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.

Comparison chart

Greek Gods versus Roman Gods comparison chart
Greek GodsRoman Gods
Greek GodsRoman 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 Iliad 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.


Greek mythology was chronicled in the epic Iliad by Homer. Roman mythology was chronicled in the book Aeneid. Greek mythology predates Roman mythology by about 700-1,000 years.

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

According to one myth, Aeneas, a Trojan hero who survived the Greek invasion and conquest of Troy, eventually founded Rome. Aeneid author Virgil insinuates that Rome's eventual conquest over Greece therefore avenged Troy, in a way. Greek mythology may have originated from the Egyptians, who lived before the Greeks and also believed in a pantheon of gods. Many Roman gods are borrowed from Greek gods but have different names and often different 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, honor and dignity, and 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

The following video provides a good overview of some of the Greco-Roman gods. The second part of the video is available on YouTube here.


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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