The word pomegranate comes from the French words pome grenate, or apple with many seeds. It is believed to have been first cultivated by the Phoenicians, and was widely available in the Mediterranean region. Pomegranates are explained in the second degree lecture, where it is explained that "th Poe fr th ex of it ses, de Pl."
Seeds serve as a symbol of fertility in many cultures. For example in ancient Greece, the pomegranate was attributed to Hera and Aphrodite (Venus). In ancient Rome newly wed women wore headdresses made from pomegranate twigs, and its juice was consumed as a remedy for infertility. Since the rind of the fruit is tough, but the juice sweet, the pomegranate came to symbolize the priest; severe on the outside, indulgent on the inside. Moses was ordered to put embodied pomegranates, with golden bells between them, at the bottom of the high-priest’s robe (Exodus 39:26). St. John of the Cross made the pomegranate seeds the symbol of divine perfection.
The Romans considered the Pomegranate to be the fruit mentioned as being abundant in Eden. Jewish tradition has it that pomegranates have 613 seeds, which equals the 613 commandments.
In the Greek myth of Persephone's abduction by Hades, lord of the underworld, the pomegranate represents life, regeneration, and marriage. One day while out gathering flowers, Persephone noticed a narcissus of exquisite beauty. As she bent down to pick it, the earth opened and Hades seized her and dragged her down to his kingdom. By eating a few pomegranate seeds, Persephone tied herself to Hadesthe pomegranate being a symbol of the indissolubilityof marriage. Inconsolable at the loss of her daughter, the corngoddess Demeter prevented the earth from bearing fruit unlessshe saw her daughter again. Zeus intervened and worked out a compromise: Persephone should live with Hades for one third of the year and the other two thirds with Demeter. Persephone's return from the underworld each year is marked by the arrival of Spring
Priests of Demeter and Eleusis were crowned with pomegranate branches. Pomegranates were also planted on the graves of heroes, perhaps in the hope of many successors. The Chinese also revere the fruit in this way, and it is one of the "Three Blessed Fruits of Buddhism," stemming from the legend of the demoness Hariti, who devoured children, and was cured of her evil habit by the Buddha, who gave her a pomegranate to eat
In Persian mythology Isfandiyar eats a pomegranate and becomes invincible. In "The Persian War" Herodotus mentions golden pomegranates adorning the spears of warriors in the Persian phalanx.
Mohammed is said to have recommended the fruit to purge envy and hatred, and is referred to in the Koran as Rumman.
The pomegranate was chosen as the logo for the Millennium Festival of Medicine from a shortlist that included DNA, the human body, and a heart beat. Indeed, many medical associations use the pomegranate as their symbol (see below)
The pomegranate is used in the coat of arms of Colombia and Granada. The Coat of arms of Colombia British Medical Association Royal College of Midwives Royal College of Obstetricians Royal College of Physicians