Facts about Neptune in Roman Mythology
Discover interesting information and facts about Neptune, the Roman god of the seas and water. The facts about Neptune provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Neptune in Roman Mythology and history.
History and Mythical Facts about Neptune
Fact 1 about Neptune: He was the son of Saturnus and Ops, the brother of Jupiter, Pluto, Vesta, Juno and Ceres and the husband of Amphitrite
Fact 2 about Neptune: Neptune was worshipped by the Romans as the god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester
Fact 3 about Neptune: He delayed the return of Odysseus from the Trojan War by causing his boat to be shipwrecked.
Fact 4 about Neptune: The Neptunalia was the festival that took place in honor of Neptune on July 23. It was one of the 'dies comitiales' when committees of Roman citizens could vote on civil or criminal matters
Fact 5 about Neptune: Neptunalia was a water-related festival held in honor of the god.
Fact 6 about Neptune: During sacrifices to the Roman gods, at festivals like Neptunalia, the sex of the victim had to correspond to the sex of the god to whom it was offered. White animals were given to the gods of the upper world whereas black victims to the gods of the underworld.
Fact 7 about Neptune: He ravished Medusa, a beautiful priestess on the floor of a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva. The poor girl was then changed into the mythical creature called Medusa, a monstrous mythical creature called a Gorgon
Fact 8 about Neptune: In earlier times the Roman god Portunes or Fortunus who was thanked for naval victories
Fact 9 about Neptune: Neptune had two temples in Rome. One temple was located near the the Circus Flaminius, the Roman racetrack. The second temple was called the the Basilica Neptuni was located on the Campus Martius and was built by Agrippa in honour of the naval victory of Actium
Fact 10 about Neptune: The planet Neptune was named after the Roman god, as its deep blue gas clouds gave the early astronomers the impression of great oceans and seas.
Picture of Neptune used for advertising in 1866
Neptune (Greek Counterpart was Poseidon)
The Romans habitually assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Greeks and other nations. When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC many of the Greek gods and goddesses were adopted by the Romans. The Romans simply changed the Greek gods names to Latin equivalents. The Greek counterpart of Neptune was Poseidon. The Roman religion significantly differed from the Greeks in that it was officially endorsed by the state and exerted influence over the government of Rome. Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the popular worship, Roman gods and goddesses like Neptune were worshipped at every public event, including the gladiatorial games, where blood sacrifices were made to the gods. In ancient Rome, the pantheon of 12 major gods, including Neptune, were called the 'Dei Consentes' meaning the Council of Gods.
The Symbols of Neptune
The Roman god of the sea was often illustrated with pictures, mosaics and images representing his symbols. He was often depicted seated on his sea shell chariot drawn by mythical creatures called Hippocamps, which were the horses of the sea with the head and fore-parts of a horse and the tail of a fish.
The Roman god Neptune in his shell chariot drawn by Hippocamps (Horses of the sea)
The symbols of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea were:
- The Symbol of the Trident
- The trident of power represented his ability to control water. The trident were made by the Cyclopes before the war between the Olympians and Titans.
- The Symbol of the Horse
- The symbol of the horse is because Neptune was believed to have created the first horse. The horses that pulled his sea shell chariot were called Hippocamps
- The Symbol of the Dolphin
- The symbol of the dolphin was sacred to Poseidon, dolphins as they reflected his ability to move in and out of water
- The Symbol of the Bull
- The symbol of the bull is associated with the god due to the mythology of the Cretan Bull
Facts about Neptune - Roman Sea Gods Family Tree
The following Roman Sea Gods family tree provides and overview of the lineage and genealogy of Neptune.