Pomona

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Pomona, by Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700
Vertumnus and Pomona by Peter Paul Rubens, 1617-1619, private collection in Madrid

Pomona (Latin: Pōmōna) was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. She was said to be a wood nymph. In the myth narrated by Ovid she scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus and Picus, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman.[1] She and Vertumnus shared a festival held on August 13. Her priest was called the flamen Pomonalis. The pruning knife was her attribute. There is a grove that is sacred to her called the Pomonal, located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome.

Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees, garden, and orchards. Unlike many other Roman goddesses and gods, she does not have a Greek counterpart. She watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation. She was not actually associated with the harvest of fruits itself, but with the flourishing of the fruit trees. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia.

A statue of Pomona is in the fountain in the little park before the Plaza Hotel in New York City. There is a statue of Pomona in Reykjavik, Iceland: just north of the BSI Bus Station, in the little park bordered by Gamla Hringbraut and Laufasvegur streets. Pomona is briefly mentioned in C. S. Lewis's children's book Prince Caspian.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Duckworth, George E (1976). "Pompona". In William D. Halsey. Collier's Encyclopedia 19. Macmillan Educational Corporation. p. 232. 
  2. ^ Arthur Haskell (ed.) 'Gala Performance' (Collins 1955) p206.

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