Are you a mythology junkie? Have you ever heard about Flora, The Goddess of Flowering Plants? If you are interested in these types of topics, this article is just right for you! Stay tuned to learn 10 facts about this interesting Roman Goddess:
1. She’s the goddes of flowers and gardens
Flora is considered the goddess of flowers and gardens, representing the eternal rebirth of vegetation in spring, it is the vegetative power that makes fields, flowers, cereals flourish ... Elements such as honey or the seeds of different species Vegetables are considered as gifts that the goddess has given to the human being.
The Roman goddess Flora exercised her power over spring and was in charge of the plants blooming. A necessary task, without which the bees could do little.
Iconographically the representation of this goddess is inspired by Greek art, and she is usually presented as a young woman dressed in a tunic and cloak, adorned with flowers on her head and hands.
2. She's not one of the most important Goddesses
In Roman mythology, Flora was the goddess of flowers, gardens and symbolized the spring season of the year, at which time she took on greater prominence. While she is a goddess, she is not one of the important and revered goddesses of Ancient Rome.
3. She comes from Greek Mythology
Although it is one of the oldest deities of the city of Rome and the Italian peninsula, it was linked and identified by Ovid with the Greek nymph Chloris and her myth. It is said that while the nymph Chloris was wandering through the countryside one spring day, she was seen by the god of the wind Cefiro, who immediately fell in love with her beauty. The god, falling deeply in love with the nymph, decides to kidnap her, and to legitimize his act, he decides to marry her.
After the nuptials and as a reward for her love and understanding, Cefiro gives Chloris the kingdom of flowers in the gardens and fields, also giving her a garden in which it would always be spring. In this way, the Roman goddess Flora can also be linked to the birth of Ares, who despite being traditionally named as the son of Zeus and Hera, later accounts place its origin in the flower that Flora provided Hera so that she could conceive a son without any male intervention, in this case from her husband Zeus.
The goddess flora "Mother of flowers, come, you must be celebrated with games and rejoicing." This is how the poet Ovid invokes the goddess Flora on the day the festivities begin. And taking advantage of the goddess's benevolence, the poet asks her who she is, among other things, she answers:
“I enjoy an eternal spring: the year is always smiling, the Trees always have left, the Earth always grasslands. I have an exuberant garden in the fields that constitute my dowry: the wind respects it, a source of crystalline water waters it. My husband covered this garden with generous flowers and said to me: "You, goddess, have the sovereignty of the flowers." Many times I wanted to count the series of colors and I couldn't; its amount exceeded the account. Do you think perhaps that my sovereignty is limited only to the tender crowns? My divine power affects farm fields as well. If the crops set the flowers well, there will be a rich era; if the flower of the vine is well set, there will be Wine; if the flowers of the olive tree set well, the year will be very fertile. Honey is my gift, I am the one who summons the Insects that will produce honey for violets, laburnum, and whitening thyme ”.
"Mother of flowers, come, you have to be celebrated with games and rejoicing."
4. She has her own festive
The Sabine and Roman populations used to celebrate the festivities in her honor during the month of April, during these festivities processions and the sacrifice of certain animals such as sheep were frequent in the temple dedicated to the goddess on the Quirinal Hill.
After a time of bad harvests that with great probability can be placed around the third century BC, her cult was slightly modified, and after a new temple for the deity was consecrated in the city of Rome it was consecrated on April 28 in her honor. The festivity's own games began on this day and could last for several weeks until the end of May. During the days of celebration, everything was covered with flowers, including houses and animals.
5. She has a game festival
The Floralia or the Floral Games is a festival in honor of the goddess Flora and represented the renewal of a new cycle. This festival was established in Ancient Rome. Its celebration is annual since 173 BC. and they are celebrated from April 28 to May 3.
Currently, in Rome, the Floral Games are celebrated with literary contests promoting and spreading a language, in which literary works in prose and verse are awarded.
The Floral Games are also held in other cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, San Miguel de Tucumán in Argentina and Chile.
The Floral Games of Barcelona and Valencia have their origin in those that were celebrated in the Académie des Jeux floraux in the city of Toulouse-France from the year 1323 to 1484. Later, the Floral Games of Barcelona and Valencia served as inspiration for what would be the International Floral Games, from 1909.
6. Art dedicated to her
In the Gardens of Versailles, the French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Tuby, sculpted -among others- the sculpture dedicated to the goddess Flora with a crown full of flowers in a fountain located at a crossroads of several groves.
The temple of the Quirinal, in Rome, was dedicated to her and was assisted by a flamen, a priest in charge of the cult. Among the offerings made to the goddess Flora, honey flowers, milk and seeds, and flower honey, in order to request that she protect her crops.
7. Word "flower"
The term flower gets its name from the deity of Roman mythology 'Flora', the goddess who represented spring, plants, and everything that flourished in nature (and, therefore) was one of the goddesses in charge of the fertility.
8. About flowers
Flowers contain different volatile substances, very aromatic, which depending on the time of day or environmental conditions (especially temperature and humidity) are released, producing a characteristic perfume.
9. Flowers for the dead
The reason why the custom of bringing flowers to the dead was born was to avoid the pestilence that the corpses gave off, since, in the past, it was customary to watch a deceased for several days (with the intention of making sure that really had died).
In ancient times the term flower was also used to refer to the state of youth, health, and freshness of a person because of the beautiful appearance of this goddess. For this reason, expressions such as "He is in the prime of life" or "He died in the prime of life" are often said.
It was also linked to people's purity and, directly, to their virginity, hence losing it is called "deflowering."
Isn't it nice to learn more about what came before us, their myths, the reason why we call things a certain way, or why we do some of the things we do in our lives? That is exactly what happens when we look into mythology, as this article did. These stories are all very fun to learn and good facts to know as general knowledge! We hope you like it and it makes you more interested in mythology!