Jupiter

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Jupiter – Roman god – Roman religion

By | 2017-09-04T14:43:46+00:00 September 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, [...]

Castor and Pollux – Roman religion

By | 2017-09-04T13:32:34+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Greeks, Religion, Romans|

Castor and Pollux - the Dioscuri - on a votive plaque from Tarentum in southern Italy Castor and Pollux were originally Greek gods, but when the Romans were fighting the Etruscans in 496 BC, the Roman soldiers saw visions of Castor and Pollux fighting on their side. When the Romans won the battle, they decided to try [...]

Augustine of Hippo – Christianity and the fall of Rome

By | 2017-08-21T15:41:56+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman theater at Thagaste (Souk Ahras), in Algeria, where Augustine grew up. Augustine was born in a small town in North Africa in the mid-300s AD. His parents were not poor, so when he got older and it seemed that he was very smart, they sent him to a bigger city to go [...]

What are planets? Astronomy – Space science

By | 2017-08-19T01:34:27+00:00 August 19th, 2017|Physics|

The planet Venus from space For several hundred million years after the Big Bang, there were no planets, only stars. Planets couldn't form until the first stars ran out of fuel and exploded into supernovas, about 14 billion years ago. The supernovas spewed out thousands of tons of carbon, oxygen, iron and other elements into space. Planets are made out of the recycled atoms [...]

Jupiter – Planets – Astronomy

By | 2017-08-18T17:46:33+00:00 August 18th, 2017|Physics|

Jupiter from space Jupiter (named after the Roman god Jupiter) is the next planet further out from our Sun after Mars. But Jupiter is much, much further away from the Sun than Mars is. If the Sun were the size of a penny, then Earth would be about six feet away from the Sun. And Mars would be about ten [...]

Before Notre Dame – St. Etienne

By | 2017-07-31T09:26:37+00:00 July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Notre Dame of Paris (1160s AD) In the time of the Romans, about 100 AD, the city council of Paris built a temple. They dedicated it to the Roman god Jupiter. The temple was on the island in the middle of Paris, the Ile de la Cité. In fact, it was right where the cathedral of Notre Dame stands today. When [...]

The god Varuna – Hinduism – India

By | 2017-07-21T13:25:30+00:00 July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Monsoon rain (Goa) Around 1000 BC, in the Vedic period in India, Varuna was an important Hindu god. Varuna was originally a sky god - his name means "the one who covers everything." Often people think of Varuna as a rain god. He represented order in the universe (against the forces of chaos). Some parts of Varuna's identity, at [...]

Who is Zeus? Ancient Greek gods

By | 2017-07-16T15:36:31+00:00 July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Zeus is the lightning and the thunder Zeus was, for many people in ancient Greece, the king of the gods. Homer shows Zeus this way in the Iliad, for example. But mainly, Zeus is a sky god. People thought of him as living on top of a mountain (Mount Olympus). When he is angry he throws lightning bolts out of the [...]

Who was the Norse god Thor?

By | 2017-06-29T02:32:30+00:00 June 29th, 2017|North America, Religion|

Viking Bronze, from Iceland, 1000 AD Thor was the German god of strength, and the god of thunder and lightning (like Jupiter or Zeus). These three gods of the Greeks, Romans, and Germans were more or less the same because they all came from the same older Indo-European god. But there were some [...]

Who was the Norse god Odin?

By | 2017-06-29T02:30:16+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Northern Europe, Religion|

Viking stone, 600s AD, from Gotland, Sweden. Odin is riding his horse, Sleipnir. Sometime before 300 AD, people started to think of Odin (or Wotan) as the chief of the German gods, as Zeus was for the Greeks and Jupiter for the Romans. Odin replaced the earlier chief god, Tyr. Odin had two brothers, [...]