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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Roman Gods & Religion

The religion of ancient Rome was a complex and polytheistic system that incorporated various cults, myths, and rituals from different regions and cultures. The Roman gods and goddesses played a significant role in the daily lives of the citizens, and their temples and shrines were among the most important public buildings of the city. In this section, we will explore the mythology, symbolism, and practices of the Roman religion, as well as the cults and deities that were worshiped by the people of Rome.

Two of the mummies found in rock-cut tombs in Al-Bhanasa. Source: Egypt Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities

Heart-pounding Tomb Discovery In Egypt Shakes Up Ptolemaic/Roman Traditions

Archaeologists in Egypt have made a heart-pounding discovery in Al-Bhanasa, Minya, unveiling a significant slice of ancient history. This latest find includes rock-carved graves from the Ptolemaic...
Two of the Roman seals discovered at the site of Doliche in Turkey. Source: Forschungsstelle Asia Minor

Roman Seals Showing Hundreds of Gods Unearthed in Turkey

Previous teams of archaeologists excavating in the former Roman city archive of Doliche, Turkey, discovered hoards of clay stamps used to seal official Roman documents. Now, another 2,000 of these...
Ancient Roman feeding chicken. Source: AI generated.

Ancient Romans Used Chickens to Predict Battle Outcomes

Few tales capture the peculiarities of ancient Roman beliefs as much as that of the sacred chickens. These were not ordinary birds but revered animals, consulted as avian oracles before significant...
Dies Sanguinis, meaning “Day of Blood,” was a Roman celebration dedicated to the goddess Bellona, associated with war, bloodshed and violence. Source: Михаил Решетников / Adobe Stock

Dies Sanguinis: Rome's Day of Blood, Sacrifice & Military Might

Dies Sanguinis , meaning “Day of Blood” or “Day of the Bloody Sacrifice,” was an intense, yet sacred, day in the Roman calendar. Celebrated annually on March 24th, this day was dedicated to the...
Hercules and Deianira circa 1475–80.

An Unfortunate Fate and Nasty Gods: The Tragic Story of Mythical Deianira and Her Lover Hercules

Deianira became a famous heroine after the release of the TV show ''Hercules,'' with Kevin Sorbo, and the Disney movie about the mythical hero. Her real story, although still juicy, isn't the same...
Cacus – The One Who Dared Cross Hercules

Cacus – The One Who Dared Cross Hercules

According to Roman mythology, Cacus was a thief who stole from the hero Hercules (whose Greek equivalent was Heracles), which was the action that resulted in the former’s death. There are several...
Roman mythology from Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Diana and Actaeon by Giuseppe Cesari

Roman Mythology of the Ages of Man, Metamorphoses and the Founding of Rome

The Romans possessed a rich mythology that exerted (and continues to exert) a significant influence on Western culture. Many Roman myths, specifically those concerning the gods, have their equivalent...
Venus mourning Adonis by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Source: Public domain

5 Heartbreaking Roman Myths That’ll Captivate You

Roman myths are an integral part of the ancient Roman civilization, and their significance extends far beyond their religious context. These tales of romance, heroism, and tragedy have captured the...
Roman soldiers and their general by vukkostic (Adobe Stock)

Roman Mars vs Greek Ares as the God of War

In the ancient battle of Thurii in 282 BC, between Rome and the Greek colony of Tarentum, the Romans noticed a youth of extraordinary height marching in front of them and performing miracles of...
Gallo-Roman mosaic

How Gaul ‘Barbarians’ Influenced Ancient Roman Religion

The continental neighbors of the Romans, the Gauls were considered barbaric entities which the Republic and Empire attempted to colonize multiple times. Caesar’s numerous conquests on the mainland...
Minerva as Patroness of Learning and of the Arts.

Minerva Is Often Identified With The Greek Athena, But Her Origins Ran Deeper

Minerva was an important goddess in the pantheon of the ancient Romans. She was worshipped primarily as the goddess of wisdom. Nevertheless, she was also believed to be the goddess of trade, the arts...
Venus and Anchises

Explainer: The Gods Behind the Days of the Week

The Roman weekday ‘dies Veneris’ was named after the planet Venus, which in turn took its name from Venus, goddess of love. The origins of our days of the week lie with the Romans. The Romans named...
Venus: Eroticized Goddess of Love, Fertility, Agriculture… and Infidelity?

