The Most Popular Ancient Roman Myths You Need to Know About

Even at present, Roman mythology manages to fascinate people from all over the world. From tales of all-powerful gods and goddesses to stories about some of the most terrifying monsters to have walked the earth, there is plenty to discover and learn. It also reflects many of the ancients beliefs, since they used these stories to explain certain things in nature that were still mysteries back then.

There is also a great degree of heroism displayed in these legends. Some might argue that this is one of its most important themes, ensuring that its lessons become deeply ingrained in people’s consciousness. Centuries may have passed since then, but these tales still resonate. Here are our favorites!

1.The Story of Apollo and Cassandra

To start off, let’s look at the story of Apollo and Cassandra. As you might already know, Apollo is one of the most important gods in both the Roman and Greek pantheons. Cassandra, on the other hand, is the daughter of King Priam and is considered to be one of the most beautiful maidens in the land. Completely smitten with her, Apollo even made an investment and gave her the power of prophecy. However, upon receiving it from him, she refused to go through with their bargain!

It’s a classic tale of betrayal, but it is also a cautionary tale when it comes to the wrath of the gods. Needless to say, Apollo cursed Cassandra that no one will ever believe what she foretells. In the end, she was considered a mad woman and ended up being imprisoned by her own father. Since no one believed her prophecies and warnings, Troy ended up in ruins.

2.Pluto and the River Styx

Every culture has its own version of the afterlife. For the Romans, anyone who had passed on needed to travel to the underworld where the god of death awaited. Known by the name Pluto, he ruled over this land, and anyone who wished to find eternal repose with him needed to cross the River Styx. This required some investment planning early on in life. Not just in kind deeds, but also in gold.

To aid their deceased loved one’s spirit in doing so, relatives would bury people with coins so that they would be able to pay Charon’s fare. It is him who will transport them to the other side. The River Styx is an interesting figure in this story, for even the gods feared it. Anyone who came into contact with it, whether immortal or mortal, would end up losing their voice for nine years.

3.The Myth of Jupiter and the Bee

As we’ve established many of these myths are meant to impart different lessons. In this story, a bee approached the god Jupiter with an offering of fresh honey. To her credit, the god was delighted by the gift and promised that he would fulfill one of her wishes. However, he wasn’t too impressed with what the queen of the hive had requested. After all, she asked permission to slay any mortal who would dare take honey from her colony. Jupiter, with his great love for mankind decided to honor her wish. However, doing so means she would also be risking her own life. From thereon, whenever a bee uses its sting, it also results in their passing. The lesson? Do not wish goodness for oneself, if it is at the cost of another’s downfall.

Isn’t it interesting how they have managed to explain natural phenomena by incorporating them into myths? In the age of online classes and various other advancements, we have managed to expand our knowledge on such matters. However, it is still exciting to learn about these things through the eyes of the ancients and their colorful myths.