cut Sheets on Pagan gods
A study by Timothy Youngblood
Copyright © The Master's Table
Many people go through the week without realizing what the names of the days truly mean. Sunday being the day of the Sun, and was the very day the pagans such as Constantine the Great worshipped their Sun god. Monday is really Moons day, or the day of the Moon, Tuesday is Tiu's day, or the god of the sky and war. Wednesday is Woden's day, god of the wild hunt, and day of Mercury, and identified with the Scandinavian god Odin. Thursday is Thor's day, the Scandinavian god of thunder or war. Friday is Freya's day, the goddess of love and fertility, or frig day to make love or to fool around. Saturday is Saturn's day, an ancient Roman god of agriculture, and identified with the Greek god Cronus. Our months up to June are from pagan origins as well, and the rest are names of Roman Emperors, and from September to December the months names are in fact a number. God numbered all days except the Holy seventh day Sabbath
Meanings of our Months:
The word "Month" comes from the word "Moon" so our "Months" should be from New Moon to New Moon which is the way our Creator God designed it.
JANUARY-Named for the Roman god Janus,' god of doorways' and beginnings. (Remember the Pope opened the 'Holy Door' on Jan. 1 2000?) January is man's beginnings not God's. The holy bible reveals that God's new year is around March 21 when the spring equinox occurs.
FEBRUARY- Named for the Roman festival of purification 'Februa'. The first day of the Carnival season is always January 6th (which is twelve days after Christmas). This is called the Twelfth Night (Kings Night) and marks the beginning of the private masked balls that are held until Mardi Gras Day. Mardi Gras Day (Which is always Fat Tuesday.) is the last and greatest day of the carnival season before their 40 days of lent.
MARCH- Named for the Roman God Mars, who was the god of war and guardian of the state. Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus
APRIL- From the Roman calendar month of Aprilis. Considered a scared month for the goddess Venus. April also comes from the Latin word aperire meaning "to open" refering to a spring season, opening of the flowers and leaves.
MAY- Named for the goddess Maia, the daughter of Atlas and one of the Pleiades.
JUNE- Named for the goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and queen of the heavens and gods.
JULY- Named for Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The month originally had the Roman name of Quintilis (meaning five).
AUGUST- Named for the Roman Emperor Augustus in 8 BC. The month was formerly known as Sextilis ( meaning six).
SEPTEMBER- From the Latin word "septem" meaning seven, which was the seventh month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the ninth month?)
OCTOBER- From the Latin word "octo" meaning eight, which was the eight month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the tenth month?)
NOVEMBER- From the Latin word "novem" meaning nine, which was the nineth month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the eleventh month?)
DECEMBER- From the Latin word decem meaning ten, which was the tenth month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the twelfth month?)
Why do we use the names of pagan god's as our days and months if we are Christian? You might want to read the study titled "Apostasy Now" at... http://www.masters-table.org/warning/apostasy_now.htm
List of pagan gods:
Ajax, in Greek mythology, mighty warrior who fought in the Trojan War. He was the son of Telamon, king of Salamís, and led the Salaminian forces to Troy. An enormous man, slow in speech but unshakable in battle, Ajax was called "bulwark of the Achaeans" by Homer. Angered because he was not awarded the armor of the dead Achilles, Ajax resolved to kill the Greek leaders Agamemnon and Menelaus. To prevent this, the goddess Athena struck him with madness. In his delirium, Ajax committed suicide by falling on his sword.
Apollo, in Greek mythology, son of the god Zeus and Leto, daughter of a Titan. He also bore the epithets "Delian" from Delos, the island of his birth, and "Pythian," from his killing of the Python, the fabled serpent that guarded a shrine on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. In Homeric legend Apollo was primarily a god of prophecy. His most important oracle was at Delphi, the site of his victory over the Python. He sometimes gave the gift of prophecy to mortals whom he loved, such as the Trojan princess Cassandra. Apollo was a gifted musician who delighted the gods with his performance on the lyre. He was also a master archer and a fleet-footed athlete, credited with having been the first victor in the Olympian Games. His twin sister, Artemis, was the guardian of young women, and Apollo was the special protector of young men. He was also the god of agriculture and cattle and of light and truth. He taught humans the art of healing (see Asclepius). Some tales depict Apollo as stern or cruel. According to Homer's Iliad, Apollo answered the prayers of the priest Chryses to obtain the release of his daughter from the Greek general Agamemnon by shooting fiery, pestilential arrows into the Greek army. He also abducted and ravished the young Athenian princess Creusa and abandoned her and the child born to them. Perhaps because of his beauty, Apollo was represented in ancient art more frequently than any other deity.
Aphrodite, in Greek mythology, the goddess of love and beauty and the counterpart of the Roman goddess Venus. In Homeric legend she is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, one of Zeus's consorts, but in the Theogony of Hesiod she is described as having sprung from the foam of the sea, and etymologically her name may mean "foam-risen." According to Homer, Aphrodite is the wife of Hephaestus, the lame and ugly god of fire. Her lovers include Ares, god of war, who in later mythology was represented as her husband. She was the rival of Persephone, queen of the underworld, for the love of the beautiful Greek youth Adonis. Perhaps the most famous legend about Aphrodite concerns the cause of the Trojan War.
