Saturn (also known as Saturnus) is the Roman counterpart of Kronos. Saturn's wife was Ops and was the father of Ceres, Jupiter, Vesta, Pluto, Neptune, and Juno, among others. Saturn was also the Roman god of fertility. In the Roman tradition, in memory of the Golden Age of man, a mythical age when Saturn was said to have ruled, a great feast called Saturnalia was held during the winter months around the time of the winter solstice. It was originally only one day long, taking place on December 17, but later lasted one week.
Saturn was the son of Caelus and Terra, and married his sister Ops. She, with her other sisters, persuaded their mother to join them in a plot, to exclude Helios, their elder brother, from his birthright, and raise Saturn to his father's throne. (Incorrect information. Saturn and Ops aren't siblings to Helios/Sol in Roman Mythology. Their eldest brother is Janus. Also Janus, Saturn and Ops are the only children of Caelus and Terra.) Their design so far succeeded, that Titan was obliged to resign his claim, though on condition, that Saturn brought up no male children, and thus the succession might revert to the Titans again. Saturn, it is said, observed this covenant so faithfully, that he devoured, as soon as they were born, his legitimate sons.
His punctuality, however, in this respect, was at last frustrated by the artifice of Ops, who, being delivered Jupiter, presented the latter to her husband, and concealing the former, sent him to be nursed on Mount Ida in Crete, committing the care of him to the Curētes and Corybantes.
The reign of Saturn was so mild and happy that some poets have given it the name of the Golden Age. The people, who before wandered about like beasts, were then uplifted to civil society; laws were enacted, and the art of tilling and sowing the ground introduced; whence Varro tells us, that Saturn had his name a Satu, from sowing.
Saturn's comeback attempt is mentioned by Nico di Angelo. The very first day Percy Jackson—having had his memory previously taken by Juno—arrives at Camp Jupiter, Nico almost calls Saturn by his Greek name while telling Percy the story of the Battle of Mount Othrys, and how Saturn probably just faded back into abyss. Nico is shown to be very cautious when telling the story, as if fearing the return of Percy's memory.
Saturn was usually represented as an old man, bare-headed and bald, with all the marks of infirmity in his eyes, countenance, and figure. In his right hand they sometimes placed a sickle or scythe; at others, a key, and a circumflex-ed serpent biting its tail, in his left. He sometimes was pictured with six wings, and feet of wool, to show how insensibly and swiftly time passes. The scythe denoted his cutting down and subverting all things, and the serpent the revolution of the year.
- Saturn had a temple on the Forum Romanum which contained the Royal Treasury.
- Saturn is the namesake of both Saturn, the planet, and Saturday (dies Saturni).
- The word "saturnine" (gloomy) comes from Saturn's name.