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Author Topic: The Greek and Roman Gods  (Read 12395 times)
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« Topic Start: October 04, 2008, 12:13:23 pm »

I was reading a website on the Gods of the Romans, and next to each Gods name their was another list called "origin" and it pretty much said Jupiter's origin was the Greek God Zeus?  this cant be can it?  They are probably talking about the basic image's of the Roman Gods right?  because I remember reading that the Reason in their where so many Gods in the Roman Pantheon is because they believed the Gods where in Nature (thus a God or Goddess for all kinds of things) but they believed that the Gods where formless but very powerful.  So would I be correct in assuming that the only origin Zeus has to Jupiter is his Image?
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« Reply #1: October 04, 2008, 12:29:07 pm »

I was reading a website on the Gods of the Romans, and next to each Gods name their was another list called "origin" and it pretty much said Jupiter's origin was the Greek God Zeus?  this cant be can it?  They are probably talking about the basic image's of the Roman Gods right?  because I remember reading that the Reason in their where so many Gods in the Roman Pantheon is because they believed the Gods where in Nature (thus a God or Goddess for all kinds of things) but they believed that the Gods where formless but very powerful.  So would I be correct in assuming that the only origin Zeus has to Jupiter is his Image?

IIRC, the Romans would incorporate some the Gods/Goddess' of the various people they conquered into their own pantheon. They would look at the native god (Zeus) and if they decided they liked what he represented, they would rename him (Jupiter).

*Disclaimer* It's been a while since I've read an overview of Roman religions, so I could be way off track with this.....
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« Reply #2: October 04, 2008, 12:33:23 pm »

I was reading a website on the Gods of the Romans, and next to each Gods name their was another list called "origin" and it pretty much said Jupiter's origin was the Greek God Zeus?  this cant be can it?  They are probably talking about the basic image's of the Roman Gods right?  because I remember reading that the Reason in their where so many Gods in the Roman Pantheon is because they believed the Gods where in Nature (thus a God or Goddess for all kinds of things) but they believed that the Gods where formless but very powerful.  So would I be correct in assuming that the only origin Zeus has to Jupiter is his Image?

From my understanding, the Romans were worshiping their gods before they stole the Greek myths and applied it to them.  In fact, the Romans borrowed art and architectural styles from the Greeks so it wouldn't surprise me if images of Zeus were called images of Jupiter after the invasion.  Nor would it surprise me if later images of Jupiter were modeled after Zeus.  After all, to the Romans they were the same deity.
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« Reply #3: October 04, 2008, 12:35:35 pm »

IIRC, the Romans would incorporate some the Gods/Goddess' of the various people they conquered into their own pantheon. They would look at the native god (Zeus) and if they decided they liked what he represented, they would rename him (Jupiter).

*Disclaimer* It's been a while since I've read an overview of Roman religions, so I could be way off track with this.....

Not exactly, they would identify the deities of a conquered culture with their own.  So you end up with Zeus-Jupiter, Lugh-Mercury (I think) and so on.
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« Reply #4: October 04, 2008, 12:39:47 pm »

From my understanding, the Romans were worshiping their gods before they stole the Greek myths and applied it to them.  In fact, the Romans borrowed art and architectural styles from the Greeks so it wouldn't surprise me if images of Zeus were called images of Jupiter after the invasion.  Nor would it surprise me if later images of Jupiter were modeled after Zeus.  After all, to the Romans they were the same deity.

thank you for this.  I have no problem with Jupiter looking like Zeus but they are different right?
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« Reply #5: October 04, 2008, 12:57:31 pm »

thank you for this.  I have no problem with Jupiter looking like Zeus but they are different right?

I don't know much about the Roman gods, so I cannot answer that.  I can say that Ares and Mars are more than likely different because of their personalities, but I heard that whether or not Zeus and Jupiter are the same is a big question mark.
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« Reply #6: October 04, 2008, 01:00:17 pm »

I don't know much about the Roman gods, so I cannot answer that.  I can say that Ares and Mars are more than likely different because of their personalities, but I heard that whether or not Zeus and Jupiter are the same is a big question mark.

"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."

