260px-Rubens Abundance

The Roman goddess Abundantia with the cornucopia

The Cornucopia was a horn overflowing with produce. The cornucopia was associated with many deities related to harvest, prosperity and agriculture, such as Gaia, Demeter, Abundantia, Fortuna and Plutus. It is used as a symbol of abundance and material prosperity.

In Myth

In Greek mythology, the cornucopia was created when Alpheus fought Heracles. Alpheus transformed into a bull, but one of his horns was broken off by Heracles. Another myth relates that while Zeus was being raised in a cave on Mount Ida, Crete, he was suckled by Amalthea; a goat. Zeus accidentally broke off one of Amalthea's horns, which he then blessed to forever overflow with produce.

418px-Corne d'Abondance Statue Louis XV Reims 270608 1

A cornucopia at the base of a statue of Louis XV of France

In Popular Culture

  • In North America, especially the USA, the cornucopia is associated with the celebration of Thanksgiving.
  • As a symbol of abundance, the cornucopia is also seen in many flags, seals and coats of arms.


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