Goddess Copia, The Roman Divinity Of Abundance And Plenty






    Copia is the Goddess of prosperity in Roman mythology. 


    Copia bestows riches and plenty to her devotees. 


    Wine and food are offered in her honor, symbolizing the earth's abundant bounty. 

    She's seen holding a cornucopia full of fruits, grains, and gold money.

    The Roman goddess of plenty is called Copia. 

    Her name has extra connotations that include "resources," "wealth," and "opportunity," as well as "plenty" or "plenty." 


    She is one of several Roman goddesses that stand for a glorification of a virtue, like Concordia, the goddess of harmony, or Aequitas, Equity. 

    The cornucopia, also known as the "horn of abundance," was a large goat's horn that was filled with money and food. It was most often used to represent coopia. 


    A sculpture by Antoine Coysevox called L'Abondance par Coysevox is located at the Palace of Versailles.


    There was a town in southern Italy named Sybaris that the Greeks had founded in the eighth century BCE as a component of their colony known as Magna Graecia ("Greater Greece"). 

    The Greeks made Sybaris renowned for its lavish customs; the area was at the time highly fruitful, and the inhabitants there prospered to the extent that the term "sybarite" has come to mean someone who enjoys luxury and sensual pleasures. 

    Although the city itself was on the Crathis River, it was established close to a river of the same name. 



    The ancients gave the Sybaris River (also known as the Crathis) certain peculiar powers, such as the ability to make sheep and cow pelts black while only changing the color of human hair to white or yellow. 

    Some people describe this outcome as "gilding" the hair, which sounds like the river was speckled with gold dust, but possibly it had to do with the water's chemical makeup, which effectively bleached the hair. 

    Additionally, it was said that animals that drank from the waters would grow timid and that the waters made horses sneeze. 



    All of that, however, can be interpreted as metaphors for the city and the way in which its inhabitants were perceived—as timid, vain (with bleached hair), rich, and unmanly—even though there must have been some recognition of the benefits of luxury since the waters of the Crathis were also thought to have therapeutic qualities. 

    Only 200 years after its establishment, Sybaris was destroyed by an army from the nearby city of Crotona, who even went so far as to divert the Crathis to flow over its remains in order to prevent its quick resettlement. 



    What does Copia, our goddess of plenty, have to do with all of this? Well, when the Romans founded a colony at the ancient location of Sybaris several hundred years later, they gave the city the name Copia in recognition of its former distinction. 

    Copia is linked to Fortuna, who is shown with a cornucopia, and the Goddess Abundantia is theoretically connected.


    Romanized version of a Greek statue of Fortuna from the fourth century BC




    What Does The Name Of Goddess 'Copia' Signify?


    Copia, also known as Abundita, was a heavenly embodiment of wealth and plenty in the religion of the ancient Romans. 

    The word "Copia" signifies plenty or wealth. 


    Given that Copia was a goddess of wealth, cash flow, prosperity, fortune, treasures, and success, the name is appropriate. 

    She would aid in safeguarding your money and savings. 

    Copia would even help with significant purchases. 

    She was one of the religious propaganda's depictions of virtue that portrayed the emperor as ensuring "Golden Age" circumstances. 

    Thus, Copia appears in literature, religion, and art but has little actual mythology. 


    She could have persisted in some capacity in medieval France and Roman Gaul. 

    The cornucopia that Copia would transport included both grain and money. 

    She sometimes left some of her grain or cash as a present at someone's home. 
    Copia worship is a thing. 

    In the legend of Acheloüs, the river deity, whose horn Hercules tore from his forehead, the Augustan poet Ovid grants Copia a part. 


    The Naiads took the horn and turned it into the cornucopia they gave to Copia. 

    Diverse aetiological myths provide different theories for the genesis of the cornucopia. 

    [More information required] She was equated with Annona, who represented the grain supply, and Ceres on Neronian currency. 

    Similar to Annona, Copia displayed virtue in public spaces like the waterfront, where grain was brought into the city. 

    She is seen on Roman coins either holding the cornucopia or emptying it of its contents' richness. 


    Atop rare occasions, she is seen standing on a ship or holding a stalk of wheat. 

    What her presence aboard ships denotes is uncertain. 

    This can represent the riches that the Roman Empire gained via its conquests. 

