Questions tagged [roman]

For questions about Roman mythology and legends.

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53
votes
3answers
4k views

When and how did the Greek mythos transfer to the Romans?

It seems that there are a great many similarities between Roman and Greek Mythology. In fact, many people consider them synonymous and only really differ in the names. For example: Greek ⇄ Roman Zeus ...
32
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5answers
36k views

Where did the Roman gods live?

The ancient Greek gods lived on the famous Mount Olympus, which is an actual mountain in Greece. The Romans borrowed quite a bit of mythology from the Greeks, so I at first assumed that the Roman ...
25
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1answer
1k views

What differences were there in Greek soldiers worship of Ares and Roman soldiers worship of Mars?

I am looking for a comparison/contrast of war gods. (Feel free to mention other deities in your answer if they are relevant or helpful in explaining) Considering their direct linkage I am curious to ...
20
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3answers
920 views

Hephaestus and Medusa had a son named Cacus. How was Hephaestus shielded from being turned to stone?

Hephaestus and Medusa had a son named Cacus. Cacus was the son of Hephaestus and Medusa. Inheriting the properties of fire from his father and monstrousness from his mother, Cacus was a fire-...
20
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1answer
658 views

Was there a cult of Hercules in Germania?

Publius Cornelius Tacitus in his De Origine et situ Germanorum tells us that 1st century Germanic tribes worshipped Hercules: They say that Hercules, too, once visited them; and when going into ...
18
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1answer
5k views

Who translated the Iliad or the Odyssey to Latin first?

Who was the first person to translate part or all of Homer's works, the Iliad and/or the Odyssey, to Latin? Have these translations survived to current times? My original motivation for the question ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Greek/Roman Mermaids

The Greeks and Romans had stories about mermaids and various other half man half fish beings. What creatures are they referring to? If it isn't a creature but more of a "fishing tale" then when was ...
16
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3answers
3k views

Is it Lucifer or Venus?

Which deity, according to Greek and Roman mythology, is represented by the planet that we call Venus? Is it the goddess Venus (Aphrodite in Greek) or is someone named Lucifer?
15
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3answers
1k views

Importance of Dionysos/Bacchus in Orphism

How did Dionysus/Bacchus become the central figure of Orphism, given the relatively modest importance he has in classical Greek and Roman mythology? From a semi-god of Wine in the latter, he becomes ...
15
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1answer
742 views

Is there a connection between Acca Larentia and the wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus?

The story of Romulus and Remus involves the abandoned twins surviving out of chance, being helped by, among others, Lupa a female wolf, who suckles them. They are later taken in by a shepherd, ...
14
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1answer
557 views

Greek/Latin mythology with two brothers who die as reward for hard labor

I have heard this particular greek/latin myth in school but I can't quite recall what it was called. Can you perhaps help me find it. So as far as I can recall the myth went as follows: Two brothers ...
14
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1answer
295 views

Does Roman folklore feature an account of The Dream of Macsen Wledig?

The Dream of Macsen Wledig is a Welsh tale that may be loosely based on Emperor Magnus Maximus, of Rome. The story tracks his search for a fair maiden he sees in a dream, eventually bringing him to ...
14
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1answer
162 views

Worship of Epona in the Roman Empire

Epona is said to be "the sole Celtic divinity ultimately worshipped in Rome itself" (see Wikipedia article quoting Phyllis Fray Bober). Is there any reason this divinity in particular was worshipped ...
13
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8answers
25k views

Is there a Western (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, or Norse) god of the cosmos?

I have heard of the Greek god, Chaos (the manifestation of the void), and of the Greek god Aither, (the manifestation of the upper air that gods breathe most often), but I can't find reference to any ...
13
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1answer
796 views

What is this myth: elderly couple unwittingly feed gods, changed into tree

I studied Latin in 7th grade, and my teacher used to read some stories from Greek and Roman mythology to us. There is one of those that I wanted to learn more about, but haven't been able to find. ...
13
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1answer
259 views

What happened to the flamines minores?

