The Romans had many gods and goddesses. Most of these were the same ones that the ancient Greeks worshipped, except that they had different names.
The original religion of the early Romans was so modified by the addition of numerous and conflicting beliefs in later times, and by the assimilation of a vast amount of Greek mythology, that it cannot be reconstructed precisely.
Because extensive changes in the religion had already taken place before the literary tradition began, its origins were in most cases unknown to the early Roman writers on religion, such as the 1st century BC scholar Marcus Terentius Varro.
Other classical writers, such as the poet Ovid in his Fasti (Calendar), were strongly influenced by Hellenistic models, and in their works they frequently employed Greek beliefs to fill gaps in the Roman tradition.
Major Roman Gods
Origin: Greek (Apollo)
Apollo is the son of Jupiter and Leto, and the twin brother of Diana. He is the god of music, playing a golden lyre. The Archer, far shooting with a silver bow. The god of healing who taught man medicine. The god of light. The god of truth, who can not speak a lie. One of Apollo's more important daily tasks is to harness his chariot with four horses and drive the sun across the sky. He is famous for his oracle at Delphi. People traveled to it from all over the Greek world to divine the future. His tree was the laurel. The crow his bird. The dolphin his animal.CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT APOLLO
Origin: Greek (Demeter)
Corn Goddess. Eternal Mother. the Sorrowing Mother. Grain Mother. Goddess of agriculture, grain, crops, initiation, civilization, lawgiver and the love a mother bears for her child. Protectress of women, motherhood, marriage. Daughter of Saturn and Ops. She and her daughter Proserpine were the counterparts of the Greek goddesses Demeter and Persephone. Her worship involved fertility rites and rites for the dead, and her chief festival was the Cerealia.
Origin: Greek (Artemis)
Fertility Goddess. Moon Goddess. Huntress Goddess. Triple Goddess- Lunar Virgin, Mother of Creatures, the Huntress or Destroyer. Goddess of nature, fertility, childbirth, wildwood, moon, forests, animals, mountains, woods, and women. Goddess of the hunt. In Roman art Diana usually appears as a huntress with bow and arrow, along with a hunting dog or a stag. Both a virgin goddess and an earth goddess, she was identified with the Greek Artemis. She is praised for her strength, athletic grace, beauty and her hunting skills. With two other deities she made up a trinity: Egeria the water nymph (her servant and assistant midwife), and Virbius (the woodland god).
Origin: Greek (Hera)
Queen of the Gods. Jupiters wife and sister, sister to Neptune and Pluto, daughter of Saturn, mother of Juventas, Mars, and Vulcan. Protectress of the Roman state. She was the guardian of the Empire's finances and considered the Matron Goddess of all Rome. The Matronalia, her major festival is March 1-2. Her other festival, on July 7-8, was called Nonae Caprotinae ("The Nones of the Wild Fig"). The month of June was named after her.
Origin: Greek (Zeus)
Ruler of the Gods. He is the god of Sky, Lightning and Thunder. He is the son of Saturn and brother of Neptune, Pluto and Juno, who is also his wife. His attribute is the lightning bolt and his symbol the eagle, who is also his messenger. He was also considered the Patron god of Rome, and his temple was the official place of state business and sacrifices.
Origin: Greek (Ares)
God of war, spring, growth in nature, agriculture, terror, anger, revenge, courage and fertility. Protector of cattle. The son of Jupiter and Juno, he was the god of war. Mars was regarded as the father of the Roman people because he was the father of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, and husband to Bellona. He was the most prominent of the military gods that were worshipped by the Roman legions. The martial Romans considered him second in importance only to Jupiter. His festivals were held in March (named for him) and October.
Origin: Greek (Hermes)
God of Trade, Profit, Merchants and Travellers. His main festival, the Mercuralia, was celebrated on May 15 and on this day the merchants sprinkled their heads and their merchandise with water from his well near the Porta Capena. The symbols of Mercury are the caduceus (a staff with two intertwined snakes) and a purse (a symbol of his connection with commerce).CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT MERCURY
Origin: Greek (Athena), Etruscan (Menrva)
Goddess of Wisdom, Learning, the Arts, Sciences, Medicine, Dyeing, Trade, and of War. Daughter of Jupiter, protectress of commerce, industry and education. Honored at the spring equinox with her main festival, March 19 - 23, called the Quinquatria. On June 13 the minor Quinquatrus was observed.
