Roman mythology, also known as the Roman religion, played a pivotal role in the life and culture of the ancient Roman Empire. Inspired by Greek mythology, the Roman religion incorporated its own gods and legends, giving rise to a rich mythological tradition that influenced Roman politics, art, and society for centuries.

Roman mythology featured a broad pantheon of gods and goddesses, each with their own characteristics and responsibilities. Although many Roman gods shared similarities with Greek gods, they often had slightly different names and roles. Some of the prominent Roman gods include:

  • Jupiter (Zeus): The supreme god of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter was the god of the sky and thunder, as well as the ruler of Olympus. He was associated with power and the protection of Rome.
  • Juno (Hera): Jupiter’s wife, Juno was the goddess of marriage and fertility. She was also considered the protector of women and families.
  • Neptune (Poseidon): The god of the sea and earthquakes, Neptune played a significant role in protecting sailors and navigation.
  • Mars (Ares): The god of war and violence, Mars was a central figure in Roman religion due to the importance of war in Roman society.
  • Venus (Aphrodite): The goddess of love and beauty, Venus was a very popular figure, and was believed to influence romantic relationships and physical attraction.

Roman mythology was filled with stories and legends explaining the origin of the world, the creation of Rome, and the exploits of gods and heroes. Some of the well-known legends include:

  • The Foundation of Rome: According to legend, the city of Rome was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a she-wolf after being abandoned. Romulus later killed his brother and became the first king of Rome.
  • The Rape of Proserpina (Persephone): This story recounts how Pluto (Hades) kidnapped Proserpina and took her to the underworld, resulting in her mother Ceres’ (Demeter) desperate search and the creation of the seasons.
  • The Legend of Aeneas: Aeneas, a Trojan hero, was a key figure in the foundation of Rome and is considered the legendary ancestor of the Romans. His story is told in the epic «The Aeneid» written by Virgil.

Roman mythology left a lasting legacy that is reflected in Western culture. Its gods and myths have become an integral part of Western literature, art, and music. Moreover, many of the names of the planets in the solar system, such as Jupiter and Mars, derive from Roman mythology.