Aphrodite in Neopaganism
In many modern Neopagan sects, particularly New Age Hellenistic sects in the United States, Aphrodite takes on the role of the goddess of passion. Not all passion Aphrodite inspires is lustful, much of it is believed to take the form of artistic passion and even passion in argument. Worship of Aphrodite is uncommon and is typically held by individual writers and artist. How she is worshipped often depends on what other gods a sect includes. For example, sects that worship Hera and/or Themis may include worship of Aphrodite, but encourage monogamy and stress her role in committed relationships and marriage. Sects that worship Dionysus and Aphrodite may be entirely hedonistic and include orgiastic rituals (such sects are often considered cults even by Neopagan standards). As such worship of Aphrodite varies between sects.
Astarte, Greek and Roman name of Ashtoreth, the supreme female divinity of the Phoenician nation, the goddess of love and fruitfulness. Like that of Baal, the corresponding male divinity, the name is frequently found in the earlier books of the Old Testament in the plural form Ashtaroth; not until the time of King Solomon of Israel (10th century BC) did the singular form Ashtoreth occur. She symbolized the female principle in all its aspects, as Baal symbolized maleness. Astarte has been identified with various Greek goddesses: the goddess of the moon, Selene; the goddess of wild nature, Artemis; and the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. The Babylonian and Assyrian counterpart of Astarte was Ishtar.
Athena, Also called Pallas, Pallas Athena. The virgin deity of the ancient Greeks worshiped as the goddess of wisdom, fertility, the useful arts, and prudent warfare. one of the most important goddesses in Greek mythology. In Roman mythology she became identified with the goddess Minerva. Athena sprang full-grown and armored from the forehead of the god Zeus and was his favorite child.
He entrusted her with his shield, adorned with the hideous head of Medusa the Gorgon, his buckler, and his principal weapon, the thunderbolt. A virgin goddess, she was called Parthenos ("the maiden"). Her major temple, the Parthenon, was in Athens, which, according to legend, became hers as a result of her gift of the olive tree to the Athenian people. Athena was primarily the goddess of the Greek cities, of industry and the arts, and, in later mythology, of wisdom; she was also goddess of war. Athena was the strongest supporter, among the gods, of the Greek side in the Trojan War. After the fall of Troy, however, the Greeks failed to respect the sanctity of an altar to Athena at which the Trojan prophet Cassandra sought shelter. As punishment, storms sent by the god of the sea, Poseidon, at Athena's request destroyed most of the Greek ships returning from Troy. Athena was also a patron of the agricultural arts and of the crafts of women, especially spinning and weaving. Among her gifts to man were the inventions of the plow and the flute and the arts of taming animals, building ships, and making shoes. She was often associated with birds, especially the owl.
Asclepius (an ancient greek physician deified as the god of medicine) is traditionally depicted as a bearded man wearing a robe that leaves his chest uncovered and holding a staff with his sacred single serpent coiled around it symbolizing renewal of youth as the serpent casts off its skin. The single serpent staff also appears on a Sumerian vase of c. 2000 B.C. representing the healing god Ningishita, the prototype of the Greek Asklepios. However, there is a more practical origin postulated which makes sense.
Baalbek, (ancient Heliopolis), town, eastern Lebanon, between the Lìtanì and Asi rivers. The name, which means "City of Baal," is derived from the early association of the town with the worship of Baal, a local sun deity whom the ancient Greeks identified with their sun god, Helios; the Greeks and Romans called the town Heliopolis, "City of the Sun." Once a splendid city, it is famous now for the imposing ruins of ancient temples. The great Temple of the Sun was about 49 by 88 m (about 160 by 290 ft) and contained 58 Corinthian columns, each 22.9 m (75 ft) high and 2.2 m (7.25 ft) in diameter. The entablature was 4.3 m (14 ft) in height. The temple appears to have been built on an artificial mound of earth, with great stones, or megaliths, employed to sustain this mass. Of these megaliths, three are in position at the western end, one of them measuring 19.5 m (64 ft) long by 4.3 m (14 ft) square. The Temple of Jupiter, also of the Corinthian order, measured 69.2 m (227 ft) by 35.7 m (117 ft) and was surrounded by a peristyle of 42 plain columns, with 10 fluted columns in the vestibule. The entablature was very profusely and richly ornamented.
The Temple of Bacchus, in front of the Temple of Jupiter, is better preserved. A smaller temple, the Temple of Venus, supported by six granite columns, adjoined the Temple of Jupiter. Traces also remain of a later Christian basilica. Although the early history of Baalbek is almost entirely unknown, abundant evidence indicates that the city is very ancient, portions of the masonry being attributed to Phoenician origin. The Roman emperor Augustus made the city a Roman colony; the Roman emperor Trajan consulted a celebrated oracle there. The city was sacked by the Arabs in AD 748, and pillaged by the Mongol chieftain Tamerlane in 1400. A severe earthquake in 1759 devastated what monuments still remained in the city. Present-day Baalbek, connected by rail with Beirut and with Damascus and Halab (Aleppo) in Syria, is the chief town in eastern Lebanon. Population (1981 estimate) 50,000.
Baal (Hebrew ba'al, from the Phoenician ba'al, "owner," "lord"), among ancient Semitic peoples, name of innumerable local gods controlling fertility of the soil and of domestic animals. Because the various Baals were not everywhere conceived as identical, they may not be regarded as local variations of the same deity. In the plural, Baalim means idols or Baals collectively. The name Baal formed a part of the names of various gods, as Baal-berith (the lord of the covenant) of the Shechemites, and Baalzebub (the lord of flies) of the Philistines. The Hebrews learned the worship of Baal from the agricultural Canaanites. Except for the offerings of fruits and the first born of cattle, little is known of the rites employed. Canaanite shrines were little more than altars with the symbol of the Canaanite and Hebrew female deity Ashtoreth set beside them. Sacred pillars were often erected near the altars. These shrines were objects of Yahweh's wrath (Leviticus 26:30; Psalm 78:58).
