Monday, August 15, 2011

You're a God (Part 1)

I started to do a post summarizing god & goddess names from mythology, and names derived from them, only to realize that guess what? There's an awful lot of them! So, today I'm going to focus on Roman mythology. (since the cultures overlapped so much, though, don't be surprised if some Greek sneaks in)
When we think of Roman mythology, most of us think of the big names like Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Diana. But over the course of Roman history, there were literally dozens of gods worshipped, some named by the various Roman cults, some incorporated from other religions.

  • Caelus (KYE-loos or KAY-loos)--god of the sky
  • Janus (JAN-oos)--god of gateways and beginnings
  • Jove (JOHV)--another name for Jupiter, god of the sky and thunder, king of all gods
  • Sancus (SAHN-coos)--god of honesty, trust, and oaths
  • Sol (SOHL)--god of the sun

  • Abeona (ah-bee-oh-nah)--protector of children alone, especially guarding their first steps
  • Aura (AW-rah)--personification of the breeze
  • Aurora (aw-ROHR-ah)--goddess of the dawn
  • Bellona (bel-LOH-nah)--goddess of war
  • Cardea (car-DAY-ah)--goddess of hinges and change 
  • Carmenta (cahr-MEN-tah)--goddess of childbirth and prophecy, the patron of midwives
  • Ceres (SEER-ez or SEER-ess)--goddess of agriculture and fertility
  • Cybele (SIB-el-eh or KIB-el-eh)--goddess of mountains and caves, and wild animals. Originally Phrygian, but adopted by both Greeks and Romans
  • Deverra (deh-VEHR-ah)--goddess of childbirth, midwives, and purification
  • Diana (dye-AN-nah)--among other things, goddess of the moon and the hunt
  • Egeria (eh-JEER-ee-ah or eh-JEER-yah)--bestower of law and ritual
  • Fessona (FES-soh-nah)--goddess who aids the weary
  • Flora (FLOH-rah)--goddess of spring and flowers
  • Juno (JOO-noh)--goddess of marriage and finance, protector of the community
  • Juturna (joo-TUR-nah)--goddess of fountains and springs
  • Levana (leh-VAH-nah)--goddess of newborn babies
  • Lucina (loo-SEE-nah)--goddess of women in childbirth
  • Maia (MYE-ah)--goddess of spring, wife of Vulcan
  • Minerva (min-EHR-vah)--goddess of war, wisdom, trade, and industry
  • Nenia (NEHN-ee-ah)--goddess of funerals
  • Rusina (roo-SEE-nah)--protector of fields and farms. Sometimes called Rurina (roo-REE-nah).
  • Vesta (VES-tah)--goddess of home and family
  • Victoria (vik-TOR-ee-ah)--goddess of victory
Surprisingly, there are lot more goddesses than gods in Roman mythology. This isn't even half, but they are the most "usable" in modern English, IMO. Understandably, parents, both in ancient times and today, often didn't want to give their child the exact name of a deity. Instead, they gave names in honor of the god. Here are some names derived from Roman deities.

  • Corin (COR-in)--from Quirinus, a god of war
  • Gennaro (jen-AHR-oh)--from Janus
  • Marcus (MAR-cus)--from Mars, god of war & agriculture
  • Martin (MAR-tin)--another from Mars
  • Silas (SYE-las)--from Silvanus, the god of forests and fields
  • Junia (JOO-nee-ah)--from Juno
  • Polina (pol-EE-nah)--from Apollo, a Greek god adopted by the Romans, a god of light, prophecy, medicine, and poetry, among many other things
  • Sylvia (SIL-vee-ah), Silvana (sil-VAH-nah) and Sylvaine (sil-VEHN)--from Silvanus

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