^ well this is a basic description of Jupiter from a website.  Does that sound anything like Zeus?  It kinda does to me especially the part about the lightning bolt and being the God of the sky.  But the eagle messanger is different i think?

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« Reply #7: October 04, 2008, 01:22:09 pm »

^ well this is a basic description of Jupiter from a website.  Does that sound anything like Zeus?  It kinda does to me especially the part about the lightning bolt and being the God of the sky.  But the eagle messanger is different i think?

The eagle messenger isn't different.  What I was try to say that mythology and attributes are one thing to consider when trying to identify one god with another.  Other factors are personality and methods of worship, possibly a few more.

Zeus is the god of many, MANY things and I would have to read up on what exactly Jupiter is god of so I can understand this better.
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« Reply #8: October 04, 2008, 01:40:23 pm »

I was reading a website on the Gods of the Romans, and next to each Gods name their was another list called "origin" and it pretty much said Jupiter's origin was the Greek God Zeus?  this cant be can it?  They are probably talking about the basic image's of the Roman Gods right?  because I remember reading that the Reason in their where so many Gods in the Roman Pantheon is because they believed the Gods where in Nature (thus a God or Goddess for all kinds of things) but they believed that the Gods where formless but very powerful.  So would I be correct in assuming that the only origin Zeus has to Jupiter is his Image?

It's not really that clear cut. The Romans (and related peoples) had their own gods, but early on they didn't tend to use figural representations of them in the same way the Greeks did. The Romans had a long and involved history with the Greeks that lasted centuries, and it wasn't all about conquest. They were very syncretic and adopted many customs and artistic styles, and began to express their understanding of their gods in a Greek fashion. It's far too simple and too much a generalization to equate Roman gods with Greek gods, but there are some similarities because of this history.
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« Reply #9: October 04, 2008, 04:27:37 pm »

I was reading a website on the Gods of the Romans, and next to each Gods name their was another list called "origin" and it pretty much said Jupiter's origin was the Greek God Zeus?  this cant be can it?  They are probably talking about the basic image's of the Roman Gods right?  because I remember reading that the Reason in their where so many Gods in the Roman Pantheon is because they believed the Gods where in Nature (thus a God or Goddess for all kinds of things) but they believed that the Gods where formless but very powerful.  So would I be correct in assuming that the only origin Zeus has to Jupiter is his Image?
I looked briefly into Religio Romana a while back.

How I remember it is that the Romans originally didn't anthropomorphize their gods. 

It was after they encountered the Etruscans and, later, the Greeks that they started telling myths and making images.  When they did they borrowed a lot from the cultures that they encountered instead of coming up with everything from scratch.  For example, Athena and Minerva have very different personalities but were similar enough that the Romans applied Athena's myths and other characteristics to Minerva. 

When you bring the Etruscans into it, it becomes more complicated.  The name "Minerva" was borrowed earlier from a third Etruscan goddess, Menrva, who was known earlier than either the Greek or Roman goddess.
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« Reply #10: October 04, 2008, 04:42:44 pm »




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« Reply #11: October 04, 2008, 05:14:47 pm »



Alright thank you for telling me.  Smiley 
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« Reply #12: October 04, 2008, 06:56:44 pm »



I just want to make sure of something for example:  Jupiter and Zeus are lets say.... well... Technically hold the same positions in each ones Pantheon Zeus head of Gods Jupiter Head of Gods but they are very much different right?
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« Reply #13: October 04, 2008, 10:08:24 pm »

Not exactly, they would identify the deities of a conquered culture with their own.  So you end up with Zeus-Jupiter, Lugh-Mercury (I think) and so on.

Thanks for that.  Smiley Like I had mentioned, it's been way to long since I read about this. Methinks it's time to reread some of it.  Wink
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« Reply #14: October 04, 2008, 10:18:41 pm »

I just want to make sure of something for example:  Jupiter and Zeus are lets say.... well... Technically hold the same positions in each ones Pantheon Zeus head of Gods Jupiter Head of Gods but they are very much different right?

Jupiter and Zeus are not as different as say Ares and Mars (which are about as different as you can get in the war god department).  How different the major Roman Gods are from their Greek counterparts varies with the pair of deities in question.
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