|Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Saturn||View Options: | | | |
Saturn was a major Roman god identified with the Greek deity Cronus, and the mythologies of the two gods are commonly mixed. Saturn had a temple on the Forum Romanum, which contained the Royal Treasury. Saturn is the namesake of both Saturn, the planet, and Saturday. In Roman mythology, when Jupiter ascended the throne of the Gods, Saturn fled to Rome and established the Golden Age, a time of perfect peace and harmony, which lasted as long as he reigned. In memory of the Golden Age, the Feast of Saturnalia was held every year at the Winter Solstice. Saturnalia was an occasion for celebration and visits to friends. Slaves and masters ate at the same table. No war could be declared. Executions were postponed. Homes were decorated with greenery. And it was a season for giving gifts, particularly wax candles, perhaps to signify the returning light after the solstice. Aspects of Saturnalia survive today in Christmas celebrations and carnival festivals around the world.