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Roman gods

The Romans worshipped many different gods and goddesses. There was a god for most aspects of every day life. Many families had a shrine in their house for the worship of a particular god.

 

The main Roman gods and goddesses

Jupiter - King of the gods and the sky

Juno - Queen of the gods; wife of Jupiter, goddess of marriage

Neptune - God of the sea; brother of Jupiter and Pluto

Pluto - God of the underworld; brother of Jupiter and Pluto

Vesta - Goddess of the home, hearth and family

Ceres - Goddess of the harvest, agriculture and fertility

Mars - The god of war

Apollo - God of the sun, music and prophecy

Diana - Goddess of the hunt and the moon

Minerva - Goddess of wisdom, poetry and crafts

Bacchus - God of wine and revelry

Vulcan - God of fire and blacksmiths

Mercury - God of communication; messenger of the gods

Venus - Goddess of love and beauty

 

The similarities between Greek and Roman gods

The Romans assimilated many of the gods of the people that they conquered, including the Greek gods and goddesses. The Romans took the stories and attributes of the Greek gods, and gave them Roman names, therefore making them their own.

Roman and Greek gods compared

Temples in Ancient Rome

There were many temples throughout the Roman Empire. They were usually built for the worship of a particular god or goddess, such as the Temple of Jupiter on Capitoline Hill in Rome. Below is a picture of the Pantheon in Rome. It still stands today. The name 'pantheon' comes from the Greek language, and means 'devoted to all the gods'. It was built around 120BCE by the Emperor Hadrian and the architect Apollodorus of Damascus.

The Pantheon in Rome

 

Religious Festivals in Ancient Rome

There were many festivals and holidays in celebration of the gods in ancient Rome. For example:

 

Quinquatria (19th - 23rd March)

This festival took place to honour Minerva, the goddess of widsom. Plays were performed and public discussion of the arts took place.

 

Vulcanalia (23rd August)

This festival was held to both honour and appease Vulcan, the god of fire. The ancient Romans hoped that he would protect their crops from burning in the dry heat of the summer months.

 

Saturnalia (17th - 23rd December)

This festival honoured Saturn, the god of time. It was the most popular festival of the year. All work was stopped, and the roles of slaves and masters were reversed.

FREE Roman Gods KS2 Cards


KS2 CROSS-CURRICULAR TOPIC History lesson | Roman Gods


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