Jupiter known as Jove, was the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology. Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering, or sacrifice. Jupiter is thought to have originated as an aerial god, his identifying implement is the thunderbolt and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army. The two emblems were combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt seen on Greek and Roman coins; as the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill.
In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak; the Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades respectively; each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight identified with Jupiter. Tinia is regarded as his Etruscan counterpart; the Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honoured him more than any other people had. Jupiter was "the fount of the auspices upon which the relationship of the city with the gods rested." He personified the divine authority of Rome's highest offices, internal organization, external relations. His image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated with Rome's ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours.
The consuls swore their oath of office in Jupiter's name, honoured him on the annual feriae of the Capitol in September. To thank him for his help, they offered him a white ox with gilded horns. A similar offering was made by triumphal generals, who surrendered the tokens of their victory at the feet of Jupiter's statue in the Capitol; some scholars have viewed the triumphator as embodying Jupiter in the triumphal procession. Jupiter's association with kingship and sovereignty was reinterpreted as Rome's form of government changed. Rome was ruled by kings. Nostalgia for the kingship was considered treasonous; those suspected of harbouring monarchical ambitions were punished, regardless of their service to the state. In the 5th century BC, the triumphator Camillus was sent into exile after he drove a chariot with a team of four white horses —an honour reserved for Jupiter himself; when Marcus Manlius, whose defense of the Capitol against the invading Gauls had earned him the name Capitolinus, was accused of regal pretensions, he was executed as a traitor by being cast from the Tarpeian Rock.
His house on the Capitoline Hill was razed, it was decreed that no patrician should be allowed to live there. Capitoline Jupiter found himself in a delicate position: he represented a continuity of royal power from the Regal period, conferred power on the magistrates who paid their respects to him. During the Conflict of the Orders, Rome's plebeians demanded the right to hold political and religious office. During their first secessio, they threatened to found their own; when they agreed to come back to Rome they vowed the hill where they had retreated to Jupiter as symbol and guarantor of the unity of the Roman res publica. Plebeians became eligible for all the magistracies and most priesthoods, but the high priest of Jupiter remained the preserve of patricians. Jupiter was served by the patrician Flamen Dialis, the highest-ranking member of the flamines, a college of fifteen priests in the official public cult of Rome, each of whom was devoted to a particular deity, his wife, the Flaminica Dialis, had her own duties, presided over the sacrifice of a ram to Jupiter on each of the nundinae, the "market" days of a calendar cycle, comparable to a week.
The couple were required to marry by the exclusive patrician ritual confarreatio, which included a sacrifice of spelt bread to Jupiter Farreus. The office of Flamen Dialis was circumscribed by several unique ritual prohibitions, some of which shed light on the sovereign nature of the god himself. For instance, the flamen may remove his clothes or apex only when under a roof, in order to avoid showing himself naked to the sky—that is, "as if under the eyes of Jupiter" as god of the heavens; every time the Flaminica saw a lightning bolt or heard a clap of thunder, she was prohibited from carrying on with her normal routine until she placated the god. Some privileges of the flamen of Jupiter may reflect the regal nature of Jupiter: he had the use of the curule chair, was the
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins and Artemis, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. Classical Greek myths record little about Leto other than her pregnancy and her search for a place where she could give birth to Apollo and Artemis, since Hera in her jealousy caused all lands to shun her, she found an island, not attached to the ocean floor so it was not considered land and she could give birth. This is her only active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part played. In Roman mythology, Leto's Roman equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun. In Crete, at the city of Dreros, Spyridon Marinatos uncovered an eighth-century post-Minoan hearth house temple in which there were found three unique figures of Apollo and Leto made of brass sheeting hammered over a shaped core.
Walter Burkert notes. Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. In Greek inscriptions, the children of Leto are referred to as the "national gods" of the country, her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos predated Hellenic influence in the region and united the Lycian confederacy of city-states. The Hellenes of Kos claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia. There was a further Letoon at Delos. Leto's primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, who may have been Titans of the sun and moon, her Titan father is called "Coeus", though H. J. Rose considers his name and nature uncertain, he is in one Roman source given the name Polus, which may relate him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole; the name of Leto's mother, "Phoebe", is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo, Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων, throughout Homer. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the origin of the goddess and the meaning of her name.
