Roman Gods and Goddesses 1

Abeona She is the goddess guardian of children leaving home to go on their own.

Abundantia (Abundita) Goddess of abundance.

Acaviser An Etruscan goddess, one of the Lasas (Fates).

Acca Goddess associated with Hercules.

Acca Larentia An earth goddess. The foster-mother, as a she-wolf, that nursed Romulus and Remus.

Aeneas One of the heroes of the Iliad. Son of Venus.

Aestas Goddess of summer; usually portrayed nude and adorned with garlands of corn.

Aetna Aetna is the Roman mountain goddess after whom the Italian volcano Mount Etna is named. In some legends she is the wife of the smith god Vulcan.

Albina Etruscan dawn goddess; protector of ill-fated lovers. A white sow goddess similar to the celtic Cerridwen.

Anceta Goddess of healing along with Angita.

Angerona The Roman goddess of the winter solstice.

Angina Another goddess of health, specifically of sore throats.

Angita Early Roman goddess of healing and witchcraft.

Anna Perenna An Etruscan goddess who ruled human and vegetative reproduction.

Antevorta Roman goddess of prophecy and childbirth.

Arria A heroic Roman whose husband was ordered by the emperor to commit suicide. The husband could not force himself to do so until Arria grabbed his dagger, stabbed herself, then handed the dagger to her husband saying, "It does not hurt."

Ascanius The son of Aeneas. he is the founder of the city of Alba Longa in Italy.

Attis A vegetation god.

Aurora The personification of the dawn. Her Greek counterpart was Eos.

Averna The Roman queen of the dead

Avernales Nymphs of the rivers of the underworld.

Bacchus In Greek and Roman mythology, the god of wine and ecstasy, identified with Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, and Liber, the Roman god of wine. His followers were mostly women who celebrated in a rite that gave us the modern term Bacchanalia. His feasts were drunken euphoria-filled revelries that sometimes led to bloodshed. The name Bacchus came into use in ancient Greece during the 5th century bc. It refers to the loud cries with which he was worshiped at the Bacchanalia, frenetic celebrations in his honor. These events, which supposedly originated in spring nature festivals, became occasions for licentiousness and intoxication, at which the celebrants danced, drank, and generally debauched themselves. The Bacchanalia became more and more extreme and were prohibited by the Roman Senate in 186 bc.

Befana (Italy) She is represented as an old woman who, although ugly, is also very kind. On January 5th of each year she distributes candy to the good children and lumps of coal to the bad.

Begoe Goddess of lightning and thunder.

Bellona The Roman goddess of war, popular among the Roman soldiers. She accompanied Mars in battle. She was either the wife, daughter, or sister of Mars, and was sometimes portrayed as his charioteer or muse. This serpent-haired goddess is often described as the feminine side of the god Mars. She is identified with the Greek war goddess Enyo. In front of Bellona's temple, the fetialis (priestly officials) performed the declaration of war ceremony, the casting of a spear against the distant enemy. Bellona's attribute is a sword and she is depicted wearing a helmet. She could be of Etruscan origin. Human sacrifices were made to her.

Bona Dea Latin for "Good Goddess". The deity of fruitfulness, both in earth and in women. She was worshipped by the Vestals as the goddess of chastity and fertility.

Bubona Goddess protector of animals.

Caca Goddess of fire or vice.

Cacus Fire deity, brother of Caca. Cacus, three-headed and vomiting flames, was a son of Vulcan. He was noted as a robber, and was strangled to death by Hercules when he stole some of Hercules' cattle.

Camenae, The These Roman water spirits dwell in freshwater springs and rivers. Their name means "foretellers". Their festival, the Fontinalia, was celebrated on October 13 by tossing good luck wreaths into wells. Among them are Aegiria, Antevorta, Carmentis (the leader), Porrima, Prorsa, Proversa, Postvorta, Tiburtis, and Timandra.

Canente Ocean nymph who grieved so much over the loss of her husband she dissolved in tears.

Camilla A virgin queen. She was so swift, it is said, that she could run over the sea without getting her feet wet. She was a warrior dedicated to the service of the virgin goddess Diana. In one myth Camilla led an army against Aeneas and his invading Trojans. On foot, and with breasts bare, she fought at the head of the army, but was killed by Aeneas. In another she is killed in battle by the Etruscan Arruns.

Cardea Goddess who possessed power over doorways. Cardea was a minor goddess who personified the hinges of the front door, and therefore the comings and goings of family life. She was particularly invoked to protect sleeping children against night-spirits who might harm or kill them. She is similar to the Greek goddess Artemis also.

