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Saturn, in Roman religion and mythology, god of harvests, later identified with the Greek Kronos. Little is known of the origins of his cult. His reign was regarded as the Golden Age. He was the husband of Ops and the father of Jupiter, Juno, Ceres, Pluto, and Neptune. It was said that after the fall of the Titans, Saturn fled to Italy, where he settled on the Capitoline Hill, civilized the people, and taught them the arts of agriculture. At his festival, the Saturnalia, held at first on Dec. 17 but later extended for several days thereafter, gifts were exchanged, schools and courts were closed, war was outlawed, and slaves and masters ate at the same table.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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