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Myths about the Roman God Plutus

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Myths about the Roman God Plutus
Plutus, the god of riches. Though Plutus was not an infernal god, yet as his name and office were similar to Pluto's, we shall here distinguish them, although both were gods of riches. Pluto was born of Saturn and Ops, or Rhea, and was brother of Jupiter and Neptune; but Plutus, the god of whom we here speak, was son of Jason or Jasion by Ceres.

He is represented blind and lame, injudicious and fearful. Being lame, he confers estates but slowly: for want of judgment, his favors are commonly bestowed on the unworthy; and as he is timorous, so he obliges rich men to watch their treasures with fear. Plutus is painted with wings, to signify the swiftness of his retreat, when he takes his departure. Little more of him remains in story, than that he had a daughter named Euriboea; unless the comedy of Aristophanes, called by his name, be taken into the account.

Aristophanes says that this deity, having at first a very clear sight, bestowed his favors only on the just and good: but that after Jupiter deprived him of vision, riches fell indifferently to the good and the bad. A design being formed for the recovery of his sight, Penia or poverty opposed it, making it appear that poverty is the mistress of arts, sciences, and virtues, which would be in danger of perishing if all men were rich; but no credit being given to her remonstrance, Plutus recovered his sight in the temple of Aesculapius, whence the temples and altars of other gods, and those of Jupiter himself, were abandoned, the whole world sacrificing to Plutus alone.

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