ROMAN MYTHOLOGY

The Classical Gods of the Roman Empire...

 


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SATURNUS

Picture of the Roman Agriculture God SATURNUS from our Roman mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Roman Agriculture God

Also known as SATURN

Fabulous Agricultural Party God of Winter Festivals

He is basically a God of Sowing Seeds who made good. SATURNUS started out as an old Italian deity in charge of agriculture and time. He looked after the crops and assisted with the growing cycle throughout the year. He had a nice little feast day in the middle of December to tide everyone over until the Spring, and that was that.

But as Greek culture spread its influence over Roman thought, SATURNUS was gradually equated with CRONUS the Titan. It was no use denying it. Those excitable Romans could not take no for an answer. So simple SATURNUS began to take on the attributes of CRONUS the Greek superpower. 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 Christmas Parties. Just call him Saturnus Claus.

SATURNUS FACTS AND FIGURES

Name : SATURNUS
Location : Italy and Roman Europe
Gender : Male
Type : deity
In charge of : Agriculture and Farming
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Good/Evil Rating : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : SATURN
Popularity index : 9540

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Article last updated on 11 December 2013 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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