Pomona (mythology)

Pomona (/pəˈmnə/ (About this soundlisten),[1] Latin: [poːˈmoːna]) was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit", specifically orchard fruit.

Pomona
Goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards
Naples Archaeology Museum (5914785482).jpg
Statue of Pomona, Naples Archaeology Museum (late 2nd century AD)
Major cult centerPomonal
Abodegardens and orchards
Symbolspruning knife
Genderfemale
FestivalsVertumnalia
ConsortVertumnus
Pomona, by Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700
Vertumnus and Pomona by Peter Paul Rubens, 1617–1619, private collection in Madrid.
Tapestry depicting the goddess Pomona

Pomona was said to be a wood nymph.[2][3]

EtymologyEdit

The name Pōmōna is a derivation from Latin pōmus ('fruit-tree, fruit'), possibly stemming from Proto-Italic *poe/omo ('taken off, picked?'), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁e/omo ('what is (to be) taken').[4]

MythologyEdit

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.[5] 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, gardens, and orchards. Unlike many other Roman goddesses and gods, she does not have a Greek counterpart, though she is commonly associated with Demeter. 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.

NamesakesEdit

The city of Pomona, California, in Los Angeles County, is named after the goddess.[6] Pomona College was founded in the city and retained its name even after relocating to its present-day location in Claremont.[6][7]

The Pomona Docks (formerly part of the Manchester docks) were built on the site of the Pomona Gardens. A former public house nearby was named the Pomona Palace.

32 Pomona is a main belt asteroid discovered in 1854.

Representations in artEdit

A bronze statue of Pomona sits atop the Pulitzer Fountain in Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza in New York. The fountain was funded by newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer, designed by the architect Thomas Hastings, and crowned by a statue conceived by the sculptor Karl Bitter.[8] The fountain was dedicated in May 1916.

Pomona is briefly mentioned in C. S. Lewis's children's book Prince Caspian.[9]

Der Sieg der fruchtbaren Pomona ("The Victory of Fruitful Pomona") is a 1702 opera by Reinhard Keiser.

Pomona is the title of a play by Alistair McDowell, commissioned in 2014 for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.[10]

Pomona briefly appears in Rick Riordan's fantasy novel The Last Olympian, in which she expresses sympathy toward those rebelling against the rule of Jupiter.[11]

Pomona Sprout is professor of Herbology (magical botany) in the Harry Potter novels.[12]

Pomona is one of three statues featured at the Massachusetts Horticulture Society's Elm Bank Horticulture Center, along with Ceres and Flora. [13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pomona". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  2. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses (trans. Michael Simpson: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001), p. 448.
  3. ^ Matthew Gumpert, Grafting Helen: The Abduction of the Classical Past (University of Wisconsin Press, 2001), p. 69.
  4. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 479.
  5. ^ Duckworth, George E (1976). "Pompona". In William D. Halsey (ed.). Collier's Encyclopedia. 19. Macmillan Educational Corporation. p. 232.
  6. ^ a b Bright, William (1998). 1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-520-92054-5.
  7. ^ A Brief History of Pomona College, Pomona College (accessed September 26, 2016).
  8. ^ Ferdinand Schevill, Karl Bitter, a Biography (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1917), pages 65–67.
  9. ^ Marvin D. Hinten, The Keys to the Chronicles: Unlocking the Symbols of C.S. Lewis's Narnia (B&H Publishing Group: 2005), pp. 11, 22, 102.
  10. ^ "Royal Welsh College: First London Season of New Writing" (PDF). Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  11. ^ Riordan, Rick. The Last Olympian
  12. ^ Editions, Insight (August 4, 2020). Harry Potter: Film Vault: Volume 11: Hogwarts Professors and Staff. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781683838357 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "Goddess Garden". Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  14. ^ Arthur Haskell (ed.) 'Gala Performance' (Collins 1955) p206.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit