Roman God Jupiter Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Roman Gods
  • 0:37 Jupiter's Origins
  • 1:59 Worshiping Jupiter
  • 3:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Have you ever heard of the plant Jupiter? It was named after the Roman god Jupiter. This lesson will give you information about Jupiter the god, his origins, and how the Romans worshipped him.

Roman Gods

At the time of the Roman Empire, which was at its greatest around the year 117 CE (almost 2,000 years ago), the people of Rome worshipped many different gods. This means that rather than a monotheistic religion, where you worship one god, the Romans had a polytheistic religion that recognized multiple gods. The Romans borrowed many gods from the Greeks, so these gods have both Greek and Roman names. The Roman god Jupiter was king of the gods and is also known as the Greek god Zeus.

Jupiter's Origins

In Roman mythology, Jupiter was the son of Saturn and Rhea. Saturn, a Titan, was the king of the gods. Saturn was worried that one of his children would take his throne, so as they were born, he ate them! Rhea, Saturn's wife, played a trick on him when Jupiter was born. She gave Saturn a rock wrapped in a blanket, pretending it was newborn Jupiter. Saturn swallowed the rock, as he had swallowed his five other children.

Rhea hid Jupiter on an island. When Jupiter was grown, he and Rhea played another trick on Saturn. They gave him his favorite drink, which was made of honey, but they also mixed salt and mustard in it. This made Saturn so sick that he vomited up his five children, who were now fully grown, as well as the rock he had swallowed!

Jupiter and his brothers and sisters fought against Saturn and the other Titans for ten years, finally winning the war and banishing them. Jupiter then took his father's place as the king of the gods.

Jupiter was the god of thunder, lightning, and storms, and also called the god of light and sky. He was married to Juno and was the father of many other gods, including Mars, Vulcan, and Hercules. When you see pictures of Jupiter, he's usually shown with a long beard. He also carried a scepter with an eagle sitting on top of it. When Jupiter was unhappy, he would throw thunderbolts!

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