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Roman Gods

Explore the Roman pantheon and rediscover the ancient gods of Rome, including Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, Mercury, Venus, Apollo and more.

Council of Twelve (Dii Consentes)

  • Jupiter

    Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the “best and greatest,” was the king of the Roman gods, the lord of the heavens, and the wielder of thunder and lightning. In Roman mytho-history, Jupiter’s pact with the Roman king Numa Pompilius, sealed early in the history of Rome, explained the stunning success of the Roman army and the steady expansion of Roman hegemony.

  • Juno

    Faithful Juno was the queen of the Roman gods, the protector of home and family, and the defender of the Roman state. Often associated with the waxing and waning of the moon, Juno oversaw all aspects of womanhood, from menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth to marriage, sex, and child-rearing.

  • Neptune

    Neptune was the Roman god of the seas and a patron of seafarers; he often wielded a trident and controlled winds and storms. Also known as Neptunus Equester, he was further recognized as a god of horses, horsemanship, and horse racing. While an important member of the Roman pantheon, Neptune was not worshiped as fervently as his counterparts, namely Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.

  • Minerva

    Worshiped and revered by craftsmen, philosophers, generals, and statesmen, Minerva was the source of all wisdom and forethought. As a military commander, she embodied Roman tactics and ensured Roman victories abroad. Alongside Jupiter and Juno, Minerva was a member of the divine triumvirate known as the Capitoline Triad.

  • Apollo

    Youthful Apollo was the Roman god of law, order, and reason; he also inspired music and poetry. While he gave humanity the gift of medicine, he also wielded a silver bow that would rain pestilence down upon his enemies. He was thought to reside at Delphi, the center of oracular thought in the ancient Mediterranean.

  • Venus

    The Roman goddess of love, beauty, and erotic desire, Venus was known for both her tremendous beauty and her ability to arouse passions A patron of prostitutes and protector of lovers, Venus served as a guardian of Rome, a city and empire that was founded by her mortal son Aeneas.

  • Mars

    Raging Mars of the Roman pantheon was the god of war and the passions that fed it. He was the mythic father of Romulus and Remus, the twin sons born by Rhea Silvia, who founded the city of Rome. In religion, Mars ruled early Rome as a part of masculine ruling triumvirate known as the Archaic Triad; his spot was later taken by Minerva, likely during the third century BCE.

  • Mercury

    Mercury was a wily trickster and the Roman god of commerce, communication, and travel. A patron to thieves, messengers, and merchants, he also conveyed the souls of the dead to the underworld. As the chief messenger of the gods, Mercury controlled the flow of information to and from the gods, and often used this position to his advantage.

  • Ceres

    The Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres was the patron of farmers and protector of the plebeians. Ceres was the leading member of the so-called Aventine Triad, the “plebeian” triumvirate of deities who were believed to oversee the fortunes of common Romans. As the mother of Proserpina, Ceres had a central role in the story of her daughter's abduction; this story was of great importance to Roman religion, as it explained the changing of the seasons.

  • Diana

    The chaste guardian of the woods, Diana was a Roman goddess associated with hunting, animals, boundaries, and untrammeled nature. Adapted from the Greek goddess Artemis, Diana prowled the woods and shunned the company of mortals and gods alike. She famously maintained her virginity, despite many attempts to claim it.

  • Vesta

    Vesta was the virgin goddess of home and hearth, and a leading member of the Roman pantheon. She was called Mater (“Mother”) and was thought to control all aspects of domestic life, including marriage, procreation, and the raising of children. A popular goddess among the common people (and women and girls in particular), Vesta retained her popularity even after the formal adoption of Christianity by the Roman emperors in the fourth century CE.

  • Vulcan

    The master of metallurgy and handicraft, Vulcan was the Roman god of fire and forge, as well as the patron of artisans and smiths. He was said to have crafted the famed weapons and accoutrements of the gods, including Jupiter’s lightning bolts and Mercury’s winged helm. Vulcan was thought to have a lame leg and was the only deity specifically described as being ugly.

Major Deities

  • Bacchus

    The Roman god of wine and viticulture, Bacchus was the source of altered states such as drunkenness and religious frenzy. Through these altered states, Bacchus freed the individual from the shackles of social conventions and rigid morality. Bacchus evolved from the Italian deity Liber, as well as from the Greek god Dionysus. Both precursors were wine gods associated with the release of inhibitions.

  • Pluto

    Pluto, also known as Dīs Pater (“God Father”), was the Roman god of the dead and lord of the underworld. Pluto was a curious and contradictory figure. While he was best known for ruling over the souls of the dead, he was also notable for being the master of mineral wealth that came from his subterranean realm.