Monday, September 13, 2010

Obscure Roman Gods

I love ancient polytheism. A god for every occasion. If I ever start a cult based on the ancient Roman model, I will have T-shirts made up that say "It's no stupider to worship Jupiter". What we lack in faith I hope to make up in merchandising. Here are five of my favourite obscure ancient Roman deities: 


Summanus was the god a night thunder. Not just thunder, but night thunder. It had to be a niche market. He at least had a temple, and a feast. On the 20th of June he was offered cakes. I don’t know whether that was to prevent night thunder, or to encourage more. He has been previously identified with Pluto, but that was probably only to boost his ego.


The goddess of the sewer system. Typically, a woman was in charge of keeping the place clean. Strangely, she was also the protector of matrimonial intercourse. I’m trying hard not to see the link.


The patron goddess of bees. I'm sure she had a lot free time to pursue other interests. 


Cacus was originally a powerful fire god, but , fire gods being passé, was later demoted to giant. The only good thing about being a giant was that he could make cattle walk backwards. I like to think he performed this awesome party trick many times before Hercules killed him.


The god of cattle worms. Definitive proof that the Romans had a god for everything.


  1. I wish you'd taught my mythology class. I would not have memorized so much verminus, but listened in awe to the night thunder echo in the sewers.

  2. Thanks Steve! I'm kind of jealous of the Romans for their polytheism. It's just so much fun!



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