Art by Kris Waldherr


A depiction of the cloth that covered his face during burial

Jesus of Nazareth was born during the life of Herod the Great who ruled Palestine at the end of the 1st Century B.C. December 25 was first celebrated as Jesus's birthday during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Constantine. He taught the basic ethics of brotherhood and kindness which became central themes of the Christianity religion. His story, found in the book called the bible, depicts: an immaculate conception from God to the virgin Mary, his birth into a working class family, his preachings to the populace, his arrest by the Romans, his execution, and his return via resurrection from the grave. Christians hold the concept that if they accept Jesus as their savior and follow his teachings they go to heaven when they pass out of this world. Modern scientists contend that Jesus was born in Summer, not Winter.


Juno was a Roman goddess, the equivalent of the Greek Hera, queen of the gods. Her place in Roman Culture: Every year, on the first of March, women held a festival in honor of Juno called the Matronalia. Another festival in her honor, the Nonae Caprotinae ("The Nones of the Wild Fig") was held on July 7. Many people consider the month of June, which is named after the goddess who is the patroness of marriage, to be the most favorable time to marry. Juno's own warlike aspect among the Romans is apparent in her attire. She often appeared armed and wearing a goatskin cloak, which was the garment favoured by Roman soldiers on campaign. This warlike aspect was assimilated from the Greek goddess Athena, whose goatskin was called the aegis. Juno was called Regina ("queen"). As Juno Moneta ("she who warns"), she protected the finances of the Roman Empire. Lucina was an epithet for Juno as "she who brings children into light". There is a strong possible etymology from Indo-European *yeu-, "vital force", as in English young. Such a derivation would be consistent with a descent from the mother goddess. More immediately, her Etruscan name was Uni. Whether Juno comes from Uni or vice versa or neither remains to be settled.



Jupiter is the Roman name for the Greek God Zeus. The Latin name for this deity derives from 'father' (pitar or pater) and the Indo-European root word Dieus, thus meaning 'Father God'. To the Greeks he was the all-powerful Zeus, and similar figures are in all the mythologies of Indo-European cultures. In Roman mythology, Jupiter held the same role as Zeus in the Greek pantheon. He was called Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter Highest, Greatest) as the patron deity of the Roman state, in charge of laws and social order. Jupiter is, properly speaking, a derivation of Jove and pater (Latin for father). The name of the god was also adopted as the name of the planet Jupiter, and was the original namesake of the weekday that would come to be known in English as Thursday (the etymological root is more apparent in French jeudi, from Jovis Dies). Ironically, linguistic studies identify him as deriving from the same god as the Germanic Tiwaz, whose name was given to Tuesday. Jupiter also stands at the head of the Archaic Triad of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus. This grouping has been seen as a religious representation of early Roman society. 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. 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. It was once believed that the Roman god Jupiter was in charge of cosmic Justice, and in ancient Rome, people swore to Jove in their courts of law, which lead to the common expression "By Jove," that many people use today.


Jurojin by Yashima Gakutei

Jurojin is the Buddhist god of longevity, and he is one of the Seven Gods of Luck (Shichi-Fukujin) of Japan. He is usually depicted with a long white beard and carrying a scroll that contains the wisdom of the world. He is sometimes accompanied by a crane or tortoise, symbols of long life and happy old age.

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