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What flowers did Romans use in temples?

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I was wondering which variety of flowers the ancient Romans used to decorate their temples? I have been to India and saw that they put marigolds everywhere around temples, often in offering bowls or floating on water. Interestingly the scientific name of marigold is tagetes, which owe its name to Tages, an Etruscan god adopted by the Romans and later said to be one of Jupiter's grandsons. Does that mean that marigold could have also played a role in Roman religion? What about other flowers?

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Great question and I have no idea.

I guess the choice of flowers used would depend on the season and availability.

Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and the season of spring. According to Wikipedia:


Her festival, the Floralia, was held between April 28 and May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, drinking, and flowers. At the festival, with the men decked in flowers, and the women wearing normally forbidden gay costumes, five days of farces and mimes were enacted – ithyphallic, and including nudity when called for – followed by a sixth day of the hunting of goats and hares. On May 23 another (rose) festival was held in her honor.


Obviously, roses played a central role in the festival of Rose (Rosalia)


Roman poet and satirist Persius (AD 34-62) stated that during the festival of Floralia:


the crowd was pelted with vetches, beans, and lupins, also symbols of fertility.

(Both vetches and lupins are flowering plants.)


Lavender was frequently used in ancient Rome as soap and perfumes. I would be surprised if it weren't used in religious ceremonies.

Although marigolds were common in ancient Roman gardens and were used medicinally (for wounds and cramping). It was even thought to possess magical qualities, but I am uncertain about its use in religion.

Not being a botanist, I don't understand the terminology of the marigold. If my understanding is correct, however, the marigold is from the genus Calendura. If the marigold is included,


Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many rituals and ceremonies, sometimes wearing crowns or garlands made from the flowers.



Since the times of ancient Romans and Greeks, this edible herb of a flower has been used in religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes. The name Calendula originated from the ancient Romans due to the fact it was said to have bloomed the first day of each month (kalend or calend) and was a symbol for happiness.



guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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