Apparently forgetting that flowers are the sex organs of plants, most mythographers express shock and puzzlement that Flora, a Roman deity, was not only the goddess of flowers and spring but the patron of prostitutes, worshiped in public orgies from April 28th to May 3rd. But this very ancient Roman goddess was the embodiment of the flowering of all nature, including the human nature. Thus it was presumed that the best way to honor Flora was to pass obscene medallions around, and hold orgies in her honor.

The female body was especially honored at the Floralia, the festival of nude women celebrated until the 3rd century (c.e.) when Roman authorities grew prudish and demanded garments on the revelers. This Floralia was not frivolous partying, for Flora was the queen of all plants, including edible ones-for flowers lead to fruit as intercourse to conception, a basic truth that the Romans recognized by calling Flora the secret patron of Rome,without whose help the city would die.

Flo"ra (?), n. [L., the goddess of flowers, from flos, floris, flower. See Flower.]

1. Rom. Myth.

The goddess of flowers and spring.

2. Bot.

The complete system of vegetable species growing without cultivation in a given locality, region, or period; a list or description of, or treatise on, such plants.

 

© Webster 1913.

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