What is the birth flower for June? For people born in this month, it is Rose. The first mentions of Rose we may meet in the ancient Hindu legends. The sources say that this flower had a very high value in India. There is information about one curious law, according to which, if someone presented a Rose to the King of India, this person had a chance to obtain a mercy of the monarch. Brahmins used these flowers to decorate their temples. They scattered the petals of Rose on the presumable way of deity. Hindus paid tribute to the King using roses, gold, and gems alike.
There is no reliable information about the origin of this flower. But the Hindu folklore contains many myths on the subject. According to one of them, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity, Lakshmi, was born in the big Rose consisting of 108 large and 1608 small petals. Vishnu, the creator of the Universe, had been contemplating such a beauty, that was in the Rose cradle, woke her up with a kiss and married her, afterward. That’s why Lakshmi has become the goddess. The Rose, in turn, has become a symbol of the divine mystery, and, as a result, sacred flower for Oriental countries. Confucius considered Rose the princess of flowers. He claimed that among the 18,000 volumes of the Chinese Emperor’s Library, 500 books contained information about the Rose.
The ancient Jewish sources provide the controversial data about the Rose. Some authors claim that the Jewish word «שׁוֹשַׁנָה» that you can meet in the Bible means a Rose, according to the translation by Martin Luther, while other authors state that this word means a Red Lily, in fact. However, according to the Talmud, Red Rose grew up where the innocent blood of Abel was shed. Therefore, this flower serves as a significant detail of the decoration of the wedding dress of a bride, as a symbol of the innocence. However, apparently, the Jews learned about a Rose upon returning from Egypt, where this flower appeared about the 7th century BC. The proof of this fact is that this flower doesn’t meet on any ancient Egyptian image or building before this time.
As for the Egyptians, the rumor has it that Cleopatra, when she hosted Mark Antony, ordered to cover the floor of her palace with the petals of Rose. Pliny claims that this flower played a primary role in the later life of Cleopatra as it helped her to be convinced of the real intentions of Mark Antony. According to the custom, the Romans threw the petals of Rose in the cup of the wine to express the trust to each other.
Mark Antony was very suspicious. Therefore, he asked his slave to try all the dishes and drinks. But Cleopatra ordered to spray a strong poison along her wreath. When drunken Antony confessed his love to her, he plunged the petals in his cup and wanted to drink the wine. Cleopatra snatched the cup out of his hands and said: “Look, dear Antony, how easy for me to poison you if just I could live without you.”
The ancient Greeks believed that the Rose is a gift of the Gods. According to Anacreon, this flower appeared from the snow-white foam that covered the body of Aphrodite when she returned after swimming from the sea. The luxurious Rose gardens surrounded the most famous temples of Venus in Greece.
Rose arrived in Rome from Greece. But the flower changed its meaning in this country. Initially, a Rose was a symbol of strict morality, which served a reward for the brave acts. But during the fall of Rome, this flower symbolized a sin and was a subject of luxury. For instance, Emperor Nero ordered to decorate the roof of his dining room with the petals of Rose. This roof was a mechanical construction that showed four seasons while spinning. 185,000 petals of Rose fell down the floor, symbolizing hail and rain.
The subject of Rose is broad. Thousands of treatises cover the history of this famous flower. Unfortunately, we can’t include all these data in this article.