Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, was identified with the Greek god Cronus. In Roman mythology, Saturn fled Greece and settled in Italy after losing a battle with Jupiter*. Saturn became the king of Latium (the area of central Italy that includes Rome) and ruled over a golden age of peace and prosperity. During this time, he taught the people how to plant and tend crops and how to lead civilized lives.
His festival was the Saturnalia, a celebration beginning on December 17 and ending December 25. During Saturnalia, businesses closed, people exchanged presents, and slaves were given the freedom to do and say what they wished. Christians later honored the last day of Saturnalia as the date of the birth of Jesus. Saturn also gave his name to the day of the week known as Saturday.
See also Cronus .