Analyzing Greek and Roman mythology, we see quite a lot of similarities, there are very few differences between them. Throughout much of Roman mythology, we see a strong influence from Greek mythology. However, by studying mythology, we can find several differences, such as how the myths depict a period of time, were they created to explain the events that happened, or to glorify the land and events? This is what we see in Greek and Roman mythology. Even after discovering small differences in mythology, it is still very clear how pervasive features of Greek mythology were.
Many Roman gods and goddesses were derived from Greek mythology. The Roman gods tended to be antromorphic, however, they did not display as much dramatic emotion as the Greek gods. Roman mythology usually consists of stories that paint a great portrait of how Rome laid the foundations. The stories we find in Roman mythology are often centered around politics and morality. Roman mythology focuses more on ritual, apprehension, and institutions than on theology or cosmogony. The Roman tradition was to create stories full of historical significance, legends, myths, focused on the rise of Rome. In many of the works written by Roman writers, we see that they used Greek beliefs to fill in the gaps that were present in current Roman traditions. The gods in Roman mythology clearly represented the practical needs of everyday life, as well as the gods whose names were called upon to carry out daily activities such as harvesting and more. In Roman mythology, there are two classes of gods: the first is the Indigetes, and the second is the novenesiles. The Indigetes were gods who were not adopted from other religions. Novencils were gods that were more implicitly found in other religions, and were also applied to Roman gods (Roman Mythology, Crystalline, 2016). The creation story for Roman mythology cannot be found, however there was a similar set of budding brothers named Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto.
Greek mythology did not follow the events in history to give them shape and meaning. Myths were created not only to solve problems or comprehend current events. (Johnston, S.I., 2015. pg. 182). Ancient Greek mythological bagan with a story explaining creation, at the beginning of Chaos, a void ruled by the god Euryn. Evrynom gave birth to Eros after conjunction with Ophion, a powerful snake. Also from Eurynomy was Gaia, called Earth or Mother Earth. As a result, Gaia fused with Uranus, and then gave birth to the Titans. Most overlooked, Kronos. Ultimately, Kronos had children from his wife Rhea, from whom a son would eventually be born, who would replace Kronus, it was Zues, who became the King of all gods. This is where Greek mythology begins (Encyclopedia of Mythics: Greek Creation Myths, 2016).
When looking at the myriad of gods and goddesses that exist between Greek and Roman mythology, it turned out that almost each of them reflected an opposite in an opposite set of mythology. Initially, three common gods stuck out – the brothers of Greek mythology, known as Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades are almost mirror images of the Roman gods called Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. Zeus’s colleague will be Jupiter. Zeus was the king of all gods, he possessed many magical powers such as throwing lightning, he could also create natural phenomena with the help of air and sky, he could create massive storms, thunder and lightning, extreme darkness and much more only with his own hands. Zeus also had a flying horse named Pegasus, Zeus flew Pegasus and made him hold his lightning bolts, and he would have a trained eagle that also received these bolts. Zeus seemed to represent the main parts of nature that are in balance with each other. Zeus was the ruler of all the gods, and by becoming this, he ensured that the gods did what they thought, and any wrongdoing would be punished. Zeus also looked after mortals, he will reward mortals when they are kind and just. He will also punish mortals for any wrongdoing. Jupiter was also the king of all gods, Jupiter became the king of all gods after the death of his father Saturn. Jupiter had a lot in common with Zeus, he was also an observer of everything that the other gods did and he made sure that they followed what they were supposed to do, if they did things that he did not approve of, he punished them. Jupiter also had a flying horse named Pegasus, he also had the same abilities as Zeus, he could control the elements of the weather and throw lightning. However, when looking at Jupiter and Zeus, we can find a few differences. The first difference is how these gods can be subservient to themselves. Zeus was partially controlled by the Fates, he could have been banished by other gods, but they never did this to him, instead Zuez ultimately retired from his position.
Nevertheless, Jupiter could not be banished by anyone, he was always the most powerful god who ruled above all others, and no one tried to knock him out of his place of power (“Encyclopedia of Mythics: Greek vs. Roman”, 2015). In general, when analyzing Zeus and Jupiter, we see so many similarities that it seems that the god was taken from Greek mythology and simply renamed and placed on the side of Roman mythology under the name Jupiter.
Second, while analyzing Zeus’ brother Poseidon, he also found many similarities with his counterpart Neptune in Roman mythology. Poseidon was a god, or better known as “Lord of the Sea”. Poseidon possessed many magical powers, he could create islands, and the tidal waves rose. Poseidon also had a trident that was strong enough to shake the Earth. Poseidon could cause earthquakes, he could also cause storms, sink lands, he could also break rocks. The people who lived inland were not afraid of Poseidon, but the people who lived on the coastline were terrified of what he would do if he didn’t like them. People built a temple in his honor near the coastline, they brought gifts to this place in the hope of pleasing God and persuading him to calm the waters. Neptune was very similar to Poseidon, it was believed that he could control the seas and life in it. The ancient Romans built temples and brought gifts to please him. Almost all elements of the two gods are similar, many simply believe that this is the same god with a different name. However, one difference was found: Poseidon was considered one of the twelve Olympic gods, and Neptune was not (“Greek God: Poseidon (Neptune), God of the Seas and Ocean”, 2014).
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