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Nicolas Fouché 001

Pomona, by Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700

Pomona was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. ("Pomme" is the French word for "apple".) She was said to be a wood nymph and a part of the Numia, guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes. She scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus and Picus, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman. She and Vertumnus shared a festival held on August 13th. Her high 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. The pruning knife was her sacred tool. 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.

In popular cultureEdit

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