08 December 2014

Greek And Roman Gods

Greek and Roman Gods

There is always confusion when referencing the names of the ancient gods. Sometimes we hear the Greek, sometimes the Roman. Here we begin with the twelve Olympian gods and a brief description of each. Followed by yet more gods. The Greeks and Romans shared the same stories, but used different names. This might make things a bit less confusing.

Greek Name / Roman Name Followed by their description.

Zeus / Jupiter Lord of the sky and supreme ruler of the gods. Known for throwing lightening bolts.

Poseidon / Neptune Ruler of the sea. Brother of Zeus. Carried a three-pronged spear known as a trident.

Hades / Pluto Ruler of the underworld and the dead. Brother of Zeus. Had a helmet which rendered its wearer invisible.

Hestia / Vesta A virgin goddess and sister of Zeus. No distinct personality or part in myths. Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the home.

Hera / Juno Zeus’s wife and sister. Protector of marriage, spent most of her time punishing the many women Zeus fell in love with. Likes cows and peacocks.

Ares / Mars God of war and son of Zeus and Hera. Likes vultures and dogs.

Athena / Minerva Daughter of Zeus alone. No mother.(?) She sprang from his head full-grown and in full armor. The protector of civilized life, handicrafts, and agriculture. Invented the bridle, and first to tame the horse. Likes Athens, olives, and owls.

Apollo / Apollo (shared name) Son of Zeus. Master musician, archer god, healer, god of light, god of truth, sun god. A busy god who likes the laurel tree, dolphins, and crows.

Aphrodite / Venus Daughter of Zeus. Goddess of Love and Beauty. Likes the myrtle tree, doves, sparrows, and swans.

Hermes / Mercury Son of Zeus. Wore wings on his sandals and his hat, thus was graceful and swift.

Artemis / Diana Apollo’s twin sister and daughter of Zeus. Lady of wild things and huntsman to the gods. As Apollo is the Sun, Artemis is the moon.

Hephaestus / Vulcan Son of Hera, God of Fire. The only ugly and deformed god. Makes armor and weapons forged under volcanoes.

Other Gods

Gaea / Terra Mother Earth.

Asclepius / Aesculapius God of medicine.

Cronus / Saturn God of the sky; Ruler of the Titans (Roman mythology: God of agriculture)

Demeter / Ceres Goddess of grain.

Dionysus / Bacchus God of wine and vegetation.

Eros / Cupid God of love.

Hypnos / Somnus God of sleep.

Rhea / Ops Wife of Cronus/Saturn. Mother Goddess.

Ouranos / Uranus God of the sky. Father of the Titans.

Nike / Victoria Goddess of Victory.

And there you have it … or at the very least, a point of reference between the Greek and Roman god equivalents.

Just a thought …

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.