“Myths reflect the society that produces them. In turn, they determine the nature of that society.”
Ancient Rome was the civilization that expanded into one of the largest empires of the ancient world. Rome played a part in influencing or adding to the development of many different cultures. Modern Western government, politics, language, art, architecture, literature, religion, and more can be traced back to influences of Roman culture. The Romans drew influence from surrounding civilizations when it began as a small city; for instance, they remade Greek culture in their own image and they passed their classical tradition to modern Europe. The Greeks especially had a prominent influence when it came to mythology and religion in Roman culture. The Romans took Greek gods and myths and modified them, such as how Zeus was equated to Jupiter, Hera to Juno, Athena to Minerva, and so on.
Humans have told stories orally from the past long before writing. The stories carry important life lessons, values, beliefs, and origins. A myth is a traditional story with collective importance, which means that the myths told have been passed down for generations and they serve as a model of behavior for members of the society. Myths reminded people of their origins, their values, and serve as a first hand account for examining attitudes toward gender and sexuality in antiquity. Relationships could have been either heterosexual or homosexual, such as the relationship of Jupiter and Juno, or Jupiter and Ganymede.
Sexuality is a term that has been used to define sexual behavior in relationships in various cultures. Sex is used to describe what role a person takes, whether it is male or female. In basic characteristics, Roman sex was a conceptual blueprint of sexual relations, which corresponded to patterns of dominance and submission, and gender roles that did not always align with biological sex. What this site entails is the study of Roman sex and sexuality and how mythological deities represent those characteristics. Because there is a correlation between how the Romans lived and how they depicted the lives of the gods, by studying how Romans portray the sexuality of the gods, in artwork then Roman sexuality itself can be better understood.