The Israelites were commanded to destroy them on entering the land of Canaan (Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 33:29), but the shrines were eliminated completely only under King Hezekiah in the 7th century BC. The name Baal was compounded with many Hebrew, Chaldean, Phoenician, and Carthaginian personal and place-names, such as Baalbek, Ethbaal, Jezebel, Hasdrubal, and Hannibal.
Bacchus (also known as Dionysus or Dionysos) and associated with the Italic Liber), the Thracian god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficent influences. He is viewed as the promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, and lover of peace - as well as the patron deity of both agriculture and the theater.Greeks borrowed Dionysus' figure and within the Olympian tradition he is made to be the son of Zeus and Semele; other versions of the story contend that he is the son of Zeus and Persephone.
Dionysus is a god of mystery religious rites, such as those practiced in honor of Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis near Athens. In the Thracian mysteries, he wears the "bassaris" or fox-skin, symbolizing new life. His own rites the Dionysian Mysteries were the most secretive of all (See also Maenads) Many scholars believe that Dionysus is a syncretism of a local Greek nature deity and a more powerful god from Thrace or Phrygia such as Sabazios.Herodotus, (in Histories 2:146) was aware that the worship of Dionysus arrived later among the Greeks than the Olympian pantheon.
Many Greeks were sure that the cult of Dionysus arrived in Greece from Anatolia, but Greek concepts of where Nysa was, whether set in Anatolia, or in Libya ('away in the west beside a great ocean'), Ethiopia (Herodotus), or Arabia (Diodorus Siculus), are variable enough to suggest that a magical distant land was intended, perhaps named 'Nysa' to explain the god's unreadable name, as the 'god of Nysa.'
Cybele, Latin name of a goddess native to Phrygia in Asia Minor and known to the Greeks as Rhea, the wife of the Titan Cronus and mother of the Olympian gods. Cybele was a goddess of nature and fertility who was worshiped in Rome as the Great Mother of the Gods. Because Cybele presided over mountains and fortresses, her crown was in the form of a city wall, and she was also known to the Romans as Mater Turrita. 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.
Cupid (Latin cupido, "desire"), in Roman mythology, son of Venus, goddess of love. His counterpart in Greek mythology was Eros, god of love. He is best known as the handsome young god who falls in love with the beautiful maiden Psyche. This story is told in The Golden Ass, a romance by the Roman writer Lucius Apuleius. In other tales he appears as a mischievous boy who indiscriminately wounds both gods and humans with his arrows, thereby causing them to fall deeply in love. Cupid is commonly represented in art as a naked, winged infant, often blindfolded, carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows.
Diana was the equivalent in Roman mythology of the Greek Artemis (see Roman/Greek equivalency in mythology for more details). She was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona, and the twin sister of Apollo. Both were born on the island Delos.
Diana was the perpetual virgin goddess of the hunt, associated with wild animals and forests. She was also a moon goddess, and an emblem of chastity. Oak groves were especially sacred to her. She was praised for her strength, athletic grace, beauty and her hunting skills. With two other Roman deities she made up a trinity: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.
Diana was worshipped in a temple on the Aventine Hill and at the city of Ephesus where stood the Temple of Artemis. (At the city of Ephesus Jesus' mother, the virgin Mary, was officially decreed to be the Mother of God). Diana was regarded with great reverence by lower-class citizens and slaves. Slaves could receive asylum in her temples. She was worshipped at a festival on August 13.
Diana remains an important figure in some modern mythologies. In Freemasonry, she is considered a symbol of imagination, sensibility, and the creative insanity of poets and artists. Those who believe that prehistoric peoples lived in matriarchal societies consider Diana to have originated in a mother goddess worshipped at that time, and she is still worshiped today by women practicing the religion known as Dianic Wicca.
Eris, the personification of discord—the only goddess not invited to the wedding of King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis—resentfully tossed into the banquet hall a golden apple on which were inscribed the words "for the fairest." When Zeus refused to judge between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, the three goddesses who claimed the apple, they asked Paris, prince of Troy, to make the award. Each goddess offered Paris a bribe: Hera, that he would be a powerful ruler; Athena, that he would achieve great military fame; and Aphrodite, that he should have the fairest woman in the world. Paris declared Aphrodite the fairest and chose as his prize Helen of Troy, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris's abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.Probably of Near Eastern origin, Aphrodite was identified in early Greek religious belief with the Phoenician goddess Astarte and was known under a variety of cult titles, including Aphrodite Urania, queen of the heavens, and Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess of the whole people.
Eros, in Greek mythology, the god of love and counterpart of the Roman Cupid. In early mythology he was represented as one of the primeval forces of nature, the son of Chaos, and the embodiment of the harmony and creative power in the universe. Soon, however, he was thought of as a handsome and intense young man, attended by Pothos ("longing") or Himeros ("desire"). Later mythology made him the constant attendant of his mother, Aphrodite, goddess of love. In Greek art Eros was depicted as a winged youth, slight but beautiful, often with eyes covered to symbolize the blindness of love. Sometimes he carried a flower, but more commonly the silver bow and arrows, with which he shot darts of desire into the bosoms of gods and men. In Roman legend and art, Eros degenerated into a mischievous child and was often depicted as a baby archer.
