The people of ancient Rome were polytheistic, which means they worshipped more than one god. During the founding of Rome, gods were “numina”, formless, faceless, divine manifestations, but was however no less powerful. Ancient Rome gods and goddess as humanized beings came later, with the influence from Greeks and Etruscans, who had human form gods. Some of the ancient Rome gods and goddess are at least as aged as the founding of Rome itself.
The “numina” concept continued to exist in ancient Rome and was associated with any divine manifestations. They believed that everything in Nature is inhabited by numina, which explains the huge number of ancient Rome gods and goddess in the Roman Pantheon. Numina marks the divine will through means of natural phenomena that the virtuous Roman continually seeks to understand. It is the same reason why great notice is given to portents and omens in each aspect of Roman daily life.
Ancient Rome gods and goddess were for just about every known thing including, gods for the sea, land, sky, women, beauty, war, and many more. Ancient Romans built temples where they worshipped these gods and goddesses. They even named planets and months of the year after these gods, believing that god were powerful, immortal people, and came down to earth every now and then pretending to be humans.
The most important of the ancient Rome gods and goddess include Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Fortuna, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Venus, Pluto, Saturn, and Vulcan.
Apollo was the archer-god of healing and medicine, as well as bringer of death-dealing plague. He is said to be the leader of the Muses, and God of music and poetry. Apollo was one of the most significant and many-sided of the Olympian gods.
Janus was the god beginnings and endings, gates and doors, which is manifested with a double-faced head looking in opposite directions. He was adored at the start of harvest time, planting, birth, marriage, and any other possible type of beginnings. He also represents the transition between primitive life and civilization, peace and war, countryside and the city, and the growing of young people. The month of January is named after him, and he had numerous Temples in Rome.
Juno was the queen of the gods. Daughter of Saturn, sister of Neptune and Pluto, Jupiter’s wife, and mother of Juventas and Vulcan; Juno was believed to be the protector and special counselor of the Roman state, protector of women during child birth, marriage, and rearing. The Matronalia celebrated on March 1 to 2, is her major festival considered as the “Matron Goddess of all Rome”. The month of June is named after her.
Ancient Rome gods and goddess played a very important role in the lives of ancient Romans, and until today still plays a great part in its history, culture, and people; visible remnants of which are evident all over the breathtaking “Eternal City of Rome”.