Updating rise of legends
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans.
"Roman mythology" may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period.
In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical.
Because ritual played the central role in Roman religion that myth did for the Greeks, it is sometimes doubted that the Romans had much of a native mythology.
The cult of Diana became established on the Aventine Hill, but the most famous Roman manifestation of this goddess may be Diana Nemorensis, owing to the attention paid to her cult by J. Frazer in the mythographical classic The Golden Bough.
Punishment of Ixion: in the center stands Mercury holding the caduceus, and on the right Juno sits on her throne. On the left Vulcan (the blond figure) stands behind the wheel, manning it, with Ixion already tied to it. - Roman fresco from the eastern wall of the triclinium in the House of the Vettii, Pompeii, Fourth Style (60-79 AD).
Fragments of old ritual accompanying such acts as plowing or sowing reveal that at every stage of the operation a separate deity was invoked, the name of each deity being regularly derived from the verb for the operation.
Tutelary deities were particularly important in ancient Rome.
Prophecies pertaining to world history and to Rome's destiny turn up fortuitously at critical junctures in history, discovered suddenly in the nebulous Sibylline books, which Tarquin the Proud (according to legend) purchased in the late 6th century BC from the Cumaean Sibyl.This perception is a product of Romanticism and the classical scholarship of the 19th century, which valued Greek civilization as more "authentically creative." The Roman tradition is rich in historical myths, or legends, concerning the foundation and rise of the city.These narratives focus on human actors, with only occasional intervention from deities but a pervasive sense of divinely ordered destiny.The characteristic myths of Rome are often political or moral, that is, they deal with the development of Roman government in accordance with divine law, as expressed by Roman religion, and with demonstrations of the individual's adherence to moral expectations (mos maiorum) or failures to do so.Narratives of divine activity played a more important role in the system of Greek religious belief than among the Romans, for whom ritual and cult were primary.