Persephone
Overview
 
In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, Persephone p, also called Kore ˈ, is the daughter of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 and the harvest-goddess Demeter
Demeter
In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons . Her common surnames are Sito as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society...

, and queen of the underworld
Greek underworld
The Greek underworld was made up of various realms believed to lie beneath the earth or at its farthest reaches.This includes:* The great pit of Tartarus, originally the exclusive prison of the old Titan gods, it later came to be the dungeon home of damned souls.* The land of the dead ruled by the...

; she was abducted by Hades
Hades
Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

, the god-king of the underworld.

The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation
Vegetation
Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader...

 which shoots forth in spring
Spring (season)
Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The specific definition of the exact timing of "spring" varies according to local climate, cultures and...

 and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence she is also associated with spring and with the seeds of the fruits of the fields.
Encyclopedia
In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, Persephone p, also called Kore ˈ, is the daughter of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 and the harvest-goddess Demeter
Demeter
In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons . Her common surnames are Sito as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society...

, and queen of the underworld
Greek underworld
The Greek underworld was made up of various realms believed to lie beneath the earth or at its farthest reaches.This includes:* The great pit of Tartarus, originally the exclusive prison of the old Titan gods, it later came to be the dungeon home of damned souls.* The land of the dead ruled by the...

; she was abducted by Hades
Hades
Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

, the god-king of the underworld.

The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation
Vegetation
Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader...

 which shoots forth in spring
Spring (season)
Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The specific definition of the exact timing of "spring" varies according to local climate, cultures and...

 and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence she is also associated with spring and with the seeds of the fruits of the fields. Persephone as a vegetation goddess
Vegetation deity
A vegetation deity is a nature deity whose disappearance and reappearance, or life, death and rebirth, embodies the growth cycle of plants. In nature worship, the deity can be a god or goddess with the ability to regenerate itself. A vegetation deity is often a fertility deity...

 (Kore) and her mother Demeter
Demeter
In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons . Her common surnames are Sito as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society...

 were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries
Eleusinian Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance...

 that predated the Olympian pantheon.
In the Linear B
Linear B
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It pre-dated the Greek alphabet by several centuries and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization...

 (Mycenean
Mycenae
Mycenae is an archaeological site in Greece, located about 90 km south-west of Athens, in the north-eastern Peloponnese. Argos is 11 km to the south; Corinth, 48 km to the north...

 Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

) tablets dated 1400-1200 BC found at Pylos
Pylos
Pylos , historically known under its Italian name Navarino, is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It was the capital of the former...

, the "two mistresses and the king" are mentioned; John Chadwick
John Chadwick
John Chadwick was an English linguist and classical scholar most famous for his role in deciphering Linear B, along with Michael Ventris.-Early life and education:...

 identifies these as Demeter
Demeter
In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons . Her common surnames are Sito as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society...

, Persephone and Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

.

In Classical Greek art
Art in Ancient Greece
The arts of ancient Greece have exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries all over the world, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture. In the West, the art of the Roman Empire was largely derived from Greek models...

, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed; often carrying a sheaf of grain. In Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

, she is called Proserpina
Proserpina
Proserpina or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose story is the basis of a myth of Springtime. Her Greek goddess' equivalent is Persephone. The probable origin of her name comes from the Latin, "proserpere" or "to emerge," in respect to the growing of grain...

.

Greek mythology

Persephone's abduction is first mentioned in Hesiod
Hesiod
Hesiod was a Greek oral poet generally thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. His is the first European poetry in which the poet regards himself as a topic, an individual with a distinctive role to play. Ancient authors credited him and...

's Theogony
Theogony
The Theogony is a poem by Hesiod describing the origins and genealogies of the gods of the ancient Greeks, composed circa 700 BC...

. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter a great chasm opened up and Hades abducted her daughter. Demeter caused a terrible drought that forced Zeus to bring Persephone back, but she was obliged to spend half of the year in the underworld. Demeter was also united with the hero Iasion
Iasion
In Greek mythology, Iasion or Iasus was usually the son of Electra and Zeus and brother of Dardanus. Iasion founded the mystic rites on the island of Samothrace. With Demeter, he was the father of twin sons named Ploutos and Philomelus, and another son named Korybas...

 in Crete and she bore Ploutos (πλούτος,plutos:wealth) who represents the wealth of the corn that was stored in underground silos or ceramic jars (pithoi). Similar subterranean pithoi were used in ancient times for burials and Ploutos is fused with Hades, the King of the realm of the dead. During summer months, the Greek Corn-Maiden (Kore
Kore
Kore is an energy drink distributed by GNC in 250 mL cans.-Ingredients:Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Taurine, Sodium Citrate, Glucuronolactone, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caffeine, Sodium Benzoate, Inositol, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine...