Carmenta (Roman) A goddess of prophecy and midwifery; she also brought the art of writing to her land. She was said to assist a woman in labor and to tell the future of the newborn.

Carna (Roman) A pesonification of the physical processes of survival. "Carnal" is a derivative.

Ceres Daughter of Saturn and Ops. Goddess of the growth of food plants. She and her daughter Proserpine were the counterparts of the Greek goddesses Demeter and Persephone. Her worship involved fertility rites and rites for the dead, and her chief festival was the Cerealia. (Our word cereal is derived from Ceres.)

Cloacina Goddess who watched over the construction and preservation of sewers (think Cloaca Maxima, that famous sewer in ancient Rome). She was also the protector of sexual intercourse in marriage.

Coinquenda Goddess of trees.

Collatina Goddess of hills.

Conciliatrix Goddess of marital harmony.

Concordia Concordia is the Roman goddess of peace and is pictured as a heavyset matron holding a cornucopia in one hand and an olive branch in the other.

Consentes Dii The 12 chief Roman gods (a la the 12 Greek Olympian gods): Jupiter, Apollo, Neptune, Mars, Mercury, Vulcan, Juno, Diana, Minerva, Venus, Ceres, and Vesta.

Copia (Roman) Goddess of plenty a la "cornucopia" and "copious".

Cuba Goddess of infants. She brings sleep to them; her cohorts are Edulica who blesses their food and Portina who blesses their drinking. She is sister to Cunina and Rumina.

Cunina (Roman) Goddess who protected infants asleep in their cradles.

Cupid Means desire (Lat. cupido). The son of Venus, goddess of love. His Greek mythology counterpart was Eros, god of love. The most famous myth about Cupid is the one that documents his romance with Psyche: Psyche was a beautiful princess. Venus, jealous of Psyche's beauty, ordered her son Cupid, god of love, to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest man in the world. Instead, he fell in love with her, and spirited her away to a secluded palace where he visited her only at night, unseen and unrecognized by her. He forbade her to ever look upon his face, but one night while he was asleep she lit a lamp and looked at him. Cupid then abandoned her and she was left to wander the world, in misery, searching for him. Finally Cupid repented and had Jupiter make her immortal so they could be together forever.

Cura (Roman) Goddess who first fashioned humans from clay.

Cyane Sicilian nymph, companion of Proserpina. She was so devastated over the loss of Proserpina that she cried until she became a well.

Cybele Her Greek mythology counterpart was Rhea, mother of the Olympian gods. Cybele was the goddess of nature and fertility. Because Cybele presided over mountains and fortresses, her crown was in the form of a city wall. The cult of Cybele was directed by eunuch priests called Corybantes, who led the faithful in orgiastic rites accompanied by wild cries and the frenzied music of flutes, drums, and cymbals. Her annual spring festival celebrated the death and resurrection of her beloved Attis, a vegetation god.

Dea Dia Ancient goddess of corn and agriculture.

Dea Marica Goddess of the marshes.

Decuma One of the Parcae.

Deverra One of the three goddesses who protect young mothers. The other two are Intercidona and Pilumnus.

Dia Her name shows that she was one of Italy's original goddesses, but there is little information about her today.

Diana Goddess of the hunt. In Roman art Diana usually appears as a huntress with bow and arrow, along with a hunting dog or a stag. She is also goddess of the moon, forests, animals, and women in childbirth. Both a virgin goddess and an earth goddess, she was identified with the Greek Artemis. She is praised for her strength, athletic grace, beauty and her hunting skills. With two other deities she made up a trinity: Egeria the water nymph (her servant and assistant midwife), and Virbius (the woodland god).

Dido The Carthaginian Queen who was involved in an ill-fated affair with Aeneas (in the Aeneid). Disciplina Goddess of discipline.

Discordia She was the personification of strife. She was sister to Mars and belonged to the retinue of Mars and Bellona. She is identified with the Greek Eris (The goddess of discord).

Egeria (Roman) A water nymph who was religious adviser to Numa, King of Rome (700 BCE).

Empanda (Empanada) This goddess of asylum personified the idea of openness and generosity.

Equestris Protector of domesticated animals.

Erichthonius Son of Vulcan. He was deformed (had dragon feet). Athena put him in a box and gave it to the care of the daughters of Cecrops, with strict orders not to open the box. Naturally they opened it and what they saw so frightened them they jumped off Acropolis to their deaths. He later became the constellation Auriga, which is Latin for charioteer, as he is said to be the inventor of the chariot.