Frigg or Frigga, in Norse mythology, goddess of the sky and wife of Odin, the chief of the gods. She was worshiped as the protector of married love and housewives. A bunch of keys was her symbol. Frigg had two sons, Balder, the god of light, and Hoder, the blind god of darkness, who killed Balder with a mistletoe sprig. Frigg's name survives in the English word Friday (Frigg's day). In German mythology, Frigg was sometimes identified with Freya, the goddess of love.
In Roman mythology, Fortuna (Greek equivalent Tyche) was the personification of luck, hopefully of good luck, but she could be represented veiled and blind, as modern depictions of Justice are seen, and came to represent the capriciousness of life.Fortuna had a retinue that included Copia among her blessings. Under the name Annonaria she protected grain supplies. In the Roman calendar, June 11 was sacred to Fortuna, with a greater festival to Fors Fortuna on the 24th.
Fortuna, was propitiated by mothers. Traditionally her cult was introduced to Rome by Servius Tullius. Fortuna had a temple in the Forum Boarium, a public sanctuary on the Quirinalis, as the tutelary genius of Roma herself, Fortuna Populi Romani, the "Fortune of the Roman people", and an oracle in Praeneste where the future was chosen by a small boy choosing oak rods with possible futures written on them.
All over the Roman world, Fortuna was worshipped at a great number of shrines under various titles that were applied to her according to the various circumstances of life in which her influence was hoped to have a positive effect. Fortuna was not always positive: she was doubtful (Fortuna Dubia); she could be "fickle fortune" (Fortuna Brevis), or downright evil luck (Fortuna Mala).Her name seems to derive from the Italic goddess Vortumna, "she who revolves the year".
Geb (Keb, Seb) Egyptian earth god. Son of Shu and Tefnut. Brother and consort of the sky god Nut. Father of Osiris, Seth, Isis, and Nephthys. Geb was generally depicted lying on his back, often wearing the crown of Lower Egypt, with the naked body of Nut arched above him. In this context, he was often shown with an erect penis pointing upward toward Nut. Sometimes, however, the air god Shu was shown standing on the body of Geb, supporting Nut and perhaps separating her from Geb. His skin was often green, indicative of his role as a god of fertility and vegetation. The goose was his sacred animal and his symbol in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Geb was also said to imprison the souls of the dead, preventing them from passing on to the afterlife. The laughter of Geb was said to cause earthquakes.
Hades, in Greek mythology, god of the dead. He was the son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea and the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When the three brothers divided up the universe after they had deposed their father, Cronus, Hades was awarded the underworld. There, with his queen, Persephone, whom he had abducted from the world above, he ruled the kingdom of the dead. Although he was a grim and pitiless god, unappeased by either prayer or sacrifice, he was not evil. In fact, he was known also as Pluto, lord of riches, because both crops and precious metals were believed to come from his kingdom below ground.
The underworld itself was often called Hades. It was divided into two regions: Erebus, where the dead pass as soon as they die, and Tartarus, the deeper region, where the Titans had been imprisoned. It was a dim and unhappy place, inhabited by vague forms and shadows and guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed, dragon-tailed dog. Sinister rivers separated the underworld from the world above, and the aged boatman Charon ferried the souls of the dead across these waters. Somewhere in the darkness of the underworld Hades' palace was located. It was represented as a many-gated, dark and gloomy place, thronged with guests, and set in the midst of shadowy fields and an apparition-haunted landscape. In later legends the underworld is described as the place where the good are rewarded and the wicked punished.
Hermes (pronounced HUR-mees Greek: 'pile of marker stones'), in Greek mythology, is the god of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of orators, literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures and invention and commerce in general, of the cunning of thieves, and the messenger from the gods to humans. A lucky find was a hermaion. An interpreter who bridges the boundaries with strangers is a hermeneus. Hermes gives us our word "hermeneutics" for the art of interpreting hidden meaning. A syncretic conflation of Hermes with the Egyptian god of wisdom Thoth produced the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, to whom a body of arcane lore was attributed in the Greco-Roman culture of Alexandria. The writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus were edited and published in the Italian Renaissance.
Among the Hellenes, as the related word Herma a boundary stone, crossing point¹ would suggest, Hermes is the Spirit of Crossing-Over. As such he was seen to be manifest in any kind of interchange, transfer, transgressions, transcendence, transition, transit or traversal, all of which activities involve some form of crossing in some sense. This explains his connection with transitions in one¹s fortunes, with the interchanges of goods, words and information involved in trade, interpreting, oratory, writing, with the way in which the wind may transfer objects from one place to another, and with the transition to the afterlife. Hermes is a Greek mythological figure who is a son of Zeus and Maia. The name Hermes was derived from the Greek word herma which is a square or rectangular pillar in either stone or bronze, with the head of Hermes (usually with a beard), which adorned the top of the pillar, and male genitals near to the base of the pillar. These were used in Athens to ward off evil and also as road and boundary markers all over Greece markers.
