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Ancient Greek Gods And Their Roman Counterparts Easy Reading For Kids

Updated on July 9, 2012
Zeus Father of the Olympian Gods wired.com
Zeus Father of the Olympian Gods wired.com

The First Of The Olympians

The Ancient Greeks had little knowledge of the World around them. The stars in the sky, the sun coming up every day and the wonders of nature that surrounded them held so many mysteries. How does the wind blow? Why do the Mountains spew fire and stones up into the sky? So they began to ask themselves, maybe there is a higher force that we cannot see, that makes all these amazing things happen. They began to name each natural event, and so the Gods were born.

In the beginning, they called the Earth Gaia. Then Gaia brought down Uranus the Sky God, and she had many children with him, which produced the heavenly Gods, then She had a union with Pontus, and the Sea Gods were born.

But these were still early times for the Gods. And soon there was a great battle between Uranus and his son Cronus the Titan. It is said that when Cronus killed his father, Uranus, the blood from Uranus was gathered by Gaia and from this she produced the Furies, Giants and Nymphs. His blood was thrown into the sea and the first of the Olympian Gods were born from the waves. Her name was Aphrodite, and she became Goddess of Love and Beauty.

Cronos and Rhea and The Great Battle Between Titans and Olympians

Cronos, son of Mother Earth, Gaia, then collected up all his brothers and sisters and they shared the whole World with them. Soon Cronos married Rhea and they had many children. One of these was Zeus.

Cronos soon began to realise that his children were mightier than him, and just like his father Uranus, he tried to trick his wife into getting rid of the children. But Rhea was horrified and refused. She sent Zeus to Crete, a Greek island.

Zeus grew up on Crete, and when he reached adulthood he called to his brothers and sisters to make war against his father Cronos.

Cronos was so angry. Another great battle ensued and this time Cronos was defeated by his children. This was called the Titan War. Cronos was cast into the depths of the Underworld and so the Great Gods of Olympus were triumphant.

Now it was time for the Olympians to rule the World.

Roman and Greek Gods

The Romans were from another powerful country who also believed in Gods and Goddesses. The City of Rome was small at first, and the Gods had mainly Latin names. The word Latin comes from the small town of Latium which was on the outskirts of Rome. The people living there were mainly villagers who were very superstitious and because of this named their Gods in a similar way to the Greeks. When Rome began to expand, the Gods of Rome began to take on the 'personality' of the Greek Gods. So after many years the Roman Gods and The Greek Olympian Gods were one and the same. The only difference being that they were called by different names.


Zeus  flickr
Zeus flickr
Jupiter
Jupiter | Source

Zeus

Zeus was the mightiest and strongest of the Gods. Known as the father of Gods and Men, he ruled Olympus and had the power to strike his enemies down with lightning. He was the son of Cronos and Rhea, and was the youngest of all the children. He was father to many children, but even the other Gods and Goddesses called him Father too. Two of his siblings were Poseidon and Hades, they all drew lots to see who would be the King of the Sky, and overall leader. Zeus won the bet and Poseidon ruled the sea, and Hades the Underworld.


Jupiter

Jupiter is the Roman equivalent of Zeus. His personality differs somewhat from his original incarnation as Zeus. As a Roman God, Jupiter, or Jove as he is also known, is King of the Gods, and was first associated with wine festivals and the Sacred Oak Tree. He is portrayed as a much more serious man than Zeus, and he remained Rome's official God until the beginning of Christianity.

Hera  free photos
Hera free photos
Juno Free Photos
Juno Free Photos

Hera

Hera was the Goddess of Marriage and Women. She wasn't a very nice Goddess. She was often portrayed as jealous and vengeful. She was majestic and solemn. She looked down on all the other Gods and Goddesses, and she was said to dislike the Humans that worshipped her too. It was said that she had a Chariot that was pulled by Peacocks and the symbol that was asscociated with her was a Pomegranate that she held in her hand.

Juno

As a Roman Goddess, Juno was the protector and councelor of the State of Rome. In this personality she is portrayed as warlike, as you can see from her clothes. Here, she is daughter of Saturn and Wife of Jupiter. She was protector of Roman Women and was also known as the Patron Goddess of Rome.

Juno was very similar to Hera, but there were subtle differences. Juno was usually shown wearing a cloak made from goatskin.