Origin: Greek (Poseidon)
God of the Sea. Brother of Jupiter, Pluto and Juno. The God and patron of Horses and Horse Racing as Neptune Equester. Neptunalia was celebrated on July 23. The trident is Neptune's attribute.
Origin: Greek (Aphrodite)
Originally a Goddess of Gardens and Vinyards, Venus became the major deity of love and beauty after the influx of Greek deities. On August 18 the Vinalia Rustica was observed. A second festival, that of the Veneralia, was celebrated on April 1 in honor of Venus Verticordia, who later became the protector against vice. On April 23 a festival, the Vinalia Priora, celebrated the opening of one of her temples.CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT VENUS
Origin: Greek (Hestia)
Goddess of the Fire (both sacred and domestic) and the Hearth. Daughter of Saturn and Ops. Her sacred animal was the ass. Patroness of bakers. Her chief festival was the Vestalia on June 7. One of the most worshipped of the Roman deities.
Origin: Greek (Hephaestus)
God of Fire, Blacksmiths and Craftsmanship. His forge is located beneath Mount Etna. It is here that he, together with his helpers, forges weapons for Gods and heroes. Closely associated with Bona Dea with whom he shared the Volcanalia, observed on August 23.
A List of the Minor Roman Gods and Goddesses
- Abeona Protector of children leaving the home.
- Abudantia Goddess of luck, abundance and prosperity. She distributed food and money from a cornucopia.
- Adeona Goddess who guides children back home.
- Aequitas God of fair trade and honest merchants.
- Aera Cura Goddess associated with the underworld.
- Aeternitas Personification of eternity.
- Africus God of the Southwest wind.
- Alemonia Goddess who feeds unborn children.
- Angerona Goddess of Secrecy and protector of Rome. Festival Divalia or Angeronalia December 21.
- Angita Goddess of Healing and Witchcraft.
- Anna Perenna Goddess of the New Year provider of food. Her festival is March 15.
- Antevorte Goddess of the future.
- Aquilo God of the North Wind.
- Aurora Goddess of the dawn.
- Auster God of the South Wind.
- Bona Dea Goddess of fertility, healing, virginity and women. Festival May 1.
- Camenae Goddesses of wells and springs.
- Candelifera Goddess of childbirth.
- Cardea Goddess of thresholds and door hinges.
- Carmenta Goddess of childbirth and prophecy. Festiva Carmentalial January 11 and 15.
- Carnea Goddess of the heart and other organs. Festival June 1.
- Cinxia Goddess of marriage.
- Clementia Goddess of mercy and clemency.
- Cloacina Goddess of the Cloaca Maxima, the system of sewers in Rome.
- Coelus God of the sky.
- Concordia Goddess of agreement and understanding.
- Conditor God of the harvest.
- Consus God of grain storage. Festivals Consualia August 21 and December 15.
- Convector God of bringing in of the crops from the fields.
- Copia Goddess of wealth and plenty.
- Corus God of the North West wind.
- Cunina Goddess of infants.
- Dea Dia Goddess of growth. Festival in May.
- Dea Tacita Goddess of the dead. Larentalia festival on December 23.
- Decima Goddess of childbirth. With Nona and Morta she forms the Parcae (the three Fates).
- Dia Lucrii Gods of profit.
- Devera Goddess of brooms used for purification.
- Deverra Goddess of women in labor and the patron of midwives.
- Disciplina Goddess of discipline.
- Discordia Goddess of discord and strife.
- Dius Fidus God of oaths.
- Egestes Goddess of poverty.
- Empanda Goddess of openess, friendliness and generosity.
- Eventus Bonus God of success both in commerce and in agriculture.
- Fabulinus God who taught children to speak.
- Fama Goddess of fame and rumor.
- Fauna (Bona Dea) Goddess of the Earth, Mother Goddess.
- Faunus God of the wilds and fertility. He is the protector of cattle also referred to as Lupercus. Festivals are Lupercalia on February 15 and Faunalia on December 5.
