The 20 Most Important Roman Mythological Goddesses

The Roman goddesses Originals were manifestations of what the Romans called"numina", the divine essence that could be found in all beings and living places.

These deities had no distinctive personalities, human form, family histories or myths about their lives.

As the Roman Empire continued to expand, they adapted to new belief systems by absorbing and adopting beliefs from other peoples, especially the Greek gods of those who adopted the pantheon of twelve major deities.

You may also like This list of Greek goddesses .

20 Roman goddesses who ruled the life and destiny of the Romans in antiquity

1- Vesta

The 20 Most Important Roman Mythological Goddesses

She was the virgin goddess of home and family in the Roman religion. Vesta's presence is symbolized by the sacred fire burning in her home and in her temples. Its closest Greek equivalent is Hestia.

His temple in Rome was round and was located in the Roman Forum. This temple housed not only the"eternal flame"that symbolized the fire of the home for all the Roman people, it also contained many of the important legal documents of Rome.

Not much is known of its origin, except that at first it was only worshiped in the Roman homes, by way of personal cult. This cult eventually evolved into a cult of the Roman state. A myth says that his service was established by King Numa Pompilius.

Archetypes of Vesta

  • The Virgin: This archetype represents the desire to remain sexually pure, maintaining its energy for other projects. It can also symbolize a deep desire to create new ideas and working methods. The Virgin of the shadow, it resists to its sexuality due to the fear and the loss of innocence that symbolizes. His temple was served by the vestal virgins who had to remain chaste for thirty years.
  • The nun: The nun is characterized by her intense devotion and dedication to her spiritual path. His work requires a great focus and includes not only spiritual paths, but also artistic and business activities. The nun chooses celibacy to conserve energy for her life mission. This Goddess was very dedicated to her work as guardian of the flame.

2- Juventas

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The Roman goddess of youth. The Romans habitually adopted the gods and goddesses of the conquered nations and Juventas is the Greek Goddess Hebe. The Romans associated Juventas with the ceremonies and rites of passage celebrated by young people as they approached adulthood at the age of seventeen.

The most famous ritual related was that of the toga virilis. The first use of the toga virilis was part of the celebrations when they reached maturity. According to Roman law, only Roman male citizens were allowed to wear the toga virilis upon reaching the age of the political majority (17 years).

Rich and noble young men, senators' children, were allowed to wear a purple-laced toga, called toga praetexta, from the age of fourteen to the age of seventeen. At the age of 17, all Roman citizens wore the white viola virilis. The ceremony of the arrival of a child to the adult age, was characterized to pay great honor to the goddess Juventas.

The goddess Juventas was honored for the first time in Rome in a chapel in the hill of the Capitol that was replaced by a temple constructed in his honor. The contents of the Sibylline Books motivated the construction of the Temple of Juventus and strongly recommended the construction of seven other temples.

The Sibylline Books (Libri Sibyllini) were a collection of prophecies from an Oracle called the Sibyl of Cumae, which took into account the Roman religion and the welfare of the Romans and the Roman state.

A lectisternium was prepared for the first time for Juventas. A lectisternium was a ritual in which a meal was offered to appease the gods and goddesses whose images were deposited in a sofa placed in the street.

During the lectisternium in honor to Juventas a public thanks was made to Hercules, an association that shows the influence of the Greek goddess Hebe, the wife of Hercules. In 207 BC, Marcus Livius Salinator, after his victory over Hasdrubal, a Carthaginian general, swore another temple to Juventus at the Circus Maximus, which was dedicated to the Goddess in 191 by Licinius Lucullus.

The temple of Juventas was destroyed by the fire in the year 16 a.C. And rebuilt by the Emperor Augustus.

In imperial times, Juventas became the personification of the emperor, who assumed the attributes of a Roman god.

3- Diana

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Diana, daughter of Jupiter and Latona was the Roman goddess of the moon and the patroness of virginity and hunting. She was also revered as the protector of children. She was a Greater Goddess and one of the 'Dei Consentes' or Council of the Gods.

As an emblem of chastity, it was especially venerated by young maidens, who sacrificed their hair in honor of this goddess before marrying. Its name was first known as Diviana which means"to shine".

Diana was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona. His twin brother was Apollo and as a sun god, his sister was the goddess of the moon. The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman deity was Artemis.