) is lying in the corn of the underground silos, in the realm of Hades and she is fused with Persephone, the Queen of the underworld. At the beginning of the autumn, when the seeds of the old crop are laid on the fields, she ascends and is reunited with her mother Demeter, for at that time the old crop and the new meet each other. For the initiated this union was the symbol of the eternity of human life that flows from the generations which spring from each other.

Hesiod refers to the island of the "happy dead" and it is the Elysion which seems to be counterpart with Eleusis, the city of the Eleusinian mysteries. The Greeks believed that only the beloved of the gods could exist there. In Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

 Homer carries the old belief to the ideal island for mortals Scheria
Scheria
Scheria –also known as Scherie or Phaeacia– was a geographical region in Greek mythology, first mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as the home of the Phaiakians and the last destination of Odysseus before returning home to Ithaca.-Odysseus meets Nausikaa:In the Odyssey, after Odysseus sails...

, the imaginary perfect world that was offered to the future emigrants. This island became the lost dream of the Greek world.

The primitive myths of isolated Arcadia
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

 seem to be related with the first Greek-speaking people who came from the north-east during the bronze age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. Despoina
Despoina
In Greek mythology, Despoina, Despoena or Despoine, was the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon and sister of Arion. She was the goddess of mysteries of Arcadian cults worshipped under the title Despoina,"the mistress" alongside with her mother Demeter,one of the goddesses of the Eleusinian mysteries...

 (Persephone) is the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

 Hippios (horse), who represents the river spirit of the underworld that appears as a horse as often happens in northern-European folklore. He pursues the mare-Demeter and from the union she bears the horse Arion
Arion
Arion was a kitharode in ancient Greece, a Dionysiac poet credited with inventing the dithyramb: "As a literary composition for chorus dithyramb was the creation of Arion of Corinth," The islanders of Lesbos claimed him as their native son, but Arion found a patron in Periander, tyrant of Corinth...

 and a daughter who originally had the form or the shape of a mare. The two goddesses were not clearly separated and they were closely connected with the springs and the animals. They were related with the god of rivers and springs; Poseidon and especially with Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

, the Mistress of the Animals who was the first nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

. According to the Greek tradition a hunt-goddess preceded the harvest goddess.

Etymology

In a Linear B
Linear B
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It pre-dated the Greek alphabet by several centuries and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization...

 (Mycenean Greek) inscription on a tablet found at Pylos
Pylos
Pylos , historically known under its Italian name Navarino, is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It was the capital of the former...

 dated 1400-1200 BC, John Chadwick
John Chadwick
John Chadwick was an English linguist and classical scholar most famous for his role in deciphering Linear B, along with Michael Ventris.-Early life and education:...

 reconstructs the name of a goddess *Preswa who could be identified with Persa
Oceanid
In Greek mythology and, later, Roman mythology, the Oceanids were the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Each was the patroness of a particular spring, river, sea, lake, pond, pasture, flower or cloud...

, daughter of Oceanus
Oceanus
Oceanus ; , Ōkeanós) was a pseudo-geographical feature in classical antiquity, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the world-ocean, an enormous river encircling the world....

 and finds speculative the further identification with the first element of Persephone.
Persephonē (Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: Περσεφόνη) is her name in the Ionic Greek
Ionic Greek
Ionic Greek was a subdialect of the Attic–Ionic dialect group of Ancient Greek .-History:Ionic dialect appears to have spread originally from the Greek mainland across the Aegean at the time of the Dorian invasions, around the 11th Century B.C.By the end of the Greek Dark Ages in the 5th Century...

 of epic
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 literature. The Homeric form of her name is Persephoneia (Περσεφονεία, Persephonēia). In other dialects she was known under variant names: Persephassa (Περσεφάσσα), Persephatta (Περσεφάττα), or simply Korē (Κόρη, "girl, maiden"). Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 calls her Pherepapha (Φερέπαφα) in his Cratylus
Cratylus (dialogue)
Cratylus is the name of a dialogue by Plato. Most modern scholars agree that it was written mostly during Plato's so-called middle period...

