The oldest beliefs of people boiled down tothe giving of soul to natural phenomena and to the cult of ancestors. With the passage of time and the development of civilizations, more vivid images are defined from a vast array of obscure mythical deities: Mars is the god of war, Janus is the god of beginning and end, Jupiter is the god of daylight, Thunderstorms, terrible rainstorms, and others. The culture and beliefs of ancient people have always been greatly influenced by the culture of their closest neighbors. So, among the Etruscans, the Romans adopted the goddess of arts Minerva. Also in the cultural life of Rome in turn had a significant impact the more ancient culture of Greece. Today, it is undeniable that Roman mythology had a significant impact on the development of Roman society as a whole, the gods of which, in the majority, were borrowed from the Greeks.
The mythology of ancient states today representsa great interest for researchers of the history of the civilizations that have sunk into oblivion, collecting artifacts of their culture bit by bit for many hundreds of years. Thanks to their efforts, modern man has an idea of what people lived long before the appearance of his ancestors, what they believed in and what was the meaning of their life.
The oldest Roman mythology was built onbelief in the existence of life after death. The Romans of those times worshiped the souls of their ancestors. At the heart of this worship was the fear of supernatural forces, which, according to the Romans, these souls possessed. The first Roman gods were identified with nature, could command it, cause rain or send an unprecedented drought to the settlements. In order not to remain without crops, the inhabitants of Ancient Rome tried in every possible way to appease these gods. They were worshiped and sacrificed.
Greek and Roman gods: differences
According to some sources, Ancient Rome onFor centuries it did not have its own mythology. At the same time, in neighboring Greece, the cultural and religious life of people flourished. Many modern researchers, fascinated by the history of the Roman Empire, tend to believe that most of the myths were borrowed earlier by more culturally developed Greeks, and Roman gods are gods endowed with the same powers and traits as the Greeks. The only difference is in the names. So, the goddess of love in Roman mythology - Venus - is an exact copy of the Greek Aphrodite. The patron of ancient Roman arts - Phoebus - like no other is like the Greek Apollo, etc.
Initially, the Roman gods had neithergenealogy, or even the place of its inhabitation - Olympus, and were depicted in the form of certain symbols: Jupiter had the appearance of a stone, Mars - a kind of spear, Vesta - a kind of flame tongue. According to the legends, the first gods of Rome did not leave their descendants and after the completion of all the started cases they did not die, but left for nowhere. The Greek gods were very prolific and immortal.
The fusion of the culture and mythology of Rome and Greeceoccurs approximately at the turn of the fourth and third centuries BC. The main religious beliefs of the Greeks and part of their mythology began to reign in Rome after the collection of the sayings of the Greek oracle was delivered to the capital of the empire, predicting the epidemic of the plague after 293 BC.
The Roman gods are more moral. According to the beliefs of the ancient Romans, guardianship of human life, they were the protectors of justice on Earth, property rights and many other rights that a free man should possess. The moral influence of religion is especially great in the period of prosperity of Roman civil society (2-4 centuries AD). The inhabitants of ancient Rome were very religious. We can still see the praise of this piety in the pages of the works of Roman and Greek writers of those times. The external piety of the Romans proves their respect for the customs on which the main virtue of the Roman people was based - patriotism.