Diana was the Roman goddess of the moon and the hunt. She was worshiped at a festival held on August 13 called Nemoralia, the Festival of the Torches, during which the worshipers of Diana formed a procession of torches and candles around the dark waters of the sacred Lacus Nemorensis.

The lights of their candles and torches were joined by the moonlight reflected on the surface of the water. During the Festival of Nemoralia it was forbidden to hunt and kill animals. Diana was often depicted in art with crescent moon.

Its symbols: The cypress, the deer, the bow and arrow, the dogs and the moon

His Greek counterpart was Artemis.

4- Minerva

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Minerva was the Roman goddess that the Romans of the second century BC, thereafter, equated with the Greek goddess Athena. Minerva was born without a mother. His father was the mighty Jupiter, king of all gods.

Minerva was born directly from the brain of Jupiter. Jupiter loved all his children, but if he had had to choose a favorite, it would probably have been Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. Minerva was one of the deities who formed the"Dei Consentes", the Roman council of 12 gods.

She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually referred to as the"Minerva Owl", which symbolizes her close ties to wisdom. She was also the goddess of war. She was the patron saint of doctors and medicine.

In the temple of the Hill Capitoline was adored along with Jupiter and Juno, with whom it formed a powerful triad of gods. Another temple of her was located in the Aventine Hill. Every year from the 19th to the 23rd of March the Quinquatria was celebrated, main feast to honor the goddess Minerva.

This festival was celebrated mainly by artisans but also by students. Minerva is believed to have invented numbers and musical instruments. It is believed to be of Etruscan origin, like the goddess Minerva although it was equated with the Greek Goddess Athena.

5- Venus

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In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart of the Greek Aphrodite. However, the Roman Venus had many more abilities than Aphrodite, since she was also the goddess of victory or even of prostitution.

According to Hesiod, Aphrodite was born of the foam of the sea after Saturn castrated her father Uranus and her blood fell to the sea. The goddess Venus had two main divine lovers; Her husband Vulcan and Mars. There is a myth related to the love of Venus and Mars and how Vulcan caught them cunningly in bed with a net.

Vulcan and Venus had a marriage without love and without children, although the goddess of love and sex was not sterile, had many children of different gods. With Mars, she gave birth to Timor (Phobos) the personification of the fear that accompanied her father to battle, her twin Metus (Deimos) the personification of terror and Concordia (Harmony), the goddess of harmony and concord.

It was thought that the Graces were the offspring of Venus and Bacchus, but more commonly its birth is credited to Jupiter and Eurynome. However, the Graces were part of the entourage of Venus along with the Cupids and Suadela, the goddess of persuasion in the realms of romance, love and seduction.

Venus also had several mortal lovers, the two most famous being Anchises and Adonis. The Ovid Metamorphosis (Book X) relates how Venus fell in love with the mortal Adonis (either for her beauty or Cupid's arrow) and asked Proserpine (Persephone) to take care of him until she came for him.

The two goddesses fell so in love with Adonis that they fought for him until Zeus decided that Adonis would spend a third of the year with each of them and another third where he wanted. Ultimately, he spent his time with Venus until he was killed by a boar.

6- Congratulations

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Goddess of good luck. Felicitas means ("fruitful, blessed, happy, fortunate") and is the goddess who embodies success. Felicitas could positively influence the fertility of a woman, as well as the good fortune of a General.

It had a temple in Rome and its celebrations were the 1 of July and the 9 of October. It was often portrayed in coins as a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.

7- Aurora

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Aurora was the Roman goddess of dew or dawn. The Greeks called it Eos. She was the daughter of the titans Hyperion and Teya and the sister of Helios (sun god) and Selene (the goddess of the moon).

Each morning, Aurora rose from the sea and rode in her chariot drawn by horses across the sky in front of the sun, carrying a pitcher from which sprinkled the dew on the ground.

Aurora's first husband was Titan Astreus. They had several children: the winds Boreas, Euros, Notos and Céfiros, as well as the star of the morning Eósforos and the nocturnal star Héspero. The beauty of Aurora made Mars, the god of war, take an interest in her.

This infuriated Venus, who caused Aurora to fall in love with a large number of mortals. He married one of them, Tetonus, and achieved the immortality of this Trojan Prince. Aurora forgot to ask for the eternal youth of Titono and, as a result, he continued aging until he became a decrepit old man and wrinkled.

