Believing in gods and worshipping them have been prevailing in societies since time immemorial. These beliefs and worshipping rituals and methods vary from place to place. People engage in several vigorous activities, prayers and even sacrifices in order to satisfy gods.
This worshipping culture was so common and serious earlier that people depended upon gods for good climate conditions and high yields as well. Surprisingly, this exists even now in several places all over the world. Some also have a belief that the natural phenomena, daily weather, sunrise, sunset and every other thing that takes place are caused by the gods only.
Both Greek and Roman are polytheistic religions, which means they believe in worshipping multiple gods or deities. There are about thirty or more gods that the Greeks and Romans preach. Moreover, the gods of both these cultures are almost the same, they even have the same powers only with different names.
Both of them believe in twelve major gods and goddesses. Actually, there are way a lot of similarities and connections between Greek and Roman gods as the Romans derived their religious system from the Greeks.
Greek Gods vs Roman Gods
The difference between Greek Gods and Roman Gods is that Greek gods have unique names of their own, whereas, Roman gods are mainly named after the planets of the solar system. Also, Greek gods remain the epitome of culture and politeness, while Roman gods are the epitome of power and aggressive energy.
Comparison Table Between Greek Gods and Roman Gods
|Parameter of Comparison||Greek Gods||Roman Gods|
|Origin||Greek Gods originated when Iliad revealed them 700 years before the Roman civilisation.||Roman Gods originated after 1000 years of the Greek Gods’ origin.|
|Source||Greek myths came from the book The Iliad.||Roman myths came from the book Aeneid.|
|Nature||The gods and goddesses are based on human traits like Love, Dignity, Honor, Hatred.||While the gods here do not signify human traits.|
|Admiring Traits||They admire creativity and politeness more than physical works.||They focus more on actions and admire power and courage.|
|Actions||Actions are all individualistic.||Whereas, the actions are not specifically individualistic here.|
|Afterlife||They do not believe in the theory of afterlife.||They believe good deeds can reward one in the afterlife.|
|Naming||They have their unique names based on human traits.||While they are named after the planets of the solar system.|
|Chief God||In Greek society, Zeus is the King of gods.||In Roman society, Jupiter is the King of gods.|
|Physical Appearance||Greek gods are given an attractive physical appearance.||Roman gods are not focused much on physical appearance.|
|Clothing||They are dressed in either white or light coloured clothes.||Whereas, they are dressed in military clothes.|
What are Greek Gods?
A collection of myths revealed by the ancient Greeks are embodied in Greek mythology. These tales deal with the origin of Greek culture, nature and activities of gods, great people and their contribution, traditions and rituals.
Initially, the myths were propagated in an oral poetic manner in the 18th century BC by Minoan and Mycenaean singers. The Iliad, Homer’s epic poems, and the Odyssey are the contents of the oral tradition. There are also some myths securely kept in parts of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, Homeric Hymns, lyrical poems etc.
The images of the deities were considered in many fields and purposes by the Greeks. Coins were printed with divine images, drinking cups and other pots had Greek myths carved on them. The temple was a home for the gods and goddesses.
Some of the major deities listed in the Greek mythology include Aphrodite; the goddess of beauty and desire, Apollo; the god of music and arts, Ares; the god of courage, Athena; the goddess of wisdom and the list goes on. The Greeks have extreme beliefs associated with their deities. They are quite dependent on them.
In Homer’s Iliad, there are some parts which sort of explored the daily life of the Greek gods, what they were made of and how they led a life in the human world. It also reveals about the humans’ relations with the gods and how those cherished.
What are Roman Gods?
Roman mythology is the organ of cultural and informative tales by the ancient Romans. The religious system of Rome dealt mainly with literature and arts of the Romans. The Roman myths have some elements that are supernatural yet they are often treated as historical.
Greek religion had an early influence on Roman myths. The Roman authors, in a way, reinterpreted the stories about Greek gods by just changing their names and naming them after planets. Moreover, the Roman religion has a connection with the Etruscan religion too.
For the Romans, popular traditions and rituals were the primary concern, unlike the Greeks. Their books and commentaries comprised of religious cultures, rules, traditions, prayers and worshipping procedures. The gods were a strong symbol of power and represented the needs of daily life.
The Roman gods are basically similar to their Greek counterparts just having distinct names. Some of the main deities in Roman mythology includes Venus; the goddess of love, Mars; the god of war, Neptune; the god of the sea and so on. The gods are the epitome of military power and courage and therefore, are dressed in military clothes as a sign of it.
On an interesting note, the Roman gods were revealed and listed through the real-life observations made by the Romans. Also, the rituals and procedures, all of them were based on the learnings of the world.
Main Differences Between Greek Gods and Roman Gods
- Greek gods came into existence earlier than the Roman gods.
- Greek gods have human traits, while Roman gods do not.
- Roman gods are the epitome of power, whereas, Greek gods are the epitome of creativity.
- Roman gods are named after planets.
- Roman gods have military clothes, while Greek gods have white and light clothes.
To summarize, there are both resemblances and variations between the Greek and Roman Gods. Both societies believe in twelve major gods, known as the Twelve Olympians. The gods possess the same powers. Although they have distinct traits and physical appearances.
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