Older sources speculated that the name is related to the Greek λήθη λωτός lotus. It would thus mean "the hidden one". In 20th-century sources Leto is traditionally derived from Lycian lada, "wife", as her earliest cult was centered in Lycia. Lycian lada may be the origin of the Greek name Λήδα Leda. Other scholars have suggested a Pre-Greek origin. According to Hyginus when Hera, the most conservative of goddesses – for she had the most to lose in changes to the order of nature — discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she realized that the offspring would cement the new order, she was powerless to stop the flow of events. Hera banned Leto from giving birth on "terra firma", the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus "Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo."Antoninus Liberalis is not alone in hinting that Leto came down from Hyperborea in the guise of a she-wolf, or that she sought out the "wolf-country" of Lycia called Tremilis, which she renamed to honour wolves that had befriended her for her denning.
Another late source, Aelian links Leto with wolves and Hyperboreans: Wolves are not delivered of their young, only after twelve days and twelve nights, for the people of Delos maintain that this was the length of time that it took Leto to travel from the Hyperboreoi to Delos. Most accounts agree that she found the barren floating island of Delos, still bearing its archaic name of Asterios, neither mainland nor a real island and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god, to come; the island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and became sacred to Apollo. Callimachus wrote that it is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without travail. By contrast, according to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days for Apollo, in the presence of all the first among the deathless goddesses as witnesses: Dione, Ichnaea and the "loud-moaning" sea-goddess Amphitrite.
Only Hera kept apart to kidnap Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. Instead, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. Another version, in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo and in an Orphic hymn, states that Artemis was born before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia, that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth there to Apollo. According to the Homeric hymn, the goddesses who assembled to be witnesses at the birth of Apollo were responding to a public occasion in the rites of a dynasty, where the authenticity of the child must be established beyond doubt from the first moment; the dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymn's hearers. The dynasty, so concerned about being authenticated in this myth is the new dynasty of Zeus and the Olympian Pantheon, the goddesses at Delos who bear witness to the rightness of the birth are the great goddesses
Diana is a Roman goddess of the hunt, the Moon, nature, associated with wild animals and woodland. She is equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, absorbed much of Artemis' mythology early in Roman history, including a birth on the island of Delos to parents Jupiter and Latona, a twin brother, though she had an independent origin in Italy. Diana was known as the virgin goddess of childbirth and women, she was one of the three maiden goddesses, along with Vesta, who swore never to marry. Oak groves and deer were sacred to her. Diana made up a triad with two other Roman deities. Diana is revered in modern Neopagan religions including Roman Neopaganism and Wicca. From the medieval to the modern period, as folklore attached to her developed and was adapted into neopagan religions, the mythology surrounding Diana grew to include a consort and daughter, figures sometimes recognized by modern traditions. In the ancient and modern periods, Diana has been considered a triple deity, merged with a goddess of the moon and the underworld.
Dīāna is an adjectival form developed from an ancient *divios, corresponding to dīvus, dius, as in Dius Fidius, Dea Dia, in the neuter form dium'sky'. It is derived from Proto-Indo-European *dyew-' sky'. On the tablets of Pylos a theonym di-wi-ja is supposed as referring to a deity precursor of Artemis. Modern scholars accept the identification; the ancient Latin writers Varro and Cicero considered the etymology of Dīāna as allied to that of dies and connected to the shine of the Moon.... People regard Diana and the moon as one and the same.... The moon is so called from the verb to shine. Lucina is identified with it, why in our country they invoke Juno Lucina in childbirth, just as the Greeks call on Diana the Light-bearer. Diana has the name Omnivaga, not because of her hunting but because she is numbered as one of the seven planets, she is invoked at childbirth because children are born after seven, or after nine, lunar revolutions... --Quintus Lucilius Balbus as recorded by Marcus Tullius Cicero and translated by P.
G. Walsh. De Natura Deorum, Book II, Part ii, Section c The persona of Diana is complex, contains a number of archaic features. Diana was considered to be a goddess of the wilderness and of the hunt, a central sport in both Roman and Greek culture. Early Roman inscriptions to Diana celebrated her as a huntress and patron of hunters. In the Hellenistic period, Diana came to be or more revered as a goddess not of the wild woodland but of the "tame" countryside, or villa rustica, the idealization of, common in Greek thought and poetry; this dual role as goddess of both civilization and the wild, therefore the civilized countryside, first applied to the Greek goddess Artemis. By the 3rd century CE, after Greek influence had a profound impact on Roman religion, Diana had been fully combined with Artemis and took on many of her attributes, both in her spiritual domains and in the description of her appearance; the Roman poet Nemesianus wrote a typical description of Diana: She carried a bow and a quiver full of golden arrows, wore a golden cloak, purple half-boots, a belt with a jeweled buckle to hold her tunic together, wore her hair gathered in a ribbon.
