Thursday, October 27, 2022

Roman Mythology

Roman Mythology

Roman mythology is something that can draw directly on Greek mythology as early as Rome's protohistory. Roman people recognized their gods with those of the ancient Greeks. Zeus and Jupiter were related closely. They reinterpreted myths about Greek deities below their Roman counterparts' names. In the modern age, Greek and Roman mythology are categorized as Classical mythology.

Latin literature was famous throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Their interpretations of Greek myths could influence narrative and pictorial representations of "classical mythology" more than Greek sources. The Greek myths versions in Ovid's Metamorphoses were written while Augustus was the ruler.

What is Roman Mythology?

The myth body of ancient Rome is shown in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. Besides, it is a famous genre of Roman folklore. It can indicate the modern study of these representations. In addition, it is shown in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. Moreover, it can draw from the mythology of the Italians and Proto-Indo-European mythology.

The Purpose of Myths:

Before knowing about this, you have to understand the concept of a myth. Philip Matyszak described this in his book The Greek and Roman Myths: A Guide to the Classical Roman mythology Stories, where he also talked about the ancient's view of the world. These myths appear as simple stories containing valiant heroes, distressed maidens, and a host of all-powerful gods.

The anthropomorphic gods of the Greeks and Romans exhibit different human qualities, including love, hate, and jealousy. As a result, people living in Rome and Greece could see themselves in the tales and realize their relationship to the remaining world and their connection to the gods. But in this case, you must know that one must fulfill one's destiny with strength, determination, and nobility.

These myths allowed a person to stand against the ills and hardships. According to Matyszak, gods, and humankind must be together to fight against the "monsters and giants."

Nature of Roman Myth:

Rituals played a major role in Roman religion, which myth did for the Greeks. However, people have doubts that Romans had much of a native mythology.

It is a combination of Romanticism and the classical scholarship of the nineteenth century, valued Greek civilization as more "authentically creative." These inspired European paintings from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century.

Remember, this tradition is famous in historical myths or legends. It concerns the rise & foundation of the town. Usually, their primary focus is on human actors with intervention from deities occasionally. Previously, history and myth used to have a mutual and complementary relationship.

There are several sources for Roman myth, including the Aeneid of Virgil, the first few books of Livy's history, and Dionysius's Roman Antiquities. In addition, there are other essential sources, including the Fasti of Ovid. This one is a six-book poem made by the Roman religious calendar and Propertius's fourth book of elegies. Besides, many scenes appear in Roman wall paintings, coins, and sculptures.

Founding Myths:

The best examples of the founding myths are Aeneid and Livy's early history. You can find Trojan prince Aeneas being cast as the husband of Lavinia, the daughter of King Latinus, patronymic ancestor of the Latini. Later, these were adopted as people's mythical ancestors.

Other Roman Mythology Facts:

  • Rape of the Sabine women says how Sabine was important. It shows its importance in the formation of Roman culture and the growth of Rome through conflict & alliance. 
  • Numa Pompilius is Sabine's second king of Rome. He created several legal and religious institutions in Rome. 
  • Servius Tullius is the sixth king of Rome. His mysterious origins were mythologized. Besides, people considered him the lover of the goddess Fortuna. 
  • Lucretia is famous for her self-sacrifice, which prompted the overthrow of the early Roman monarchy. As a result, a republic was established. 
  • Cloelia was a Roman woman taken hostage by Lars Porsena. Besides, she ran away from the Clusian camp with a group of Roman virgins.
  • Mucius Scaevola thrust his right hand into the fire to prove his loyalty to his nation.

Religion and Myth:

Narratives of divine activity are essential in the system of Greek religious belief than among the Romans, who believed ritual and cult as primary.

There was no basis in scriptures and exegesis in this region. You can find that priestly literature was a very old written form of Latin prose.

The oldest pantheon included Janus, Vesta, and a famous Archaic Triad of Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus. Tradition says that Numa Pompilius was Sabine's second king of Rome and established the Roman religion. It was believed that Numa had an adviser, Egeria, a Roman goddess or nymph of fountains and prophecy.

Later Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva replaced the Archaic Triad to capture the center position of official religion. After a while, the cult of Diana was set up on Aventine Hill.

The Aeneid & Aeneas:

An old event to relate to the story was Virgil (Vergil) in his Aeneid. It is the tale that connects with the travels of its hero, the Trojan warrior Aeneas.

The Aeneid needs to exhibit the most challenging expression of Roman mythology. In the story, you learn about the hero who succeeded in running away from Troy with his father and some of his fellow soldiers with his mother's help before the town succumbed to the Greeks.

The people of Rome hinted at the ancient Trojan culture for the story and its connection to the Trojan War. You must remember that Virgil is the source of the story of the Trojan horse. However, it is mentioned in Homer's Odyssey.

Romulus & Remus:

Aeneas's descendants were the founders of the city of his destiny: Rome. Hence, you need to know that Romulus and Remus were the sons of the war god Mars and Rhea Silvia. So, in Roman mythology who was Mars? He was the war god.

Besides, Silvia was the daughter of king Alba Longa, Numitor. Amulius overthrew his brother and attempted to protect his claim to the throne. As a result, he forced Rhea to join the Vestal Virgins.

Once, Mars raped the young Rhea in the sacred woods. King Amulius ordered them to throw her two sons into the Tiber. But a flood caused the two sons to drift ashore at Ficus Ruminalis. Later a she-wolf rescued them. It was the sacred animal of Mars. After a while, Faustulus, a local herdsman, and his wife Acca Larentia adopted the boys.

Later, these two founders become their community leaders while Remus lands in the king's dungeon. Then, Romulus rescued his brother and deposed Amulius with Numitor's help. Then, they also learned who they were. They established a town. But someone killed Remus due to jealousy, and the city became Rome. However, once Romulus won the naming rights, he became the king and ruled Rome for forty years.

Roman Gods & Goddesses in Roman mythology:

You can find proof of many gods and goddesses. Besides, the people of Rome adopted their stories and many gods. It is Greece influenced the Italian peninsula and the Greek culture. Later, the people renamed some gods. Apollo in Roman mythology is the name of a god common to both cultures.

Multiple gods in Rome were connected closely with cults rather than myths before the Greeks association. But these got changed. These people turned from farming to war. At the early stage of the development of Roman mythology, Saturn is equivalent to the Greek god Cronus. There was a temple at the foot of Capitoline Hill, which included the public treasury. Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva were the triad of early Roman cult deities.

While Jupiter is the sky god, he became more akin to the Greek Zeus. Besides, he influenced each aspect of the life of people in Rome. In addition, many commanders choose this temple on Capitoline Hill as the final destination. Who is juno in roman mythology? Regarding Juno Roman mythology, you could know her as his wife and sister. She became reminiscent of Hera.


Like in Greece, cities in Rome adopted their patron deity. In addition, these established temples and followed rituals to honor God. These people had many gods like Janus. He was the two-faced god of doorways and gates. Like the Etruscan god Culsans, he could see the future and the past. Vesta was Saturn's daughter, along with the hearth and family life. Her followers were known as the Vestal Virgins.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Who are the 12 major Roman gods?

The twelve gods were: Jupiter, Juno, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Venus, Apollo, Diana, Minerva, Ceres, Vulcan, and Vesta.

Q. Are Greek and Roman mythology the same?

These share multiple same gods and goddesses in their stories. But the names are mostly different.

Q. Who created it?

Ovid made it.

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