As has already been mentioned in our discussion of ancient Roman religion the Romans were very liberal in their attitude to religion, or rather they were open to freedom of cult and gave little importance to an individual’s preference for one deity or another. This is particularly evident in their attitude to foreign cities which they may have invaded or colonised where foreign cults were maintained and even purposely integrated with the official cults of Rome so as to achieve a unique locally pertinent result. This was also true of female deities. Conversely the Romans themselves were very open to physically importing foreign deities into Rome itself and maintaining them with all their original attributes. Hence cults such as Isis from Egypt were extremely successful in the city:
Giving a god or goddess the right clothing and attributes was particularly important when so many deities existed. It was a means of easily identifying them, for example when pictured on the back of coins, on paintings or as statues.
We list some items of clothing particular to some roman goddesses (most if not all wore the traditional stola):
- Ceres: bears a torch, sits on a cask, crown of cereals, carries poppies and wheat
- Minerva: often shown with an owl, a shield and helmet (Corinthian) propped on her head, spear
- Diana: A stag, a bow and arrow, a moon on her tiara
- Juno: Tiara, patera (libations bowl), traditional matronly appearance. Stern.
- Vesta: Covered head (traditional stola). Virginal and pure. Perhaps a flame or fire nearby.
- Isis: Sistrum. Egyptian attire, holding an ankh in her left hand and staff in her right. Headress shaped as a throne. Sometimes with wings.
For further details of the traditional clothing of Roman women (and goddesses) are held in the ancient Roman clothing page.
Ancient Roman Gods | ancient roman religion | The Gods of Rome and Politics | Christianity in Ancient Rome |
Ancient Roman Gods | List of Roman Gods | roman mythology | goddess (picture) | Goddess Clothing | greek and roman gods |
roman gods: asclepius | Hercules Mythology | temple of hercules | Roman God Janus | god jupiter | mars | roman god Mars |