God of the Month: Jupiter

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Jupiter prayer card by Lykeia

Known as The Shining Father (“Dies Pater”), Jupiter, according to the Romans, is the Ruler of the Cosmos. Jupiter Optimus Maximus (IOM) is the Supreme Roman God. As the Lord of the Sky, He makes his will to be known through thunder and lightning. Any piece of land struck by lightning belongs to Him alone.

The Romans looked to Jupiter as the Protector of Rome and its laws. They saw Him in many aspects of governance. As a member of both the Archaic and Capitoline Triads, Jupiter Optimus Maximus oversaw Roman affairs. As Jupiter Lapis, He presided over solemn oaths. Meanwhile, Jupiter Feretrius presided over treaties and just wars. Jupiter Stator encouraged the Romans to stand their ground against the Sabines and later the Samnites.

Jupiter Pistor appeared to the Romans during the siege of their Capitol by the Gauls. He told them to hurl bread at the attacking Gauls. Believing that the Romans had ample supplies, they decided to leave. The Gauls ended their siege not knowing that the Romans had thrown the last of the food stores at them.

In addition, many of Jupiter’s titles allude to his control of the weather. The Romans delineated his many forms of thunder and lightning in their names for Him. Jupiter Elicius regulated the rainfall, while Jupiter Tonans nearly struck the Emperor Augustus with lightning.

The oldest temple for Jupiter was Jupiter Feretrius, founded by Romulus. This temple was a repository of ritual implements for dedicating treaties. To declare war, the fetialis (priest-diplomat of Jupiter) would hurl a spear from the temple into enemy territory. To solemnize a treaty with foreign governments, the fetialis, using the lapis silex (flint) of Jupiter Feretrius, sacrificed a pig.

Other Postings about Jupiter: God of the Month – Jupiter  (2016) and  God of the Month: Jupiter (2) (2016)

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One thought on “God of the Month: Jupiter

  1. Pingback: Gods of the Month: April | Neptune's Dolphins

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