As Rome expanded they encountered beliefs and practices of the cultures they conquered. When the Romans and Greeks met, the Romans liked Greek mythology and adopted their myths and Gods into their beliefs and culture. Roman mythology affected Roman society because religion and myth became united together. Romans worshipped thousands of gods and believed there was a god or spirit for everything in nature. Thus, Romans were very superstitious as they believed that many natural things such as lightning and harvests were acts of the gods.
The most powerful god was Jupiter. The Romans adopted Jupiter from the Greek god Zeus. Jupiter was believed to be the king of all gods who had the final word and ruled all of life in heaven and earth. He would bring order by the strike of his thunderbolt. Jupiter was the king of the gods, and his queen was Juno. Juno was the wife and sister of Jupiter. Her Greek name was Hera. Juno was the goddess of marriage and childbirth and worshipped by Roman women. Juno was the symbol of housewife, mother, and matron.
Jupiter’s brother Neptune was another great god. Neptune came from the Greek god Poseidon. He was the god of all the sea. Neptune had blue eyes and green hair. He is thought of as having high and intense energy and had a bad temper. He is most known for his three pronged trident.
Apollo and Minerva were two of Jupiter’s children. Apollo was the only god whose name is the same in Greek and Roman mythology. Apollo was Jupiter’s son and god of the sun, mustic, and archery. Minerva, known as Athena in Greek mythology, was Jupiter’s daughter who was born without a mother. The myth of Minerva is that she was born directly from the brain of Jupiter. She is the goddess of wisdom and could outsmart the other gods.
Another important god in Roman mythology is Venus. Venus is the Roman equivalent to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. She is the goddess of love and beauty. She was considered a very powerful goddess. She could be either kind or merciless.