From the early Roman kings on*, fifteen gods were each given an officially appointed priest, the flamen, to take care of its cult in Rome. The three main priests (flamines maiores) were in charge ...
13
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1answer
221 views

Juno and one of the Fabian laws

In Robert Graves' translation of Apuleius's The Golden Ass, when Psyche asks Juno for help, Juno says she can't help because of one of the Fabian laws. What is a Fabian law?
12
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2answers
2k views

Which Greek or Roman deities have dominion over Time?

Most concepts seem to have a particular deity unambiguously associated with them. But Time, fundamental as it is, does not—in the Greek pantheon, for example, there is Chronus, later conflated with ...
12
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4answers
17k views

What is the symbolism behind Psyche's tasks?

The taskmaster in the story of Cupid and Psyche was Cupid's mother, the love goddess Venus or Aphrodite. Venus had never liked Psyche, so the opportunity of putting her to a series of tests gave Venus ...
12
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2answers
734 views

How does the Genius concept fit into the Roman Mythology?

I'm having trouble understanding how the Roman mythology revolves around or is associated with the concept of Genius. From what I understand, every thing has a spirit or soul, that can be venerated in ...
11
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2answers
5k views

Were Romulus and Remus real people?

In Roman mythology Romulus and Remus were two brothers that were kept alive by suckling from a wolf. Romulus later kills Remus and that is supposedly how Rome got its name. But were Romulus and ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Why was Europe named after Europa?

I just re-read the story of Zeus and Europa, and in the notes provided by my book, it mentions that the continent of Europe was named after the mythological Europa. It gave no more explanation, and ...
10
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2answers
686 views

Was Horatius Cocles a footman or mounted?

The myths of ancient Rome recount of Horatius Cocles, a brave Roman soldier officer who has defended the Roman republic from an Etruscan attack. He stood alone on the sole bridge above the Tiber ...
10
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1answer
750 views

What is the relationship between Thor and storms?

We all know Þórr means thunder and that Mjǫllnir may possibly mean lightning, however, in all the texts I've read, there isn't a single mention (or at least not a relevant one) of a connection between ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Which Greek deities do not have an “equivalent” in the Roman pantheon and vice versa?

Although this might be considered a list based questions the full answer's validity will not change with time as there was a finite list of Greek and Roman deities and that will not change in the ...
10
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2answers
361 views

What is the source for this legend about baking virgin's blood into breads?

Rabbi Solomon ibn Verga writes the following in his work Shevet Yehuda (Ch. 7): A temple of Lucifer/Venus had a statue with a phallic device which was used to deflower virgins brought in for that ...
9
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2answers
4k views

Odin's Counterpart

I have always wondered are: Odin, Mercury, Hermes, Thoth the same person? If so, why they are celebrated by different cultures and praised by different myths? I am in love with these deities...
9
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2answers
931 views

When Was the Goddess Pomona's Festival?

I'm doing some investigation into the mythology behind Halloween, and am running into contradictory claims about the date of the festival for Pomona, the Roman Goddess of orchard fruits (apples, ...
9
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2answers
261 views

What sources describe the rivers of the Underworld?

Many stories about the Greco-Roman Underworld mention the rivers flowing through it: the Styx, the Acheron, the Lethe, the Pyriphlegethon, the Cocytus, the Eridanus, and sometimes others. Sources ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Are there any negative connotations associated with the Caduceus?

The staff carried by Hermes/Mercury, which known as the Caduceus, is one of my favorite symbols. For those that are visual thinkers I have pictured it below: I am planning on getting a tattoo of the ...
9
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1answer
341 views

Why did Ovid omit the Heroic Age?

According to Wikipedia, Ovid's Four Ages of Man are very similar to Hesiod's Five Ages Man, with the exception of the Heroic Age. Why didn't Ovid include the Heroic Age?
8
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2answers
527 views

Was divination a job reserved to women?

In Greek and Roman mythology, most of the famous oracles I've heard of were female. The Oracle of Delphi (Pythia) The Cumaean Sibyl (who sold books of prophecies to the king of Rome Tarquinius) ...
8
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2answers
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How did the seasons change, according to the Romans?

