Jupiter (godform)

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Major Roman Gods
Dii Consentes
(The Twelve
Great Gods)

Jupiter
Juno
Minerva
Vesta
Ceres
Diana
Venus
Mars
Mercury
Neptune
Vulcan
Apollo

Other Gods

Baachus
Cupid
Discordia
Faunus
Justitia
Luna
Mors
Mutinus
Nox
Pluto
Proserpina
Terra
Saturn
Sol
Uranus

In Roman mythology, Jupiter (Jove) held the same role as Zeus in the Greek pantheon. He was called Jupiter Optimus Maximus as the patron deity of the Roman state, in charge of laws and social order.


Name and Titles

Latin Iuppiter, Diespiter or Iovis pater is cognate with Classical Greek Zeus pater and Sanskrit Dyaus pitar, all derived from Indo-European *Dyeus Phter "sky/god father". The first element (Di- or Iovi-) is also cognate with Germanic Tyr and Latin dies "day" and deus "god".

Other Latin gods, such as Dius Fidius and Dis or Dispiter also bore similarly cognate names. Dius Fidius was sometimes considered an aspect of Jupiter, while Dis was considered entirely separate.

Many other Italic tribes invoked their chief divinities under similar names: "Diu-" or "Iuve-"

Other Titles of Roman Jupiter:

  1. Jupiter Caelestis ("heavenly")
  2. Jupiter Fulgurator ("of the lightning")
  3. Jupiter Latarius ("God of Latium")
  4. Jupiter Lucetius ("of the light")
  5. Jupiter Pluvius ("sender of rain")
  6. Jupiter Stator (from stare meaning "standing")
  7. Jupiter Terminus or Jupiter Terminalus (defends boundaries).
  8. Jupiter Tonans ("thunderer")
  9. Jupiter Victor (led Roman armies to victory)
  10. Jupiter Summanus (sender of nocturnal thunder)
  11. Jupiter Feretrius ("who carries away [the spoils of war]")

Jupiter and Roman Sovereignty

The several aspects of sovereignty implied by some of Jupiter's titles are made explicit in the legendary history of early Rome (as transmitted, for example, in the Plutarch's Roman Lives and the first few books of Livy). Thus the warlike Romulus invokes Jupiter Stator to halt and terrify Rome's enemies, while the peaceful legislator Numa Pompilius has a close relationship with Dius Fidius, who presides over oaths.

Jupiter also stands at the head of the Archaic Triad of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus. This grouping has been seen as a religious representation of early Roman society, wherein:

  • Jupiter stands in for the ritual and augural authority of the Flamen Dialis and the chief priestly colleges.
  • Mars, with his warrior and agricultural functions, stands in for the power of the king and young nobles to bring prosperity and victory through sympathetic magic with rituals like the October Horse and the Lupercalia.
  • Quirinus, from co-viri "men together", stands in for the combined strength of the Roman populus.

Later, during the Imperial period, the emperors Claudius and Domitian adopted traits of Jupiter in their portraiture, to emphasize their sovereignty over the whole world.

Capitoline Jupiter

The largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. Here he was worshiped alongside Juno and Minerva, forming the Capitoline Triad. Temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus or the Capitoline Triad as a whole were commonly built by the Romans at the center of new cities in their colonies.

References

  • Article originally taken from Wikipedia. Jupiter (god). Retrieved on January 16, 2005.
  • Article "Jupiter" in The Oxford Classical Dictionary.
  • Georges Dumézil, Archaic Roman Religion.
  • Georges Dumézil, Mitra-Varuna.

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.