Greek Name: Zeus
The Romans loved to tell
stories about the magical family who ruled the heavens. The Romans truly
believed that their gods could interfere in their lives, to help or hinder them.
to ancient Roman myth, Jupiter was the king of all the gods. Jupiter had two
brothers and three sisters. When Saturn, their father, died, the boys - Jupiter,
Pluto - divided the world up between themselves. Jupiter took
all of the heavens, Neptune took the sea, and Pluto took the underworld. Each was quite content with their selection.
of the differences between Greek and Roman myth is that in Greek myth,
Zeus was controlled in part by the Fates. His was also an elected
position - he could have been ousted by the other gods, not that they
ever managed it. But Jupiter, the Roman god, was the god supreme. He
ruled heaven and earth and all life. Jupiter listened to his various
advisors; especially the other gods who made up the Council of 12; he
might even assign one of the other gods to make a decision, but the
final word was his.
the Greek god Zeus, Jupiter
had a very jealous wife (named Juno). He also had a whole bunch of kids. Jupiter was very fond of all his
children. Each of his children had special magical powers.
had more powers
than anyone. Jupiter could throw his voice, and sound
like anybody. He could shape shift, and look like anybody. In fact, he was so
good at shape shifting that he could shape shift into the form of an animal. He could
throw lightning bolts. His flying horse, Pegasus, carried his lightning bolts for him.
Jupiter had a quick temper, a big sense of humor,
and lots of girlfriends. He was not afraid of anything except Juno, his wife.
There are a great many myths about the famous Jupiter, king of
all the gods. Here are two of them:
Juno, and Little Io
Story of Pandora
Explore Ancient Rome
Roman Gods & Goddesses
Rome for Kids
Clip Art Credit: Phillip Martin
Have a great year!