    Numerous emperors' medals include the image of Copia. 


    Like Trajan, Antoninus Pius, Caracalla, Elagabalus, Severus Alexander, Gordian, Decius, Gallienus, Tetricus, Probus, Numerian, Carinus, Carus, Diocletian, and Galerius, to name a few. 

    She is shown next to one of the following inscriptions: Augustorum Nostrorum, Augustorum Augg NN, and Augustia Aug. 

    As a representation of "the richness that comes from Mithras' deed," Mithraic imagery on a vase from Lezoux in the Roman province of Gallia Aquitania shows this god sitting and holding a cornucopia. 

    A fountain at Pompeii had a picture of Copia. 


    Was Copia Worshipped As A Gallic Goddess?


    The Gallic goddess Rosmerta has been compared to Copia, however the two are never explicitly mentioned together in inscriptions. 


    A Domina Abundia ("Mistress Abundia") is mentioned by William of Auvergne (d.), a bishop of Paris, and she is referred to as "Dame Habonde" in the Roman de la Rose. 

    The name of the bishop comes from abundantia. 

    The dominae enter homes at night where offerings have been placed for them. 

    However, the contents of the containers remain unaltered as they are consumed. 

    They offer wealth and fecundity if they are pleased. 

    William believed that these customs amounted to idolatry. 

    These individuals were seen as Celtic fairies by folklorists. 

    According to Nicholas of Cusa, he saw two elderly ladies who claimed to work for Domina Abundia while traveling through the French Alps in. 

    They identified as apostate Christians who had been held captive for practicing witchcraft. 

    Nicholas believed that while they had been deceived by the devil, they should be given the opportunity to atone rather than being burned at the stake. 


    How Is Copia Portrayed In Modern Art?



    Copia is often seen with her cornucopia and sheaves of grain or wheat in later Western art.

    Salvator Rosa's 1658 work, Allegory of Fortune, features the horn of abundance as Fortuna, the goddess of luck.




    The cornucopia is generally shown in contemporary art as a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket that is filled with a variety of celebratory fruits and vegetables. 


    The cornucopia has come to symbolize Thanksgiving and the harvest in the majority of North America. 

    The annual November Food and Wine festival in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, is also known as Cornucopia. 

    Personifying the Americas as the New World by using an alligator, a parrot, and a cornucopia




    Idaho's flag and state seal both include two cornucopias. 

    Liberty stands on the Great Seal of North Carolina as Plenty holds a cornucopia. 

    A North Carolina state seal depicting a Cornucopia.



    The cornucopia, a sign of plenty, is also seen on the coats of arms of Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Panama, and the State of Victoria in Australia. 

    Columbia's Coat Of Arms


    Chile's Coat Of Arms


    Seal Of The Philippines

    Kharkiv, Ukraine's Coat Of Arms



    Tiffany Aching, a witch in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of fantasy books, temporarily held the Cornucopia, which is Summer's badge of office, until she developed avatarism and ped fecundis during the events of Wintersmith. 

    By spitting up food and animals, including a large flock of hens, this presents issues. 

    The Hunger Games novel series makes use of the cornucopia concept. 


    A massive horn-shaped cache packed with weapons and equipment is put before the beginning of the series' titular gladiatorial matches. 

    This cache, which is referred to as the "Cornucopia," acts as the center of combat during the first minutes of the match. 

    The national anthem of Panem, the main location of the series, is referred to as "the Horn of Plenty" in the film version, and it is referenced multiple times in the lyrics. 

    Harpocrates with a cornucopia, a figurine from the Hellenistic era, is shown at Dion's Archaeological Museum (Dion, Greece)




    As a symbol of fertility, good fortune, and prosperity, the horn of plenty is utilized as body art and at Halloween. 

    The Statue of Flora in Szczecin, Poland, has a cornucopia.



    How Is 'Cornucopia' Derived From The Name Of Goddess 'Copia'?

    Rubens' allegorical representation of the Roman goddess Abundantia holding a cornucopia (ca. 1630)



    The cornucopia, also known as the horn of plenty and deriving from the Latin words cornu (horn) and copia (plenty), was a representation of abundance and sustenance in ancient antiquity. 


