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Also known as SATURN

A picture showing the legend of SATURNUS taken from our Roman mythology archives. Illustration by Chas Saunders. Read the story below or search the index for more Roman Gods, Roman Goddesses, heroes, demons and monsters!

Fabulous Agricultural Party God of Winter Festivals

Basically a God of Sowing Seeds, he originally started out as a primeval deity in charge of crops. But as Greek culture spread its influence over Roman thought, SATURNUS slowly began to take on the attributes of CRONUS the Titan. He just couldn't help it.

One of these attributes was the nasty habit of eating his own children. SATURNUS — presumably having read up on the Greek Myths — was terrified that his kids would overthrow him. He therefore began to devour them, although not without some reluctance and guilt.

Needless to say, one child was hidden from the gaping maw of his dad and survived. Little JUPITER did indeed become the Master of the Universe instead of his father.

But SATURNUS was not overthrown; he was given a pardon in appreciation for his tireless work running the world and organizing the crops in the idyllic Golden Age before the Greeks came along to mess it all up.

Being Roman, it was any excuse for a festival and his Saturnalia Carnival came to dominate the calendar. This festival celebrated the Winter Solstice and all the normal rules of life were turned upside-down for a week. Bosses and slaves changed places, rudeness and lewdness were encouraged, and much fun was had by everybody.

It's nice to be able to report a happy ending. And the fun still goes on. As all pagans know, the climax of Saturnalian feasting and pleasure is December 25th. Never mind Santa Claus — it's SATURNUS who should be the God of Office Christmas Parties.

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Article last updated on 12 January 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Saturnus is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

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Location : Italy and Western Europe
Gender : Male
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : SATURN
Popularity index : 712

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