Diana was considered an aspect of a triple goddess, known as Diana triformis: Diana and Hecate. According to historian C. M. Green, "these were an amalgamation of different goddesses, they were Diana... Diana as huntress, Diana as the moon, Diana of the underworld." At her sacred grove on the shores of Lake Nemi, Diana was venerated as a triple goddess beginning in the late 6th century BCE. Andreas Alföldi interpreted an image on a late Republican coin as the Latin Diana "conceived as a threefold unity of the divine huntress, the Moon goddess and the goddess of the nether world, Hekate"; this coin, minted by P. Accoleius Lariscolus in 43 BCE, has been acknowledged as representing an archaic statue of Diana Nemorensis, it represents Artemis with the bow at one extremity, Luna-Selene with flowers at the other and a central deity not identifiable, all united by a horizontal bar. The iconographical analysis allows the dating of this image to the 6th century at which time there are Etruscan models; the coin shows that the triple goddess cult image still stood in the lucus of Nemi in 43 BCE.
Lake Nemi was called Triviae lacus by Virgil, while Horace called Diana montium custos nemoremque virgo and diva triformis. Two heads found in the sanctuary and the Roman theatre at Nemi, which have a hollow on their back, lend support to this interpretation of an archaic triple Diana; the earliest epithet of Diana was Trivia, she was addressed with that title by Virgil and many others. "Trivia" comes from the Latin trivium, "triple way", refers to Diana's guardianship over roadways Y-junctions or three-way crossroads. This role carried a somewhat dark and dangerous connotation, as it metaphorically pointed the way to the underworld. In the 1st-century CE play Medea, Seneca's titular sorceress calls on Trivia to cast a mag
Vulcan is the god of fire including the fire of volcanoes, deserts and the forge in ancient Roman religion and myth. Vulcan is depicted with a blacksmith's hammer; the Vulcanalia was the annual festival held August 23 in his honor. His Greek counterpart is the god of fire and smithery. In Etruscan religion, he is identified with Sethlans. Vulcan belongs to the most ancient stage of Roman religion: Varro, the ancient Roman scholar and writer, citing the Annales Maximi, records that king Titus Tatius dedicated altars to a series of deities among which Vulcan is mentioned; the origin of the name is unclear. Roman tradition maintained that it was related to Latin words connected to lightning, which in turn was thought of as related to flames; this interpretation is supported by Walter William Skeat in his etymological dictionary as meaning lustre. It has been supposed that his name was not Latin but related to that of the Cretan god Velchanos, a god of nature and the nether world. Wolfgang Meid has dispued this identification as phantastic.
More this etymology has been taken up by Gérard Capdeville who finds a continuity between Cretan Minoan god Velchanos and Etruscan Velchans. The Minoan god's identity would be that of a young deity, master of fire and companion of the Great Goddess. Christian Guyonvarc'h has proposed the identification with the Irish name Olcan. Vasily Abaev compares it with the Ossetic Wærgon, a variant of the name of Kurdalægon, the smith of the Nart saga. Since the name in its normal form Kurdalægon is stable and has a clear meaning, this hypothesis has been considered unacceptable by Dumezil. Vulcan's oldest shrine in Rome, called the Vulcanal, was situated at the foot of the Capitoline in the Forum Romanum, was reputed to date to the archaic period of the kings of Rome, to have been established on the site by Titus Tatius, the Sabine co-king, with a traditional date in the 8th century BC, it was the view of the Etruscan haruspices that a temple of Vulcan should be located outside the city, the Vulcanal may have been on or outside the city limits before they expanded to include the Capitoline Hill.
The Volcanalia sacrifice was offered here to Vulcan, on August 23. Vulcan had a temple on the Campus Martius, in existence by 214 BC; the Romans identified Vulcan with the Greek smith-god Hephaestus. Vulcan became associated like his Greek counterpart with the constructive use of fire in metalworking. A fragment of a Greek pot showing Hephaestus found at the Volcanal has been dated to the 6th century BC, suggesting that the two gods were associated at this date. However, Vulcan had a stronger association than Hephaestus with fire's destructive capacity, a major concern of his worshippers was to encourage the god to avert harmful fires; the festival of Vulcan, the Vulcanalia, was celebrated on August 23 each year, when the summer heat placed crops and granaries most at risk of burning. During the festival bonfires were created in honour of the god, into which live fish or small animals were thrown as a sacrifice, to be consumed in the place of humans; the Vulcanalia was part of the cycle of the four festivities of the second half of August related to the agrarian activities of that month and in symmetric correlation with those of the second half of July.
