Who was the Roman goddess Venus? Roman religion

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Venus rising out of the ocean, from Tunisia in North Africa (300s AD)

Venus rising out of the ocean, from Tunisia in North Africa (300s AD)

The goddess Venus was the goddess of growing things, gardens, love and fertility for the Romans. People sacrificed to her when they wanted to have babies, or to make somebody fall in love with them. People thought of Venus as watery and fluid – she was pictured as being born out of the ocean foam. Our word “venereal disease” also comes from Venus – those are sicknesses you catch through making love.

The Romans thought of Venus as being a lot like the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Birth of Venus - a mosaic from Tunisia, now in the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

Birth of Venus – a mosaic from Tunisia, now in the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

The Roman name for Friday was “dies Veneris”, the day of Venus. In Italian, Friday is still “venerdi”, and in French it is “vendredi”. In English, people translated it to the name of the German goddess Freya, so we call it Friday.

Learn by doing: learn the days of the week in Spanish
More about Mars
More about the planet Venus
And more about Aphrodite

Bibliography and further reading about the Roman goddess Venus:

   

Aphrodite
Jupiter
Minerva
Roman religion
Ancient Rome
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By | 2017-09-04T16:45:03+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Who was the Roman goddess Venus? Roman religion. Quatr.us Study Guides, September 4, 2017. Web. December 12, 2017.

About the Author:

Karen Carr

Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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