Hermes was the herald to the gods (messenger of the gods) so he had to guide the souls of the dead to the underworld, the person who does this is called a psychopomp. Hermes was very loyal to his father Zeus, when Zeus fell in love with the nymph Io, Hermes saved her from the many-eyed Argus by lulling him to sleep with stories and songs, decapitating him with a crescent-shaped sword. Some say that is representative of killing the disapproving eyes of the community, always policing good conduct in a shame-based society through their disapproving gaze.Hermes was usually portrayed wearing a broad-brimmed traveller's hat or a winged cap (petasos or more commonly petasus), wearing winged sandals (talaria) and carrying his Near Eastern herald's staff, entwined by copulating serpents, called the kerykeion, more familiar in its Latinized form, the caduceus. He wore the garments of a traveler, worker or shepherd. He was represented by purses, roosters and tortoises.
Hercules (mythology), in Greek mythology, hero noted for his strength and courage and for his many legendary exploits. Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek hero Heracles. He was the son of the god Zeus and Alcmene, wife of the Theban general Amphitryon. Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus, was determined to kill her unfaithful husband's offspring, and shortly after Hercules' birth she sent two great serpents to destroy him. Hercules, although still a baby, strangled the snakes. As a young man Hercules killed a lion with his bare hands. As a trophy of his adventure, he wore the skin of the lion as a cloak and its head as a helmet. The hero next conquered a tribe that had been exacting tribute from Thebes. As a reward, he was given the hand of the Theban princess Megara, by whom he had three children. Hera, still relentless in her hatred of Hercules, sent a fit of madness upon him during which he killed his wife and children. In horror and remorse at his deed Hercules would have slain himself, but he was told by the oracle at Delphi that he should purge himself by becoming the servant of his cousin Eurystheus, king of Mycenae. Eurystheus, urged on by Hera, devised as a penance the 12 difficult tasks, the "Labors of Hercules."
Ishtar, chief goddess of the Babylonians and the Assyrians and the counterpart of Astarte, a Phoenician goddess. The name appeared in different forms in every part of the ancient Semitic world; thus it was Athtar in Arabia, Astar in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), and Ashtart in Canaan and Israel. The sex of the divinity also varied: Athtar and Astar were male deities. Ishtar of Erech (in Babylonia) was a goddess worshiped in connection with the evening star, but Ishtar of Akkad (also in Babylonia) was a god identified with the morning star. As a goddess, Ishtar was the Great Mother, the goddess of fertility and the queen of heaven. On the other hand, her character had destructive attributes; she was considered, especially by the Assyrians, a goddess of hunting and war and was depicted with sword, bow, and quiver of arrows. Among the Babylonians, Ishtar was distinctly the mother goddess and was portrayed either naked and with prominent breasts or as a mother with a child at her breast. As goddess of love she brought destruction to many of her lovers, of whom the most notable was her consort Tammuz, the Babylonian counterpart of Adonis.
Janus, in Roman mythology, the god of doors and gateways, and also of beginnings, which the Romans believed ensured good endings. His principal temple in the Forum had doors facing east and west for the beginning and ending of the day, and between them stood his statue with two faces, gazing in opposite directions. In every home the morning prayer was addressed to him, and in every domestic undertaking his assistance was sought. As the god of beginnings, he was publicly invoked on the first day of January, the month that was named for him because it began the pagan new year. He was invoked too at the beginning of wars, during which the doors of his temple in the Forum always stood open; when Rome was at peace, the doors were closed. Janus has no counterpart in Greek mythology.
Jupiter is the supreme god of the Roman pantheon, called dies pater, "shining father". He is a god of light and sky, and protector of the state and its laws. He is a son of Saturn and brother of Neptune and Juno (who is also his wife).
The Romans worshipped him especially as Jupiter Optimus Maximus (all-good, all-powerful). This name refers not only to his rulership over the universe, but also to his function as the god of the state who distributes laws, controls the realm and makes his will known through oracles. His English name is Jove. The largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. Here he was worshipped alongside Juno and Minerva, forming the Capitoline Triad. Temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus or the Capitoline Triad as a whole were commonly built by the Romans at the center of new cities in their colonies. His temple was not only the most important sanctuary in Rome; it was also the center of political life. Here official offerings were made, treaties were signed and wars were declared, and the triumphant generals of the Roman army came to give their thanks.
Other titles of Jupiter include: Caelestis (heavenly), Lucetius (of the light), Totans (thunderer), Fulgurator (of the lightning). As Jupiter Victor he led the Roman army to victory. Jupiter is also the protector of the ancient league of Latin cities. His attribute is the lightning bolt and the eagle is both his symbol and his messenger. Jupiter is identical with the Greek Zeus. It was once believed that the Roman god Jupiter (Zeus in Greece) was in charge of cosmic Justice, and in ancient Rome, people swore to Jove in their courts of law, which lead to the common expression "By Jove," that many people use today.
References - Encyclopedia Mythica
Juno (mythology), in Roman mythology, 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. Her special festival, the Matronalia, was celebrated on March 1. Juno is the Latin counterpart of the Greek queen of the gods, Hera. Many people consider the month of June, which is named after this goddess who is the patroness of marriage, to be the most favorable time to marry.
Maia the Greek Goddess was identified in Roman mythology with Maia Maiestas (also called Fauna, Bona Dea (the 'Good Goddess') and Ops), a goddess who may be equivalent to an old Italic goddess of spring. The month of May was named for her; the 1st and 15th of May were sacred to her. Maia was associated with Vulcan, and on the first of May the flamen of that god sacrificed to her a pregnant sow, an appropriate sacrifice also for an earth goddess such as Bona Dea: a sow-shaped wafer might be substituted. The goddess was accessible only to women; men were excluded from her precincts.