Venus: Eroticized Goddess of Love, Fertility, Agriculture… and Infidelity?

According to Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess most famously associated with love, beauty, and fertility. Less commonly known, however, is that Venus was also worshipped as the goddess of...
One of the many statues of Neptune, Roman god of fresh and sea water and more.    Source: eurobanks / Adobe Stock

Neptune: The Evolving Roman God Of Fresh Water, The Sea and Horses

The ancient Romans believed that Neptune was the god of the sea. Although he is most commonly compared to the Greek god Poseidon , this had not always been the case. Originally, Neptune was a god of...
The Roman god Bacchus

The Roman god Bacchus as a Christian icon

Before the acceptance of Christianity, Roman polytheism was dominant in the western world. Rome's borders extended as far west as Britain and as far east as modern day Greece and Turkey. To help ease...
St. Benedict of the Benedictines receiving Totila, king of the Ostrogoths. Source: Paklao / Public Domain.

The Rule of the Benedictines, the Black Monks of Europe

The Order of St. Benedict ( Ordo Sancti Benedicti in Latin, abbreviated as OSB), known also as the Benedictines (sometimes referred to as Black Monks, due to the color of their religious habits), is...
Modern representation of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war.

Bellona: The Roman Goddess of War and Artistic Muse

Linked to war, destruction, conquest, and bloodlust, Bellona was a mighty figure in the ancient Roman pantheon of gods. As a personification of war, Bellona became quite a popular figure in the arts...
Painted ceiling in Waltham Abbey parish church, depicting Janus facing both past and future.

How Janus Became the Doorkeeper of Heaven and God of the Gods

Janus is a deity found in the religion and myth of ancient Rome. The Romans believed that Janus was the god of doors, beginnings and endings, and transitions. In accordance to the role he played,...
Painting entitled ‘Saturnalia’ (1783) by Antoine Callet.

Saturnalia: The December Festival of Joy and Merriment in Ancient Rome

Saturnalia was a festival celebrated by the ancient Romans. Originally, this celebration was held annually for a day on the 17th of December, but the festival was so popular that it was extended to a...
The Capitoline Triad, the Museum of Guidonia.

What Was the Significance of The Capitoline Triad to the Roman Pantheon?

The Capitoline Triad was a trio of gods worshiped by the ancient Romans. This trio consisted of a male deity – Jupiter, the supreme god of the Roman pantheon and head of the triad, and two female...
Mithras and the bull, fresco from Temple of Mithras, Marino, Italy, dated 2nd century AD.    Source: Public Domain

Mithras, the Persian God Championed by the Roman Army

Mithras the god originated in the east, in Persia (modern day Iran) where he was first worshipped. When soldiers of the Roman Empire came back to the West they brought this cult with them and in time...
Fresco from the Vatican depicting the Battle of the Milvian Bridge that took place on October 28, 312 between the Roman emperors Constantine I and Maxentius. Source: CC BY-SA 2.0

The Battle of Milvian Bridge: The Battle That Brought Christianity to Rome

In October of 312, a battle would take place that would not only make Constantine I the ruler of the entire Roman Empire but would change its course in history forever. The Battle of the Milvian...
The Council of The Gods.

The Roman Pantheon Had A God for All Seasons - And Then Some

The Romans were a polytheistic people who worshiped a great number of gods. Nevertheless, the most important gods in the Roman pantheon are the twelve gods and goddesses of the Dii Consentes , who...
Gladiators after the fight, José Moreno Carbonero (1882) Museo del Prado.

The Rise and Fall of Vejovis, Etruscan God of Criminals, Slaves and Fighters

In 1939, an excavation underneath Piazza del Campidoglio discovered an almost completely obscured ancient Roman building. This ancient Roman building is identified as the temple of Vejovis, one of...

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