Ethausva Goddess of childbirth.

Fama Goddess of fame or rumor. She is said to have many eyes and mouths. She travels about the world, first whispering her rumors to only a few, then becoming louder and louder till the whole world knows the news. She lived in a palace with a thousand windows, all of which were always kept open so she could hear everything that was said by anyone on earth. Her friends were Credulitas (error), Laetitia (joy), Timores (terror), and Susuri (rumor). She was known as Ossa to the Greeks.

The Fates The Roman Fates were the "Parcae"; the Norse Fates were the "Norns" (They were usually three: Urth (Wyrd), past; Verthandi, present; and Skuld, future); the Greek fates were called the "Moerae" or "Moirai" (Clotho, who spun the web of life; Lachesis, who measured its length; and Atropos, who cut it). The Parcae were three very old women who spin the fate of mortal destiny. They were Nona, Decuma, and Morta. Nona spun the thread of life, Decuma assigned it to a person and Morta cut it, ending that person's life.

Fauna Goddess who personified fertility. She was the wife of Faunus.

Faunus Son of Picus. A woodland deity, protector of herds and crops; identified with the Greek Pan. The grandson of the god Saturn, he was worshiped as the god of the fields and of shepherds. He was believed to speak to people through the sounds of the forest and in nightmares. He was attended by the fauns, creatures that resemble humans somewhat except for the fact that they have short horns, pointed ears, tails and goat's feet, the counterparts of the Greek satyrs.

Faustulus The shepherd who found and raised (with his wife Acca) the twins Romulus and Remus.

Febris Goddess of fevers.

Februa Goddess of purification.

Februlis Another goddess of purification.

Februus God of purification who dwells in the underworld.

Fecunditas Goddess of fertility.

Felicitas The goddess of good luck. She was a favorite of the Roman emperors and their generals.

Feronia The deity who protects freedmen. This goddess made her home in woodlands or at the foot of mountains. Some believe she is an Etruscan goddess dating back before Rome, powerful enough to maintain her own identity after the Roman conquest.

Fides Roman goddess of good faith and honesty. Fides was the guardian of integrity and honesty in all dealings between individuals and groups. She was depicted as an old woman wearing an olive wreath and carrying a basket of fruit.

Flora Goddess of flowers and springtime. Her festival, the Floralia, was licentious in spirit (she was revered especially by courtesans since flowers are the sex organs of plants and she represented flowers) and featured dramatic spectacles, the passing of obscene medallions and love-making by friends and/or strangers. The women paraded about unclothed, at least until the 3rd century CE, when that was banned by the authorities. Flora was depicted as a beautiful maiden, wearing a crown of flowers.

Fluonia Goddess who stops the menstrual flow.

Fons Goddess of fountains.

Fornax Goddess of bread.

Fortuna She controls the destiny of every human being by permitting the fertilization of humans, animals and plants. She was shown as a blind woman holding a rudder (for steering a course for each of us) and a cornucopia (for the wealth that she could bring).

Fraud Goddess of betrayal. She has a human face, the body of a serpent, and a scorpion stinger at the end of her tail.

Fulgora Goddess of lightning.

Furies, The The name for the group of goddesses of vengeance. They lived in the underworld and came to the surface only to pursue the wicked. Erinnyes, their Greek counterparts, were born from the blood of Uranus. They punished wrongs committed against blood relatives regardless of the motivation, as in the case of Orestes. Named Megaera, Tisiphone, and Alecto, they were usually represented as crones with bats' wings, dogs' heads, and snakes for hair

Furrina An ancient Italian goddess who is all but forgotten in myth now. Some mythographers believe she was one of the Furies.

Furina Etruscan goddess of darkness and robbers.

Galiana (Etruscan) She saved her city from a Roman invasion by appearing naked on the battlefield. Her appearance so affected the Romans that they fell back in confusion.

Geneta Mana A goddess who presided over life and death.

Giane (Sardinia) A woodland spinning spirit, an average-sized woman with steel fingernails, long disheveled hair, and long, pendant breasts that she threw over her shoulders as she was working her magic loom. As she worked she would sing plaintive love songs. If a human man should respond she would have intercourse with him. The man would die when they were done and his child, a half-breed brute, would be born only three days later.

Glaucus God of the sea (according to Virgil).

Hercules The Romans borrowed this hero from the Greeks (Herakles) and changed his name into the familiar Latin one of Hercules (see under Heracles).

Hippona Goddess who presides over horses.

Hora Goddess who presides over time and/or beauty.

