Roman mythology can be said to be derived from Greek mythology. Why are the English names of the eight planets and Pluto the names of gods in Roman mythology instead of Greek mythology? In today’s British and American culture, when quoting ancient myths, do you mostly quote Greek myths or Roman myths?

first of all, Uranus is the name of the Greek god, and the corresponding Roman god} is caelus “kelus”, which is the etymology of the word celestial. Of course, Uranus was discovered only in the 18th century. The discoverer was an Englishman. He once wanted to name it “George star” after the king of England. It was later that it got its current name. The dwarf planet Pluto is also a Greek name, and the Roman name of the corresponding God is Dispater.

if the question is simplified to “why do the five planets visible to the naked eye mostly use the names of Roman gods rather than Greek gods in European languages”, the answer is to sum up: because the Romans had a greater influence on the Germanic people than the Greeks. The explanation needs to go a long way. Let me try to pull it…

not every myth of civilization will connect God} with the sun, moon and planets, or not every myth will personify the sun, moon and planets (there is no Chinese word of God). In the beginning, the Greeks did not connect the planet with the gods. From the ancient Greek name of the planet, we can see that Jupiter was originally called Phaethon, which means “bright”, Saturn is called phaion, which means “shining”, and Mars is called pyroeis – if you can’t guess what the name means, you must not learn the English root well.

the Greeks must have been influenced by the Babylonians to connect the Olympian gods with the planet. As one of the oldest known civilizations in the world, the influence of Babylonian calendar and astrology continues to this day. For the Greeks at that time, the Babylonians’ practice of connecting Mars with the God of war and Venus with the God of love was probably a very fashionable thing, which must be followed up. Therefore, Ares and Aphrodite became planets, and Zeus, like Marduk in Babylonian mythology, was connected with Jupiter. Who calls them all Lord gods and in charge of lightning.

in the glorious era of the Greeks, in the eyes of the civilized world along the two river basins and the Mediterranean, the inland of Europe is only a barbarian land collectively referred to as the Celts. Like the Scythians in the East, the Celts are also Barbarians. We know very little about the myths and legends of these Celts. As for whether these people connect the planets with gods} and even whether they notice that the positions of several stars in the sky change every day, it is even more difficult to know the details today – it should be noted that stargazing and even worship of the starry sky can be regarded as a thing that only agricultural civilization can do, On the one hand, there is a practical need for the calendar, on the other hand, there is food to feed people watching the stars, while people hunting or grazing are not at ease.

the ancient Greeks planted fields well, rowed well, and were excellent in both literature and science. They produced many great poets and scientists. Therefore, although the Romans who were good at military, engineering and law conquered the Greeks, they copied a whole set of Greek culture and science. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Romans also began to name planets with their corresponding gods. The Romans also learned the concept of “seven days a week” from the Greeks – that is, indirectly from the Babylonians and Hebrews – that is, there is a sun, moon or planet guarding the world every day. Before that, the Romans rested once every eight days.




are the expeditions that the Romans began to march into the interior of Europe, and began to directly contact the barbarians in the North except the Celts around the first century A.D. The Germanic people here do not refer to the Germans. Like the general term “Celtic”, the Germanic people are just the general name of some tribes with similar languages and customs. Compared with the Celts, people now know better about Germanic mythology. If you have read the American gods, you should remember wodan. He is the main god of Nordic mythology, central Anglo Saxon mythology and continental Germanic mythology. He is also the root of English Wednesday. In modern Germanic languages such as English, German, Swedish, Icelandic and so on, the name of each day of each week should be attributed to the Romans, who further spread the concept of “week” to the Germanic people in their long contact, And the Germanic people use their gods to enter the corresponding gods in Rome: Suna corresponds to sol to guard Sunday (ancient Latin Sunday, diesolis, literally means “sun day”, rather than Dominica after the spread of Christianity, “Sunday”); Mani corresponds to Luna guarding Monday (contrary to Roman mythology, in Germanic mythology, Suna is the goddess and mani is the male god, so the German sun is negative and the moon is positive); Tyre corresponds to Mars on Tuesday, and so on. Of course, the perspective of this transformation is that of the Romans. After all, Odin should be the main god of Zeus and Jupiter, but in the eyes of the Romans, he corresponds to mercury, and the role of Jupiter is assumed by Thor.

we can almost be sure that although the Germanic people have their own gods, they have never connected them with the stars in the sky. Although the Romanized Germanic people could accept naming each day with a God and “localize” these gods, they did not logically integrate the Roman concept of “these gods correspond to the planets in the sky” into their mythology and belief system. The reason should be – I speculate – related to the rise of Christianity. Although the Germans who constantly invaded the Roman Empire and finally became king broke down (West) Rome, they continued monotheistic Christianity. Since the sun, moon and stars are created by God, it is obviously politically incorrect to say that each planet corresponds to a God, so this tendency is over. And if the Romans kept moreIn the tradition of divinity, perhaps today’s European countries call the five planets their gods.

another thing we can be sure of is that the belligerent Germanic people must not be very developed in astronomy. In the handed down historical materials, it is even difficult to find the naming of planets by the ancient Germanic people. The Romans undoubtedly spread advanced knowledge of astronomy to them, and in the process, the names of planets were handed down. In the middle ages, the Germanic people used the same language as the European illiterate people, and the Roman language was basically the same in the whole Roman society. Not only in English, the names of the five planets in Europe, which was once occupied by the Romans or touched by Christianity, are highly similar.