History of the Cornucopia

The welcoming of November I was thinking of thanksgiving and spending time with family. Some of the visions I have of a perfect thanksgiving table usually includes a cornucopia. As most of you know Becca and I are history lover and always absorbing whatever we can. I remember reading a blurb about the cornucopia years ago and thinking WOW really and this is something that is staple fall decor I wonder if other people know this!  So this week I wanted to take a trip down history starting all the way back to the 5th century B.C. – guys thats a long time ago for something to still be used today!

Lets start with our standard dictionary information: 

Cornucopia is from Latin term “cornu” meaning horn and “copia” meaning plenty. A horn filled with plenty.

Stories behind the cornucopia:

There are two stories from Greek Folklore dating back to 5th century B.C.  Starting with a goat named Amalthea this goat cared and nursed the Greek God Zeus in the mountains of Crete. While playing Zeus accidentally broke off her horn. Zeus felt terrible about what he had done so he blessed the horn and gave it to Amalthea saying that what ever she desired the horn would be filled with. (hence the meaning horn of plenty)

Another story was about Hercules the son of Zeus. This story is about a fought to win the heart of a beautiful maiden named Deianira.   Hercules fought in a battle with Achelous (the god of the river). Achelous was able to transform into anything while he was transforming into a bull Hercules broke off one of his horns. Achelous went back into the river being defeated by Hercules. Hercules and Deianira where married and kept the horn filled with fruits and flowers and presented it at their wedding.

Interesting Facts:

  • The cornucopia is seen on the Peru, Wisconsin and Idaho flags
  • There is a mushroom called the Black Trumpet or Craterellus Cornucopiodes  known as the horn of plenty
  • The Worlds Fair in 1904 in St. Louis featured a “waffle cone” known as the Worls Fair Cornucopia.
  • The Cornucopia symbol was used along grain fields to draw in new settlers.

Thank you for reading this weeks blog. Have you heard these stories before?

Happy fall

Tara

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