Justin Taylor | Genesology


There is always confusion when referencing the names of the ancient gods. Sometimes we hear the Greek, sometimes the Roman. Here we begin with the twelve Olympian gods and a brief description of each. Followed by yet more gods. The Greeks and Romans shared the same stories, but used different names. This might make things a bit less confusing.

Greek Name / Roman Name

Followed by their description.

Zeus / Jupiter

Lord of the sky and supreme ruler of the gods. Known for throwing lightening bolts.

Poseidon / Neptune

Ruler of the sea. Brother of Zeus. Carried a three-pronged spear known as a trident.

Hades / Pluto

Ruler of the underworld and the dead. Brother of Zeus. Had a helmet which rendered its wearer invisible.

Hestia / Vesta

A virgin goddess and sister of Zeus. No distinct personality or part in myths. Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the home.

Hera / Juno

Zeus's wife and sister. Protector of marriage, spent most of her time punishing the many women Zeus fell in love with. Likes cows and peacocks.

Ares / Mars

God of war and son of Zeus and Hera. Likes vultures and dogs.

Athena / Minerva

Daughter of Zeus alone. No mother.(?) She sprang from his head full-grown and in full armor. The protector of civilized life, handicrafts, and agriculture. Invented the bridle, and first to tame the horse. Likes Athens, olives, and owls.

Apollo / Apollo (shared name)

Son of Zeus. Master musician, archer god, healer, god of light, god of truth, sun god. A busy god who likes the laurel tree, dolphins, and crows.

Aphrodite / Venus

Daughter of Zeus. Goddess of Love and Beauty. Likes the myrtle tree, doves, sparrows, and swans.

Hermes / Mercury

Son of Zeus. Wore wings on his sandals and his hat, thus was graceful and swift.

Artemis / Diana

Apollo's twin sister and daughter of Zeus. Lady of wild things and huntsman to the gods. As Apollo is the Sun, Artemis is the moon.

Hephaestus / Vulcan

Son of Hera, God of Fire. The only ugly and deformed god. Makes armor and weapons forged under volcanoes.

Other Gods

Gaea / Terra

Mother Earth.

Asclepius / Aesculapius

God of medicine.

Cronus / Saturn

God of the sky; Ruler of the Titans (Roman mythology: God of agriculture)

Demeter / Ceres

Goddess of grain.

Dionysus / Bacchus

God of wine and vegetation.

Eros / Cupid

God of love.

Hypnos / Somnus

God of sleep.

Rhea / Ops

Wife of Cronus/Saturn. Mother Goddess.

Ouranos / Uranus

God of the sky. Father of the Titans.

Nike / Victoria

Goddess of Victory.

And there you have it ... or at the very least, a point of reference between the Greek and Roman god equivalents.

Just a thought ...

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.