Although Roman and Greek mythology are classified in the same category, the two are tremendously diverse. The god of war, the copious amount of mythoi, and the relations between the Greek and Roman gods are only a few of the many comparisons between the two. The Romans had adopted the gods and myths from the Greeks who had come about 1,000 years before the Romans. Both cultures adopted these beliefs of powerful gods who controlled essentially every aspect of their day-to-day lives for multiple reasons, some alike and some not. One of the most obvious reasons to implement such beliefs is the need for an explanation of their creation.
There are many different legends in Greek and Roman mythology about how the world as well as the humans and various animals that inhabit it were created. Although these myths vary from culture to culture, there are many more differences as well as some similarities between the two. Some examples include the names of the gods and goddesses, the numerous myths, and the clear difference in one deity, the god of warfare. There are twelve main Roman gods and goddesses and twelve major Greek gods and goddesses. In ancient Roman mythology, there are over one hundred fifty minor gods and goddesses and even fewer in Greek mythology.
While the names of the gods and goddesses change between the cultures, they still typically represent the same entity in almost all cases. The Greek goddess Demeter and the Roman Ceres are both the goddesses of fertility, grain, and harvest. They are often considered the goddesses of life. Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter both have the title of being the king of the gods along with being the god of the sky and thunder. Hephaestus, Greek, and Vulcan both have the title of being the god of the fire and smiths. The word “volcano” is derived from the name of the roman god Vulcan.
Golden-Throned Hera and Juno both have the title of the queen of the gods as well as the title of goddess of childbirth. Hera is married to Zeus, her brother, and Juno is married to her own brother, Jupiter. Dionysus, Greek, and Liber, Roman, both have the title of being the god of wine, parties, madness, and merriment. Liber is possibly the origin of the word “libations,” which is the pouring of a drink offering to a deity. The name Apollo remains the same in both Greek and Roman mythology. He is considered the god of music, prophecies, poetry, and archery. However, Apollo is also known as the sun god.
Overall, the Greek and Roman gods and goddess are immensely similar. However, in most cases, they merely differ just by name. “Mythos,” the Greek word meaning “tale” is the origin of the word “mythology. ” Mythology, according to the dictionary, means a traditional story aspiring to elucidate the gist of things relating to deities and demigods. Greek mythology revolves around many themes, a few of which are fate, love, and heroism. Throughout the myths, fate proves itself a puissant force that no one, human or god, may compete with. Love appears all through Greek mythology.
Nevertheless, there are two types of love that come up throughout the myths. It is often impetuous, brought on by the power of Cupid’s arrow. This kind of love is depicted with strong feelings and frantic behavior. The other type of love seen in Greek mythology is not quite as exhilarating but an overall more enduring type of love. Heroism is another common theme throughout the Greek myths. The heroes of theses stories rely on a certain level of shrewd cleverness. They all possess stately virtue, remarkable strength, and immeasurable vigor. Surpassing the boundary of ordinary humans, these characters behave somewhere between men and gods.
On the contrary, the bulk of the ancient myths of Roman mythology focus on war and the history of their culture. Some myths honored the achievements of the Roman army and its generals while others taught young Romans to be patriotic and serve their city with courage and honor. A number of their tales also tell of the founding of the city of Rome. Killing outside of warfare seemed to come up on multiple occasions throughout Roman mythology. While the majority of the Greek and Roman gods the same description and power, there is a distinct disparity in a single divinity.
The Greeks recognized him as Ares, known solely as the god of warfare, bloodshed, and murder. In Roman mythology, the same deity is known as Mars. Although he is recognized as the Roman god of warfare, Mars is also the god of fertility and agriculture, making him the type of god the Roman citizens respected. While Ares is more feared, Mars is admired. The Greeks saw Ares as a very strong and fearsome god because he is purely the god of war inclination. Bloodshed and murder are equal to death and fertility and agriculture are equal to life, making Ares is the god of war and death while mars is the god of war and life.
In ancient Greece and Rome, the people used stories of gods, goddesses, heroes, and monsters to explain everything about their everyday lives and the world around them. In his introduction of New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, Robert Graves, poet and scholar, wrote,”Myth has two main functions. The first is to answer the kind of awkward question that children ask, such as ‘Who made the world? How will it end? Who was the first man? Where do souls go after death? ’ … The second function of myth is to justify an existing social system and account for traditional rites and customs. ”
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