Jupiter

Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods, and the god of sky and thunder. He is the equivalent of Zeus in the Greek pantheon.

He is called Iuppiter (or Diespiter) Optimus Maximus ("Father God the Best and Greatest"); as the patron deity of the Roman state, he ruled over laws and social order. He was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with sister/wife Juno and Minerva.

In Latin mythology Jupiter is the father of the god Mars with Juno. Therefore, Jupiter is the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. He is also the father of Persephone, and disputedly the father of Mercury. Jupiter was venerated in ancient Roman religion, and is still venerated in Nova Roma Neopaganism. He is the son of Saturn, with brothers Neptune and Pluto.

Worship

The largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. Here he was worshipped alongside Juno and Minerva, forming the Capitoline Triad. Jupiter was also worshipped at Capitoline Hill in the form of a stone, known as Iuppiter Lapis or the Jupiter Stone, which was sworn upon as an oath stone. Temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus or the Capitoline Triad as a whole were commonly built by the Romans at the center of new cities in their colonies.

The building was begun by Tarquinius Priscus and completed by the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, although it was inaugurated, by a tradition recorded by the historians, on September 13, at the beginning of the Republican era, 509BCE.

The temple building stood on a high podium with an entrance staircase to the front. On three of its sides it was probably surrounded by a colonnade, with another two rows of pillars drawn up in line with those on the fa├žade of the deep pronaos which precedes the three cellae, ranged side by side in the Etruscan manner, the central one being wider than the other two.

The temple was rebuilt in marble after fires had worked total destruction in 83BCE, when the cult image was lost, and the Sibylline Books kept in a stone chest. Fires followed in 69CE, when the Capitol was stormed by the supporters of Vitellius and in 80CE.
In front of the steps was the altar of Jupiter (ara Iovis). The large square in front of the temple (the Area Capitolina) featured a number of temples dedicated to minor divinities, in addition to other religious buildings, statues and trophies.
Its dilapidation began in the fifth century when Stilicho carried off the gold-plated doors, and Narses removed many of the statues in 571CE.

When Hadrian built Aelia Capitolina on the site of Jerusalem, a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was erected in the place of the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem.

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