Persephone

Persephone is the Goddess of innocence and springtime. In Ionic Greek her name means "she who destroys the light". Sometimes she is also known as "Kore" or just "the Maiden". Her mother is the greek goddess Demeter, goddess of agriculture, and her father is Zeus. She is Demeter's only daughter. Persephone is the Queen of the Underworld. One of her symbols is the Pomegranate. She is the wife of Hades and they have no children together. In some stories, she is the mother of Zaegrus Dionysius by Zeus. In other stories she is said to have raised Dionysius and given care to Adonis while he was young. However, in most stories, it is said that she has no children.

external image KrisWaldherr_Persephone.jpg

Persephone's Abduction

Hades had always wanted a peaceful wife, and Persephone was brought to his attention. He had started to admire her and watch her from the Underworld. One day he decided that enough was enough, so he went to his brother and Persephone's father, Zeus, to ask for her hand in marriage. Zeus agreed, but did not think her mother, Demeter, would be too eager to let her only daughter marry the king of the Underworld and never be able to see her again. Instead of waiting or asking Demeter, Hades took charge. He placed a narcissus flower, "flower of the dead", into a meadow so that the next time Persephone went out picking flowers she would be drawn to it. His plan worked and as she bent down to pick the flower, Hades rose out of the ground on a black chariot with black horses and pulled her back to the Underworl
Hades and Persephone
Hades and Persephone
d with him.

Even though Hades had stolen Persephone away from her mother, Persephone grew to love Hades. She began to enjoy being in the underworld, although she still missed her mother.

Demeter's Search

Demeter and Persephone
Demeter and Persephone
Demeter and her daughter were very close. When Demeter found out from Helios that Hades had captured Persephone, she became very angry and depressed. She sent Hermes down to the Underworld to take Persephone back. Demeter felt very alone, and being the goddess of agriculture, she created winter and refused to let things get "warm again" until Persephone was brought back to her. Hermes found Persephone, but not before Persephone had eaten some pomegranate seeds Hades had given her, forcing her to remain in the Underworld with him. Demeter would not give up. She told Hermes to make a deal with Hades. Their deal was that Persephone could stay in the Underworld with Hades for 3 or 4 months and the rest of the year would belong to Demeter. During the time Persephone was on land, Demeter was happy and let everything be warm, bright, and happy. During the time Persephone was in the Underworld, Demeter would grow sad and cause Winter, making things cold and dark. This is the reason Persephone is known as the Goddess of Spring.




Stories of Persephone

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  • In one of the stories Persephone helped Hercules by letting him borrow Cerberus, a mean three-headed dog, so that he could finish the Tweleve Labors and make payback for the death of his wife.
  • Persephone was also said to be in the underworld when Odysseus got there. She gave him a wonderful tour of the souls of women of great reown.
  • In another story, she agreed to hide Adonis, who was a mortal man and Aphrodite's lover, from Aphrodite's husband. But when Persephone saw the beautiful Adonis, she also fell for him and refused to give him back to Aphrodite. Finally, Zeus stepped into the argument and decided that Adonis should have to spend one third of the year with each Persephone and Aphrodite, leaving one third of the year for his free time. During his free time, he chose to hunt and was killed in a hunting accident a few years later.
  • She also helped Psyche pass Aphrodite's tests so that Psyche could be reunited with her husband. Psyche had been designated to go to the underworld and return with some of Persephone's beauty ointment. While in the underworld, Psyche found that Persephone was a generous and a gracious hostess.



Persephone and Hades
Persephone and Hades
Persephone eating a pomegranate
Persephone eating a pomegranate

Persephone and Hades
Persephone and Hades
Persephone Queen of the Underworld
Persephone Queen of the Underworld






Cites:
http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/paolicchidemeter/demeter.html
http://www.fictionpress.com/s/1704866/1/The_Story_of_Hades_and_Persephone
http://www.claredunkle.com/design/hkpersephone.htm
http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/greek_goddess_persephone.htm