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Who is Tammuz? Mesopotamia – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-24T12:02:10+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The god Tammuz (probably) with grain growing from his shoulders A West Asian god Tammuz (or Dumuzi) was a West Asian god who personified growing food, like Persephone in Greece or Osiris in Egypt. Like Osiris, Tammuz was male. The Sumerians worshipped Tammuz as early as 2600 BC - and probably much earlier - and so did all the other people [...]

Who was Enlil? – Mesopotamia – West Asian gods

By |2018-04-16T08:46:50+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Who was Enlil? This is what one of the tablets that was found in the Assyrian king's library looks like. This one tells the story of the Flood. The Sumerian god Enlil The god Enlil, according to Sumerian stories dating back to about 3500 BC, was a god of air and wind, weather and storms. He also was [...]

Aztec gods and rituals – Central American religion

By |2017-09-09T23:48:53+00:00September 9th, 2017|Central America, Religion|

The Aztec god of seeds, Xipe Totec (ca 1500 AD) Aztec people, like the people of China, India, or Africa at this time, were polytheistic - they had many gods. Many of these gods were parts of nature. Coatlicue was the god of creation. Xipe Totec was the seeds to be planted, that would grow into food (like Persephone for the Greeks). Tlaloc [...]

Ancient and medieval science

By |2018-04-25T10:30:30+00:00September 6th, 2017|History, Science|

Chinese star chart possibly dating from the 600s AD, during the T'ang Dynasty Science means "knowing" in Latin. It is the process of learning things about the world. People have always wanted to learn more about their world, and they have tried a lot of different ways to find things out. Some of the ways they tried [...]

Who was the Roman goddess Venus? Roman religion

By |2017-09-04T16:45:03+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

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 [...]

Roman sacrifice – animals and incense – Roman religion

By |2018-04-09T10:31:19+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Sacrificing a cow, a sheep, and a pig in the Late Republic Probably around the time people began farming their food and raising tame animals for their meat, which in Italy was about 5000 BC, people also began to sacrifice animals to their gods. This was the same thing people did in West Asia - including the Zoroastrians and the Jews - and in Greece at the [...]

Who was Minerva? The Roman goddess Minerva

By |2018-06-01T16:17:54+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The goddess Minerva: A Roman temple from the forum in Ostia, near Rome. It was probably dedicated to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. Is the goddess Minerva the same as Athena? Minerva was Jupiter's daughter for the Romans, the way Athena was Zeus's daughter for the Greeks. (More about the goddess Athena) But the goddess Minerva was not exactly [...]

Who was the god Mars? The Roman god of war

By |2017-09-04T16:05:22+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

So-called "Mars of Todi", an Etruscan statue from about 500 BC Mars was the Roman god of war and fighting, the son of Juno (all by herself, with no dad). People in the Roman Empire thought of Mars as being similar to the Greek god of war, Ares, but Mars was a popular god, who fought to bring peace and [...]

Jupiter – Roman god – Roman religion

By |2018-04-16T23:51:47+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Jupiter (fresco from the House of the Dioscuri, Pompeii, ca. 79 AD) Jupiter was the chief of the gods for the Romans, the way Zeus was for the Greeks and Thor was for the Germans. In fact, they must have all originally been the same Indo-European sky god. Jupiter and Zeus really have the same name - Jupiter comes from Ju-pater, [...]

Juno – the Roman goddess – Roman religion

By |2017-09-04T14:36:31+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman goddess Juno Juno was Jupiter's wife and sister for the Romans, the way Hera was Zeus's wife for the Greeks. Because the Romans and the Greeks were both descended from Central Asian Indo-Europeans, Hera and Juno probably started out as the same goddess. But the Romans thought of Juno a little differently from Hera. Juno was mainly a goddess of marriage, like [...]