Orbis Terrarum Extremitae
The Roman gods are not perfect beings, but they are both immortal and powerful. Many of them have distinct personalities and demand peculiar rituals, commanding every aspect of life from the wheat harvest to locks on doors. Supernatural spirits, numina, both great and small, are everywhere.
The great twelve gods of the Roman pantheon are the most commonly worshipped. The most important of them is Jupiter, Juno and Minerva who are known as the Capitoline Triad. Most Roman cities have a Capitoline temple dedicated to these three.
- Apollo – God of healing, divination and the arts. He is also associated with the Sun. His shrines are often oracles of prophecy. He inspires poets and musicians.
- Ceres – Goddess of farming and the countryside. She is the harbinger of spring and the regenerative power of nature. Her emblem is the wheat stalk. She causes the crops to grow for a bountiful harvest.
- Diana – Goddess of hunting, nature and the Moon. She is the protector of women and the guardian of wild groves.
- Juno – Goddess of childbirth and fertility. She is the consort of Jupiter. She looks after the state as a divine mother.
- Jupiter – God of government and leadership. He is the chief of the gods, lord of the skies, the hurler of thunderbolts and consecrator of oaths. As Jupiter Optimus Maximus, "The Best and Greatest", he represents the might of the Imperium.
- Mars – God of warfare and the frontiers. He is Mars Ultor, the bloody god that avenges and Mars Invictus, the invincible god who leads the legions against foes. His animals are the wolf and the woodpecker. He is also associated with farming.
- Mercurius – God of travel, trade and thieves. He is the messenger of the gods. He wears a winged hat and winged shoes and carries the caduceus staff. He oversees the activities of merchants and guilds.
- Minerva – Goddess of crafts and strategems. She is the weaver and the virgin warrior who outthinks her opponents.
- Neptunus – God of the sea and horses. He is the lord of oceans, rivers and lakes. Armed with a trident, he commands the winds and waves to misdirect ships or wreck fleets.
- Venus – Goddess of sex and well-being. She is the consort of Mars. She may promote harmony or inflame desire in mortals.
- Vesta – Goddess of the hearth and household. She is the eternal flame and is never represented as an anthropomorphic being. She is attended by the Vestal Virgins.
- Volcanus – God of fire and engineering. He is the power of volcanoes and earthquake. As Vulcan Mulciber, he is the god of smelting metals and smiths. His skin is stained black from the forge.
Romans also worship hundreds of minor gods such as Robigus (god of mildew) and Bellona (goddess of war). Here are a few others:
- Asclepius – God of medicine. He is the son of Apollo and the mortal Coronis. He is the god of doctors and all those who heal by craft. A snake usually accompanies him.
- Bacchus – God of wine, gambling and culture. He is the Merry Lord who enjoys the fruits of life. He also has a darker aspect as the unbridled Wrathful Lord who encourages his followers to tear animals limb from limb. He wears a crown of ivy and often rides a panther.
- Hercules – God of victory and enterprise. He is the deified hero of legend who lends his strength to mankind. He wears the Nemean lionskin and carries a club.
- Ianus – God of beginnings. He is the father of creation and the first god mentioned in prayer or sacrifice. He is the god of doorways and gates. He has two faces looking in opposite directions.
- Quirinus – God of secrets. He is the deified Romulus, the founder of the city of Rome and keeper of its mysteries.
- Saturnus – God of sowing. He is the germinating seed that creates life from the earth. His temple serves as the treasury for the Imperium.
- Silvanus – God of pastures and uncultivated fields. As King of the Wilderness, he is attended by satyrs and nymphs. He is a popular god among the rural population.