While the festivals of July dealt with untamed nature and waters at a time of danger caused by their relative deficiency, those of August were devoted to the results of human endeavour on nature with the storing of harvested grain and their relationship to human society and regality which at that time were at risk and required protection from the dangers of the excessive strength of the two elements of fire and wind reinforced by dryness. It is recorded that during the Vulcanalia people used to hang their clothes and fabrics under the sun; this habit might reflect a theological connection between the divinized Sun. Another custom observed on this day required that one should start working by the light of a candle to propitiate a beneficial use of fire by the god. In addition to the Vulcanalia of August 23, the date of May 23, the second of the two annual Tubilustria or ceremonies for the purification of trumpets, was sacred to Vulcan; the Ludi Vulcanalici, were held just once on August 23, 20 BC, within the temple precinct of Vulcan, used by Augustus to mark the treaty with Parthia and the return of the legionary standards, lost at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.
A flamen, one of the flamines minors, named. The flamen Vulcanalis officiated at a sacrifice to the goddess Maia, held every year at the Kalendae of May. Vulcan was among the gods placated after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. In response to the same fire, Domitian established a new altar to Vulcan on the Quirinal Hill. At the same time a red bull-calf and red boar were added to the sacrifices made on the Vulcanalia, at least in that region of the city; the nature of the god is connected with religious ideas concerning fire. The Roman concept of the god seems to associate him to both the destructive and the fertilizing powers of fire. In the first aspect he is worshipped in the Volcanalia to avert its potential danger to harvested wheat, his cult is located outside the boundaries of
The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn; the word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus built here, afterwards it was used for the whole hill, thus Mons Capitolinus. Ancient sources refer the name to caput and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found, some sources saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus; the Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, was adopted as a symbol of eternity. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, Capitolium Campidoglio; the Capitoline Hill contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo. Influenced by Roman architecture and Roman republican times, the word Capitolium still lives in the English word capitol.
The Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. is assumed to be named after the Capitoline Hill, but the relation is not clear. At this hill, the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia. For this treachery, Tarpeia was the first to be punished by being flung from a steep cliff overlooking the Roman Forum; this cliff was named the Tarpeian Rock after the Vestal Virgin, became a frequent execution site. The Sabines, who immigrated to Rome following the Rape of the Sabine Women, settled on the Capitoline; the Vulcanal, an 8th-century BC sacred precinct, occupied much of the eastern lower slopes of the Capitoline, at the head of what would become the Roman Forum. The summit was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad, started by Rome's fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus, completed by the seventh and last king, Tarquinius Superbus, it was considered one of the most beautiful temples in the city. The city legend starts with the recovery of a human skull when foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter at Tarquin's order.
Recent excavations on the Capitoline uncovered an early cemetery under the Temple of Jupiter. There are several important temples built on Capitoline hill: the temple of Juno Moneta, the temple of Virtus, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus; the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus is the most important of the temples. It was nearly as large as the Parthenon; the hill and the temple of Jupiter became the symbols of the capital of the world. The Temple of Saturn was built at the foot of Capitoline Hill in the western end of the Forum Romanum; when the Senones Gauls raided Rome in 390 BC, after the battle of River Allia, the Capitoline Hill was the one section of the city to evade capture by the barbarians, due to its being fortified by the Roman defenders. According to legend Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the sacred geese of Juno; when Julius Caesar suffered an accident during his triumph indicating the wrath of Jupiter for his actions in the Civil Wars, he approached the hill and Jupiter's temple on his knees as a way of averting the unlucky omen.
Vespasian's brother and nephew were besieged in the temple during the Year of Four Emperors. The Tabularium, located underground beneath the piazza and hilltop, occupies a building of the same name built in the 1st century BC to hold Roman records of state; the Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum. The main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis. During the lengthy period of ancient Rome, the Capitoline Hill was the geographical and ceremonial center. However, by the Renaissance, the former center was an untidy conglomeration of dilapidated buildings and the site of executions of criminals; the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli is adjacent to the square, located near where the ancient arx, or citadel, atop the hill it once stood. At its base are the remains of a Roman insula, with more than four storeys visible from the street. In the Middle Ages, the hill’s sacred function was obscured by its other role as the center of the civic government of Rome, revived as a commune in the 11th century.
