Saturn

Saturn or Saturnus is the ancient Roman God of agriculture, the sowing of seeds, wealth, the seasons, cycles of decay and renewal and the passage of time.

Saturn is a very ancient God who was honored in the region before Rome was built, Capitoline Hill was previously known as mons Saturnius and his temple resided at the base of the hill and held the state treasury. Later, he was equated with the Greek God Cronus and by the 3rd century BCE, Cronus’s myths and family tree had been applied to Saturn, yet Saturn maintained His own complex personality; though it can be difficult to separate the real Saturn from the Hellenized Cronus-Saturn composite.

Saturn had two consorts. The earliest was the Goddess Lua to whom the weapons of defeated enemies was offered and later he was paired with Ops, the Goddess of Agriculture. He is the father of Jupiter.

Ovid describes an Golden Age of man under the rule of Saturn, similar to that of Cronus described by Hesiod. During this time, humans had all they needed without the need to work hard for it and lived together as equals. There is a tradition that this period coincided with the rule of a mortal King Saturn who later became a God or that King Saturn was the God, come to Earth after being driven out by Jupiter, who taught the people how to grow grapes and other agricultural crops. Perhaps that is the time that is remembered with the Saturnalia in December, on the anniversary of the dedication of the temple of Saturn at Capitoline Hill.

Saturn is often shown veiled and carrying a sickle. According to Plutarch, he is veiled because he is the father of truth. Sometimes he is shown crippled and leaning on a cane or crutches. The feet of the statue at the temple were bound except during Saturnalia, the crippled Saturn and the bound feet may be related in some way.

The God Saturn gives his name to the planet Saturn and to Saturday.

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