, "because she is wise and touches that which is in motion". There also the forms Perifona (Πηριφόνα) and Phersephassa (Φερσέφασσα). The existence of so many different forms shows how difficult it was for the Greeks to pronounce the word in their own language and suggests that the name has probably a pre-Greek origin.

There is some prospect that the name reached Greek from the Proto-Indo-European language
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

. In that regard it can be derived from "φέρειν φόνον", pherein phonon, "to bring (or cause) death".

Another mythical personage of the name of Persephione is called a daughter of Minyas
Minyas (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Minyas was the founder of Orchomenus, Boetia. As the ancestor of the Minyans, a number of Boeotian genealogies lead back to him, according to the classicist H.J. Rose...

 and the mother of Chloris
Chloris
thumb|250px|right| "As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses:I was Chloris, who am now called Flora." [[Ovid]]There are many stories in Greek mythology about figures named Chloris...

, a nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

 of spring, flower and new growth. The Minyans
Minyans
According to Greek mythology and legendary prehistory of the Aegean region, the Minyans were an autochthonous group inhabiting the Aegean region...

 were a group considered autochthonous, but some scholars assert that they were the first wave of Proto-Greek speakers in the second milemnium BC.

The Roman Proserpina

The Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 first heard of her from the Aeolian
Aeolians
The Aeolians were one of the four major ancient Greek tribes comprising Ancient Greeks. Their name derives from Aeolus, the mythical ancestor of the Aeolic branch and son of Hellen, the mythical patriarch of the Greek nation...

 and Dorian cities of Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
Magna Græcia is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean colonies of Tarentum, Crotone, and Sybaris, but also, more loosely, the cities of Cumae and Neapolis to the north...

, who used the dialectal variant Proserpinē (Προσερπινη). Hence, in Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

 she was called Proserpina
Proserpina
Proserpina or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose story is the basis of a myth of Springtime. Her Greek goddess' equivalent is Persephone. The probable origin of her name comes from the Latin, "proserpere" or "to emerge," in respect to the growing of grain...

, a name erroneously derived by the Romans from "proserpere", "to shoot forth" and as such became an emblematic figure of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

.

At Locri
Locri
Locri is a town and comune in the province of Reggio Calabria, Calabria, southern Italy. The name derives from the ancient Greek town Locris.-History:...

, perhaps uniquely, Persephone was the protector of marriage, a role usually assumed by Hera
Hera
Hera was the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion. Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage. Her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome was Juno. The cow and the peacock were sacred to her...

; in the iconography of votive plaques
Pinax
In the culture of ancient Greece and Magna Graecia, a pinax or a "board", denotes a votive tablet of painted wood, terracotta, marble or bronze that served as a votive object deposited in a sanctuary or as a memorial affixed within a burial chamber. In daily life pinax might equally denote a...

 at Locri, her abduction and marriage to Hades served as an emblem of the marital state, children at Locri were dedicated to Proserpina, and maidens about to be wed brought their peplos
Peplos
A peplos is a body-lengthGreek garment worn by women before 500 BC. The peplos is a tubular cloth folded inside-out from the top about halfway down, altering what was the top of the tube to the waist and the bottom of the tube to ankle-length. The garment is then gathered about the waist and the...

 to be blessed.

Nestis

In a Classical period text ascribed to Empedocles
Empedocles
Empedocles was a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. Empedocles' philosophy is best known for being the originator of the cosmogenic theory of the four Classical elements...

, c. 490–430 BC, describing a correspondence among four deities and the classical element
Classical element
Many philosophies and worldviews have a set of classical elements believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists or upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of anything are based. Most frequently, classical elements refer to ancient beliefs...

s, the name Nestis for water apparently refers to Persephone: "Now hear the fourfold roots of everything: enlivening Hera, Hades, shining Zeus. And Nestis, moistening mortal springs with tears."

Of the four deities of Empedocles's elements, it is the name of Persephone alone that is taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

—Nestis is a euphemistic cult title—for she was also the terrible Queen of the Dead, whose name was not safe to speak aloud, who was euphemistically
Euphemism
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience...

 named simply as Kore or "the Maiden", a vestige of her archaic role as the deity ruling the underworld.

