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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Bona Dea

Mythic, worshipped in ancient Rome, circa 753 B.C.E.–C.E. 476

The Roman “Good Goddess,” Bona Dea is associated with women, virginity, fertility, and healing. She was worshipped mostly by women and slaves, particularly during her ceremonies on December 4 each year, at which only women were allowed to be present. Her image was often produced on Roman coins, usually sitting on a throne holding a cornucopia and sometimes accompanied by a snake, which was her symbol.

Bona Dea—The Earth. From William Hone, Hone’s Everyday Book (London, 1826)

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