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Roman Gods And Goddesses Essay

1840 words - 7 pages

Roman gods and goddesses are an important part of history. “Roman mythology is the conflation of ancient Roman gods, and Roman religion together...” (Milani). The belief in the Roman gods and goddesses known as mythology influenced the daily lives of the people both past and present. It has become part of our life through books and movies, architecture, religion, and art.
The Ancient Roman civilization began on the Italian Peninsula beginning in the ninth century BCE. Most of the history of Roman civilization can be explained in Roman myths. Roman mythology explains how the civilization grew, with help from the Roman gods and goddesses acting as forces that intervene with society. As the Roman civilization began to spread, Greek culture and worship began to influence Roman myths. However, before the Romans started imitating the Greek Mythology with stories, the Romans used myths as more of a historical reference to the relationships between gods and humans in society (Perowne).
The Romans believed in many gods and goddesses. They believed that they would come down to earth and change anyone’s life at any time. The people felt the need to keep the gods happy at all times. The Romans believed that for every aspect of their lives a separate god or goddesses was in control of their fate, and worshipped him or her separately. For example during times of war the people would pray to Mars, the god of war, in order to win (Shuter). The Romans built large temples to their state gods, and had small shrine in their homes and so they could pray to the household gods. “They believed in two kinds of gods, the powerful gods and goddesses of the state religion and the friendly household spirits who protected their homes (Chandler).” The Romans believed that their homes were controlled by groups of Numina, which were household gods or divine spirits. The Penates protected property, goods and the other groups called Lares, protect the entire household. Every family believed they had their own guardian to protect them called Genius, and ancestral spirits called Manes. Some of the gods had individual personalities and names, such as, Vesta goddess of the hearth, and Janus, goddess of the doorway (Chandler).
The Romans were strongly interested in the Greek Mythology, which is why they matched their gods and goddesses names to the Greek gods and goddesses. The Roman god, Jupiter is like the Greek god Zeus, and the Roman goddess Juno is like the Greek goddess Hera. This is why the roman myths resemble the Greek myths so closely. The Roman Pantheon was modeled after the Greek Pantheon (Robertson).
The temples were constructed for all the important gods for the state. “The Roman Pantheon is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome (Roman).” This temple was built in Rome and for all the gods and goddesses for all the people to worship and to show the gods and goddesses were special. When it was built it was etched with the...

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