Jupiter (divinity)


May 25, 2022

Jupiter (in Latin: Jupiter or Iuppiter, accusative Iovem or Diespiter) is the supreme god (i.e. the king of all gods) of the Roman and Italic religion, whose symbols are lightning and thunder. Present in the cult of all Italic peoples, it is par excellence the divinity of sky and light, as its name implies, derived from the Indo-European root * dyeu- ("to blaze, shine"): a name that occurs in most of the ancients Indo-European dialects, since the Greek Zeus Patér (Ζεὺς Πατήρ) and the Indoarian Dyauṣ Pitā (द्यौष् पिता) correspond to the Italian Iuppiter / Diespiter. Over time the Roman Jupiter absorbed all the attributes of the Greek equivalent Zeus, until it was completely identified with it. Tinia is a similar god present in Etruscan mythology. The homonymous gas giant planet is dedicated to the Roman divinity.

Jupiter Optimal Maximum

Nume tutelare in the epithet of Jupiter Optimal Maximus of the Roman State had in Rome his main sanctuary on the Capitoline Hill, where he was venerated in the royal age of Rome in the archaic triad Jupiter-Mars-Quirinus, then evolved in the Republican age into Jupiter-Juno-Minerva . The major flamine, called Flamine diale, was consecrated to his cult, which was of particular importance and sacredness as an almost living personification of Jupiter, whose rites he celebrated, enjoyed great honors, but, precisely because of its function, was subjected to to multiple limitations and taboos, the most important of which were that he could not leave the city for more than one day, (this limit was extended by Augustus to two days) and could not sleep out of his bed for more than three nights.


Temple of Jupiter Feretrio on the Capitoline Hill, the first temple built in Rome; Temple of Jupiter Optimal Maximus on the Capitol; Temple of Jupiter Stator, commissioned by Romulus and located in the Roman Forum; Temple of Jupiter Stator, subsequent to the first, enclosed by the Porticus Metelli; Temple of Jupiter Victor (Iuppiter Victor) on the Quirinale, voted in 295 BC. by Quinto Fabio Massimo Rulliano to celebrate the victory in the Samnite Wars; Temple of Jupiter in Caere; Temple of Jupiter Indiges, on the Numicius River near Lavinium.


These are the known epithets of Jupiter, according to the list compiled by the Swedish historian Carl Thulin and reported by the Paulys Realencyclopädie (1890), pages 1142-1144. The abbreviation O. M. stands for Ottimo Massimo. To these must be added the epithet of Vector and Victor.

The loves of Jupiter

The loves of Jupiter are mostly a Latin version of the lovers and children of Zeus; some names are exceptions, such as Circe, from which she would have had Faun, and Larba, the African king, who would have had from a nymph, Garamantides. Secondly it was told of his loves of her with his daughter Venus, with whom he fathered Cupid.

Jupiter and Juno

Jupiter and Leda

Jupiter and Antiope

Jupiter and Callisto

Jupiter and Ganymede

Jupiter and Io


The Origin of the Milky Way by Pieter Paul Rubens (1636-1638) The Origin of the Milky Way by Tintoretto Venus and Jupiter by Paolo Veronese Jupiter and Juno by Annibale Carracci Jupiter and Juno by Agostino Carracci

Phrases and proverbs

The future is on the knees of Jupiter - Expression taken from Homeric poems; sometimes used to indicate that the future is unknown to men.

Plants consecrated to Jupiter

The Romans consecrated the Walnut tree to Jupiter: in fact its scientific name "Juglans regia", still used today, derives from the contraction of the Latin expression "Iovis glans" (Jupiter's acorn) and from the specific epithet "regia" which underlines its importance.


Related items

Flamine diale Panario Zeus Jupiter (astronomy)

Other projects

Wiktionary contains the dictionary lemma «Iuppiter» Wikimedia Commons contains images or other files on Jupiter C