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Ancient Rome: Laws and Religion

Learn all about the political, economic and social systems of Ancient Rome and how they have influenced our world today.

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.

Nelson, Ken. (2016). History of Ancient Rome for Kids: Roman Gods and Mythology. Ducksters. 

Roman Gods

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. 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:

Jupiter - Came from the Greek god Zeus. Jupiter was the king of the gods and god of thunder and lighting. He was the Patron God of Rome.
Juno - Juno was the equivalent of the Greek goddess Hera. Juno was Jupiter's wife and queen of the gods. Juno was considered the protector of Rome.
Mars - Mars came from the Greek god Area. Mars was the god of war and Jupiter and Juno's son.
Mercury - Mercury was the equivalent of the Greek god Hermes. He was the god of trade.
Neptune - Neptune came from the Greek god Poseidon. He was the god of the sea and brother to Jupiter. He also was the patron of horses. Neptune's weapon was a great trident.
Venus - Venus was the equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. She was the god of love and beauty.
Apollo - Apollo was taken directly from Greek god Apollo. He was the god of music, poetry, and archery. His twin sister was Diana.
Diana - Diana was taken from the Greek goddess Artemis. She was goddess of the hunt, archery, and animals. Her symbols included the moon, the snake, and the bow and arrow.
Minerva - Minerva comes from the Greek goddess Athena. She was the goddess of wisdom.
Vulcan - Vulcan comes from the Greek god Hephaestus. He was the blacksmith for the rest of the gods and was god of fire. The word volcano comes from the name Vulcan.
 

Nelson, Ken. (2016). History of Ancient Rome for Kids: Roman Gods and Mythology. Ducksters. 

Which God is the most interesting to you?
Jupiter: 1 votes (1.27%)
Juno: 1 votes (1.27%)
Mars: 2 votes (2.53%)
Mercury: 2 votes (2.53%)
Neptune: 0 votes (0%)
Venus: 0 votes (0%)
Apollo: 71 votes (89.87%)
Diana: 1 votes (1.27%)
Minerva: 0 votes (0%)
Vulcan: 1 votes (1.27%)
Total Votes: 79

Laws

The Romans had a complex system of government and laws. Many of the basic systems and ideas that we have about laws and government today comes from Ancient Rome.

Interesting Facts About Roman Law

  • The Romans had three branches of government including the legislative assemblies (branch of the people), the senate (branch of the nobles and patricians), and the consuls (executive branch).
  • Roman women had limited rights as citizens. They could not vote or hold public office, but they could own property and businesses.
  • In 212 AD, the Roman Emperor Caracalla declared that all freedmen in the Roman Empire were full Roman citizens.
  • Emperor Justinian I had the laws of Rome written down and organised. These laws became known as the Justinian Code and were used throughout the empire.

Nelson, Ken. (2016). Ancient Rome: Roman Law. Ducksters.