Abundantia is the Roman Goddess of Abundance and Prosperity.
Her name means, literally, "plenty" or "overflowing riches".
She represents the idea of abundance or riches personified and deified. Other
examples of deified abstractions include Pietas (Piety),
Victoria (Victory), Libertas
(Freedom), and Concordia (Harmony). Many of these
type of divinities were added at a late date, especially if political advantage
could be had--for example by claiming that a certain virtue presided over Emperor
So-and-So's rule--though quite a few are also very ancient (such as Ops,
the wealth of the earth).
Abundantia is depicted on Roman coins of the 3rd century c.e.,
often with Her symbol the cornucopia, the mythical horn of plenty (which is
exactly what the word means). According to the Greek legend (which was of course
known to the Romans), Zeus accidentally broke
a horn from the divine she-goat Amalthea. To comfort Her, He decreed that from
then on the horn would overflow with all good things--food, drink, riches, &c--so
that whoever possessed it would always prosper. This symbol of plenty is also
shown with other Goddesses as well, like Fortuna,
Tyche, or Justitia. On the coins, Abundantia may
be seen simply holding it, or tipping it over so that the riches pour out, though
on one coin She is seated in a chair that is built entirely from cornucopiae.
She is also sometimes shown with ears of wheat, or standing on the prow of a
ship, perhaps representing the overseas conquests of the Empire and the wealth
The Via dell'Abbondanza, the main east-west road of the resort
town of Pompeii, is named (by modern excavators) for a fountain on which Abundantia
is carved. The water of the fountain issued from Her mouth, and She was depicted
with the cornucopia filled with fruit leaning on Her left shoulder.
She is associated with Concordia and Fortuna.
Alternate forms: Abundita.