Queen of the Underworld

There is an archaic role for Persephone as the dread queen of the Underworld, whose very name it was forbidden to speak. As goddess of death she is also called a daughter of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 and Styx
Styx
In Greek mythology the Styx is the river that forms the boundary between the underworld and the world of the living, as well as a goddess and a nymph that represents the river.Styx may also refer to:-Popular culture:...

, the river that formed the boundary between Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 and the underworld. Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead, along with her husband Hades. In the reformulation of Greek mythology expressed in the Orphic Hymns, Dionysus and Melinoe are separately called children of Zeus and Persephone. Groves sacred to her are at the western extremity of the earth on the frontiers of the lower world, which itself is called "house of Persephone".

Her central myth was the context of the secret rites of regeneration at Eleusis
Eleusinian Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance...

, which promised immortality to initiates.

Abduction myth

The story of her abduction is traditionally referred to as the Rape of Persephone. The myth is absent in Homer and first appears in Hesiod
Hesiod
Hesiod was a Greek oral poet generally thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. His is the first European poetry in which the poet regards himself as a topic, an individual with a distinctive role to play. Ancient authors credited him and...

's Theogony
Theogony
The Theogony is a poem by Hesiod describing the origins and genealogies of the gods of the ancient Greeks, composed circa 700 BC...

: "Also he [Zeus] came to the bed of all-nourishing Demeter, and she bore white-armed Persephone whom Aidoneus
Aidoneus
Aidoneus was a mythical king of the Molossians in Epirus, who is represented as the husband of Persephone. After Theseus, with the assistance of Pirithous, had carried off Helen and concealed her at Aphidnae, he went to Epirus to procure for Pirithous Kore, the daughter of Aidoneus, as a reward...

 (Hades
Hades
Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

) carried off from her mother; but wise Zeus gave her to him." Unlike every other offspring of an Olympian pairing of deities, Persephone has no stable position at Olympus. Persephone used to live far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. In the Olympian telling, the gods Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

, Ares
Ares
Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent aspect of war, in contrast to the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and...

, Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

, and Hephaestus
Hephaestus
Hephaestus was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods - or else, according to some accounts, of Hera alone. He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes...

 had all wooed Persephone; but Demeter rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the Olympian deities.

Thus, beautiful Persephone lived a peaceful life until Hades
Hades
Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

, the Lord of the Underworld, fell in love with her. It is said that Zeus advised him to carry her off, as her mother Demeter was not likely to allow. She was innocently picking flowers with some nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

s—Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, and Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

, the Homeric hymn
Homeric Hymns
The Homeric Hymns are a collection of thirty-three anonymous Ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods. The hymns are "Homeric" in the sense that they employ the same epic meter—dactylic hexameter—as the Iliad and Odyssey, use many similar formulas and are couched in the same dialect...

 says—or Leucippe, or Oceanid
Oceanid
In Greek mythology and, later, Roman mythology, the Oceanids were the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Each was the patroness of a particular spring, river, sea, lake, pond, pasture, flower or cloud...

s—in a field when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth. The place where Persephone was said to have been carried off is different in the various local traditions. The Sicilians believed that Hades found her in the meadows near Enna
Enna
Enna is a city and comune located roughly at the center of Sicily, southern Italy, in the province of Enna, towering above the surrounding countryside...

. The Eleusinians mentioned the Nysaean plain in Boeotia
Boeotia
Boeotia, also spelled Beotia and Bœotia , is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece. It was also a region of ancient Greece. Its capital is Livadeia, the second largest city being Thebes.-Geography:...

 and said that Persephone had descended with Hades into the lower world at the entrance of the western Oceanus
Oceanus
Oceanus ; , Ōkeanós) was a pseudo-geographical feature in classical antiquity, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the world-ocean, an enormous river encircling the world....

. Later accounts place the rape near Attica or at Erineus near Eleusis. The Cretans thought that their own island was the scene of the rape. Demeter searched desperately with torches for her lost daughter all over the world. In some versions she forbids the earth to produce, or she neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair she causes nothing to grow. Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

, the sun, who sees everything, eventually told Demeter what had happened and at length she discovered the place of her abode.

Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone. However, it was a rule of the Fates that whoever consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there. Before Persephone was released to Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

, who had been sent to retrieve her, Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

 seeds, (four or six according to the telling) which forced her to return to the underworld for a period each year. The seeds correspond to the dry summer months in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, usually one third of the year (four months) when Persephone (Kore) is absent. In some versions, Ascalaphus
Ascalaphus
In Greek mythology, two people share the name Ascalaphus/Askalaphos .#Son of Acheron and Orphne. Askalaphos was the orchardist of Hades. He told the other gods that Persephone had eaten a pomegranate in Hades. He was punished by being changed into an owl...

 informed the other deities that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds. When Demeter and her daughter were reunited, the Earth flourished with vegetation and color, but for some months each year, when Persephone returned to the underworld, the earth once again became a barren realm. This is an origin story
Origin myth
An origin myth is a myth that purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world. One type of origin myth is the cosmogonic myth, which describes the creation of the world...

 to explain the seasons.

In an earlier version, Hecate
Hecate
Hecate or Hekate is a chthonic Greco-Roman goddess associated with magic, witchcraft, necromancy, and crossroads.She is attested in poetry as early as Hesiod's Theogony...

 rescued Persephone. On an Attic red-figured
Red-figure pottery
Red-figure vase painting is one of the most important styles of figural Greek vase painting. It developed in Athens around 530 BC and remained in use until the late 3rd century BC. It replaced the previously dominant style of Black-figure vase painting within a few decades...

 bell krater
Krater
A krater was a large vase used to mix wine and water in Ancient Greece.-Form and function:...

 of ca 440 BC in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

, Persephone is rising as if up stairs from a cleft in the earth, while Hermes stands aside; Hecate, holding two torches, looks back as she leads her to the enthroned Demeter.

The tenth-century Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 encyclopedia Suda
Suda
The Suda or Souda is a massive 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, formerly attributed to an author called Suidas. It is an encyclopedic lexicon, written in Greek, with 30,000 entries, many drawing from ancient sources that have since been lost, and often...

 introduces a goddess of a blessed afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

 assured to Orphic mystery
Orphism (religion)
Orphism is the name given to a set of religious beliefs and practices in the ancient Greek and the Hellenistic world, as well as by the Thracians, associated with literature ascribed to the mythical poet Orpheus, who descended into Hades and returned...

 initiates. This Macaria
Macaria
Macaria or Makaria is the name of two figures from ancient Greek religion and mythology. Although they are not said to be the same and are given different fathers, they are discussed together in a single entry in both the 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda and by Zenobius.-Daughter of...

 is asserted to be the daughter of Hades, but no mother is mentioned.

Titles and functions

The epithets of Persephone reveal her double function as chthonic
Chthonic
Chthonic designates, or pertains to, deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in relation to Greek religion. The Greek word khthon is one of several for "earth"; it typically refers to the interior of the soil, rather than the living surface of the land or the land as territory...

 and vegetation goddess. The surnames given to her by the poets refer to her character as Queen of the lower world and the dead, or her symbolic meaning of the power that shoots forth and withdraws into the earth. Her common name as a vegetation goddess is Kore
Kore
Kore is an energy drink distributed by GNC in 250 mL cans.-Ingredients:Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Taurine, Sodium Citrate, Glucuronolactone, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caffeine, Sodium Benzoate, Inositol, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine...

 and in Arcadia
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

 she was worshipped under the title Despoina
Despoina
In Greek mythology, Despoina, Despoena or Despoine, was the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon and sister of Arion. She was the goddess of mysteries of Arcadian cults worshipped under the title Despoina,"the mistress" alongside with her mother Demeter,one of the goddesses of the Eleusinian mysteries...

 "the mistress", a very old chthonic divinity. Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 identifies her with spring and Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 calls her the seed of the fruits of the fields. In the Eleusinian mysteries her return is the symbol of immortality and hence she was frequently represented on sarcophagi.

In the mystical theories of the Orphics and the Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

nists, Kore is described as the all-pervading goddess of nature who both produces and destroys everything and she is therefore mentioned along or identified with other mystic divinities such as Isis
Isis
Isis or in original more likely Aset is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic...

, Rhea
Rhea (mythology)
Rhea was the Titaness daughter of Uranus, the sky, and Gaia, the earth, in Greek mythology. She was known as "the mother of gods". In earlier traditions, she was strongly associated with Gaia and Cybele, the Great Goddess, and was later seen by the classical Greeks as the mother of the Olympian...

