Gods and Goddesses of Rome

It is no coincidence that the major gods and goddesses of the Roman pantheon were similar in character to Greek deities. Some of them were imported directly from the Greek world. Other native deities were gradually reinterpreted, as Rome's contacts with Greece grew, to become the equivalents of Particular Greek deities. Most of the narratives the Romans came to weave around their gods were borrowed from Greece, or were self-consciously invented following the Greek pattern.

Greek and Roman Gods Compared

Ancient authors themselves recognized a difference between Greek and Roman deities. Varro (a Roman writer of the 1st century BC) pointed out that in the earliest days of the city , Roman gods and goddesses , unlike their Greek counterparts , had never been represented in human form. A Greek historian , Dionysius, writing at about the same time, stressed the moral superiority of Roman over Greek deities: Romulus , he wrote , had raised the moral profile of the gods because, in founding the city, he had rejected all the old myths about the gods' dishonourable exploits. 

Jupiter       Juno

Brother and sister and husband and wife. Ruling from Olympus.

Jupiter was god of the sky (weather and storm) and  supreme god Juno was consort of Jupiter - goddess of the marriage and women

Janus              Apollo                Victoria                  Venus 

God of the beginning and the end, god of war, god of doors and arches. Facing two ways because of his link with entrances and exits
Son of Jupiter. Sun god, god of light and beauty, god of healing , poetry and music
Goddess of the battle and fight with Olympus
Goddess of love and overseas travels

Minerva               Aesculapius                     Mercury    

Goddess of war (the only one with an access to Jupiter's thunder thrower) and wisdom
 Son of Apollo, god of medicine and health
God of commerce and divine messenger

Sol                               Mars                                Lares 

Sun god who daily appears and disappears
Mars was initially from Italy and was well known as the god of the spring but very soon became mighty god of war 
The Lares were household gods worshipped in association with the Penates (gods of the storeroom, and hence the family's wealth). Most of the time they were souls of dead ancestors

Muses                          Diana                          Mithra 

Nine goddesses of the fine arts and protectors of the studying and education. With their singing they were entertaining gods. You can see Polymnia , muse of the mime 
Jupiter's daughter and goddess of hunting and fertility
Sun god , Persian origins. Cult of Mithra was very popular during the last few centuries of the Empire


     Neptune           Amphitrita          Tritons            Nereids               Sirens            Galateia

God of the sea and all the waters
Neptune's wife , looking after all the sea creatures
Pulling Neptune's wagon 
Sea nymphs , helping sailors in trouble
Sea creatures or women who were distracting sailors with their singing
One of the Nereids who became famous as lover of the cyclop Polyphem


Ceres              Bacchus         Priapus                  Pan                   Satyrs           Nymphs

Goddess of crops
God of wine, celebration and orgies
God of gardens and fields, fertility symbol
Protector of the shepherds and livestock
Merry members of Bacchus party
Could be invisible


Faunus                          Flora                           Ariadne   

God of the woodland
Beautiful goddess of the flowers and fertility
When abandoned by Theseus , Bacchus saves her and takes her to Olympus


Pluto         Persephone     Furies     Somnus and Mors   Cerberus  Gorgons  Charon

God of the Underground World with his wife Persephone 
Goddess of the Underground World, daughter of Ceres
Daughters of the dark who were torturing dead souls
Sons of the dark, gods of the dreams and the dead 
Three headed dog, keeper of the Underground World , defeated by Hercules only


Three terrible monsters who are symbolizing human fears He is transporting dead across the river Styx

Panche Hadzi-Andonov , AAI
 Copyright 2000 

All rights reserved.
Revised: April 19, 2001