Saturn was the god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation.

Residence: At the limits of Earth, at the extremity of the Heavens
Symbols: Sickle, scythe
Parents: Terra and Caelus
Siblings: Janus, Ops
Consort: Ops
Children: Ceres, Juno, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Vesta
Festivals: Saturnalia
Greek equivalent: Cronus

Roman statue of Saturn. Bardo Museum. (c) Giorces

Saturn’s mythological reign was depicted as a Golden Age of plenty and peace. After the Roman conquest of Greece, he was conflated with the Greek Titan Cronus, becoming known as a god of time.

Saturn with head protected by winter cloak, holding a sickle in his right hand. Fresco from the House of the Dioscuri, Pompeii. Naples Archaeological Museum. (c) Carole Raddato

Saturn was especially celebrated during the festival of Saturnalia each December, perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury and archives (aerarium) of the Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire. 

Ruins of the Temple of Saturn (eight columns to the far right) with three columns from the Temple of Vespasian and Titus (left) and the Arch of Septimius Severus (center). (c) Robert Lowe
Saturn driving a quadriga on the reverse of a denarius issued by Saturninus. (c)

Back to the Dii Selecti