Wednesday, September 13, 2006

By Jove...

Today is the 2515th anniversary of the dedication of the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. Here are seven things you may not have known about Jupiter.

  • His name isn’t really Jupiter- it’s Jove. Jupiter (Iuppiter in Latin) is derived from Iovis pater (father Jove).

  • For the Romans he was the god of the sky (hence the thunder and lightening) and therefore the supreme god. He was also the patron god of Rome, and had the job of looking after laws and social order.

  • His sacred bird was the eagle, and his favourite tree was the oak (though olive trees were sacred to him as well).

  • He was married to Juno, who also happened to be his sister.

  • One of his favourite tricks was to transform his appearance, and on different occasions he changed himself into a bull to seduce Europa, a shower of gold to seduce Danae, and a swan to seduce Leda.

  • Jupiter had quite a lot of lovers. In fact the moons of the planet Jupiter (of which there are at least 63) have traditionally been named after his lovers, (such as Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) and their descendants.

  • The French word for Thursday (Jeudi) is named after Jupiter, coming from the Latin Iovis dies. The word Thursday comes from Thor- the Norse equivalent of Jupiter. In German, Thursday is Donnerstag after the thunder of Thor/Jupiter (donner means thunder, blitzen is lightening).


Anonymous said...

By Jove, he was one sick person.

He married his wife and encouraged bestiality.


Music tomorrow.


j...? said...

Just happened to be his sister, aye? So, I take it she was his wife before he was his sister? *becomes lost in lack of logic... not that i'm used to logic anyway*
This Jove character sure is interesting. Now why can't all the subjects just post interesting blog entries about whatever it is they're attempting to teach?
It would be a lot more successful in getting through to the generation y-4.

I shall leave now and pretend to continue studying for my last exam - textiles and design=death.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with seducing people as people?

I'm sure most people are more attracted to other people than, say, a bull.
Or a swan.
Or rain.

If I were Juno, I would be so embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

I never knew half of that... am feeling enlightened by some points, and deeply disturbed upon others.

...thank ye, sir.

I apologise for my continual infiltration, but I have another question, this time actually pertaining to Latin: I'm studying Medieval music at the moment (as you know), and I'm in the middle of a critical essay about early sacred music.

I was wondering if you could shed any light on the significance of Latin's sort of continuing on as a "sacred" language after the Romans, especially during the Middle Ages - was it because of their eventual conversion to Christianity? Also, did the language change at all during its Catholic revival?

Any help much appreciated. I wish I had been sensible and chosen something like contemporary Australian music.

byron smith said...

In what way is Thor the Norse equivalent of Jove? I would have thought Odin would have been a better candidate...

And he gets Wednesday (Wodensday - Odin = Woden in Old English) named after him!

If you're looking for a picture of what the Capitoline Hill now looks like, I just posted one today (by coincidence!). Or see Wiki pics here.

Daimon Legein said...

neat! i love this blog! although, in my parts, we call him zeus.

Anonymous said...

Byron, wikipedia as always has your answer. The link seems to be that they were both sky gods, and both associated with thunder. Apparently Zeus, Thor and Iuppiter (whom the Romans sometimes also called Diespiter) are all etymologically related as well.

Anonymous said...

what would you guys do without wiki?

Anonymous said...


"He married his wife..."?


Anonymous said...

OH yeah...wait.

He married his sister.

Kinda difficult to marry your wife. Because she wouldn't be your wife until you married her...unless you had one of those renewal of vows ceremonies...

Anonymous said...

You could marry your ex-wife...

Anonymous said...

but that would be EX-wife, not wife....
this is all to confusing

Anonymous said...

Yes...but then they wouldn't actually be your wife.

They'd be your ex-wife...capiche?

Did that even make sense?