Crowns in Cultures

Written by Alana Jolley

August 3, 2014

Crowns in Cultures

Crowns in Cultures, in some artistic form, are part of many civilizations. They can be made of very different materials: gold, silver, feathers, cloth, wood, metal, stone, or special leaves or branches. All crowns have two things in common; they are symbolic and they represent symbolic things such as power, victory, religion, rulers, or deities.

 The above crown is exhibited in one of the National Museums of Rome, the Baths of Diocletian. It is a “Votive Crown,” made of stone with carved leaves and flowers intertwined, offered to the goddess, Fortuna Primigenia. She had many important roles as a deity. She was mother of the cosmos, protector of maternity, and goddess of both fate and fortune.


Goddess Fortuna Primagenia

“A very famous oracle was connected with her, whose answers were given by means of written tablets of miraculous origin, extracted from a wooden chest by a young boy. The precise aspect of the temple and place of consultation for the oracle as they were prior to the immense monumentalization of her sanctuary in the last quarter of the II century BC are not well understood.” (National Museums of Roma, 2014)

Many years ago I lived on a street named Fortuna Way, but I had no idea that my street name was connected to a Greek and Roman Goddess.  Fortuna Primagenia’s cultural influences date back to Greece, but in Roman mythology she was worshipped at the largest of all Temples in Italy, in a location known as Latium, occupied by the Latini Tribe. A votive offering to her meant the donor was either hoping for a miracle or thanking her for a miracle that had already transpired.  She was always portrayed carrying a cornucopia.

Depictions of various types of crowns from various cultures are shown here in examples from medieval times, an Aztec feather headdress, and a Native American crown.


Ornate crown from Medieval Times


Votive Crowns were often hung for good luck.


Native American “crown.”


Montezuma/Aztec Feather Headdress


























Explore More! to get inspired to learn more about your own culture, which in turn will show you how it has influenced your life over time.










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