Roman Gods and Goddesses: Venus Facts

Here are some facts about Venus.

  • Venus was the Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility. She has become one of the most well-known figures in Roman mythology.

  •  Her father was Jupiter and she was married to the god Vulcan. Vulcan was the god of fire and the forge, and was also one of the 12 Olympian gods.
  • Venus’ sacred month was April and she was honoured in several festivals. Roman men and women would ask for her help and advice concerning love during her April 1st festival.
  • Many paintings and sculptures of Venus were created, especially during the Renaissance. One of the most famous paintings of her is Botticelli’s 15th century painting The Birth of Venus.
  • Another widely recognized image of Venus is the marble statue Venus de Milo. The statue’s arms were lost soon after it was carved, sometime around 130 BC. It is on permanent display in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
  • The planet Venus was named after the goddess. It has been sighted since prehistoric times, and is the hottest planet in our solar system, and the planet second closest to the sun.
  • Venus was associated with two flowers, the rose and myrtle. Worshippers often wore myrtle crowns at her festivals, and victorious Roman generals also often wore a myrtle crown.
  • There were several temples devoted to Venus, the earliest of which was built around 290 BC. Hadrian built a temple in Rome in 135 AD, the largest in the city at that time.
  • She was depicted on coins, and decorative frescoes. Many citizens had statues or paintings of her in their garden, as it was believed she could help to make flowers and crops grow.
  • Julius Caesar claimed that Venus helped him to be successful on the battlefield. The emperor Augustus believed that she approved of his powerful position and his ability to rule.

What next? Discover more Roman facts by visiting our Romans resources page.

Roman Gods and Goddesses: Mars Facts

Here are some facts about Mars.

  • Mars was the Roman God of War and the most important Roman god after Jupiter.

  • The planet Mars, known as the Red Planet, was named after him.
  • He was also one of the most important military gods worshiped by the Roman army.
  • Most festivals honouring Mars were held in March, and the month was named for him.
  • Mars was one of the first gods to appear on Roman coins, in the late 4th century. He is usually shown carrying a helmet and spear to show his war-like nature.
  • The symbol for Mars is a circle with an arrow extending from it, pointing to the upper right. It is also the symbol for the male gender and for the planet Mars.
  • Mars was the son of the goddess Juno, the protector of the state.
  • The wife or companion of Mars was Nerine or Nerio who represented majesty, vitality and power.
  • The priests of the god Mars were called Salil and came from Rome’s noble families. The 12 Salil carried sacred shields between towns, accompanied by men playing trumpets.
  • A fierce goddess named Bellona was said to often accompany Mars, armed with a spear and a whip. A temple was built to her on Rome’s Campus Martius, a popular city meeting place.
  • There were several temples devoted to Mars throughout Rome. The main temple was built in 388 BC and was a popular meeting point for Roman soldiers who were departing throughout the Roman Empire.
  • The Romans held several festivals to honour the god Mars, most of them in March and October. Festivals featured singing hymns, displays of military might, and chariot races.
  • The goose, the woodpecker and the wolf were closely associated with Mars. The appearance of wolves in 295 BC at the battle of Sentium was taken as a sign of a Roman victory.

What next? Learn more about the Romans or discover more facts about Roman Gods and Goddesses.