Greek Gods V Roman Gods

Greek Gods
Roman Gods
What were they?
Zeus
Jupiter
King of the Gods
Hera
Juno
Queen of the Gods and Marriage
Hades
Pluto
God of the Underworld
Poseidon
Neptune
Lord of the Sea
Ares
Mars
God of War
Apollo
Apollo
Oracle
Hermes
Mercury
Messenger
Artemis
Diana
Goddess of Hunt and the Moon
Athena
Minerva
Goddess of Wisdom
Hestia
Vesta
Goddess of Hearth and Home
Demeter
Ceres
Goddess of the Harvest
Aphrodite
Venus
Goddess of Love and Beauty
Hephaestus
Vulcan
God of Fire and Forge
Eros
Cupid
Son of Aphrodite and God of Love
Orpheus
Orpheus
Son of Apollo and God of Music
Pandora
Pandora
Made from Clay. Holder of Pandora's Box all the evils in the world
Pegasus
Pegasus
Flying Horse
Kerberos
Cerberos
Three headed dog guardian of the Underworld
 
 
 

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    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Really useful Nell. I love the stories and the table. Its all done succintly and well illustrated too- voted up of course.

      I enjoy reading Greek mythology and my hubs on etymology 'every word has a story' tell a lot of the stories from Greek and Latin that helped make many English words.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Nell...This would be wonderful for kids.......I know I like it. Seems I've been reading several hubs on Greece and the Greek and Greek Myth......it is all extremely fascinating to me. All I really knew was the little that was required reading in school.....and knowing me, I did it only because I had to......and my stubborn attitude wouldn't let me ENJOY it! Heaven forbid I enjoy something I was FORCED to do!! LOL.....

      Your hubs are always such a treat, Nell ! I'm glad I follow you!! UP++

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This was so entertaining, informative and great photos. I kept thinking of the song, Atlantis, by Donavan.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Mohan, that sounds interesting, I love Greek Mythology, not so much the Roman counterpart though, thanks for being so quick, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi effer, I remember that at school they never really covered it, it was more English history etc, but I love Greece, and would love to live there, and the myths are amazing, thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Jackie, I don't know that one? I shall have to go and find it now! lol! thanks as always, nell

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Very cool hub I love Greek mythology in books, articles, movies or wherever else I can find it. You did an awesome job with this I really enjoyed the read. Voted up, awesome and interesting.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 5 years ago from Australia

      Great hub Nell. I'm a fan of Zeus and love mythology. Like the way you've set this out.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      gosh Nell. My kid absolutely loved it. He learnt about Greek gods in his third grade and was totally amused.

      Voted up as awesome and useful :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Very interesting information, Nell. I love the table, too. It makes it very easy to compare the Greek and Roman gods.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      What a great refresher course! I used to be more familiar with this stuff when I was in school. I even wrote a report back in about the 6th grade! LOL I think I forgot more than I knew. (Is that possible???)

      Voted up, interesting, useful and shared.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Love the chart with the names. I can never remember who is who. I'll have to show this to my daughter. Thanks.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I've always loved mythology but always got my Greek and Roman gods confused. This was a great hub to sort that out. Not only did you give information on each god but your chart of who is Greek and who is Rome was a really good one for people like me ;)

      I have never been disappointed with any of your hubs, you are always so good and educational!

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks DS, I really love my Greek mythology, and wrote this a while back but hadn't got around to adding the quiz! thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Jewels glad you liked it, and thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Ruchira, lol! I am glad he liked it, and thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Alicia, I always got them confused as well, I learned so much doing this one, thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi DzyM, lol! yes that's possible! I did too! thanks so much for the vote etc, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Glimmer, I hope she likes it, and thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi tills, Aw thanks so much! I really appreciate it, I just write about what catches my eye, could be anything next time, fishing maybe? lol!

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      You've done a great job here Nell. Adults as well as children should find this hub fascinating. Your picture of Hera makes her look like a right "cougar". That's probably a pretty accurate portrayal, mind you.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi christopher, lol! yes Hera is a cougar! It took me ages to publish this because I thought something was missing! lol! couldn't figure out what it was so pressed publish! thanks as always, nell

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Fabulous idea! I wish internet and this hub existed when I was in school. I always mixed up the Greek and Romans. Such a helpful hub!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks tammy, I love the Greek myths but not the Romans, I think its something to do with the fact that they invaded us for 600 hundred years! my great great was a servant of the Romans! lol!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Nell, this is a fantastic hub! You have done a great job and I love your writing style. Kids would love this and I would use this in the classroom in a nano second. It is interesting, engaging, and short and to the point - the chart is great. You've done it again - another great piece of writing from Nell!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I have always been a fan of Greek mythology. I grew up reading the Bullfinch compilation because it was in my dad's library and had such cool illustrations. I also like your suggestions here.

      How fitting you should present this Hub just in time for the London Olympics! Have fun.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

      Outstanding reference! I always get confused, but now I can quickly get my facts straight. Thank you!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Hello Nell. That Hera was tasty (to judge by the picture here)! I'd have liked to have been a Greek god with her around!

      Some say the Etruscans migrated from Greece around the Adriatic coast to reach Rome. Early Roman architectural skills were fairly much like their Greek counterpart. It only was later that the Romans learnt to develop the arch that they became famous for and everyone on the mainland copied in early Christian days. Nice piece of research ('Ye Gods & Big Fish' of the classical world).

      Any chance of seeing this added to?

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I've always loved these stories growing up. I'll look into some of the children's books suggestions you provided. Thanks Nell for the useful hub. Voted up and shared. Kelley

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi suzette, thanks so much, It sat in my hub list for a while, I just didn't know what to do with it! lol! so I finished it off and I am glad you like it, thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Hilary, thanks, I love Greek mythology, it fascinates me and I also read a lot of the p.c. cast books the Goddess series, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi A.A. thank you, I am so glad you found it helpful, thanks as always, nell

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

      Hi Nell. From high school, I still remember the Procrustean bed. It's the perfect metaphor for bureaucracy. Voted up and interesting.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi alan, lol! thanks for reading, I do like my Greek myths! I will probably do another one soon, but I am working on something totally different at the moment, I wanted to add this one to my Elizabeth the first for kids, so maybe I will keep it in the line, thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi kelley, thanks so much, I really appreciate it, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Larry, I am glad you liked it, nice to see you as always, nell

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      This is certainly a crash course in classical mythology. I'm wondering why we ended up with the Roman versions for the names of planets rather than the Greek? Maybe because Rome came later. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi alocsin, yes the Romans conquered England and the British isles for over 600 hundred years. It's a strange thought to think that my ancestors were probably slaves to the Romans! that's a long time to enslave a country, and I found it interesting to see that Latin came from such a small township, amazing stuff, thanks so much as always, nell

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, Nell - my kids loved the old Greek and Roman myths. There are so many kids picture books available with these great stories. Introducing kids to the old tales gives them a great classical background. Like ancient super heroes!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Dolores, yes they were definitely like ancient super heroes! lol! seriously, that's probably why I like them, growing up I used to read as much about the Greek Gods and Goddesses as I could, and when I eventually went to Greece a few times I felt like I was home! of course being totally addicted to Zena Warrior Princess didn't help! lol! and of course that lovely Kevin Sorbo in Hercules! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

      Very nicely written and easy to understand for kids and beginners. There's Hera and Juno again! :) I'm a Hera fan...got to admit it.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi kitty, yes me too! lol! not so keen on those Romans! thanks again, nell

    • theoldrome profile image

      theoldrome 5 years ago from Rome

      Excellent reading. I remember how amuzing and entertaining were computer games based on greek mythology for me about 10 years ago.. brings back some good memories :)

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi theoldrome, that's great, I remember them too, my son used to play them! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      i love mythology, may it be roman or greek. every story, every tale, i find it very interesting to read.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi unknown spy, sorry it took me so long to answer I have been away for a couple of days. thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

    • DabbleYou profile image

      DabbleYou 5 years ago

      Interesting stories of myths. Wish there are more avialable easy readings of myths online. :)

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Dabble, thanks so much, I will get on it now! lol! thanks!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      This is great Nell, so well laid out and the table was awesome. Have you considered making this into an e-book for kids. I think it would work really well.

      All the votes and sharing.

    • Edgar Arkham profile image

      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Great hub! I know Greco-Roman mythology well, but, sometimes, I do have trouble remembering which Roman gods are Greek gods, since we grow up with the Roman names (the planets and stars) before the Greek ones. thank for this fun hub!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Michael, that's a great idea! I never thought of that! I just automatically write on here, but I may give that a try, thanks so much, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Edgar, glad you liked it, and thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      In a close reading, even in Hinduism there are gods similar to the Greek gods or Roman gods, for that matter.

      I enjoyed reading this fascinating article.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Vinaya, yes its strange isn't it how far and wide the similar myths and legends are around the world, it must be because travelers in those days reached farther parts of the globe than we realised, thanks as always, nell

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      A knowledgeable and enjoyable hub! I am always fascinated with mythology and enjoyed reading Greek/Roman mythology. I still have these mythology books with me. After reading this engaging hub, it's like revisiting one of the world's most glorious mythologies! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi ishwaryaa, thanks so much for reading and the vote, I am glad you liked it, cheers nell

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 4 years ago

      I definitely voted up,Nell. COO!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks again Integrity!

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