The city's government was now to be under papal control, but the Capitoline was the scene of movements of urban resistance, such as the dramatic scenes of Cola di Rienzo's revived republic. In 1144, a revolt by the citizens against the authority of the Pope and nobles led to a senator taking up his official residence on the Capitoline Hill; the senator’s new palace turned its back on the ancient forum, beginning the change in orientation on the hill that Michelangelo would accentuate. A small piazza was laid out in front of the senator’s palace, intended for communal purposes. In the middle of the 14th century, the guilds’ court of justice was constructed on the southern end of the piazza; this would house the Conservatori in the 15th century. As a result, the piazza was surrounded by buildings by the 16th century; the existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536–1546. At the height of his fame, he w
Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, originating in the 7th century BC from the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were incorporated into classical Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands; the Etruscan system of belief was an immanent polytheism. Long after the assimilation of the Etruscans, Seneca the Younger said that the difference between the Romans and the Etruscans was thatWhereas we believe lightning to be released as a result of the collision of clouds, they believe that the clouds collide so as to release lightning: for as they attribute all to deity, they are led to believe not that things have a meaning insofar as they occur, but rather that they occur because they must have a meaning.
Around the mun or muni, or tombs, were the man or mani, the souls of the ancestors. In iconography after the 5th century BC, the deceased are shown traveling to the underworld. In several instances of Etruscan art, such as in the François Tomb in Vulci, a spirit of the dead is identified by the term hinthial " underneath". A god was called an ais; the abode of a god was a sacred place, such as a favi, a grave or temple. There, one would need to make a fler, or "offering". Three layers of deities are portrayed in Etruscan art. One appears to be lesser divinities of an indigenous origin: the sun. Ruling over them were higher deities that seem to reflect the Indo-European system: Tin or Tinia, the sky, Uni his wife, Cel, the earth goddess; as a third layer, the Greek gods were adopted by the Etruscan system during the Etruscan Orientalizing Period of 750/700-600 BC. Examples are Aritimi and Pacha, over time the primary trinity became Tinia and Menrva; the Etruscans believed their religion had been revealed to them by seers, the two main ones being Tages, a childlike figure born from tilled land, gifted with prescience, Vegoia, a female figure.
The Etruscans believed in intimate contact with divinity. They did nothing without proper consultation with the signs from them; these practices were taken over in total by the Romans. The Etruscan scriptures were a corpus of texts termed the Etrusca Disciplina; this name appears in Valerius Maximus, Marcus Tullius Cicero refers to a disciplina in his writings on the subject. Massimo Pallottino summarizes the known scriptures as the Libri Haruspicini, containing the theory and rules of divination from animal entrails; the last was composed of the Libri Fatales, detailing the religiously correct methods of founding cities and shrines, draining fields, formulating laws and ordinances, measuring space and dividing time. The revelations of the prophet Tages were given in the Libri Tagetici, which included the Libri Haruspicini and the Acherontici, those of the prophetess Vegoia in the Libri Vegoici, which included the Libri Fulgurales and part of the Libri Rituales; these works did not present prophecies or scriptures in the ordinary sense: the Etrusca Disciplina foretold nothing itself.
The Etruscans appear to have had religion and no great visions. Instead they concentrated on the problem of the will of the gods: questioning why, if the gods created the universe and humanity and have a will and a plan for everyone and everything in it, they did not devise a system for communicating that will in a clear manner; the Etruscans accepted the inscrutability of their gods' wills. They did not attempt to rationalize or explain divine actions or formulate any doctrines of the gods' intentions; as answer to the problem of ascertaining the divine will, they developed an elaborate system of divination. These revelations may not be otherwise understandable and may not be pleasant or easy, but are perilous to doubt; the Etrusca Disciplina therefore was a set of rules for the conduct of all sorts of divination. Cicero saidFor a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, to religious observances.
