Jupiter: Meet Zeus from Roman Mythology


     Jupiter is the name given - in Roman Mythology to Zeus, the Greek God of Thunder and King of the Gods. Zeus was the most relevant deity in Greek and Roman mythologies, learn more about this icon below.

Zeus in Roman Mythology:

     Jupiter was the main deity of the official Roman religion during the republican and imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman Mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion, such as offerings or sacrifices.

     Jupiter is believed to have originated as a sky god. Its instrument of identification is the thunderbolt and its main sacred animal is the eagle, which took precedence over other birds in obtaining auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army.

     The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its talons a lightning bolt, often seen on Greek and Roman coins. As the god of heaven, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend.

     Many of his functions were concentrated on Mount Capitoline. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.

Jupiter was, the god of Greek mythology, Zeus.

Zeus and Jupiter in both Mythologies:

     The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Jupiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was brother to Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades, respectively.

     Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: the sky, the waters and the underworld. Jupiter was also a sky god who manifested in daylight. Tinia is generally considered his Etruscan counterpart.

Check: All about Zeus in Greek Mythology

Role of Jupiter in Rome:

     The Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honored him more than any other deity. Jupiter was "the source of the auspices on which the city's relationship to the gods rested." He personified the divine authority of the highest offices of Rome, of internal organization and external relations. His image on the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore insignia associated with the ancient kings of Rome and the highest consular and imperial honors.

     Consuls swore possession in the name of Jupiter, and honored him on the annual Capitol holiday in September. To thank him for his help and ensure his continued support, they sacrificed a white ox with golden horns. A similar sacrificial offering was made by triumphal generals, who surrendered the symbols of their victory at the foot of the statue of Jupiter on the Capitol. Some scholars regard the triumphant as the personification (or personification) of Jupiter in the triumphal procession.

Check: What is Greek Mythology?


     Jupiter is portrayed as Juno's twin in a statue in Praeneste that showed them being fed by Fortuna Primigenia. An inscription that is also from Praeneste, however, says that Fortuna Primigenia was the first son of Jupiter.

     Jacqueline Champeaux sees this contradiction as the result of successive different cultural and religious phases, in which a wave of influence from the Hellenic world made Fortuna the daughter of Jupiter. Zeus' childhood is an important theme in Greek religion, art, and literature, but there are only rare (or dubious) representations of Jupiter as a child.

Check: Meet Thalia, daughter of Zeus

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Jupiter is the name given - in Roman Mythology to Zeus, the Greek God of Thunder and King of the Gods. Zeus was the most relevant deity in Greek and Roman mythologies, learn more about this icon below.

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