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Neptune, god of the sea


Neptune, god of the sea, sometimes referred to as King Neptune, is one of the more believed-in Roman/Greek deities in the modern era.

Certificates of crossing the equator by sea, are typically signed on behalf of Neptune. In numerous other nautical contexts, Neptune appears, depicted as a bearded fellow with a trident, presiding over affairs to do with the sea. For example, there's a neoclassical painting on the ceiling of The Capitol with Neptune being involved with the laying of the transatlantic cable.

Neptune still continues to be believed-in to a such an extent even in modern times, perhaps because the sea is still a powerful force of nature which doesn't necessarily behave the way people expect or assume. The notion that there might be a deity which you could be on good terms with in such matters, is therefore much more plausible than for some of the other aspects of life which Ancient Greeks, Romans, and other classic civilisations had gods for.

The realm of dominion of Neptune, also known as Poseidon, included the sea, but also freshwater, horses, and earthquakes. Some versions of the mythology have Neptune having a wife, Amphitrite, and some versions involving having two female consorts, Salacia and Venilia.

The Planet Neptune was discovered in the 19th Century and named "Neptune" to be in keeping with the dignified classical naming of other planets. This was long before the planet was found to contain a large amount of water.

For further reading, here are some handy references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neptune_(mythology)

www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/poseidon/

http://rome.mrdonn.org/romangods/neptune.html

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman/neptune.htm

www.crystalinks.com/neptunerome.html

www.men-myths-minds.com/Poseidon-greek-god.html

http://www.mythweb.com/gods/poseidon.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Poseidon/poseidon.html

www.pantheon.org/articles/p/poseidon.html

Image of Neptune in mosaic Dettaglio dal "Mosaico delle Stagioni", di epoca romana, da Palermo. Museo archeologico regionale di Palermo, photographed by Giovanni Dall'Orto and released on a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Also see Atlantis