Roman mythology is a collection of traditional stories that have to do with the Ancient Rome’s mythical ancestry and religious system as characterized in the visual arts and literature of the Romans.
While much of Roman mythology was derived from their neighbors and predecessors, the Greeks, it still illustrated the prosperous history of the Roman people as they eventually transformed into an empire.
Popular Roman writers Virgil and Ovid recorded and expanded the mythological heritage of Ancient Mediterranean to provide everyone with historic and long-lasting figures such as Romulus and Remus as well as Janus, Vesta, and Aeneas.
Among the most popular gods of Roman mythology were the twin brothers of Romulus and Remus who were said to have founded Rome.
Ancient Romans believed that Romulus wanted Rome to be founded on Palatine Hill but Remus differed and wanted it to be found on Aventine Hill.
It resulted in a fight wherein Romulus killed Remus. Subsequently, Romulus founded the city of Rome and established the Senate as well as the Roman Legion.
Most historians believe that the early Romans particularly admired Greek gods and embraced most of them.
It is, however, worth noting that ancient Romans changed their names and the stories in an effort to make them look, Roman. In addition, Roman mythology also acquired a wide range of beliefs and concepts from the Etruscan religion to blend history and mythology.
Several Roman gods that were adopted from Greek mythology were Jupiter and Juno who were known as the Greek god Zeus and goddess Hera.
Facts about Roman Mythology
- Roman mythology assumed a critical part in the Roman religion as most of its beliefs were based on the history, rituals, and powers of these Gods.
- The Romans organized festivals and set up holidays in honor of their Gods. Among the festivals that were celebrated by the Romans included the Consualia, the Saturnalia, and the Lupercalia.
- Romans also built temples to pray and perform rituals for their Gods. Generally, the temples were constructed for a single God and were comprised of a monument of their God at the center. Popular temples that were built in honor of Roman Gods are the Temple of Jupiter and the Pantheon Hill.
- Christians were often killed by Romans and fed to the Lions due to their refusal to believe in Roman Gods.
- The word volcano was derived from the Roman God named Vulcan. He is the Roman God of Fire and was considered as the blacksmith of the rest of the Gods.
- The word cereal came from the name Ceres. She is regarded as the goddess of the seasons and agriculture.
- The influence of Greek mythology was present everywhere in Rome whether it’d be on architecture, adornments of sculptures, temples, mosaics, and subject matters.
- Most of the Roman Emperors were made into Gods with the exception of bad rulers such as Tiberius and Nero. The practice continued until Emperor Constantine switched into Christianity.
- Who is Apollo?
Apollo is the Roman God of poetry, music, and archery. It was directly taken by the Romans from the Greek god, Apollo. He was the brother of Diana who is the goddess of animals, archery, and the hunt.
- Who are other Roman Gods that were derived from Greek mythology?
Other Roman gods that were derived from the Greeks were Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Venus, Minerva, Ceres, Vulcan, and Bacchus. While most characters like Romulus, Remus, and other Roman Gods were considered legendary, there is no definitive evidence about their existence.
- What is the Imperial Cult?
The Imperial Cult glorified the Kings of Rome beginning with Julius Caesar who put an end to the Republic of Rome.
- How important was Roman mythology?
Ancient Roman religion was based on mythology. Roman mythology also played a huge role in defining social values and cultural virtues.
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