Roman Names for Jupiter


Your question is inspired by a previous article that compares the names of the planets in different cultures. The comparison table indicates that Jupiter was known as Iuppiter in the Latin language used by the ancient Romans.

The 'fatherly' planet Jupiter
The "fatherly" planet Jupiter

You are correct that Iu-Pater or Iupater are also both names that were apparently used for the Roman god Jupiter or Jove, as well as the planet associated with this god. The letter "j" did not exist in the Latin alphabet, so all variants of the names Jupiter and Jove were spelled with an "i" instead. The most commonly used name appears to have been spelled as Iuppiter with an extra p. Another common form is Iovis or Iouis, which would be Jovis in today's alphabet.

As you indicated in your question, Jupiter was considered a fatherly figure and was often associated with maintaining law and order in a paternal way. Names like Iupater or Iovis pater appear to be more ancient names for the "god father" or "sky father." These names were probably derived from the Greek name Zeus pater that described the fatherly god Zeus on which the Roman Jupiter was based.
- answer by Justine Whitman, 30 July 2006

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