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Pomona Statue

Statue of Pomona

Pomona is best known as the goddess of fruits and fruit trees, since her name was derived from the Latin word “pommum” which translates into the word “fruits”, especially orchard fruits.

She is one of the few original Roman dieties. Unlike most of the other Roman dieties, Pomona doesn't have a Greek counterpart. Other notable dieties which also do not have Greek counterparts are Bellona and also Pomona's own husband, Vertumnus.

RoleEdit

Aside from fruits, Pomona is also known as the goddess of orchards and gardens. She's also known as the goddess of abundance and harvest, but those aspects are taken by other Roman dieties, abundance is embodied by Abundantia, and harvest is embodied by Ceres. Because of that, Pomona is better known as the embodiment of the process of the flourishing of fruit trees.

Since Pomona is the goddess of gardens, it means she is not a patron diety of wild-nature. She is still one of the patron goddess of nature, but she resides over the part of nature that is being worked on by humans.

Apart from being a goddess, Pomona is also known as one of the guardian spirit (numina) that protects people, places, or homes, which in this case are people, places, or homes that have some connection with gardens and/or orchards.

PersonalityEdit

Pomona doesn't have much in the line of stories in her mythology, apart from the process in which Vertumnus courted her into becoming his wife. But from the stories that exists, it can be derived that Pomona has a kind and humble personality.

Her personal sanctuary is her garden, where she usually spends her time alone taking care of the trees in that garden. She needs this garden because she is a shy and introvert goddess that prefers the company of plants and trees rather than people or even fellow divinities.

MythologyEdit

Pomona and Vertumnus by Francesco Melzi

Pomona and Vertumnus (disguised as an old woman)
Painting by Fransco Melzi

Pomona was originally a nymph. She was said to be beautiful and attracted many suitors. Amongst those suitors are gods like Priapus and Silenos, and also some demigods like Picus and Silvanus, but Pomona never let any of them to get even near to her.

In the end it was Vertumnus, the god of gardens and orchards, that succeeded in courting her. He disguised himself in a lot of roles, but nothing worked. Pomona never let him close. She just let him watched her from the boundaries of her garden.

Finally Vertumnus disguised himself as an old woman, and Pomona who didn't know that it was Vertumnus, let the old woman enter her garden. Having able to get near her, Vertumnus – as an old lady – gave advice to Pomona so that Pomona choose Vertumnus as her husband. An advice which Pomona took, and the old lady revealed that she was really Vertumnus.

He showed her his godly form, continued courting her delicately, and finally Pomona consented to become his wife and she was elevated into becoming a goddess.

WorshipEdit

Pomona had a sacred grove near Ostia (an ancient port near Rome), called the Pomonal. Her priest was called as the Flamen Pomonalis.

Her festival was held on the 1st of November each year, and she also shared her husband's festival day on 13th of August. Although, some celebrate it on the 23rd of August instead. 

SymbolEdit

Pomona – in statues and paintings – are usually depicted holding the cornucopia or a basket full of fruits. But her main symbol is the pruning shear or the shovel, instruments that she use to take care of her garden.

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