Jupiter

Jupiter was the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Roman religion.

Residence: Rome
Symbols: Lightning blot, eagle, oak tree
Parents: Saturn and Ops
Siblings: Ceres, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, Vesta
Consort: Juno
Children: Bellona, Juventas, Mars, Minerva, Vulcan
Greek equivalent: Zeus
Other Names: Jove

Giove, I sec dc, con parti simulanti il bronzo moderne 02.JPG
A marble statue of Jupiter from c. 100 AD, with bronze 19th c. additions.

Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offerings or sacrifice.

Jupiter’s head crowned with laurel and ivy. Sardonyx cameo, Louvre.

As the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill, where the citadel was located. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.

Painting of a bearded, seated Jupiter, unclothed from the waist up and holding a staff
Jupiter in a wall painting from Pompeii, with eagle and globe.

Numa Pompilius

Faced by a period of bad weather endangering the harvest during one early spring, King Numa resorted to the scheme of asking the advice of Jupiter by evoking his presence. He succeeded through the help of Picus and Faunus, whom he had imprisoned by making them drunk. The two gods evoked Jupiter, who was forced to come down to earth at the Aventine Hill. After Numa skillfully avoided the requests of the god for human sacrifices, Jupiter agreed to his request to know how lightning bolts are averted, asking only for the substitutions Numa had mentioned: an onion bulb, hairs and a fish. Moreover, Jupiter promised that at the sunrise of the following day he would give to Numa and the Roman people pawns of the imperium. The following day, after throwing three lightning bolts across a clear sky, Jupiter sent down from heaven a shield. Since this shield had no angles, Numa named it ancile; because in it resided the fate of the imperium, he had many copies made of it to disguise the real one. He asked the smith Mamurius Veturius to make the copies, and gave them to the Salii.

Statue of three figures, seated side by side
Capitoline Triad.