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Ancient Rome

Gods and Mythology

The Temple of Hercules by Ryan Freisling

History >> Ancient Rome

The Romans believed in lots of gods. There were gods for just about everything. The Romans even took on many of the gods of the people they conquered. They especially liked the Greek gods. Many Romans had a shrine in their house to worship their personal household god.

Roman Gods

The Romans adopted much of Greek Mythology into their own. They took most all of the Greek gods, gave them Roman names, and then called them their own. Here are a few of major Roman gods that came from the Greeks:
Romulus and Remus

Early Roman mythology tells the story of how Rome was founded by two twin gods named Romulus and Remus. Romulus and Remus both wished to found a new city. Romulus wanted to found it on Palatine Hill, but Remus disagreed and wanted to found it on Aventine Hill. They had a fight and Romulus killed Remus. Romulus then founded the city of Rome and created the Roman legion as well as the Senate.

Imperial Cult

The Imperial Cult worshiped the Emperors of Rome. Starting with Julius Caesar, who ended the Roman Republic and became dictator, the emperors of Rome were deified, or turned into god status. This was a way for the leaders of Rome to become even more powerful. Most of the emperors were made into gods except for certain bad ones like Nero and Tiberius. This practice lasted up until Emperor Constantine who converted to Christianity.


Since the Romans had many gods and the Christians believed in just one true God, Christians were often persecuted by Rome. At one point they were told to either worship and sacrifice to the Roman gods or they would be killed. Many were killed in the arenas by lions. When Emperor Constantine came into power he converted to Christianity and the persecution stopped.


There were many temples in Rome and throughout the Roman Empire. They were generally built for a single god and had a statue of the god at the center. The most important temple in Ancient Rome was the Temple of Jupiter located on Capitoline Hill. The Pantheon was a temple to all the Roman gods. There were also temples built to the Emperors such as Julius Caesar and Augustus.


The Romans held festivals and holidays to celebrate their gods. They would often have games and a large feast to celebrate. Some important festivals that the Romans celebrated were Lupercalia, Saturnalia, and the Consualia.

Activities For more about Ancient Rome:

Overview and History
Timeline of Ancient Rome
Early History of Rome
The Roman Republic
Republic to Empire
Wars and Battles
Roman Empire in England
Fall of Rome

Cities and Engineering
The City of Rome
City of Pompeii
The Colosseum
Roman Baths
Housing and Homes
Roman Engineering
Roman Numerals
Daily Life
Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Life in the City
Life in the Country
Food and Cooking
Family Life
Slaves and Peasants
Plebeians and Patricians

Arts and Religion
Ancient Roman Art
Roman Mythology
Romulus and Remus
The Arena and Entertainment
Julius Caesar
Constantine the Great
Gaius Marius
Spartacus the Gladiator
Emperors of the Roman Empire
Women of Rome

Legacy of Rome
The Roman Senate
Roman Law
Roman Army
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Rome

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