Roman Gods

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A vast number of ancient Roman deities are known by name. The most familiar today are those the Romans identified with Greek counterparts (see interpretatio graeca), integrating Greek myths, iconography, and sometimes religious practices into Roman culture, including Latin literature, Roman art, and religious life as it was experienced throughout the Empire. Many of the Romans' own gods remain obscure, known only by name and function, through inscriptions and texts that are often fragmentary—particularly those who belong to the archaic religion of the Romans dating back to the era of kings, the so-called "religion of Numa," perpetuated or revived over the centuries. Some archaic deities have Italic or Etruscan counterparts, as identified both by ancient sources and by modern scholars. Throughout the Empire, the deities of peoples in the provinces were given new theological interpretations in light of functions or attributes they shared with Roman deities. An extensive alphabetical list follows a survey of theological groups as constructed by the Romans themselves.[1] For cult pertaining to deified Roman emperors (divi), see Imperial cult.

Roman lists [edit]

Triads [edit]
Archaic Triad: Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus.
Capitoline Triad: Jupiter, Juno, Minerva[2]
Plebeian or Aventine Triad: Ceres, Liber, Libera, dating to 493 BC.[3] Groupings of twelve [edit]
Lectisternium of 217 BC [edit]
A lectisternium is a banquet for the gods, at which they appear as images seated on couches, as if present and participating. In describing the lectisternium of the Twelve Great Gods in 217 BC, the Augustan historian Livy places the deities in gender-balanced pairs:[4] Jupiter-Juno

Neptune-Minerva
Mars-Venus
Apollo-Diana
Vulcan-Vesta
Mercury-Ceres
Divine male-female complements such as these, as well as the anthropomorphic influence of Greek mythology, contributed to a tendency in Latin literature to represent the gods as "married" couples or (as in the case of Venus and Mars) lovers.

Di Consentes on an altar
Dii Consentes [edit]
Varro uses the name Dii Consentes for twelve deities whose gilded images stood in the forum. These were also placed in six male-female pairs.[5] Although individual names are not listed, they are assumed to be the deities of the lectisternium. A fragment from Ennius, within whose lifetime the lectisternium occurred, lists the same twelve deities by name, though in a different order from that of Livy: Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, Mercurius, Jove, Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo.[6] The Dii Consentes are sometimes seen as the Roman equivalent of the Greek Olympians. The meaning of Consentes is subject to interpretation, but is usually taken to mean that they form a council or consensus of deities. Di selecti [edit]

Varro[7] gives a list of twenty principal gods of Roman religion: Janus
Jupiter
Saturn
Genius
Mercury
Apollo
Mars
Vulcan
Neptune
Sol
Orcus
Liber
Tellus
Ceres
Juno
Luna
Diana
Minerva
Venus
Vesta
Sabine gods [edit]

Livia, wife of Augustus, dressed as the goddess Ops
Varro, who was himself of Sabine origin, gives a list of Sabine gods who were adopted by the Romans: Feronia
Minerva
Novensides[8]
Pales
Salus
Fortuna
Fons
Fides[9]
Ops
Flora
Vediovis
Saturn
Sol
Luna
Vulcan
Summanus
Larunda
Terminus
Quirinus
Vortumnus
Lares
Diana
Lucina
Elsewhere, Varro claims Sol Indiges, who had a sacred grove at Lavinium, as Sabine but at the same time equates him with Apollo.[10] Of those listed, he writes, "several names have their roots in both languages, as trees that grow on a property line creep into both fields. Saturn, for instance, can be said to have another origin here, and so too Diana."[11] Varro makes various claims for Sabine origins throughout his works, some more plausible than others, and his list should not be taken at face value.[12] But the importance of the Sabines in the early cultural formation of Rome is evidenced, for...
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