Greek Gods vs. Roman Gods

Greek Gods
Roman Gods

Although Greek Gods are arguably better known, Greek and Roman mythology often have the same Gods with different names because many Roman Gods are borrowed from Greek mythology, often with different traits. For example, Cupid is the Roman god of Love and Eros is the Greek god of Love. Ares is the unpopular and feared Greek god of war and his Roman counterpart is Mars who is the revered martial fertility god.

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Greek Gods

Greek Gods

Roman Gods

Roman Gods
Description Gods in Greek Mythology, i.e. the collection of stories or myths of the ancient Greeks about their gods, heroes and the natural world. Gods in Roman mythology, i.e. the mythological beliefs about gods in the city of Ancient Rome.
Time period Iliad distributed 700 years before the Roman civilization. No exact date for start of civilization. Came 1000 years after the Greeks.
Literary source Greek myths chronicled in the book the Illiad by Homer. Roman myths chronicled in the book Aeneid.
Origin of mythology Not known. Many Roman gods borrowed from Greek mythology and myths of Roman creation from Greeks.
Nature of gods Gods and goddesses based on human personality traits such as Love, Honor, Hatred, Dignity, as well as their roles in life determined by what they were god of, like: Zeus:Sky/weather, Hades: The underworld, Poseidon: Sea, Aquatics, etc. Deities named after objects rather than human personality traits.
Afterlife Importance of the physical life on earth rather than eventuality of the afterlife. Mortals did good deeds on earth to be rewarded in the afterlife. They strove to gain their place among the gods in heaven in the afterlife.
Traits As gods were based on human traits they each had characteristics that determined their actions. Gods and goddesses not gender specific so their individual characteristics were not central to the myths.
Role of mortals Deities were important for the progression of life but mortals were just as important as it was their contribution in society that in the end mattered. Myths rooted in brave, heroic deeds of gods not mortals as mortal life was not important after death.
Actions of mortals and gods Individualistic: actions of the individual were of more consequences than actions of the group. Not individualistic.
Revered traits Creativity more important than physical works. They revered the poet. Focused on actions rather than words. They revered the warrior as sacred.
Physical forms Greek gods had beautiful bodies where gorgeous muscles, eyes and hair would enhance their looks. Gods did not have a physical appearance – represented only in the imagination of the people.

Contents: Greek Gods vs Roman Gods

The Greek God Hermes (Mercury to the Romans)
The Greek God Hermes (Mercury to the Romans)

Origins

Greek mythology was chronicled in the epic Illiad by Homer. Roman mythology was chronicled in the book Aeneid. Greek mythology came about 700 years before Roman mythology. According to one myth the brave Greek soldier, Aeneas after the battle between Greece and Asia traveled and found Italy where he created a new mythology – Roman. Greek mythology could have originated from the Egyptians as they lived before the Greeks and also believed in a pantheon of gods. Roman mythology came about 1000 years after Greek mythology. Many Roman gods are borrowed from Greek gods but have different names and often different traits.

Traits

Greek gods are given a beautiful, perfect physical appearance while Roman gods are not given physical form and represented only in the imagination of the people. Greek gods are mainly based on human personality traits likes Love, Hate, Honour, Dignity and therefore myths related to them are shaped by these traits. Roman gods are based on objects or actions rather than personality traits. The actions of gods and mortals in Greek myths are more individualistic, the deeds of an individual are more influential than that of the group. Roman mythology is much less individualistic.

Greek Gods and their Roman Counterparts

Greek God (English name) Roman Counterpart Domain
Aphrodite Venus Goddess of Love
Apollo Phoebus Apollo God of the Sun
Ares Mars God of war
Artemis Diana Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, wild animals, childbirth and plague. In later times she became associated with the moon.
Athena Minerva Goddess of wisdom
Demeter Ceres Goddess of grain/crops
Dionysus Bacchus God of wine
Eros Cupid God of love
Hades Pluto God of underworld
Hecate Trivia Goddess of witchcraft, crossroads, and justice
Helios Sol The sun God
Hephaestus Vulcan God of fire, and the forge
Hera Juno Queen of the Gods
Hermes Mercury Messenger of the Gods
Nike Victoria Goddess of victory
Pan Faunus God of woods and pastures
Poseidon Neptune God of the sea
Zeus Jupiter King of Gods

Afterlife

In Greek mythology, the afterlife does not hold much importance. In fact, gods and mortals are regularly snatched from the afterlife and brought in to the present showing no concern for the afterlife. The Greek perspective is much more concerned with the physical life on earth as opposed to the afterlife. Mortals are remembered and rewarded for their good deeds on earth.

In contradiction, the Romans did good deeds to secure their place in Heaven. They could even earn a place among the gods and through their life on earth strove towards this goal.

Role of mortals

Deities were important for the progression of life in Greek mythology, but mortals were just as important, since it was their contribution in society that mattered in the end.

In Roman mythology the heroic deeds of gods were more important as the actions of mortals as man's life did not matter once good status in the afterlife had been achieved.

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Comments: Greek Gods vs Roman Gods

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Anonymous comments (15)

January 18, 2013, 12:17am

GREEK MYTHOLOGY IS AWESOME

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May 11, 2014, 5:28am

The Greek Gods been around way before the Roman Gods.

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February 22, 2014, 4:56pm

Athena is the goddess of strategy in war and wisdom for Greeks, but Minerva is only the goddess of wisdom for Romans because the Romans weren't very fond of Athena (Minerva). Minerva isn't really a goddess of war for the Romans and she was maiden goddess, the Romans favor the gods and goddesses of war and they take vows of maidenhood seriously. So Minerva wasn't a goddess that they favored or worshipped much.

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December 15, 2013, 5:03pm

uranus is the father of saturne and saturne is the father of jupiter.so uranus is jupiter's grandfather.

— 92.✗.✗.51
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November 18, 2013, 3:38am

Athena is the goddess of strategy in war and wisdom but Minerva is only wisdom.

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August 28, 2013, 8:02pm

Fortuna the goddess of Fortune

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June 3, 2013, 6:03pm

Also, Pan is the god of the wild

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February 6, 2013, 12:30pm

I love this site!

— 36.✗.✗.216
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December 31, 2012, 4:02pm

Hades is the best

— 86.✗.✗.114
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October 31, 2012, 8:27pm

"They revered the warrior as scared" i believe its sacred not scared du dummkopf, ich glaube da du hast kein klugen

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October 3, 2012, 9:39pm

acually cupid is roman eros is greek

— 74.✗.✗.36
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August 20, 2012, 7:19pm

Also Apollo is also the god of medicine and drives the sun chariote

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March 6, 2011, 4:17am

Thanks. It's been corrected now.

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March 6, 2011, 3:30am

"For example, Cupid is the Greek god of Love and Eros is the Roman god of Love."

Just wanted to point out that you have them switched :)

— 69.✗.✗.54
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December 21, 2013, 11:24pm

I only know mythology was used by ancient cultures to explain what they couldn't explain any other way. Other than that, can't figure out what the point of the stories were, or the significance(if any) the names given to the characters meant.

— 204.✗.✗.116
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