He quipped, regarding d
Interpretatio graeca is a discourse in which ancient Greek religious concepts and practices and myths are used to interpret or attempt to understand the mythology and religion of other cultures. It is thus a comparative methodology that looks for shared characteristics; the phrase may describe Greek efforts to explain others' beliefs and myths, as when Herodotus describes Egyptian religion in terms of perceived Greek analogues, or when Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Plutarch document Roman cults and practices under the names of equivalent Greek deities. Interpretatio graeca may describe non-Greeks' interpretation of their own belief systems by comparison or assimilation with Greek models, as when Romans adapt Greek myths and iconography under the names of their own gods. Interpretatio romana is comparative discourse in reference to ancient Roman religion and myth, as in the formation of a distinctive Gallo-Roman religion. Both the Romans and the Gauls reinterpreted Gallic religious traditions in relation to Roman models Imperial cult.
Jan Assmann considers the polytheistic approach to internationalizing gods as a form of "intercultural translation": The great achievement of polytheism is the articulation of a common semantic universe.... The meaning of a deity is his or her specific character as it unfolded in myths, rites, so on; this character makes a deity comparable to other deities with similar traits. The similarity of gods makes their names mutually translatable. … The practice of translating the names of the gods created a concept of similarity and produced the idea or conviction that the gods are international. Pliny the Elder expressed the "translatability" of deities as "different names to different peoples"; this capacity made possible the religious syncretism of the Hellenistic era and the pre-Christian Roman Empire. Herodotus was one of the earliest authors to engage in this form of interpretation. In his observations regarding the Egyptians, he establishes Greco-Egyptian equivalents that endured into the Hellenistic era, including Amon/Zeus, Osiris/Dionysus, Ptah/Hephaestus.
In his observations regarding the Scythians, he equates their queen of the gods, Tabiti, to Hestia and Api to Zeus and Gaia and Argimpasa to Aphrodite Urania, whilst claiming that the Scythians worshipped equivalents to Herakles and Ares, but which he doesn't name. Some pairs of Greek and Roman gods, such as Zeus and Jupiter, are thought to derive from a common Indo-European archetype, thus exhibit shared functions by nature. Others required more expansive theological and poetic efforts: though both Ares and Mars are war gods, Ares was a minor figure in Greek religious practice and deprecated by the poets, while Mars was a father of the Roman people and a central figure of archaic Roman religion; some deities dating to Rome's oldest religious stratum, such as Janus and Terminus, had no Greek equivalent. Other Greek divine figures, most notably Apollo, were adopted directly into Roman culture, but underwent a distinctly Roman development, as when Augustus made Apollo one of his patron deities.
In the early period, Etruscan culture played an intermediary role in transmitting Greek myth and religion to the Romans, as evidenced in the linguistic transformation of Greek Heracles to Etruscan Hercle to Roman Hercules. The phrase interpretatio romana was first used by the Imperial-era historian Tacitus in the Germania. Tacitus reports that in a sacred grove of the Nahanarvali, "a priest adorned as a woman presides, but they commemorate gods who in Roman terms are Castor and Pollux." Elsewhere, he identifies the principal god of the Germans as Mercury referring to Wotan. Some information about the deities of the ancient Gauls, who left no written literature other than inscriptions, is preserved by Greco-Roman sources under the names of Greek and Latin equivalents. A large number of Gaulish theonyms or cult titles are preserved, for instance, in association with Mars; as with some Greek and Roman divine counterparts, the perceived similarities between a Gallic and a Roman or Greek deity may reflect a common Indo-European origin.
Lugus was identified with Nodens with Mars as healer and protector, Sulis with Minerva. In some cases, however, a Gallic deity is given an interpretatio romana by means of more than one god, varying among literary texts or inscriptions. Since the religions of the Greco-Roman world were not dogmatic, polytheism lent itself to multiplicity, the concept of "deity" was expansive, permitting multiple and contradictory functions within a single divinity, overlapping powers and functions among the diverse figures of each pantheon; these tendencies extended to cross-cultural identifications. In the Eastern empire, the Anatolian storm god with his double-headed axe became Jupiter Dolichenus, a favorite cult figure among soldiers. Roman scholars such as Varro interpreted the monotheistic god of the Jews into Roman terms as Caelus or Jupiter Optimus Maximus; some Greco-Roman authors seem to have understood the Jewish invocation of Yahweh Sabaoth as Sabazius. Interpretatio germanica is the practice by the Germanic peoples of identifying Roman gods with the names of Germanic deities.
According to Rudolf Simek, this occurred around the 1st century AD, when both cultures came into closer contact. Some evidence for interpretatio germanica exists in the Germanic translations of the Roman names for the days of the week: Sunday, the day of Sunnǭ, the sun, was earlier the day of Sol Invictus, th