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Flora (mythology)

Flora (mythology)

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In Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

, Flora was a goddess
Goddess
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing....

 of flowers and the season of spring
Spring (season)
Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The specific definition of the exact timing of "spring" varies according to local climate, cultures and...

. While she was otherwise a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility goddess
Fertility goddess
A fertility deity is a god or goddess in mythology associated with fertility, pregnancy, and birth. In some cases these deities are directly associated with sex, and in others they simply embody related attributes...

es, her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the Floralia
Floralia
The Floralia, also known as the "Florifertum," was an ancient Roman festival dedicated to Flora, the goddess of flowers and vegetation. It was held on the IV Calends of May, April 27 to May 3, and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. These days...

, was held between April 28 and May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, drinking, and flowers. The festival was first instituted in 240 B.C.E but on the advice of the Sibylline books she was given another temple in 238 B.C.E. Her Greek
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 equivalent was Chloris
Chloris
thumb|250px|right| "As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses:I was Chloris, who am now called Flora." [[Ovid]]There are many stories in Greek mythology about figures named Chloris...

, who was a nymph and not a goddess at all. Flora was married to Favonius
Anemoi
In Greek mythology, the Anemoi were Greek wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which their respective winds came , and were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions...

, the wind god, and her companion was Hercules
Hercules
Hercules is the Roman name for Greek demigod Heracles, son of Zeus , and the mortal Alcmene...

. Her name is derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word "flos" which means "flower." In modern English, "Flora" also means the plants of a particular region or period.

Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of Antiquity among Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...


humanists
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 than she had ever enjoyed in ancient Rome.

She is the main character of the ballet The Awakening of Flora.

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