MythologyRoman Mythology

5 Native Roman Deities

Greek mythology has a lot of gods. Like, a LOT! And many of those have Roman counterparts as a result of Rome sort of absorbing the Greek pantheon. But there were still original deities, uniquely Roman (well, Italian. They originated on the Italian peninsula), without Greek analogs. Here are five.

Table of Contents

Janus

Janus-Vatican

The two-faced (literally) Roman god of doorways, among other things. It sounds weird, but he played a very important role in rituals. His domain also included things like beginnings and endings, transitions (physical or life changes), time, etc. Basically anything relate to changes of states. Because of his very wide domain, he was invoked first in all religious acts.

Orcus

Orcus mouth - Parco dei Mostri - Bomarzo, Italy - DSC02678

An underworld god of punishment. He may have originated with the Etruscans and was later conflated with Hades, such that his name itself became a name for the underworld. And sometimes with other underworld gods, like Pluto and Dis Pater. Some consider them to be different aspects of the same god.


Averruncus

two silver swords on shield

God of averting harm. Sort of. He had to be properly worshipped in order to avoid disasters, or bring them on others. The precise nature of Averruncus is somewhat ambiguous, as he might have been an aspect of another god rather than a standalone deity. No known cult images of him exist, but a shield and sword seemed like a fitting visual.


Angerona

N06 Angerona, Schönbrunn (06)

The goddess of SHHHH! No, really, she was the goddess of silence, secrecy, and relief from pain and sorrow. Depictions of Angerona often showed her with a finger to her lips, symbolizing her domain over secrets and silence. Additionally, she was considered a protector of Rome itself, with her festival, the Angeronalia, celebrated on December 21.


Orbona

white stork flying during daytime

A goddess of children and orphans, as well as the goddess who brought children to people who had lost theirs. Christians later gave Orbona a darker role, as the one responsible for the death of children. I’m unaware of any images, but a stork seemed appropriate.

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