Jupiter (mythology)

Jupiter and Thetis
   In Roman mythology, Jupiter was the great­est of the gods. He corresponds to the Zeus of the Greeks., The different names given him indicate his character. As the heavenly father he had all power over the skies. Jupiter Pluvius was the rain giver; Jupiter Tonans, the thunderer; Jupiter Fulminator, the lightning-hurler, and Ju­piter Serenator, the weather-clearer. As Jupiter Prodigialis he sent the children of men prodigies or signs of what was about to happen. Jupiter Imperator was a ruler; Jupiter Victor, the conqueror; Jupiter Stator, a supporter or stander-by. Jupiter was also Optimus Maximus, the best and greatest of the gods. The Romans erected temples in his honor. His principal temple was on the Capitoline Hill, whence he was called Jupiter Capitolinus. In this temple his statue was associated with Fides and Victoria. When war and other important measures were under consideration lots were cast and the prodigies were observed, as per­chance Jupiter might grant some intima­tion of what it were wise to do. When about to go into battle, the consuls of­fered sacrifices to Jupiter, praying that he might lead them against the enemy, and, on their return from victory, thanksgivings were offered in his name. Jupiter was the divinity of the heavens, the sky; hence, white, the color of day, was the sacred col­or. His priests were clad in white, white animals were offered on his altar, and white horses drew his chariot. The gen­uinely Roman conception of Jupiter ap­pears to have assigned him attributes of dignity, truthfulness, and fatherly love for his people.