No matter where you go, or what time period you study, people will always have an innate need to worship. The Romans created many gods and goddesses for themselves, too.
Christians know that there is only one God and we are to worship only Him. However, it is useful to know the Greek and Roman gods because they show up in literature, in movies, and even on tennis shoes. If you don’t know who, or what story, is being referenced then you can be accused of living a sheltered life.
In Latin, “religio” means “something that binds.” For Romans, religion was a force that bound families together, bound subjects to their ruler and bound men to the gods. – http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/religion.html
The library has many books about the Roman gods and goddesses. If you’ve already studied Ancient Greece you’ll notice a similarity between them. That’s because the Romans were very good imitators.
One of the most enjoyable activities L and J did when they learned about Roman gods and goddesses is an online interactive game created by a network of museums. The game is to look at art (paintings, statues, furniture, etc.) to collect items related to that god or goddess. While doing that the mythological character tells you more about his, or her, story. You can choose the trail of Apollo, Troy, Venus & Cupid, or three different heroes (Hercules, Perseus, or Orpheus). Once you’ve completed the mission you can print out your treasures. Note: There is so much here it could take days to do everything.
Here is a worksheet to help you keep track of them.
All of the artwork can be viewed all at once, separated by artist, trail, or museum.
It’s difficult to keep all of these characters straight sometimes. Even in our Bible it’s hard to remember who begat whom. This lesson plan teaches you how to create a Roman gods and goddesses family tree . Isn’t it easier to remember something if it’s visually appealing? If you forget who’s who you can also see the gods and goddesses in alphabetical order.
There are many good books about Roman mythology but this is the very best of them all. Read this review to find out why.
Other Useful Websites
An introduction to Roman mythology: http://carlos.emory.edu/ODYSSEY//mythology.html
Religion in the Roman Empire – a PBS special: http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/religion.html
Worksheet on Roman religion: http://www-tc.pbs.org/empires/romans/pdf/lesson3_reading.pdf
Christianity in Ancient Rome: http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/christians.html
The Obligatory Video