Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Abundantia, the Roman goddess of abundance, good fortune and prosperity. She was a minor Roman goddess who was believed to enter homes during the night to bring prosperity to inhabitants. She was the guardian of the cornucopia, the horn of plenty, from which she distributed food and money. Her name is derived from the Latin word 'abundantis' meaning to overflow, to have in large measure. The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman goddess was Eirene one of the Horae who personified 'the Seasons' and prosperity.
Abundantia, the minor Roman goddess of abundance, good fortune and prosperity
The following picture depicts Abundantia as 'the beautiful maiden of success' holding the cornucopia (the horn of plenty). The cornucopia was a symbol of plentitude, strong harvests and abundance and depicted as a horn overflowing with flowers, fruit, vegetables and grain which never ran empty. According to ancient mythology the cornucopia was one of the horns of the mystical she-goat Amaltheia, which was accidentally broken by Jupiter. To comfort her he caused the horn to refill itself indefinitely with food and drink. She was also depicted standing on the prow of a ship, representing the overseas conquests of the Roman Empire and the wealth they provided.
The Worship of Abundantia, the Roman goddess of abundance and prosperity
The Romans were highly practical and believed that their gods and goddesses controlled everything in their lives and therefore every occupation and task had its presiding Roman goddess or god. As a minor goddess there were few temples specifically dedicated to the worship for Abudantia found in Rome. Abundantia the Roman goddess of abundance, good fortune and prosperity was, however, worshipped in the same way as any other Roman divinity with prayers and making vows, dedicating altars, sacrificing animals, birds and offerings of milk, honey, grain, fruit, cakes, flowers, perfumes and wine. White animals were sacrificed to the goddesses of the upper world whereas black victims to the deities of the Underworld. The sex of a sacrificial animal had to correspond to the sex of the goddess to whom it was offered. The blood sacrifices made to Abundantia, the goddess of abundance, good fortune and prosperity, would therefore have been a white ewe, cow or heifer, sow or female bird and conducted outside a temple to one of the major goddesses.