    It was often a big horn-shaped receptacle filled to the brim with fruits, flowers, or nuts. 

    Western Asia and Europe have long utilized baskets or panniers of this kind to store and transport recently gathered foods. 

    The harvester's hands would be free to pick while the horn-shaped basket was carried on the back or draped over the torso. 


    How Was Goddess Copia Worshiped In Greek and Roman mythology?



    The genesis of the cornucopia is explained in a variety of myths. 


    The birth and upbringing of Zeus, who had to be concealed from his devouring father Cronus, is one of the most well-known. 

    Baby Zeus was taken care of and guarded by a multitude of heavenly attendants in a cave on Mount Ida on the island of Crete, including the goat Amaltheia ("Nourishing Goddess"), who fed him with her milk. 

    As a little child, the future king of the gods possessed extraordinary strength and talents. 

    When he was playing with his nursemaid, he accidently cut off one of her horns, which was endowed with the divine ability to supply endless sustenance just as the god's foster mother had done. 

    In a different tale, the cornucopia was created when Heracles (Roman Hercules) engaged in combat with the river deity Achelous and severed one of his horns; river gods were often shown as having horns. 

    The mural painting Achelous and Hercules by American Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton depicts this variation. 


    A number of Greek and Roman gods adopted the cornucopia as their symbol, especially those who were connected to the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance, such as personifications of Earth (Gaia or Terra), the son of the grain goddess Demeter and god of riches, Plutus, the nymph Maia, and Fortuna, the goddess of luck who could bring about prosperity. 

    Abundantia, who represents "Abundance," and Annona, the goddess of Rome's grain supply, were two abstract Roman goddesses who promoted peace (pax Romana) and prosperity in the Roman Imperial religion. 

    Girolamo Campagna's bronze Allegory of Peace, created in the late 16th and early 17th centuries and based on designs from about 1585–86



    Hades, the ancient underworld lord in mystery religions, is often seen holding a cornucopia in artwork. 

    He was a provider of material, spiritual, and natural prosperity.



    References And Further Reading:


    • Joseph Spence. Polymetis: Or, An Enquiry Concerning the Agreement Between the Works of the Roman Poets, and the Remains of the Antient Artists: Being an Attempt to Illustrate Them Mutually from One Another. In Ten Books. R. Dodsley, 1747, p. 148.
    • "Abundantia, Roman Goddess of Abundance". www.thaliatook.com. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
    • Virtue, Doreen (2005). Goddesses and Angels. United States of America: Hay House. p. 215. ISBN 978-1-4019-0473-9.
    • J. Rufus Fears, "The Cult of Virtues and Roman Imperial Ideology," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.17.2 (1981), p. 812.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses; 9.87–88, as cited by Fears, p. 821.
    • Universal Technological Dictionary Volume 1. London: Baldwin. 1823.
    • Manfred Claus, The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and His Mysteries, translated by Richard Gordon (Routledge, 2000, originally published 1990 in German), p. 118.
    • Paul-Marie Duval, "Rosmerta," American, African, and Old European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1993), p. 221.
    • Edward Burnett Tylor, excerpt from Primitive Culture, in Understanding Religious Sacrifice: A Reader (Continuum, 2003, 2006), p. 22.
    • Alan E. Bernstein, "The Ghostly Troop and the Battle over Death: William of Auvergne (d. 1249)," Rethinking Ghosts in World Religions (Brill, 2009), p. 144.
    • Benjamin Thorpe, Northern Mythology (London, 1861), vol. 1, p. 281; Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology (English translation London, 1880), pp. 283–288.
    • Hans Peter Broedel, The Malleus Maleficarum and the Construction of Witchcraft: Theology and Popular Belief (Manchester University Press, 2003), p. 109.
    • Jürg Meyer zur Capellen, Raphael: The Roman Religious Paintings, ca. 1508-1520 (Arcos, 2005), p. 264.
    • David Leeming, The Oxford Companion to World Mythology (Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 13; Robert Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens (Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 422.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses 9.87–88, as cited by J. Rufus Fears, "The Cult of Virtues and Roman Imperial Ideology," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.17.2 (1981), p. 821.
    • Kevin Clinton, Myth and Cult: The Iconography of the Eleusinian Mysteries (Stockholm, 1992), pp. 105–107.