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Persephone

220px-AMI - Isis-Persephone

Goddess of
Goddess of Rebirth, Spring and the Underworld
Consorts
Hades (Husband/uncle), Adonis (Lover, briefly)
Siblings
Parents
Children
Symbols
Pomagranate
Torch
Sacred Plants
Asphodel
Wheat
Other Names
Prosperina
Proserpine
Kore
Cora
Persephone Hades BM Vase E82

Persephone and Hades

Persephone is the Greek goddess of springtime and maidenhood, and is the queen of the Underworld. She is married to Hades who is also her uncle. Her Roman name is Proserpine.

Myths about Persephone

Birth and Childhood

Persephone was born to Zeus and harvest-goddess, Demeter, and became the queen of the Underworld. Zeus, however, did not care for Persephone, and left them both. Demeter would then raise Persephone alone.

Marriage

Pluto-proserpine

Hades abduction of Persephone

As soon as Persephone matured, she gained many suitors. She, however, remained a maiden. One morning, she was out picking flowers when Hades burst through the Earth, riding a golden chariot pulled by black horses. He had seen her earlier that day and had fallen in love with her. He grabbed her by the wrist and waist, took into the chariot, and down to the Underworld.

Persephone spent a year there. In this time period, during the first nine days her mother, Demeter, was distraught and searched for her. Hekate saw her one of the nine days and told Demeter. Demeter became intensely sad and stopped caring about nature and the Earth. This cause nature to die, and the first winter to occur.

Persephone longed for a friend, and hated Hades. However, he soon grew on her, and experienced true freedom (In Hades, at least). Soon, Hecate came down and befriended her, and Hades grew happy for Persephone.

Zeus then ordered Hades to return Persephone, but Hades sent a wonderful gift to Zeus. Persephone also ate six pomegranates, which cursed her to stay there for six months. Zeus was taken by the gift but was torn between it and nature. He, Demeter, and Hades came to an agreement: Persephone would stay three quarters of the year in Hades and one quarter of the year on Earth/Olympus with Demeter.

Also Called

  • Proserpine or Prosperpina
  • Queen of the Underworld
  • Goddess of vegetation
  • Kore

Attributes

  • Pomegranates
  • Grain
  • Flowers
  • Spring
  • Fertility
  • Vegetation

Parents

Spouse & Lovers

Children

Trivia

  • Persephone is the name of a character in the Matrix movies. She's married to The Marovingian, a powerful lord of the underworld. (Hmm, we wonder where they got that idea?)
  • In some myths, the Erinyes (a.k.a. the Eumenides or the Furies) are the daughters of Persephone and Hades.
  • With the help of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley wrote a drama called Proserpine, based on Ovid's version of the myth. We guess she was a fan of themes of death and resurrection, considering her famous novel Frankenstein.
  • In one story, Persephone changes Minthe, a nymph lover of Hades, into the plant we know as mint, all because the nymph bragged that she was better than Persephone.
  • In one obscure myth, Persephone is responsible for the creation of mankind.

Symbols

Gallery of Persephone


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