From Vulcan to Virgil: The Roman Mythology Quiz


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About This Quiz

The Romans may have borrowed heavily from the Greeks, but you might be surprised to learn how they forged a mythological history all their own. Intrigued? Take our quiz to learn more!

Who was the Roman goddess of love and beauty?

The Romans celebrated Venus — known to the Greeks as Aphrodite — as the goddess of love and beauty.

Which Roman god shot arrows to encourage love connections?

The arrow-slinging Cupid was described at times as either the companion or son of Venus.

True or false: Priapus was Venus' father.

Priapus, the son of Venus, was a Roman god of fertility and procreation. While he was often overlooked by the Greeks, he was very popular with the Romans.

Who was the Roman god of light?

The Romans kept the Greek name Apollo when naming their god of light. The use of laurel crowns at the Olympics hails back to a failed relationship between Apollo and a nymph named Daphne.

What name did the Romans give to the Greek god Ares?

When Rome became the dominant power around 100 B.C.E., Greek god of war Ares was given the moniker Mars.

How many children did Mars and Venus have together, according to myth?

Mars and Venus were blessed with two children, Phobos and Deimos — or panic and fear.

What was the name of Apollo's twin sister?

Apollo's twin sister was Diana, the virgin goddess and goddess of the hunt.

Who served as the goddess of war alongside Mars?

Minerva was the patron of Athens and the goddess of war. She was important to the military-minded Romans, while Mars appealed more to the battle-minded Greeks.

What was the name of Persephone's mother?

Known to the Greeks as Demeter, Ceres was the goddess of crops and mother to the famous Persephone.

Which Roman god was turned into a goat, according to Greek myths?

Greek myth transformed him into a goat, but Bacchus was still celebrated by the Romans as the god of wine and male life force.

Neptune and Jupiter had a brother. What was his name?

Pluto was the Roman ruler of the underworld.

What trade is associated with the Roman god Vulcan?

Vulcan was the god of fire and blacksmithing. He was also the son of Juno and a well-known prankster.

True or false: Juno was the queen of gods.

The Greeks called her Hera, and the Romans called her Juno, but both revered her as the queen of the gods.

Which Roman god was known for his winged helmet and feet?

Mercury used wings on his helmet and feet to travel rapidly as he delivered messages for the gods.

What was Roman god Neptune often seen holding?

God of the sea and earthquakes Neptune was rarely seen without his trusty trident.

What name did the Romans give to the Greek god Zeus?

The Romans rechristened king of gods Zeus as Jupiter. He was also the god of thunder and weather.

True or false: The name "January" was inspired by a Roman god.

Janus watched over doors and gates — entrances, or beginnings. His name later served as the basis for the first month of the year.

The founders of Rome were sons of this god.

Mars gave birth to twin sons, who later went on to found the great city of Rome.

What were the names of Mars' sons?

Mars' twin sons Remus and Remulus fought bitterly. After killing his brother, Romulus built Rome in 753 B.C.E.

Where did the women of Rome come from?

To bring more women to the male-oriented city, the Romans captured the Sabine women and forced them to move to Rome.

How long did Romulus rule Rome?

Romulus was the first Roman king, ruling for 40 years before disappearing in a thundercloud.

Who wrote the Roman epic "The Aeneid"?

Virgil drafted "The Aeneid," which was inspired — or just straight-up copied from — "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey."

What festival was nearly banned in 186 B.C.E. due to rowdiness?

The rowdy Bacchanalia, which celebrated god of wine Bacchus, was nearly banned in 186 B.C.E. by the government.

What Roman festival celebrated the winter solstice?

Saturnalia celebrated the winter solstice as well as Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture.

True or false: Saturnalia was celebrated on December 25th.

Taking advantage of the existing Roman holiday of Saturnalia, Pope Julius I declared that December 25th was also the date that Jesus was born.

True or false: The Romans actually had some gods that were NOT derived from the Greeks.

The Greeks and Romans shared a common heritage, but the earliest Romans had their own gods that were independent of those of the Greeks.

Which of these was NOT one of the original three Roman gods before the Greek gods were adopted by the Romans?

Pre-Greek influence, the original three Roman Gods were Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus, a god of agriculture.

What did Neptune give to man?

Neptune is as celebrated for giving the first horses to man as he is for his connections to the sea.

True or false: Apollo was also known as "Death."

While Apollo was the god of the underworld, he was not death. The Greeks called "Death" Thanatos, while the Romans called him Orus.

Who was Vulcan's wife?

Diana, whom the Greeks called Artemis, rose to life from sea foam to become the goddess wife of Vulcan.

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