Aurora Goddess of the dawn, and Divine Herald of
the day, and by extension, new beginnings of any sort. Similar in many respects to
the Hellenic Eos.
Bacchus God of wine, intoxication, and ecstatic
celebration. Similar in most important respects to Dionysios.
Bellona A Goddess of war, attended to by violent
and frenzied rites
Ceres Goddess of agriculture and the harvest,
and Divine source of Life energy. Similar in many respects to the Hellenic
Demeter, Ceres is also
responsible for seasonality in abdicating her Attribute
during winter, the time when her daughter Proserpina spends underground
Consus God of secret plans and conspiracies.
Cupid Son of Venus, and God of love and sexual
Castor & Pollux Twin Deities associated with
the sea, the Roman equivalents of the Hellenic Kastor & Polydeukes.
Diana Goddess of the Moon, the natural world, a
huntress and protectress of animals. A perpetual maiden, she was usually conflated
with the Hellenic Artemis.
Dispater Underworld ruler of the dead, similar
in many respects to the Hellenic Hades.
Fauna and Faunus Paired Deities of grove and
forest, and the life therein. Faunus was originally a mythical King of Latium, but in
later times, these
spirits were conflated with Hellenic Pan, and the Race
Flora Goddess of plant life, especially flowers.
Her festival was one noted for sexual extravagance, but She also has connections
with the Dead.
Genius Any of a class of Spirits, each one the
Guide and Protector of a particular person of male gender. Similar in most
respects to the modern
idea of a Guardian Angel. See also Juno (II).
Janus God of time, space, and passage. Guardian
of roadways and gates, and presiding over all beginnings and cycles. He can see
past, present, and future, and is responsible for the orderly movement of
people and ideas through their appointed rounds. He is an example of the
Roman obsession with boundaries, edges, transfer from one state to another,
Juno I Consort of Jupiter and queen of Heaven.
Similar in most respects to the Hellenic Hera, Juno was considered the Protectress
of Women and Patroness of the Matronly virtues. As with Her Greek
counterpart, she suffers from jealous rages at her Consort's constant
infidelities, although the
Latins tended to downplay this somewhat from the Greek
model, since Roman notions of appropriate feminine conduct differ somewhat
Juno II Any of a class of Spirits, each one the
Guide and Protector of a particular person of female gender. Similar in most
respects to the modern idea of a Guardian Angel. See also Genius.
Jupiter Lord of the Universe, and King of
Heaven. As with nearly all Aryan Gods of Sovereignty, He is a sky-lord, and his chief
instrument of power is
the thunderbolt. Similar in many respects to the
Hellenic Zeus. Differences in personality are subtle, but real; Jupiter has more
of the Roman character trait of Gravitas (dignity, stolid propriety) than
Zeus, while Zeus is rather a bit more temperamental and spontaneous than
Juventas Goddess of youth and youthful activity.
Closely paralleling the Hellenic Hebe.
The Lares A set of household Gods worshipped by
nearly everyone. They were said to be the offspring of Mercurius by Larunda, an
Etruscan Goddess who was recognized in Roman times as the nymph Lara. The
Lares were associated
with the Lar Familiaris, ancestral spirits tied to
particular tracts of land.
Liber A God of vegetation and husbandry. His
cult was conflated with that of Dionysios to a degree, and his festival was kept as a
celebration for young men who had achieved adulthood.
Libitina Goddess of death or, more specifically,
recipient and custodian of corpses. Her priests were needed in order to ritually
purify a dead body,
and claim it for the Goddess; before this was done,
mere contact with a corpse was spiritually polluting. Her temple contained
all the mortuary
records and death registers.
Lucifer (light-bearer) The morning star. Said to
be the son of Aurora.
Lupercus God of wolves, significant to Romans in
that the mythological founders of the Roman Nation (Romulus and Remus) were
suckled by a she-wolf in infancy.
Mars God of war and soldiers. Often identified
with the Hellenic Ares, Mars did not have that Deity's grim and brutal reputation,
but was seen rather as
a legitimate apotheosis of the State's power and
Mellonia Presiding Goddess of bee-keeping.
