Aug 13, 2009

Cornucopia


Now that fall is approaching, I thought it is time for a definition. In Greek mythology, Amalthea was a goat who raised Zeus on her breast milk. When her horn was accidentally broken off by Zeus while playing together, this changed Amalthea into a unicorn.

The god Zeus, in remorse, gave her back her horn. The horn then had supernatural powers which would give the person in possession of it whatever he or she wished for. This gave rise to the legend of the cornucopia, or horn of plenty.

The original depictions were of the goat's horn filled with fruits and flowers: deities, especially Fortuna, were depicted with the horn of plenty. The cornucopia was also a symbol for a woman's fertility. Current pictures show it as a woven basket, I guess because goat's horns are not so easy to find these days.