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In Roman mythology Neptune is the Roman god of waters and seas, who controlled winds and storms. Also known as Neptunus Equester, he was recognized as a god of horses and horsemanship, as well as patron of horse racing, a popular form of entertainment for the ancient Romans. In terms of his characteristics and mythology, Neptune was very similar to the Greek god Poseidon.

Neptune is known for his violent temperament which is said to reflect the unpredictable nature of the sea. Because of his temper, he became associated with earthquakes. The ancient Romans thought they came from the sea, as they had no scientific knowledge of earth plates. Since Neptune was the god of the sea, they thought that an earthquake would occur when he became angry.

Neptune was a son of Ops, the earth mother, and Saturn, the prevailing sky god who ruled over the rest of the Roman pantheon. It’s said that Saturn swallowed his children. Ops saved her kids by tricking Saturn into swallowing a stone. In his attempt to get it out of his belly, the children were released. They then turned on their father and defeated him. The three brothers divided the control of the world among themselves. Jupiter took control of the sky, Pluto became ruler of the underworld and Neptune became the god of the sea.

It was believed that Neptune was helping the Romans achieve important victories, thus special gifts were brought to his two temples in order to please him so that seas were favorable to the Romans. The ancient Romans held a festival in July to honor Neptune. In 1846, it was decided to name the planet Neptune after him because of its bluish color.