- Faustitas Goddess protectress of herds of livestock.
- Favonius God of the West Wind.
- Febris Goddess who protected people against fevers.
- Felicitas Goddess of success.
- Feronia Goddess of freedom and good harvest. She was often worshipped by slaves to achieve their freedom. Her festival is November 15.
- Fides Goddess of faithfulness and good faith.
- Flora Goddess of Spring and the blooming flowers. Her festival Floralia, was April 28 - May 1.
- Fontus God of wells and springs. Festival October 13
- Fornax Goddess of bread baking and ovens.
- Fortuna Goddess of fate.
- Fulgora Goddess of lightning.
- Furina Goddess of thieves.
- Honos God of chivalry, honor and miltary justice.
- Indivia Goddess of jealousy.
- Juturna Goddess of lakes, wells and springs. Her festivals are January 11 and August 23.
- Juventas Goddess of youth.
- Lactans God of agriculture.
- Lares Guardian spirits of the house and fields.
- Laverna Goddess of unlawful gain and trickery.
- Liber God of fertility and nature. Festival March 17.
- Libera Fertility Goddess.
- Liberalitas God of generosity.
- Libertas Goddess of freedom.
- Libitina Goddess of funerals.
- Lima Goddess of thresholds.
- Lucifer God of the morning star.
- Lucina Goddess of childbirth and midwifery.
- Luna Goddess of the moon.
- Maia Goddess of fertility and Spring.
- Maiesta Goddess of honor and reverence.
- Mania Goddess of the dead.
- Manes Similar to the Lares, Genii and Di Penates. They were the souls of deceased loved ones. They were honored during the Parentalia and Feralia in February.
- Matuta Goddess of the dawn, harbors and the Sea. Patron of newborn babies. Her festival day is June 11.
- Meditrina Goddess of wine and health. Her festival is the Meditrinalia on October 11.
- Mefitas Goddess of poisonous vapors from the earth.
- Mellona Goddess and protector of bees.
- Mena Goddess of menstruation.
- Mens Goddess of the mind and consciousness. Her festival is May 8.
- Messor God of agriculture and mowing.
- Moneta Goddess of prosperity.
- Mors God of death.
- Morta Goddess of death and one of the three Parcae.
- Muta Goddess of silence.
- Mutinus Mutunus God of fertility.
- Naenia Goddess of funerals.
- Necessitas Goddess of destiny.
- Nemestrinus God of the woods.
- Nona Goddess of pregnancy. One of the Parcae with the Goddesses Morta and Decima, the Roman Fates.
- Nox Personification of the night.
- Nundina Goddess of the ninth day, on which the newborn child was given a name.
- Obarator God of ploughing.
- Occator God of harrowing.
- Orbona Goddess of parents who lost their children.
- Orcus God of death and the underworld. Also a god of oaths and punisher of perjurers.
- Pales Goddess of shepherds and flocks.Her festival was the Palilia, on April 21.
- Parcae Goddesses of fate. The Goddesses Nona, Morta and Decima make up the group. The three Parcae are also called Tria Fata.
- Pax Goddess of peace. Her festivals are January 3 and 30 and July 4.
- Penates Gods of the storeroom and the household.
- Picus God of agriculture.
- Pietas Goddess of piety.
- Poena Goddess of punishment.
- Pomona Goddess of fruit trees and orchards.
- Portunes God of ports and harbors. He is the guardian of storehouses and locked doors. The Portunalia were observed on August 17.
- Porus God of plenty.
- Postverta Goddess of the past.
- Potina Goddess of children's drinks.
- Priapus God of gardens, viniculture, sailors and fishermen.
- Prorsa Postverta Goddess of women in labor.
- Providentia Goddess of forethought.
- Pudicitia Goddess of modesty and chastity.
- Puta Goddess of the pruning of vines and trees.
- Quirinus Old Sabine god with mysterious origins. Became very important as a figure of the state. His festival, the Quirinalia, was celebrated on February 17.
- Quiritis Goddess of motherhood.
- Robigo Goddess of corn.
- Robigus God who protected corn from diseases. His festival, the Robigalia, took place on April 25.
- Roma Personified Goddess of the City of Rome.
