Hey everyone! This week I decided that we should take a break from the all the female figureheads and look at one of our males. King Neptune, god of the sea according to Roman mythology. While the mythological god has a lot of background, we do not know the exact origin of our figurehead. For this post, I want to talk about Neptune in mythology and give you all some more information on our figurehead.
In Roman mythology, King Neptune was the god of fresh water, which is something that I found interesting. It was not until 400 B.C. when he started to become identified with King Poseidon of Greek mythology, thus taking on the role God of the Sea. Typically he is depicted holding a trident, a common weapon used by fishermen and sailors on the Mediterranean. His wife, Salacia, was the goddess of spring water and was also associated with Poseidon’s wife, Amphitrite. In regards to Roman mythology, Neptune played a relatively minor role in mythology (Poseidon had a much greater influence in Greek mythology). Legend states that Neptune and his brothers, Jupiter and Pluto (Zeus and Hades in Greek mythology) split up the heavens into three realms and ruled them separately. In the Greek myth it was said that their father, Cronus, had swallowed him after his birth and Jupiter (Zeus) rescued him. In addition to being god of the sea, Neptune was also worshiped as god of the horses and was also referred to as Neptune Equester. With this title he was the patron of horse racing, which I personally find odd since he is more commonly associated with water and the two do not really go hand-in-hand.
As for our figurehead, we acquired him in June of 1937 and he came all the way from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As mentioned earlier, our research does not know where exactly the figurehead came from however. It was believed for a while that he was from Ocean King, but there was no factual evidence to support this claim. After comparing the two figureheads, it is evident that they are not the same. Below is the figurehead from Ocean King, and one can see that while, yes, he probably is Poseidon or Neptune, he is not our figurehead, go figure!
To read more about Roman or Greek mythology, check out:
http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Pa-Pr/Poseidon.html OR http://www.crystalinks.com/neptunerome.html
For more Ocean King, check out: