November 12th, 2007 by sabrina

Pomona is the Roman Goddess of fruit trees and orchards. Pomona lived in an orchard, from which she barred all men. Many men tried to gain entrance to her orchard, but she denied them. Finally, Vertumnus, God of the changing of the seasons, took to using disguises to trick her. One day, an old woman came to Pomona’s orchard, and she was admitted. The woman told Pomona that she should reconsider her rejection of Vertumnus, and illustrated with the story of Iphis and Anaxerete:

Iphis was a young man who fell desperately in love with the maiden Anaxerete, but she was unmoved by his declarations of love, and even mocked him. Iphis, realizing that it was hopeless, killed himself in front of Anaxerete’s house. Still she was unmoved, and Venus, the Goddess of love, punished her for her coldness by turning her to stone.

When the old woman finished the story, she threw off her cloak, revealing herself to be Vertumnus in disguise. Pomona relented, and they were married. Pomona’s name comes from the Latin word pomum, meaning “fruit”, and she was also called the “Apple-Mother“.

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