500 BC-100 AD
Pomegranates figured prominently in Greek myths. In one of the most famous, Hades used the fruit to tempt Persephone, daughter of Zeus, into marriage.
Image: Votive relief Pinax with Persephone opening a basket, Locri, 470–450 BC. Credit: Scala / Art Resource, NY
Ganesha, the Hindu deity revered as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings and patron of the arts, is depicted multiple times holding a pomegranate.
Pomegranates first came to China from the Middle East via the legendary Silk Road. They became a popular wedding present, expressing the wish, “May you have as many children as there are seeds!”
Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides featured pomegranates in his famed text, De Materia Medica. It remained Western civilization’s leading text on pharmacology for over 1,000 years.