after the Roman invasion of Greece.

Saturn fathered Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres, and Vesta, while his sister Ops served as his wife.

Probably the most well-known of the Roman festivals, Saturnalia is observed in particular in December and is a time for eating, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving, and celebration.

The state archives (aerarium) of the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire were kept in the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum.

He was honored by the names of the planet Saturn and the day of the week, Saturday.

A row of columns from the latest reconstruction of the temple still survives.

According to a tradition reported by Varro, once known as Saturnius Mons, the temple of Saturn was situated at the bottom of Capitoline Hill.

12. Ceres: Roman goddess of Agriculture

symbols : The sickle, the shafts of grain, and the cornucopia

In Roman mythology, Ceres was the goddess of farming, grain crops, fertility, and ties with mothers.

Only Ceres is one of Rome's many agricultural gods and is named among the Dii Consentes.

The Dii Consentes are like the Twelve Olympians in Greek mythology.

The Romans thought of her as similar to the Greek goddess Demeter.

In Roman art and writing, the myths of Demeter were changed to fit Ceres.

She is usually shown with maize ears or grain in her hands.

In her favour, people would have lots of food and babies, but in her anger, there would be insects, drought, and famine.

Her symbols were the sickle, shafts of grain, and the cornucopia. She was usually shown as a mother.

A copy of the "Mattei Ceres," a marble statue that was likely found on the Roman lands of the Mattei family.

Pope Clementine bought it in 1770 and displayed it in the Museo Pio-Clementino the following year.

She was the main goddess in Rome's "plebeian" or "Aventine" triad.

Later, she was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what the Romans called "the Greek rites of Ceres."

The famous Ludi Ceriales (Ceres' games) were part of her seven-day festival of Cerealia in April.

The fields were lit up in honour of her during the Ambarvalia holiday in May, during the harvest, and during Roman weddings and funerals.

She is generally shown as an older woman.

Only Ceres is one of Rome's many agricultural gods and is named among the Dii Consentes.

The Dii Consentes are like the Twelve Olympians in Greek mythology.

The Romans thought of her as similar to the Greek goddess Demeter.

In Roman art and writing, the myths of Demeter were modified to fit Ceres.