Aurora locked him in his room until the gods finally pitied him and turned him into a cicada.

8- Flora

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Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers, fertility and spring. She was a minor Roman goddess who typified the spring season and was usually depicted as a beautiful maiden, with a wreath with flowers.

The goddess Flora was celebrated in the festival of Floralia of six days, that culminated with the competition of gladiators.

The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman goddess was Cloris. Flora was the twin sister of Fauna, the goddess of animals and wildlife. Although Flora was a minor goddess, the Romans held her in high esteem.

9- Fortuna

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In Roman mythology, Fortune was the embodiment of luck and came to represent also the whims of life. Under the name of Annonaria it protected the supplies of grain. In the Roman calendar, June 11 was sacred to the goddess Fortuna.

Traditionally his cult was introduced to Rome by Servius Tullius. Fortuna had a temple in the Forum Boarium, a public sanctuary, had a tutelary position on the own Rome,"Fortuna Populi Romani"or"Fortuna of the Roman town"and an oracle in Praeneste where the future was chosen by a small boy who Chose oak bars with possible future writings on them.

Throughout the Roman world, Fortuna was worshiped in a large number of shrines under various titles that were applied according to the various circumstances of life in which its influence was expected to have a positive effect.

Fortuna was not always positive and sometimes hesitated (Fortuna Dubia), it was brief (Fortuna Brevis), or it was bad (Fortuna Mala). Its name seems to derive of the italic goddess Vortumna, that meant"she, that turns the year".

10- Victoria

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She was a Roman goddess who was closely associated with the Roman army. Its name derives from the Latin word 'vincere' which means 'conquer'. Victoria replaced Vica Pota, the ancient Roman goddess of victory. The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman goddess was Nike.

She was one of the favorite goddesses among the Roman generals returning from the war. Successful Roman military leaders returning from a victorious battle would receive the honor of a"triumph", a triumphal procession or a parade celebrating the glory of the General returning through the crowds in the streets of Rome.

The conquering hero rode in a golden chariot driven by white horses with a cloak covered with palm leaves under a red robe embroidered with gold, his face painted red. The goddess Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and her role was to reward the victors in battle.

The Emperor Augustus had an altar to the Victory goddess installed in the Senate building, the Julia Curia, with a statue of the winged Victory, called Victoriola, symbolically standing with one foot on a globe. A temple on the Palatine Hill in Rome was dedicated to the Victoria goddess and during the Republican era was honored at the Hono Festival (honor) on July 17 and at another festival held on August 1.

Gladiator games were also held in his honor. On July 20 games were held to honor the victories of Caesar and the goddess Victoria and between October 26 and November 1 were held the games of the Victory of Sila in honor of the goddess Victoria.

11- Pax

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Roman goddess of peace and prosperity. Daughter of Jupiter and Lustitia, Pax was a minor Roman goddess whose cult was active during the reign of Augustus. Few practices and beliefs of her cults have survived, but we know she was honored with several holidays and a festival in early spring.

It is often depicted with an olive branch and a cornucopia. The olive branch is the symbol of peace and serenity. Cornucopia is the symbol of abundance and good harvest. Pax is sometimes depicted holding a horn of plenty. The symbolism is that peace brings prosperity and times of growth.

12- Ceres

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Ceres was the Roman goddess of agriculture, grain, and the love a mother felt for her son. She was the daughter of Saturn and Ops, the sister of Jupiter and the mother of Proserpina. Ceres was a kind and benevolent goddess to the Romans and had a common expression,"suitable for Ceres,"which meant splendid.

Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, was loved for her service to humanity by giving them the gift of the harvest, the reward for cultivating the land. Also known as the Greek goddess Demeter, Ceres was the goddess of the harvest and was credited with teaching humans how to grow, conserve and prepare grain and corn.

It was thought that she was responsible for the fertility of the earth. Ceres was the only goddess who was involved in day-to-day life in ordinary people.

13- Discord

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She was the Roman goddess of the struggle, the discord, the rancor and the chaos. It was a minor Roman goddess who represented dissension, sedition and mutiny in a military context. Its name derives from the Latin word 'discors' which means to fight, disagree and inharmonious.

