In terms of Roman mythology, the god Jupiter is the king. In fact, he is often referred to as the king of the gods. He may not be the original creator of the MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES that dominated tales and lore; that distinction belongs to his father Saturn. But Jupiter is the main man, a la ZEUS in Greek mythology.
Mythology dominated religious culture in Rome up until the point in which Christianity took over. Until that happened, Jupiter was the main deity. He was the god of the sky and, along with the help of the kings of the time, established principles of the Roman religion.
His similarities with Zeus and the GREEK MYTHS didn’t stop with their connections with the sky and thunderbolts. Jupiter was brother to two other gods: Neptune and Pluto. Like the Greeks, each of these three gods controlled one realm of existence: the sky (Jupiter), the sea (Neptune), and the underworld (Pluto), with Jupiter being the most powerful.
Rome’s Religious King…
September 13 and 14
All Souls’ Day/Festival of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
All Souls’ Day in Egypt was a festive occasion. Held in honor of the Goddess Nephthys, Mistress of the Palace, it honored the spirits of the dead. There most certainly would have been a royal procession among the common people, followed by a public ritual and the Ceremony of Lighting the Fire. All the other activities would have taken place in the temple that was accessible only to the priesthood of Nephthys and the royal family.
Jupiter Optimus Maximus (“Jupiter Best and Greatest”) is the supreme Roman God. He was worshiped above all other Gods. The Ludi Romani games took place in September, with a special festival on September 13. The farmers’ harvested fields and orchards demanded little attention, the military campaigns paigns would be coming to a close with the soldiers coming home, and the populace was in a serious mood for “fun.” On the Ides of September 13, Jupiter received a sacrifice of a white ox in gratitude for an abundant harvest and successful battle. This would have been followed by notorious Coliseum games that somehow seem to eclipse the significant religious character of the Roman Empire.