- Rumina Goddess of nursing mothers.
- Sancus God of oaths and good faith.
- Saritor God of weeding and hoeing.
- Securitas Goddess of security and stability.
- Semonia Goddess of sowing.
- Sors God of luck.
- Spes Goddess of hope.
- Stata Mater Goddess who guards against fires.
- Stimula Goddess who incites passion in women.
- Strenua Goddess of strength and vigor.
- Suadela Goddess of persuasion, especially in matters of love.
- Subrincinator God of weeding.
- Summanus God of night thunder. His festival is June 20.
- Tempestes Goddesses of storms.
- Terminus Terminus was the god of boundaries. Festival February 23.
- Terra Mater (Mother Earth) Goddess of fertility and growth. She was worshipped on April 15 in the Fordicia.
- Trivia Goddess of the crossroads.
- Vacuna Goddess of agriculture.
- Veritas Goddess of truth.
- Vertumnus God of the changing seasons and the ripening of fruits and grains.
- Viduus God who separated the soul and the body after death.
- Viriplacaa Goddess of marital strife.
- Virtus God of courage and military prowess.
- Vitumnus God who gave life to children in the womb.
- Volturnus God of the waters. His festival was the Volturnalia on August 27.
- Volumna Goddess who protects the nursery.
- Vulturnus God of the East Wind.
Roman Gods and Godesses Adopted From Other Cultures
|Gods of the Roman Pantheon Adopted From Other Cultures|
|Asclepius||Greek||God of healing.|
|Attis||Phrygian||God of growth, fertility and vegetation.|
|Bacchus||Greek (Dionysos)||God of wine.|
|Bellona||Greek (Enyo), or Etruscan||Goddess of war and battles. Her festivals were celebrated on March 24 (the Dies Sanguinis, the Day of Blood) and June 3.|
|Bubona||Celt (Epona)||Goddess of horses and cattle.|
|Ceres||Greek (Demeter)||Goddess of corn, agriculture and grain. Festivals: February 2, April 1 and 11-19, August 23, September 1, October 4-5, November 8, and December 3.|
|Cupid||Greek||God of love.|
|Cybele||Phrygian (Magna Mater in Latin)||The Great Mother.|
|Dis||Greek (Pluto)||God of the underworld and treasure in the form of gems and metals of the earth.|
|Endovelicus||Iberian Celt Hispania||The god of health and welfare.|
|Faunus||Greek (Pan)||God of the wilds and fertility. Festivals are Lupercalia on February 15 and Faunalia on December 5.|
|Furies||Greek (Erinyes)||Goddesses of Vengeance.|
|Hercules||Greek (Herakles)||God of victory and commercial enterprise.|
|Isis||Egyptian||Goddess of the earth.|
|Janus||Italii, Latin or Etruscan (Ani)||God of gates, doors, beginnings and endings. He was worshipped at the beginning of the harvest, the beginning of planting, at marriages, at births, etc. The month of January is named after him.|
|Mithras||Persian||God of the sun.|
|Ops||Greek||Goddess of the fertile earth, abundance, sowing, harvest and wealth. One of her festivals was on August 10, another festival was the Opalia, which was observed on December 9. The Opeconsiva, on August 25 was her primary festival, but was participated in only by her priests and the Vestal Virgins.|
|Salus||Greek (Hygieia)||Goddess of health and prosperity. Festival was celebrated on March 30.|
|Serapis||Egyptian||God of the sky.|
|Saturn||Greek (Chronos)||God of agriculture and the sowing of seeds. Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. During this festival, businesses closed and gifts were exchanged. Saturday is named after him.|
|Silvanus||Greek (Pan)||God of woods and fields.|
|Sol||Greek (Helios)||God of the sun.|
|Sol Invictus||Syrian||God of the sun.|
|Somnus||Greek (Hypnos)||God of sleep.|
|Tellus||Greek (Gaia)||Goddess of the earth. Fordicidia, held on April 15 was her festival.|
|Veiovis||Etruscan (Veive)||God of healing.|
|Victoria||Greek (Nike)||Goddess of victory.|
Did you know...
The Romans had many gods and goddesses. Most of these were the same ones that the ancient Greeks worshipped, except that they had different names.