In Greek mythology the seasons change because Hades takes a beautiful girl down to the Underworld, her mother weeps and while in deep sorrow it becomes winter. What did the Romans believe for the ...
8
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3answers
111 views

Were there cooks for the gods on Olympus in Greek(or Roman) Mythology

I am writing a play in which Greek mythology is a worshipful act and wanted to write that the gods decided to eat the humanly harvest rather than the food (ambrosia, the nectar) of Olympus. Are ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What are the differences between fauns and satyrs?

From what I've gathered fauns and satyrs are pretty much the same thing; they're all male, hircine from the waist down. They like wine, women, and song. They walk around naked all the time and have an ...
8
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1answer
152 views

Is this Sabine name of Flora accurate?

Being a Sabine derived goddess of Rome, it's not odd to think that there is a linguistic equivalent of Flora in Sabine. I keep seeing claims that Flora was called by the Sabines as Flusia, and that ...
8
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1answer
131 views

Was Saturn a person or god among the early Romans?

I've been very perplexed over the confusing matter regarding Saturn and how he was viewed by the early Romans. Some say he was a just king who ruled the Romans in a golden age, succeeding Janus. ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What are the differences between the Greek Hestia and the Roman Vesta with regards to both mythology and worship?

I recall reading about Vesta, and I believe that, like Mars and Saturn, she was more important to the Roman pantheon than the Greek. I'd like to know what the differences were between Vesta and Hestia....
8
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1answer
1k views

Was Apollo the sun god in Augustan Rome?

I had assumed that Apollo was the sun god in the Augustan era of Rome. I still think this is true. But I read a passage in Wikipedia that made me doubt this. In Hellenistic times, especially during ...
8
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1answer
94 views

School in the Sky?

I'm looking for references to schools in the sky. Was there a school that the Greek gods attended? A university frequented by the Norse pantheon? An academy in Tian? I'd love any pointers you've ...
8
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1answer
288 views

Why is Diana a Huntress?

Everyone knows that Diana, as well as her Greek parallel Artemis, are hunter goddesses, but few seem to know why. From where does this association originate?
7
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2answers
1k views

Differences in the Greek and Roman portrayals of Cronos/Saturn

I just read a blog post that talks about the Roman feast of Saturnalia: During the time of the Republic, gambling was prohibited except during the festival of the Saturnalia which was held in ...
7
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1answer
362 views

Is the Cumaean Sybil known by any other name?

Warning- Extremely deep in Greek/Roman myth. The Virgin of Cumae, or the Cumaean Sybil, was a priestess with the gift of prophecy. She would write her prophecies on oak leaves an arrange them. But, ...
7
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2answers
422 views

Did Greeks and Romans allow for belief in only some of their gods?

Did Greeks and Romans believe in all their gods, or was it permissible to believe in some of them only (e.g., only in Diana, Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, etc.)? {It seems it was permissible to believe ...
7
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1answer
338 views

Did Greeks bow to their gods?

Is there an instance in which a Greek (or related, Roman, Trojan...) would bow to a god if they appeared? I would think not. Iliad Athena appears to Achilles, did not bow. Athena appears to Odysseus,...
7
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1answer
249 views

Destruction of the universe by fire in the Ancient Greek canon?

In Ovid's Metamorphosis, Zeus, thoroughly freaked out* by his encounter with Lycaon, returns to Olympus, determined to rid the world of the evil race of men. A few lines later, Ovid relates that: ...
7
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1answer
276 views

Roman - exactly what did they think the Sun was?

I can find a few references here and there to it being a chariot or something, but I don't just want to take any old lackey on the Internet's word for it. What exactly did they think it was? This ...
7
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1answer
270 views

Is there a tradition of rock throwing for Mercury?

The Talmud refers to the Roman god Mercury as Merculus (מרקוליס) and always mentions that god in conjunction with a idolatrous practice of throwing a rock towards a pile of other rocks. Is there any ...
6
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2answers
185 views

Are Moirai & Parcae mortal?

What is the fate of Moirai & Parcae (the Fates) in Roman & Greek mythologies? Are they mortal? If they are destined to die when & how it happens?
6
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2answers
176 views

When was a pair of Greek and Roman gods first identified?

There is a canonical correspondence between some Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, for example Ares and Mars. However, these two were originally different deities and quite different in nature. My ...