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JOVE, or JUPITER, the king of the Gods and men, was the son of Saturn and Rhea. The Greeks called him Zeus, as has was their principal deity as well as of the Romans. Fable has been more than usually whimsical and obscure in describing the circumstances alleged to have been connected with his birth and education. We find him, however, at length arrived at adolescence, and making no ceremony of dethroning and mutilating his very unnatural father; he then divided the world with his brothers; to Pluto he assigned the infernal regions, to Neptune the seas; for himself he reserved the whole of terra firma, with the air and the heaven. But before he was allowed to remain in peaceable possession of his new government, Jupiter, having already dispatched the Titans to Tartarus, had to encounter the Giants,
[Medallion of Antoninus Pius, in brass.]his memorable victory over whom is represented on a great number of monuments. We see him on marbles, engraved gems, and medals, represented as throwing thunder at his gigantic foes.
Jupiter was worshipped in all states of Greece, and throughout the whole Roman empire. At Rome his principal temple was in the Capitol, along with those of Juno and Minerva; for which reason they are often called the three divinities of the Capitol.
On a brass medallion of Antonius Pius, in the French cabinet, Jupiter is represented with hasta and fulmen standing between Atlas and an altar surmounted by an eagle. The altar is ornamented with a bas-relief, the subject of which is Jupiter overcoming the Titans.
On a Medallion of Hadrian, Jupiter, full face, is seated between two female figures also seated; the one on the right, Minerva, wears a helmet and holds the hasta; the figure on his left, Juno, holds the patera and hasta.
Jupiter was venerated as the supreme deity, and received the name of OPTIMVS MAXIMVS. The attribute of his majestic power was the lightning. On coins he appears sometimes with naked head; on others crowned with laurel or olive; and often bound with a small band, his form and aspect being that of a venerable man in vigorous old age, with a handsome beard, and generally an eagle near him; when seated he is naked to the waist, and the lower half of his body clothed. On most Roman Imperial medals he holds a figure of Victory in his right hand.
The Greeks and Romans, but more particularly the former, gave Jupiter many surnames, taken or derived from some quality ascribed or some action performed, otherwise from some province, city, or temple where he was worshipped.
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