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Tales beyond belief

Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Jupiter, the Roman god of the Skies and King of the Gods, who was also known as Jove. Jupiter was the son of Saturn and Ops (or Opis) who were both from the race of Titans. Jupiter was also the patron god of the Roman state ruling over laws and social order. Jupiter was also a member of the Capitoline Triad which consisted of three major gods - Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.

Facts about Jupiter
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Jupiter, the Roman god of the Skies, the Roman state and King of the Roman Gods:

  • Roman Name: Jupiter or Jove

  • Role & Function: The function of Jove is described as being the god of the Skies, the Roman state and King of the Gods

  • Status: Major God and one of the 'Dei Consentes', the Council of Gods.

  • Symbols: His symbols were the aegis, a protective shield, the oak tree, the eagle, the bull and the thunderbolt

  • Alternative Names: Jove

  • Gender: Male

  • Greek Counterpart: The Greek name for this god was Zeus
    Name of Wife: Juno

  • Name of Father: Saturnus (Saturn)

  • Name of Mother: Ops (Opis)

  • Name of siblings: Brothers & sisters: Pluto, Neptune, Vesta, Juno and Ceres
    Names of Children: Mars, Juventia and Vulcan by Juno

The Children of Jupiter
Jupiter was a notorious womaniser and although he was married to Juno was renown for the number of liaisons with other women. He is famous in ancient Greek mythology for using his powers of transformation to seduce mortal women. His liaisons with mortal women resulted in many offspring who are described as Heroes or Demigods, half god and half human. The famous children of Jove by his many lovers includes:

  • Juno, the wife of Jove, was the mother of Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus

  • Leto the mother of Apollo and Diana

  • Semele the mother of Bacchus and daughter of Cadmus

  • Maia the mother of Mercury

  • Dione the mother of Venus

  • Ceres, the sister and lover of Jupiter, was the mother of Proserpina

  • Alceme the mother of Heracles (Hercules)

  • Danae the mother of Perseus

  • Leda the mother of Helen of Troy and Castor and Pollux

  • Antiope the mother of Amphion by Jove

  • Europa the mother of Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanthus

He was also the father of Minerva who was said to have sprung from his head. For additional information refer to the Lovers of Jupiter (Zeus)

Facts about Jupiter in Roman Mythology and History
Discover interesting information and facts about Jupiter, the Roman god of the Skies and King of the Gods.

  • He was the husband of his sister Juno

  • September 4 - 19 was the Ludi Romani which were the festival of games for the people of Rome in the honor of Jupiter

  • The eagle was his symbol, it was his favorite bird, and bore his thunderbolts.

  • The Vinalia festival was dedicated to Jupiter and celebrated on 23rd April when the wine-skins of the previous year were opened and the wine tasted was dedicated to the god

  • Jove punished his jealous wife Juno when she attempted to drown Hercules in a storm. According to the myth she was her hung upside down from the sky

  • The father of Jupiter was Saturnus, who, because he was fated to be overthrown by one of his children, ate all his offspring. His mother, Ops, tricked her husband and saved her son.

  • He was the father of Minerva, who in some myths is said to have sprung from his head.

  • He was well respected by the Romans as he dispensed justice and served as protector.

  • His brothers, Neptune and Pluto ruled the sea and the underworld respectively

  • The Capitoline Jupiter, or the Jupiter Optimus Maximus, was the great guardian of the Romans, and was represented, in his chief temple, on the Capitoline hill, as sitting on a curule chair, with the lightning in his right hand, and a sceptre in his left.

  • The noise in a thunder storm was attributed to the rattling of Jupiter's chariot and horses on a great arch of brass all over their heads, as they imagined that he himself flung the flames out of his hand, which dart at the same time out of the clouds, beneath the arch.

  • April 13: The Ides of Aprilis on April 13 was sacred to Jupiter Victor

  • White steers were the blood offerings to Jupiter whereas as white cows were the offerings to Juno

  • Thunder was his weapon and he bore a shield called Aegis which was made for him by Vulcan. (The aegis, a protective buckler shield and a symbol of the god).

Jupiter (Greek Counterpart was Zeus)
The Romans habitually assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Greeks and other nations. When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC many of the Greek gods and goddesses were adopted by the Romans.  The Romans simply changed the Greek gods names to Latin equivalents. The Greek counterpart of Jupiter was Zeus. The Roman religion significantly differed from the Greeks in that it was officially endorsed by the state and exerted influence over the government of Rome. Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the popular worship, Roman gods and goddesses like Jupiter were worshipped at every public event, including the gladiatorial games, where Blood sacrifices were made to the gods. In ancient Rome, the pantheon of 12 major gods, including Jupiter, were called the 'Dei Consentes' meaning the Council of Gods.

Gods and Deities
Roman Gods and Goddesses

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