The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman goddess was Eris, the primordial goddess of discord that caused wars and fights between families and friends.

Discordia was a goddess of the Underworld, a concept they adapted from the Greeks. The Underworld, or hellish region, was a mysterious, terrifying and supernatural realm.

It was the domain of Pluto, the god of death, and it was where the souls of mortals lived, good and bad. The Roman gods and goddesses associated with death and misery were also believed to reside in the Roman Underworld. These deities, which included Discordia, were called the"di inferi"meaning"the gods below".

14- Juno

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She was the Roman goddess of marriage and birth and the queen of all gods. She was the deity of women.

She also had a warrior personality in the beliefs of the Romans and was often depicted as an armed goddess wearing a cape of goat skin that was worn by Roman soldiers in the countryside.

Her chariot was drawn by pavorreales, symbols of the goddess and these birds were sacred to her. The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman deity was Hera. Juno was the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth.

It is ironic that she represented the marriage when her own marriage was plagued by infidelities of her husband Jupiter. Despite her husband's behavior, she was impeccable in her faithfulness as a wife.

15- Cuba

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It was the Roman goddess who slept the children. Sister of Rumina, goddess of the breastfeeding, and Cunina, goddess of the sleeping children. Mothers prayed for them to help their children sleep and to protect them while they slept. Cuba was also invoked by mothers of sick children, to bring the healing dream. His name means"to lie down."

16- Cibeles

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It was the ancient Mother Phrygia, a goddess of primitive nature worshiped with orgiastic rites in the mountains of central and western Anatolia. The Greeks identified her with their own mother of the gods. The Rea titanid.

Cibeles was the lover of wild nature (symbolized by her constant companion, the lion), a healer, the goddess of fertility and the protector in times of war.

Originally, the Cibeles cult was brought to Rome during the time of the Second Punic War. At that time, the Carthaginian general Hannibal wreaked havoc in Italy, which was a serious threat to the city of Rome. The Sibylline Books, books of prophecy consulted by the Roman Senate in times of emergencies, predicted that Italy would be liberated by a mother of Pessinus; Which for many, meant Cibeles.

Due to its agricultural nature, its cult had a great attraction for the average Roman citizen, more between women than among men.

She was responsible for every aspect of an individual's life. Not only was she a healer (she healed and inflicted disease), she was also the goddess of fertility and the protector in times of war (though, oddly enough, she was not a favorite among soldiers), she even offered immortality to her believers.

17- Lucina

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Lucina is a Roman goddess of light, moon and especially birth. Juno and Diana were also goddesses of Childbirth and, together, were sometimes called"Lucinae."

The name probably originates from the Latin lux,"light"or"light of day,"from which we get words as lucid, luminous. As the Goddess of Childbirth, Lucina protected pregnant women and the newborn. It was invoked by women who had difficulty conceiving and who wanted children.

18- Mellona

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She is the goddess of bees and beekeeping. Aronobio describes it as"an important and powerful goddess with respect to bees, caring for and protecting the sweetness of honey." It is among the list of deities held by Roman priests to ensure that the correct divinity was invoked for their rituals.

19- Bellona

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It is the Roman goddess of war, closely associated with Mars, the god of Roman war. She is invariably his mate, although she was identified as his wife, daughter and sister.

Its origins are probably from Sabine (an ancient tribe from the lands north-east of Rome) and the Claudii, a Sabine family, who are credited with the institution of their worship. Its temple was built in Campus Martius, the field consecrated to Mars, located outside the city walls.

The area around his temple was considered as foreign soil, and there the Senate met with ambassadors, victorious generals were received, and there the war was officially declared. To declare war, a javelin was thrown on one of the pillars of the Temple of Bellona by a priest involved in diplomacy, an act that symbolized the attack on a foreign land.

20- Pomona

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Pomona was the goddess of wealth, gardens, fruits. She was a wooden nymph and her name originates from the Latin word"for the fruit of the garden". It was courted by the wooded gods Silvano and Picus, but in the end, married the god Vertumnus, who deceived her taking the form of an old woman.

A festival was held in honor of Pomona and Vertumnus on August 13. It protected fruit trees, gardens and orchards and was one of the few Roman deities that had no counterpart in Greek mythology. It was often depicted holding a fruit plate or a cornucopia.


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