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Difference Between Greek Gods and Roman Gods

Greek Gods Vs Roman Gods

Ancient mythologies have often been confused. Most especially between Greek and Roman gods, many still get confused if a particular god belongs to either the Greek or Roman mythology. Nevertheless, there are lots of parallelisms between the two and the difference is most likely because of the dissimilarities between the Greek and Roman cultures.

The Greek culture came first, about a millennium before the Romans. The truth is the Romans just adopted the idea of having gods and goddesses from the Greeks. This was when they managed to capture the Hellenistic regime. But to give them a sense of uniqueness and individuality, they somewhat changed the names of the Greek deities except for the god of music and poetry ‘“ Apollo, whose name is practically the same for both cultures.

There is one clear difference in one deity ‘“ the god of war. Based on the Greeks, this god is named Ares but in Roman myth he is named Mars. Ares was dubbed as purely a god of war by the Greeks while the Romans also acknowledge Mars as a god of fertility and agriculture. With this, Mars is thought to be a kind god that most Romans respected. On the other hand, the Greeks consider Ares as a very strong and fearsome god because of his purely god of war inclination.

The gods and goddesses of the Greek myths are: Zeus, Poseidon, Hestia, Hermes, Hera, Haphaestus, Hades, Dionysus, Demeter, Athena, Artemis, Ares, Apollo and Aphrodite. For their Roman counterparts, they are named as (in corresponding order) Jupiter, Neptune, Vesta, Mercury, Juno, Vulcan, Pluto, Liber, Ceres, Minerva, Diana, Mars, Apollo and Venus.

Obviously, it is clear that the Romans have a special affinity to naming their deities with the stars or planets. It is also clear that Venus and Aphrodite are the same goddesses of love while Minerva and Athena are the goddesses of wisdom. Juno and Hera are the gods’ queens while Jupiter and Zeus are the ultimate rulers of the gods in their corresponding mythologies. The same is true with the same parallelisms between the other deities.

Overall, these deities carried symbolisms to human characteristics. The difference in each culture’s mythology is practically on how the people interpret them and how they picture their lives. In summary:
1. There’s a difference between the two mythologies’ god of war wherein Ares (Greek) is only regarded as a god of war whereas Mars (the Roman counterpart) is also perceived as god of fertility and agriculture other than being a god of war.
2. Many of the Roman deities were named after the stars or planets unlike the Greek deities.
3. In historical literature, the Greek gods came into existence first than the Roman gods.

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  1. This is a good article, but I felt it was important to mention that the Romans did NOT name their gods and goddesses after stars and planets. The stars and planets were named after these gods were in existence in HONOR of the Roman gods and goddesses. Very different ideas.

    • Actually, I have to correct you, a few of the planets were named such as Venus and Mars, but at the time they were thought to be stars, because this was obviously before the telescope, and the reason they were named was because they were visible. But the rest were named after gods such as Apollo, Pluto, and Juno being mostly invisible to the naked eye. Also sorry for the correction I just felt that people needed to be correctly informed.

  2. I agree with Liz.
    the Romans never named their deities after the celestial bodies.
    it was the other way around.

  3. “Liz” commented on this article: “This is a good article, but I felt it was important to mention that the Romans did NOT name their gods and goddesses after stars and planets. The stars and planets were named after these gods were in existence in HONOR of the Roman gods and goddesses. Very different ideas.”

    Liz is correct!

    The Babylonian culture came first, before the
    Greeks and the Greeks absorbed Mesopotamian astronomy into their culture. See *Writing Science Before The Greeks: A Naturalistic Analysis Of The Babylonian Astronomical Treatise (Culture And History Of The Ancient Near East)* http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12395138-writing-science-before-the-greeks
    by Rita Watson, Wayne Horowitz. The practice of astronomy and astrology began in Mesopotamia.

    The Greeks eventually accepted the Babylonian cosmology that there were “seven celestial bodies,” Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, which the Babylonians identified with the seven Great Gods. [These same “seven celestial bodies” are all heavenly objects which can be seen with the human naked eye, that is without use of a telescope.]

    These seven Babylonian Great Gods, Sin, Nebo, Ishtar, Shammas, Nergal, Marduk, and Ninib, ruled over the “seven celestial bodies.”

    The Romans, in turn, adopted Babylonian cosmology from the Greeks.

    In Roman tradition, the rulers of the “seven celestial bodies” were Luna, Mercury, Apollo/Helius (Sol), Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Thus, the Romans renamed the “seven celestial bodies” with the Latin names of Roman deities: Luna, Mercury, Sol, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.

  4. It’s a good article but it doesn’t really tell you all the differences that i was looking for so yea

  5. I needhttp://www.bing.com/images/search?q=babe+the+pig&id=7E6B06ABBAA45163BF4CB182A1C459BC4F8A8B78&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=14AC8703C8042E29CD10C62A3150F342B76970FD&selectedIndex=51 ore similarities

  6. I think that the Roman name for Dionysus is Bacchus because in Percy Jackson they say that is the Roman Name.

    • Thats nice and all, but you probably shouldnt rely on a book.

      • Think what would happen if all books were rignt….

        • In this instance, Graham is correct, Bacchus is the roman name for Dionysus.
          A lot of the information in the Percy Jackson books are correct. I like to research to know just how real the facts are and so far, most of the information about any of the gods that Rick Riordan has written about, are at least 80% correct, if not more so. Or at least as close to mythology as one can get.

      • @ Graham-you are right. However Theresa is right. I love Percy Jackson though!

        • In high school I thought this topic was dull. As I have gotten older I find it all fascinating and wish I had payed more attention. I read alot of material on both Greek and Roman mythology. Not sure in Wich I prefer..maybe the Greeks a little more.

    • Yeah you are right in the Mark of Athena when Percy, Jason, and Piper went looking for help but found Bacchus instead. Same dude really from CHB xD

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