, Ge
Gaia (mythology)
Gaia was the primordial Earth-goddess in ancient Greek religion. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods and Titans were descended from her union with Uranus , the sea-gods from her union with Pontus , the Giants from her mating with Tartarus and mortal creatures were sprung or born...

, Hestia
Hestia
In Greek mythology Hestia , first daughter of Cronus and Rhea , is the virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture, and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family. She received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household. In the public domain, the hearth of the prytaneum...

, Pandora
Pandora
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. As Hesiod related it, each god helped create her by giving her unique gifts...

, Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

, and Hecate
Hecate
Hecate or Hekate is a chthonic Greco-Roman goddess associated with magic, witchcraft, necromancy, and crossroads.She is attested in poetry as early as Hesiod's Theogony...

. The mystic Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 the mother of Dionysos, Iacchus
Iacchus
In Greek mythology, Iacchus is an epithet of Dionysus, particularly associated with the Mysteries at Eleusis, where he was considered to be the son of Zeus and Demeter...

, or Zagreus
Zagreus
In ancient Greek religion and myth, the obscure and ancient figure of Zagreus was identified with the god Dionysus and was worshipped by followers of Orphism, whose late Orphic hymns invoke his name....

.

Demeter and Persephone were often referred to as "the two goddesses" or "the mistresses". Cult of Demeter and the Maiden is found at:
  • Attica:
    • Athens
      Athens
      Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

      : in the Thesmophoria
      Thesmophoria
      Thesmophoria was a festival held in Greek cities, in honor of the goddesses Demeter and her daughter Persephone. The name derives from thesmoi, or laws by which men must work the land. The Thesmophoria were the most widespread festivals and the main expression of the cult of Demeter, aside from the...

      . This was a festival of secret women-only rituals connected with marriage customs and commemorated the third of the year when Kore was abducted and Demeter abstained from her role as goddess of harvest and growth. The festival was celebrated in three days:The first was the "way up" to the sacred space, the second the day of festing when they ate pomegranate
      Pomegranate
      The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

       seeds and the third was a meat fest in celebration of "Kalligeneia" a goddess of beautiful birth. Zeus
      Zeus
      In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

       penetrated the festival as Zeus-Eubuleus
      Eubuleus
      In ancient Greek religion and myth, Eubuleus is a god known primarily from devotional inscriptions for mystery religions. The name appears several times in the corpus of the so-called Orphic gold tablets spelled variously, with forms including Euboulos, Eubouleos and Eubolos...

      .
    • Eleusis: in the Eleusinian mysteries
      Eleusinian Mysteries
      The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance...

       which were celebrated at the autumn sowing. Inscriptions are referring to "the two Goddesses" accompanied by the agricultural god Triptolemus
      Triptolemus
      Buzyges redirects here. For the genus of grass skipper butterflies, see Buzyges .Triptolemus , in Greek mythology always connected with Demeter of the Eleusinian Mysteries, might be accounted the son of King Celeus of Eleusis in Attica, or, according to the Pseudo-Apollodorus , the son of Gaia and...

       probably son of Ge
      Gaia (mythology)
      Gaia was the primordial Earth-goddess in ancient Greek religion. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods and Titans were descended from her union with Uranus , the sea-gods from her union with Pontus , the Giants from her mating with Tartarus and mortal creatures were sprung or born...

       and Oceanus
      Oceanus
      Oceanus ; , Ōkeanós) was a pseudo-geographical feature in classical antiquity, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the world-ocean, an enormous river encircling the world....

        and "the God and the Goddess" (Persephone and Ploutos) accompanied by Eubuleus
      Eubuleus
      In ancient Greek religion and myth, Eubuleus is a god known primarily from devotional inscriptions for mystery religions. The name appears several times in the corpus of the so-called Orphic gold tablets spelled variously, with forms including Euboulos, Eubouleos and Eubolos...

       who probably led the way back from the underworld. The myth was represented in a cycle with three phases: the "descent", the "search", and the "ascent", with contrasted emotions from sorrow to joy which roused the mystae to exultation. The main theme was the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother Demeter.

  • Boeotia:
    • Thebes
      Ancient Thebes (Boeotia)
      See Thebes, Greece for the modern city built on the ancient ruins.Ancient Thebes was a Boeotian city-state , situated to the north of the Cithaeron range, which divides Boeotia from Attica, and on the southern edge of the Boeotian plain...

