From ancient times different societies have worshiped gods, believing in their power and being afraid of their fury. People have prayed and made sacrifices in order to achieve the gods’ mercy and generosity. They believed that, if the gods are in good mood, they will provide people with good weather conditions for growing crops. Moreover, people needed explanations for different natural phenomena, such as rain, drought, lightning, thunder and earthquake. So, ancient people believed that these natural phenomena are caused by the gods . A good example of such societies could be ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient Greeks and Romans existed in the middle ages. This essay will describe main gods and goddesses of ancient Greek and Roman societies. It will also look at main similarities and differences between the gods and goddesses of theses societies.
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To begin with, there are a lot of similarities between Greek and Roman gods, because Roman religion was based on Greek religion. The Greek mythology was founded about a millennium before the Roman. Romans founded their religion on the basis of the Greek religion. So, Greek and Roman religions are similar, because both of them are polytheistic religions. ‘Polytheism is belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or divinities’. There were more than thirty gods in each of these cultures.
Furthermore, Greeks and Romans had almost the same gods, despite differences in their names. As an example, both cultures had the god of sea, the goddess of love, the god of war, the god of wine and the goddess of wisdom. Importantly, there was a chief god, who was the king of all gods, in both Greek and Roman societies. In Greek mythology the king of gods is known as Zeus, whereas Romans call the king of gods Jupiter. There is also a queen of gods in Greek and Roman mythologies. Greeks call the queen Hera, whereas Romans’ queen of gods is Juno.
Finally, both ancient societies have twelve main gods and goddesses. In Greek mythology they are known as the Twelve Olympians. They are Zeus, Poseidon, Aid, Ares, Apollo, Hermes, Hephaestus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, and Dionysus. Greeks call these twelve main gods and goddesses as follows: Jupiter, Neptune, Pluton, Mars, Feb, Mercury, Volcano, Juno, Minerva, Venus, Diana, and Bacchus. Actually, they are the same gods and goddesses with same powers, but with different names.
Even though the Roman religion is based on the Greek religion, there are number of differences between gods of these societies. Romans have not just adopted their religion from Greeks. They have also changed their religion according to their culture. So, if you read about Rome and Greek gods and goddesses, you will see differences in their names. Romans gave their gods names that are different from names of Greek gods. Thus, there are only few Greek and Roman gods and goddesses that have similar names. Usually Roman gods and goddesses have names of planets of the sun system, such as Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune and Mars. In contrast, Greek gods and goddesses have their own names, such as Zeus, Hermes, Ares and Hera. For example, the goddess of love is Venus in Roman mythology and Aphrodite in Greek mythology. Romans call the god of war Mars, while Greeks call Ares. The god of sea is called Neptune in Roman mythology and Poseidon in Greek mythology.
Furthermore, if you read about Roman and Greek gods, you will notice differences in characters of gods and goddesses. Gods and goddesses usually have characters similar to people that believe and pray to them, because people think up their gods themselves. Ancient Greeks were polite and creative. ‘They held creativity above physical works in the mortal and mythical world’. Greeks were also interested in poetry. In contrast, Romans were more focused on actions rather than on words. They valued bravery and courage. So, Roman gods and goddesses are more military and aggressive, whereas Greek gods and goddesses are more cultural and polite.
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Finally, when you look at pictures of Greek and Roman gods or goddesses, you will see differences in their clothes and physical appearance. Ancient Greeks highly valued creativity and beauty. So, Greek gods and goddesses were usually given a beautiful and perfect physical appearance. They were dressed into white and light cloth. By contrast, Romans were more focused on warfare and valued bravery. So, Rome gods and goddesses had military clothes. Romans did not pay much attention on physical appearance of gods and goddess.
In conclusion, by comparing Greek and Roman gods, you can see both similarities and differences between gods of the two ancient societies. Greek and Roman religions are similar, because the Roman mythology was founded based on the Greek. Religions of both ancient societies are polytheistic religions. Moreover, both cultures have almost the same gods with the same powers. Finally, there are twelve main gods, known as the Twelve Olympians, in both cultures. However, Greek and Roman gods also differ from each other, because Romans have changed their religion according to their own culture. So, Roman and Greek gods had different names. Furthermore, there is a difference in characters of Greek and Roman Gods. And finally, Greek and Roman gods had different physical appearances and wore different clothes. Therefore, Greek and Roman gods have similarities as well as having some differences.
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