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Jupiter (mythology) facts for kids

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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 (Latin: Iuppiter) is the king of the gods in Roman mythology. He was the god of the sky and thunder. He is known as Zeus in Greek mythology. His brother's name was Pluto and his sister was Ceres.

Jupiter's symbol is the thunderbolt. His primary sacred animal is the eagle. 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.


Jupiter cameo Louvre Bj1820
Jupiter's head crowned with laurel and ivy. Sardonyx cameo (Louvre)

The Latin name Iuppiter originated as a vocative compound of the Old Latin vocative *Iou and pater ("father") meaning "O Father Sky-god".

The Roman practice of swearing by Jove to witness an oath in law courts is the origin of the expression "by Jove!"—archaic, but still in use. The name of the god was also adopted as the name of the planet Jupiter; the adjective "jovial" originally described those born under the planet of Jupiter (reputed to be jolly, optimistic, and buoyant in temperament).

Jove was the original namesake of Latin forms of the weekday now known in English as Thursday.

Life of Jupiter


Saturn, who was the previous king of the gods, began to swallow the children that he had with his wife,(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 with Jupiter, she had the baby secretly and moved to Crete, giving a stone wrapped in baby clothes to Saturn for him to eat. Saturn believed he had eaten Jupiter but Jupiter was saved.

Overthrowing Saturn

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 regurgitate all of the children he had swallowed. All the brothers and sisters joined forces and overthrew Saturn.

Battle of the Titans

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.

Dividing the universe

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.


The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus stood on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. Jupiter was worshiped there as an individual deity. The building was supposedly begun by king Tarquinius Priscus, completed by the last king (Tarquinius Superbus) and inaugurated in the early days of the Roman Republic (September 13, 509 BC). It was topped with the statues of four horses drawing a quadriga, with Jupiter as charioteer. A large statue of Jupiter stood within; on festival days, its face was painted red.

Role in the state

The Romans believed that Jupiter personified the divine authority of Rome's highest offices, internal organization, and external relations. His image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated with Rome's ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours.

The consuls swore their oath of office in Jupiter's name, and honoured him on the annual feriae of the Capitol in September. To thank him for his help, and to secure his continued support, they sacrificed a white ox (bos mas) with gilded horns. A similar sacrificial offering was made by triumphal generals, who surrendered the tokens of their victory at the feet of Jupiter's statue in the Capitol.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Júpiter (mitología) para niños

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