Horta Goddess of gardens.

Hostilina Goddess who presides over corn in growth.

Hybla Sicilian earth goddess.

Ilia The Vestal virgin who became, by Mars, the mother of the twins Romulus and Remus. She is the daughter of king Numitor of Alba Longa, who was dethroned by his brother Amulius. Her uncle gave her to the goddess Vesta so she would remain a virgin for the rest of her life. Amulius had learned from an oracle that her children would become a threat to his power. However, because she had violated her sacred vow (by dallying with Mars), she and her children were cast in the Tiber. The god Tiberinus rescued her and made her his wife.

Inferna Her name means "underworld"; used as an alternate name for Proserpina.

Intercidona Protectress of children and goddess of the axe. She guards new mothers from evil spirits.

Interduca Name given to Juno when related to the marriage ceremony.

Jana Moon goddess, wife of Janus.

Janus Janus, custodian of the universe, god of beginnings. The guardian of gates and doors, he held sacred the first hour of the day, first day of the month, and first month of the year (which bears his name). He is represented with two bearded heads set back to back, the better to see the year just ended and to face the year just beginning.

Juga (Jugalis) Goddess of marriage.

Juno Queen of the gods, the wife and sister of the god Jupiter. She was the protector of women and was worshiped under several names. As Juno Pronuba she presided over marriage; as Juno Lucina she aided women in childbirth; and as Juno Regina she was the special counselor and protector of the Roman state. She is considered to be the female counterpart to Jupiter, king of the gods. Every year, on the first of March, women held a festival in honor of Juno called the Matronalia. To this day, many people consider the month of June, which is named after the goddess to be the most favorable time to marry. The peacock is sacred to Juno. Her Greek mythology counterpart was Hera.

Jupiter King of the Roman gods, son of Saturn (whom he overthrew) and Ops, brother and husband of Juno. He was particularly concerned with oaths, treaties, confederations and with the most ancient and sacred form of marriage. Jupiter, the name, is derived from the same root word as Zeus (bright). He was improperly called Jove also. Originally the god of the sky, Jupiter was worshiped as god of rain, thunder, and lightning. He developed into the prime protector of the state, and as the protector of Rome he was called Jupiter Optimus Maximus. As Jupiter Fidius he was guardian of law, defender of truth, and protector of justice and virtue. The Romans identified Jupiter with Zeus, the supreme god of the Greeks, and assigned to the Roman god the attributes and myths of the Greek divinity; the Jupiter of Latin literature, therefore, has many Greek characteristics, but the Jupiter of Roman religious worship remained substantially untouched by the Greek influence. With the goddesses Juno and Minerva, Jupiter formed the triad whose worship was the central cult of the Roman state.

Justitia Goddess of justice. She is depicted as blindfolded holding two balanced scales and a sword.

Juturna Goddess of fountains. In some myths she is the mother of Fons.

Juventas Goddess of youth.

Kerres Ancient mother goddess. Probably an early form of Ceres.

Kulsu Ancient underworld goddess.

Lalal Etruscan moon goddess.

Lara A goddess of the underworld.

Lares Gods of the household. They were spirits of dead ancestors who protected the family.

Larunda House goddess.

Lasa Goddess of fate; usually depicted with wings and with hammer and nail.

Lasa-Rakuneta Etruscan winged goddess.

Laverna Patron goddess of thieves.

Lavinia Goddess of the earth's fertility.

Libentina Goddess of sexual pleasure.

Libera Goddess of the cultivation of grapes.

Libertas Goddess of liberty.

Libitina Goddess of death.

Lignaco Dex Forest goddess.

Losna Etruscan moon goddess.

Lua Goddess of plagues.

Lucifera Name used for Diana as a moon goddess.

Lucina Goddess of childbirth.

Luna Moon goddess that regulates the seasons and the months.

Lupa The goddess she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus.

Lympha Goddess of healing. Magna Mater or Mater Magna A mother goddess. She is depicted as a dove and doves are her messengers.

Maia Goddess of spring warmth (and sexual heat). Wife of Vulcan.

Mana Goddess who presides over infants that die at birth.

Mania Representations of her were hung in household doorways to ward off evil.

Marica A water nymph.

Mars The son of Jupiter and Juno, he was the god of war. Mars was regarded as the father of the Roman people because he was the father of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, and husband to Bellona. He was the most prominent of the military gods that were worshipped by the Roman legions. The martial Romans considered him second in importance only to Jupiter. His festivals were held in March (named for him) and October. Mars was identified with the Greek Ares.


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