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Myths about the Roman God Jupiter

Roman Colosseum

'The Roman Colosseum'

Myths about the Roman God Jupiter
Jupiter the supreme god of the Romans was described by his worshippers as infamous for his vices. His first warlike exploit, and, indeed, the most memorable of his actions, was his expedition against the Titans, to deliver his parents, who had been imprisoned by these princes, because Saturn, instead of observing an oath he had sworn, to destroy his male children, permitted his son Jupiter, by a stratagem of Rhea, to be educated.

Jupiter, for this purpose, raised a gallant army of Cretans, and engaged the Cecropes as auxiliaries in this expedition; but these, after taking his money, having refused their services, he changed into apes. The valor of Jupiter so animated the Cretans, that by their aid he overcame the Titans, released his parents, and, the better to secure the reign of his father, made all the gods swear fealty to him upon an altar, which has since gained a place among the stars. This exploit of Jupiter, however, created jealousy in Saturn, who, having learnt from an oracle, that he should be dethroned by one of his sons, secretly meditated the destruction of Jupiter as the most formidable of them. The design of Saturn being discovered by one of his council, Jupiter became the aggressor, deposed his father, threw him into Tartarus, ascended the throne, and was acknowledged as supreme by the rest of the gods.  The reign of Jupiter being less favorable to his subjects than that of Saturn, gave occasion to the name of the silver age, by which is meant an age inferior in happiness to that which preceded, though superior to those which followed.

The distinguishing character of his person is majesty, and every thing about him carries dignity and authority with it; his look is meant to strike sometimes with terror, and sometimes with gratitude, but always with respect. The Capitoline Jupiter, or the Jupiter Optimus Maximus, (him now spoken of,) was the great guardian of the Romans, and was represented, in his chief temple, on the Capitoline hill, as sitting on a curule chair, with the lightning in his right hand, and a sceptre in his left. The poets describe him as standing amidst his rapid horses, or his horses that make the thunder; for as the ancients had a strange idea of the brazen vault of heaven, they seem to have attributed the noise in a thunder storm to the rattling of Jupiter's chariot and horses on that great arch of brass all over their heads, as they supposed that he himself flung the flames out of his hand, which dart at the same time out of the clouds, beneath this arch.

Jupiter the King of the Gods
Roman Colosseum
Roman Gods

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