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Roman And Greek Gods Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

Roman and Greek Gods

It has been known that the Romans and the Greeks have had many interactions with each other, whether it would be due to trading or just plain traveling, the stories of their myths have crossed each other in one way or another. This is may be the reason why there are many similarities between Greek and Roman Mythology. Even though a Greek god or goddess may have a different name in Roman Mythology they still performed similar tasks and were worshiped for similar reasons. I will compare and contrast Greek gods with their Roman equivalences to see how similar they truly are to each other. Probably the most famous Greek god, Zeus, was the god of all gods. Born to Cronus and Rhea, he was the ruler of the sky, and had the power to create thunderstorms and lightning as well as earthquakes. As the story goes he overthrew his father, Cronus, and became the ruler of Mount Olympus to head the new line of Gods. Jupiter, also known as Jove, was very much like Zeus. He was the predominant power holder among the Roman Gods. According to Tripp, Jupiter is a “contraction of two words meaning ‘Heavenly Father.’”(Pg. 332) He ruled the sky, controlled all of the weather, and had thunderbolts as a weapon. Tripp also wrote “Jupiter’s cult and his general character were, however, well established in Italy before the Greek religion became influential there.” (Pg. 333) This implies that the idea of Zeus, Jupiter and Jove had very little influence on each other since they were created before the Greek myths and Roman myths had started to cross paths. Hera, the wife and sister of Zeus, was the goddess of marriage, childbirth, and the queen of the heavens. She gave birth to Ares, Hebe, and Eileithyia. She also gave birth to Hephaestus, but it has been believed that she bore him without the aid of Zeus. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, she was extremely jealous of the affairs that her husband had and she often tormented or harmed Zeus’s mistresses. Juno, the feminine version of Jupiter’s name, is Hera’s counterpart. Juno had many names that served for different purposes. As Juno Pronuba, she was goddess of marriage, as Juno Lucina, she was the goddess of childbirth, and as Juno Regina, she was the special counselor and protector of the Roman state. (Roman Mythological Characters, Juno) In Tripp, there was also a Juno Moneta that was governed finances. (Pg. 332) It seems that although Hera and Juno are similar in their duties, Hera is portrayed more as wife that was constantly jealous and did more harm to human kind rather than helping them. From the sources I have read about Juno, she seems more like a goddess that always helped the humans. Humans would offer her sacrifices so that she could help them with marriage, birth, protection, or finances. Hera seems too engulfed in her husband’s affairs rather than helping humans that would praise her. Ares, the child of Zeus and Hera, was the god of war. He was usually seen or portrayed to be fully armed and ready...

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