The Cornucopia

CODEX Entry 1015: The Cornucopia


Lost in a maze of poetry and symbolism, the broken horn has been a significant image in Mediterannean mythology, generally referred to as the Cornucopia. The horn represents prosperity and immortality for those who drink from it. Children’s stories relating to the broken horn took several forms. According to the Greeks, the horn of plenty was broken off the head of an enchanted goat by the infant Zeus while in hiding from his father Cronus, on Crete, with the river goddess Amalthea. The Roman version in Ovid’s tongue-in-cheek poem, Metamorphoses, has Theseus coming upon the river god, Achelous, and seeing that one of his horns is missing. The river god then tells of how he battled Hercules over a woman, and Hercules snapped off the horn. In Christian iconography the Horn of plenty has been replaced by the Holy Grail, the goblet from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper.