Roman Gods, Spirits, Deities for Kids and Teachers - Honoring their gods was a big part of ancient Roman daily life Illustration

Roman Gods

Honoring their gods was a big part of ancient Roman daily life.

The Romans had thousands of gods.  They believed that there were spirits and guardian gods for everything.  Trees, rocks, streams, bridges, everything had its own guardian spirit or god.  There were guardians gods for your house and even for the different parts of the house.  There was a kitchen god, a door god, a keyhole god, a bath god, and of course a sleeping god.  Each guardian god had a job - to take care of the people of the house, to watch over and protect them.  If you or your family were forgetful about proper worship or the giving of sacrifices to the gods then bad things would happen to you.  The Romans blamed everything that went bad on people forgetting to worship the gods properly.

As Rome expanded and grew, the Romans came in contact with people who worshiped other gods.  If those people had fought extremely well, the Romans figured that their gods must be pretty good, so the Romans adopted those gods and made them Roman gods as well.  They gave those gods Roman names. The Romans loved the Greek gods so much that they adopted the gods and all the myths and legends about them.  They changed some of the personalities of the ancient Greek gods to better fit the Roman way of life.

Temples and festivals: The Romans built huge and fancy temples to their gods wherever they went.  Every city in the Roman empire had a forum, which was ringed by temples to the gods.  There were impressive temples all over the Roman Empire.  Every day, the ancient Romans brought offerings of meat and other items to at least one nearby temple.  Usually they visited more than one temple every day. This was especially nice for the priests in the temples because that is how they were able to eat and eat well.

The Romans honored their gods by providing festivals for them.  All the major gods had a festival day.  Some of the gods even had more than one day in the year.  These festivals would be paid for by wealthy Romans, who did it to earn favor from the gods, or by the government of Rome. Festivals were free to the general public. Since the Romans worshiped many gods, there were about 200 major festivals each year.

All Roman gods were able to interact with people if they chose to do so. It was very important to keep the gods on your side in ancient Rome.

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