Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In Roman mythology, Jupiter (sometimes shortened to Jove) held the same role as Zeus in the Greek pantheon. He was called Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter Best and Greatest) as the patron deity of the Roman state, in charge of laws and social order.
The name of the god was also adopted as the name of the planet Jupiter.
Name and Titles
The letter J was not used by the ancient Romans; the name in Latin should therefore strictly be written with an initial I, and more commonly occurs in classical authors with a douple p as Iuppiter (ancient pronunciation ). It is an irregular noun, the genitive form being Jovis (ancient orthography Iouis, pronounced /'jɒwɪs/) hence the adjectives Jovian and jovial. The name (other ancient forms of which include Diovis, Diespiter and Iovis pater) is cognate with Classical Greek Zeus patēr () and Sanskrit Dyaus pitar, all derived from Indo-European *Dyeus Phter "sky/god the father". The elements are also cognate with Latin diēs "day" and deus "god", and with Germanic Tyr fater (from which arises the word Tuesday, although Jupiter was equated in Anglo-Saxon times with a different god, Thor, hence Jovis diēs is represented in English as Thursday).
Many other Italic tribes invoked their chief divinities under similar names: "Diu-" or "Iuve-"
Other Titles of Roman Jupiter:
- Jupiter Caelestis ("heavenly")
- Jupiter Fulgurator ("of the lightning")
- Jupiter Latarius ("God of Latium")
- Jupiter Lucetius ("of the light")
- Jupiter Pluvius ("sender of rain") See also Pluvius
- Jupiter Stator (from stare meaning "standing")
- Jupiter Terminus or Jupiter Terminalus (defends boundaries). See also Terminus
- Jupiter Tonans ("thunderer")
- Jupiter Victor (led Roman armies to victory)
- Jupiter Summanus (sender of nocturnal thunder)
- Jupiter Feretrius ("who carries away [the spoils of war]")
Jupiter and Roman Sovereignty
The several aspects of sovereignty implied by some of Jupiter's titles are made explicit in the legendary history of early Rome (as transmitted, for example, in Plutarch's Roman Lives and the first few books of Livy). Thus the warlike Romulus invokes Jupiter Stator to halt and terrify Rome's enemies, while the peaceful legislator Numa Pompilius has a close relationship with Dius Fidius, who presides over oaths.
- Jupiter stands in for the ritual and augural authority of the Flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter) and the chief priestly colleges.
- Mars, with his warrior and agricultural functions, stands in for the power of the king and young nobles to bring prosperity and victory through sympathetic magic with rituals like the October Horse and the Lupercalia.
- Quirinus, from co-viri "men together", stands in for the combined strength of the Roman populus.
The largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. Here he was worshipped alongside Juno and Minerva, forming the Capitoline Triad. Temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus or the Capitoline Triad as a whole were commonly built by the Romans at the center of new cities in their colonies.
- Article "Jupiter" in The Oxford Classical Dictionary. ISBN 0198606419.
- Georges Dumézil, Archaic Roman Religion. ISBN 0801854814.
- Georges Dumézil, Mitra-Varuna. ISBN 0942299132.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details