Jupiter (mythology) facts for kids

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Jupiter
God of the sky and lightning
Member of the Archaic and Capitoline Triads
Giove, I sec dc, con parti simulanti il bronzo moderne 02.JPG
A marble statue of Jupiter from c. 100 AD
Other names Jove
Venerated in
  • Imperial cult of ancient Rome
  • Polytheistic religion
Abode Rome
Symbol Lightning bolt, eagle, oak tree
Personal information
Consort Juno
Children Mars, Vulcan, Bellona, Juventas
Parents Saturn and Ops
Siblings Roman tradition: Juno, Ceres, Vesta
Greco-Roman: Pluto and Neptune
Greek equivalent Zeus

Jupiter also known as Jove, is the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology. Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire.

His identifying implement is the thunderbolt and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which was considered to be more important over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army (see Aquila). The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.

The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades respectively. Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld.

Life of Jupiter

Schwarzenacker Jupitergigantenreiter
Giant Jupiter rider in Schwarzenacker, Germany

Jupiter was the son of Saturn (Kronos in Greek mythology). Saturn, who was the previous king of the gods, began to swallow the children that he had with his wife, Ops (Greek equivalent Rhea), when they were born. This was because he had been warned that one of his children would overthrow him. Saturn swallowed the children Neptune, Pluto, Ceres, Juno and Vesta. When Ops realised that she was pregnant again, she had the baby secretly moved to Crete, giving a stone wrapped in swaddling-clothes to Saturn for him to eat. Saturn believed he had eaten Jupiter therefore Jupiter was saved.

After Jupiter was raised by his mother, his destiny was to take over his own father, Saturn, as revenge for all he had done to his brothers and sisters in the past. When Jupiter grew up, he made Saturn vomit up all of the children he had swallowed. All the brothers and sisters joined forces and overthrew Saturn.

Then, with the help of the Cyclopses and the Hundred-handed Giants, they declared war on Saturn and the other Titans. Jupiter finally defeated the Titans and they were imprisoned in Tartarus. Jupiter and his brothers divided the universe into three parts, Jupiter obtaining the heavens, Neptune the sea and Pluto the underworld. This is how Jupiter became the king of the gods.

Arte romana, triade capitolina, 160-180 dc (guidonia montecelio, museo civico archeologico) 01
In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva

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