Reference - Harry Thurston Peck, Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities,
Moloch, in the Old Testament, deity at one period associated with Baal, probably as a sun god, but differing from him in being almost entirely malevolent. The worship of Moloch embraced human sacrifice, ordeals by fire, and self-mutilation. The Hebrew form of the word is invariably Molech, meaning "king" or "counselor." The first recorded instance of a worshiper of Jehovah who "burned his son as an offering" (that is, to Moloch) is that of Ahaz (see 2 Kings 16:3). The same story is told of Manasseh, eponymous ancestor of one of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel (see 2 Kings 21:6). The practice is also alluded to in the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Leviticus. The ritual of Moloch worship was probably borrowed by Judah from one of the surrounding nations; it was practiced by the Moabites (see 2 Kings 3:27) and Ammonites.
Mars (mythology), in Roman mythology, god of war and the son of Juno. One of the most important Roman deities, Mars was regarded as the father of the Roman people because he was the father of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome. Although his original nature and functions are obscure, Mars was identified by the Romans with the Greek god of war, Ares. The month of March was named for Mars. To commemorate his victory over the assasins of Julius Caesar in 42 BC, Emperor Augustus honored Mars with the cult title Ultor (Avenger) and a new temple.
Mercury is god of trade and profit, merchants and travelers, but originally of the trade in corn. In later times he was equated with the Greek Hermes. He had a temple in Rome near the Circus Maximus on the Aventine Hill which dates back to 495 BCE. This temple was connected to some kind of trade fair. His main festival, the Mercuralia, was celebrated on May 15 and on this day the merchants sprinkled their heads and their merchandise with water from his well near the Porta Capena.
During the time of the Roman Empire the cult of Mercury was widely spread, especially among the Celtic and Germanic peoples. The Celts have their Gaulish Mercury, and the Germans identified him with their Wodan. The attributes of Mercury are the caduceus (a staff with two intertwined snakes) and a purse (a symbol of his connection with commerce). He is portrayed similarly to Hermes: dressed in a wide cloak, wearing talaria (winged sandals) and petasus (winged hat).
Neptune - God of the Sea. In Greek mythology, Poseidon was the god of the sea. In Etruscan and Roman mythology, Poseidon was known as Nethuns and Neptunus, respectively. Poseidon was also the god of earthquakes and horses.In the heavily sea-dependent Mycenean culture, Poseidon's importance was that of Zeus, if surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted. The name PO-SE-DA-WO-NE (Poseidon) occurs with greater frequency than does DI-U-JA (Zeus). A feminine variant, PO-SE-DE-IA, is also found, indicating the existence of a now-forgotten goddess to match the god.
Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for "the Two Queens and Poseidon" and to "the Two Queens and the King" compounding the mystery further. The most obvious identification for the "Two Queens" is with Demeter and Persephone (or some precursors), who were not associated with Poseidon in later periods. Demeter and Poseidon's names are linked in one Pylos tablet, where they appear as PO-SE-DA-WO-NE and DA-MA-TE, in the context of sacralized lot-casting. The 'DA' element in each of their names is seemingly connected to an Indo-European root relating to distribution of land and honors (compare Latin dare "to give"), thus 'Poseidon' would mean something like "distribution-lord" or "husband of the distributor", to match 'Damater' "distribution-mother". Given Poseidon's connection with horses as well as the sea, and the landlocked situation of the likely Indo-European homeland, some scholars have proposed that Poseidon was originally an aristocratic horse-god who was then assimilated to Near Eastern aquatic deities when the basis of the Greek livelihood shifted from the land to the sea.In any case, the early all-importance of Poseidon can still be glimpsed in Homer's Odyssey, where Poseidon rather than Zeus is the major mover of events.
Nimrod, character in the biblical Book of Genesis, described as "the
first potentate on earth" and "mighty hunter in the eyes of Jehovah (God)" (Gen.
10:8-9). In Genesis he is identified as the son of Ham and grandson of Noah,
and an empire-builder whose lands included large areas of southern Mesopotamia.
Nimrod's identity is much debated. He has been associated with the Mesopotamian
god Ninurta, with the legendary Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh (see Gilgamesh
Epic), and with King Shamshi-Adad I, the founder of the Assyrian empire. The
epithet "mighty hunter" applied to Nimrod in Genesis has traditionally been
interpreted as indicating that "his prey was man." In the 17th-century epic
poem Paradise Lost (Book XII, 11. 24-63), by English writer John Milton,
Nimrod appears as the lawless and impious tyrant whose ambition led to the disastrous
episode of the building of the Tower of Babel.
Nimrod instructed his people to construct a tower to reach heaven. God punished Nimrod's arrogance and halted construction by condemning the human race to speak separate and mutually unintelligible languages and scattering it all over the world. Legend locates the tomb of Nimrod in Damascus, Syria. In English literary tradition, the name Nimrod is often applied to a skillful or daring hunter.
Nike, in Greek mythology, goddess of victory, daughter of the Titan Pallas and the river Styx. Nike fought with the god Zeus in his battle against the Titans, and in Greek art is sometimes represented as winged and carrying a wreath or palm of victory. The Nike of Samothráki, or Winged Victory (Louvre, Paris), is one of the finest pieces of Hellenistic sculpture.