Mefitis Goddess of miasmas and sulphuric
vapours; associated closely with plagues and malarias, as these were regarded as the
results of the volcanic emissions so common in Italy.
Mercurius The Messenger and Herald of the Gods,
He also had responsibility for travelers and roadways. Similar in many ways to the
Hellenic Hermes, Mercurius in the Roman world bore the caduceus (a
serpent entwined staff) as a symbol of his office. The Romans also gave him
authority over winds, and in this context he is said to be always a bane to
Apollo, in that he constantly is stealing away Apollo's herds (the
Minerva Daughter of Jupiter, Goddess of war and
peace or, more properly, the decisions and actions of the State. As such, she is
also a Goddess of wisdom. Based on an early Etruscan Goddess, She became
heavily conflated with the Hellenic Pallas Athene.
Neptune Conflated in many important ways to the
Hellenic Poseidon, Neptune is nevertheless not a Sea God as such, but to the Roman
mind came out of an agricultural background. He is watery in that he is a
Patron of irrigation, and like Poseidon he is a Master of Horse-kind.
The Penates A group of household Divinities,
Guardians of a particular House and Family. They had special patronage over the hearth
and kitchen, and the head of each household served as their priest.
Pluto A Cthonic Deity, Lord of the Underworld
and Ruler of the Dead. In many ways identical to the Hellenic Hades, Pluto also was
wed to the daughter of the primary seasonal and agrarian Goddess ( Proserpina,
daughter of Ceres),
a circumstance which causes blights the Earth with
winter when He is attended by Her, and blesses the earth with spring when
She once more visits Her Mother.
Proserpina Daughter of Ceres, Consort of Pluto,
and identical in all important respects to the Hellenic Persephone.
Quirinus A God of war, said to be the
apotheosized Spirit of Romulus, founder of the City.
Saturn A southern Italian Deity who became
identified with the Hellenic Kronos. It was said of him that south Italy was the
place to which he
resorted after his deposition by Zeus.
Silvanus (he of the forest) A God associated
with parkland, copses, wooded glens, and the forest itself. His spirit was present
anywhere there was
waste ground or uncultivated land. He was an ominous
figure, one who held the potential for terror and death, since to the Roman
mind the forest primeval was a realm of chaos and fear, distinct from
managed, settled territory.
Summanus A (literally) shadowy counterpart, or
perhaps Aspect, to Jupiter. A Sky-Lord and Ruler of the nocturnal heavens, inasmuch
as Jupiter was
associated with diurnal hours.
Terminus Deity of Sacred Space, and the
boundaries thereof. His Spirit was said to reside in cairns, landmarks, and boundary
markers. He is another example, like Janus, of the Roman preoccupation with
space, distance, edges, and the transition from one state to another.
Tiberinus Tutelary God of the Tiber River.
Venus (blooming nature ?) Goddess of beauty and
sexual love, and in many important respects similar to the Hellenic Aphrodite.
In the Roman view, She was the daughter of Jupiter and Dione, and like so many
Roman Divinities, she had considerable authority and influence in
agrarian concerns, in her case gardens and flowering plants.
Vertumnus The Consort of Pomona, He is the
Patron of gardeners and cultivated ground; He also has a general authority over
orderly change, as
in the progress of the seasons. Based on an earlier
Vesper The evening star. Perhaps a son of
Vesta A household Guardian of primary
importance, She is the Goddess of fire as a controlled thing, and of the hearth. Her Temple in
Rome was considered one of the chief props of the State, its continuity
guaranteeing the health
of the republic. It contained an eternal flame, and was
administered by a company of priestesses sworn to virginity. No male
could enter the
sanctuary, not even the Pontifex Maximus.
Vulcan Originally an Etruscan God, Vulcan came
to be recognized as a primary patron of Smiths, mechanics, and craftsmen. As such, he
was often combined with the Hellenic Hephaestus and, like him (and so many
other Aryan Smithy Gods), was lame. Also like Hephaestus, He was not
highly honoured, owing to the very deeply felt Classic Mediterranean contempt for
manual craft and