In ancient Roman religion, Abundantia was a divine personification of abundance and prosperity. She was among the embodiments of virtues in religious propaganda that cast the emperor as the ensurer of “Golden Age” conditions. Abundantia thus figures in art, cult, and literature, but has little mythology as such. She may have survived in some form in Roman Gaul and medieval France.
The Augustan poet Ovid gives Abundantia a role in the myth of Acheloüs the river god, one of whose horns was ripped from his forehead by Hercules. The horn was taken up by the Naiads and transformed into the cornucopia that was granted to Abundantia. (Other aetiological myths provide different explanations of the cornucopia’s origin.) On Neronian coinage, she was associated with Ceres and equated with Annona, who embodied the grain supply. Like Annona, Abundantia was a “virtue in action” in such locations as the harbor, where grain entered the city.
Abundantia occurs in the context of Mithraic iconography on a vase from Lezoux, in the Roman province of Gallia Aquitania, which presents the most complete depiction of the act of bull-slaying that was central to the religion. Abundantia is seated and holds a cornucopia as an image of “the abundance that stems from Mithras’ act.”