Odin (Old Norse Odhinn, Anglo-Saxon Woden, Old High German Wodan, Woutan), in Norse mythology, king of the gods. His two black ravens, Huginn ("Thought") and Muninn ("Memory"), flew forth daily to gather tidings of events all over the world. As god of war, Odin held court in Valhalla, where all brave warriors went after death in battle. His greatest treasures were his eight-footed steed, Sleipner, his spear, Gungnir, and his ring, Draupner. Odin was also the god of wisdom, poetry, and magic, and he sacrificed an eye for the privilege of drinking from Mimir, the fountain of wisdom. Odin's three wives were earth goddesses, and his eldest son was Thor, the god of Thunder.
Ops the wife of Saturn. Originally on August 10, a festival took place in her honor. On December 9, the Opalia was celebrated. On August 25, the Opiconsivia was held. Alternative name: Opis. The singular nominative (Ops) is not used, and only the form Opis is attested in Latin authors. According to Festus (203:19): "Ops is said to be the wife of Saturn. By her they designated the earth, because the earth distributes all goods to the human gender" (Opis dicta est coniux Saturni per quam uolerunt terram significare, quia omnes opes humano generi terra tribuit).
The Latin word ops means "riches, goods, abundance, gifts, munificence, plenty". This word is also related to opus, meaning "work" and, particularly "working the earth, ploughing, sowing". This activity was of old deemed sacred, and was often attended by religious rituals intended to obtain the good will of the chthonian deities such as Ops and Consus, etc.. The word ops is related to the Sanskrit ápnas ("goods, property"). Ops was the goddess of plenty among the Latins (Romans). She was the spouse of Saturn, the bountiful monarch of the Golden Age.
Just as Saturn was identified to Kronos, his Greek counterpart, Ops was identified to Rhea, the wife of Kronos (or Kronus, in the Latin spelling). The cult of Ops was (mythically) instituted by King Titus Tatius, the Sabine monarch. And Ops soon became the patroness of riches, abundance, and prosperity both personal and national.Invariably associated with Consus, Ops was feasted with him in the Opalia and the Opiconsivia [qqv].
These festivals were also called Consualia, in honor of Consus, her companion. Ops had a famous temple in the Capitolium. In her statues and coins, Ops is figured sitting down, as chthonian deities normally are, and generally holds a scepter or a corn spike as her main attributes.
(Greek: All-Giving), in Greek mythology, the first woman. After Prometheus, a fire god and divine trickster, had stolen fire from heaven and bestowed it upon mortals, Zeus, the king of the gods, determined to counteract this blessing. He accordingly commissioned Hephaestus (a god of fire and patron of craftsmen) to fashion a woman outof earth, upon whom the gods bestowed their choicest gifts. She had or found a jarthe so-called Pandora's boxcontaining all manner of misery and evil. Zeus sent her to Epimetheus, who forgot the warning of his brother Prometheus and made her his wife. Pandora afterward opened the jar, from which the evils flew out over the earth. According to another version, Hope alone remained inside, the lid having been shut down before she could escape. In a later story the jar contained not evils but blessings, which would have been preserved for the human race had they not been lost through the opening of the jar out of curiosity by man himself. (Editor's Note.) This sounds a lot like the story of Eve in the garden to me.
Pan, in Greek mythology, god of shepherds and flocks. He was believed to be responsible for their fertility. Born in Arcadia, Pan was depicted with human arms and a human torso but with the ears, horns, and legs of a goat. His father was the god Hermes and his mother was either Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, or the nymph Callisto. Pan was especially fond of remote mountains and caves and was believed to be responsible for the sudden, inexplicable fear, or panic, that can overtake travelers in such surroundings. There are only a few myths concerning Pan. A famous tale relates how he invented the panpipes, or syrinx, when a nymph he was chasing was transformed into a stand of reeds to escape his advances. Pan fashioned the instrument from one of the reeds and named it after the nymph. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Pan appeared to the Athenian courier Phidippides on the eve of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, promising to aid Athens against the invading Persians. After their victory, the Athenians dedicated a shrine to Pan on the slope of the Acropolis. In the 2nd century AD the Greek essayist Plutarch recorded that during the reign of Emperor Tiberius travelers sailing along the west coast of Greece heard a loud voice proclaiming the death of the great god Pan. In Christian legend, this story was associated with the Passion of Christ, which occurred during the reign of Tiberius, and was held to portend the victory of Christ over the pagan gods.
Pluto - King of the Underworld. Pluto is the Roman god of the underworld and the judge of the dead. Pluto is an alternate name for the Greek god Hades, but was more often used in Roman mythology in their presentation of the god of the underworld. He abducted Proserpina (Gr. Persephone), and her mother Ceres (Gr. Demeter) caused winter in her grief. He kidnapped Persephone so he could marry her. Although often envisioned today as evil (due to the fact of his similarities to the Christian demon Satan), the Romans did not view him as such.
Pluto was originally not the god of the underworld. Pluto is cognate with the Greek word "Ploutos" (wealth), and was considered by the Romans as the giver of gold, silver, and other subterranean substances. Because these "gifts" were mined, Pluto became recognized as the god of the physical underworld, which in turn helped him become recognized as the god of the spiritual underworld and thus death. This brought about his mythological relationship to the Greek god Hades. Because the mythology of the gods is more known than the actual religious roles of the gods, Pluto is identified as the counterpart to the Greek Hades (which is only wholly true in Mythology).
Pluto should not be confused with the Greek god 'Plutus', the god of wealth (even though an etymological relationship is shared). The planet Pluto is named after him. "Plutonic Theory", the idea that the Earth was formed due to intense heat in the earth, stems from Pluto, the opposing theory of which is the Neptunian Theory which states that the formation of the earth was caused by the agency of water.
Reference - Wikipedia
Rhea (mythology), in Greek mythology, mother of the gods, a Titan, the daughter of Uranus and Gaea, Heaven and Earth, and the sister and wife of the Titan Cronus. For many ages, Cronus and Rhea ruled the universe. Cronus, having been warned that one of their children was destined to seize his throne, tried to avert this fate by swallowing his offspring as soon as they were born. After the birth of her sixth child, the god Zeus, Rhea outwitted her husband by giving him a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallowed, thinking it was the baby. In the meantime, she had hidden the child in Crete. Later, when Zeus was grown, he forced his father to disgorge the stone, along with the five other children who had been born to Rhea: Poseidon, god of the sea; Hades, god of the dead; Demeter, goddess of the earth; Hestia, goddess of the hearth; and Hera, goddess of marriage, who became the wife of Zeus. In Roman mythology, Rhea was identified with Cybele, the great mother of the gods.
Saturn - God of Agriculture. He is regarded as the father of Jupiter, Ceres, Juno and many others. His wife is the goddess Ops. A Sabine goddess, Ops ("plenty") was a fertility deity and earth-goddess in Roman mythology. Her husband was Saturn. (See Ops.) In memory of this Golden Age, each year the Saturnalia was observed on December 17 at his temple on the Forum Romanum. This temple, below the Capitoline Hill, contained the Royal Treasury and is one of the oldest in Rome. The Saturnalia was one of the major events of the year. Originally only one day, it was later extended to seven days. During this festival, business was suspended, the roles of master and slaves were reversed, moral restrictions were loosened and gifts were exchanged. Offerings made in his honor were done with uncovered heads, contrary to the Roman tradition. In contrast to his festival, Saturn himself was never very popular. From the 3rd century on, he was identified with the Greek Cronus, and his cult became only marginally more popular. That he ruled over the Golden Age is an extension to the Greek myth. Saturday is named after him.
References - Encyclopedia Mythica
Tammuz or Dumuzi, in Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian mythology, a god of animal and plant fertility. The principal features of his cult were his ritual marriage to the goddess of the harvest, Ishtar, in which the deities were represented by the king and high priestess, and the annual lamenting of his early death, which marked the end of the spring season. Tammuz was the counterpart of the Phoenician fertility god known to the Greeks as Adonis. Many monuments in ancient Babylon depict the mother goddess Semiramis, and the child in her arms is the old pagan god Tammuz which is where the worship of the cross came from. It has been proven that the cross is the first letter of the name Tammuz with the top moved down.
Thor, in Norse mythology, the god of thunder, eldest son of Odin, ruler of the gods, and Jord, the earth goddess. Thor was the strongest of the Aesir, the chief gods, whom he helped protect from their enemies, the giants. He had a magic hammer, which he threw with the aid of iron gloves and which always returned to him. Thunder was supposed to be the sound of the rolling of his chariot. The Tau cross symbolized the hammer of the God Thor. Thursday is named for Thor.
Zeus, in Greek mythology, the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods. Zeus corresponds to the Roman god Jupiter. Zeus was considered, according to Homer, the father of the gods and of mortals. He did not create either gods or mortals; he was their father in the sense of being the protector and ruler both of the Olympian family and of the human race. He was lord of the sky, the rain god, and the cloud gatherer, who wielded the terrible thunderbolt. His breastplate was the aegis, his bird the eagle, his tree the oak. Zeus presided over the gods on Mount Olympus in Thessaly. His principal shrines were at Dodona, in Epirus, the land of the oak trees and the most ancient shrine, famous for its oracle, and at Olympia, where the Olympian Games were celebrated in his honor every fourth year. The Nemean games, held at Nemea, northwest of Argos, were also dedicated to Zeus.
Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea and the brother of the deities Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. According to one of the ancient myths of the birth of Zeus, Cronus, fearing that he might be dethroned by one of his children, swallowed them as they were born. Upon the birth of Zeus, Rhea wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes for Cronus to swallow and concealed the infant god in Crete, where he was fed on the milk of the goat Amalthaea and reared by nymphs. When Zeus grew to maturity, he forced Cronus to disgorge the other children, who were eager to take vengeance on their father. In the war that followed, the Titans fought on the side of Cronus, but Zeus and the other gods were successful, and the Titans were consigned to the abyss of Tartarus. Zeus henceforth ruled over the sky, and his brothers Poseidon and Hades were given power over the sea and the underworld, respectively. The earth was to be ruled in common by all three. Beginning with the writings of the Greek poet Homer, Zeus is pictured in two very different ways.
He is represented as the god of justice and mercy, the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked. As husband to his sister Hera, he is the father of Ares, the god of war; Hebe, the goddess of youth; Hephaestus, the god of fire; and Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. At the same time, Zeus is described as falling in love with one woman after another and resorting to all kinds of tricks to hide his infidelity from his wife. Stories of his escapades were numerous in ancient mythology, and many of his offspring were a result of his love affairs with both goddesses and mortal women. It is believed that, with the development of a sense of ethics in Greek life, the idea of a lecherous, sometimes ridiculous father god became distasteful, so later legends tended to present Zeus in a more exalted light. His many affairs with mortals are sometimes explained as the wish of the early Greeks to trace their lineage to the father of the gods. Zeus's image was represented in sculptural works as a kingly, bearded figure. The most celebrated of all statues of Zeus was Phidias's gold and ivory colossus at Olympia.
Some information above is from Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation unless otherwise noted.