      , which Zeus is said to have been given to her as an acknowledgement for a favour she had bestown to him. Pausanias records a grove of Cabeirian Demeter and the Maid, three miles outside the gates of Thebes, where a ritual was performed, so called on the grounds that Demeter gave it to the Cabeiri
      Cabeiri
      In Greek mythology, the Cabeiri, were a group of enigmatic chthonic deities. They were worshiped in a mystery cult closely associated with that of Hephaestus, centered in the north Aegean islands of Lemnos and possibly Samothrace —at the Samothrace temple complex— and at Thebes...

      , who established it at Thebes. The Thebans told Pausanias that some inhabitants of Naupactus
      Naupactus
      Naupactus or Nafpaktos , is a town and a former municipality in Aetolia-Acarnania, West Greece, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Nafpaktia, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit...

       had performed the same rituals there, and had met with divine vengeance.
  • Peloponnesus:
    • Temples consecrated to Demeter or to the Maid are found at Corinth
      Corinth
      Corinth is a city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit...

      , Megara
      Megara
      Megara is an ancient city in Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King...

      , Mantinea, and Sparta
      Sparta
      Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

      .

  • Sicily
    • Syracuse: There was a harvest festival of Demeter and Persephone at Syracuse when the grain was ripe (about May).

  • Magna Graecia
    Magna Graecia
    Magna Græcia is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean colonies of Tarentum, Crotone, and Sybaris, but also, more loosely, the cities of Cumae and Neapolis to the north...

    • Epizephyrian Locri: A temple associated with childbirth; its treasure was looted by Pyrrhus
      Pyrrhus of Epirus
      Pyrrhus or Pyrrhos was a Greek general and statesman of the Hellenistic era. He was king of the Greek tribe of Molossians, of the royal Aeacid house , and later he became king of Epirus and Macedon . He was one of the strongest opponents of early Rome...

      .
    • Archaeological finds suggest that worship of Demeter and Persephone was widespread in Sicily and Greek Italy.

Ancient literary references

  • Homer
    Homer
    In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

    :
    • Iliad:
      • "the gods fulfilled his curse, even Zeus of the nether world and dread Persephone." (9, line 457; A. T. Murray, trans)
      • "Althea
        Althea
        Althea is an English female personal name, originally a variation of the Greek name Althaea. Althea in Greek means "healer".Richard Lovelace used the name in a poem that John Milton later alluded to in Lycidas....

         prayed instantly to the gods, being grieved for her brother's slaying; and furthermore instantly beat with her hands upon the all-nurturing earth, calling upon Hades and dread Persephone" (9, 569)
    • Odyssey:
      • "And come to the house of Hades and dread Persephoneia to seek sooth saying of the spirit of Theban Teiresias. To him even in death Persephoneia has granted reason that ..." (book 10, card 473)
  • Hymns to
    Hymn
    A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

     Demeter
    Demeter
    In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons . Her common surnames are Sito as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society...

    • Hymn 2:
      • "Mistress Demeter goddess of heaven, which God or mortal man has rapt away Persephone and pierced with sorrow your dear heart?(hymn 2, card 40)
    • Hymn 13:
      • "I start to sing for Demeter the lovely-faced goddess, for her and her daughter the most beautiful Persephoneia. Hail goddess keep this city safe!" (hymn 13, card 1)
  • Pindar
    Pindar
    Pindar , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian described him as "by far the greatest of the nine lyric poets, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich...

    • Olympian:
      • "Now go Echo, to the dark-walled home of Phersephona."(book O, poem 14)
    • Isthmean:
      • "Aecus showed them the way to the house of Phersephona and nymphs, one of them carrying a ball."(book 1, poem 8)
    • Nemean:
      • "Island which Zeus, the lord of Olympus gave to Phersephona;he nodded descent with his flowers hair."(book N, poem 1)
    • Pythian:
      • "You spendlor-loving city, most beautiful on earth, home of Phersephona. You who inhabit the hill of well-built dwellings."(book P, poem 12)
  • Aeschylus
    Aeschylus
    Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

    • Libration bearers:
      • Electra:"O Phersephassa, grant us indeed a glorious victory!"(card 479)
  • Aristophanes
    Aristophanes
    Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

    • Thesmophoriazusae:
      • Mnesilochos:"Thou Mistress Demeter, the most valuable friend and thou Pherephatta, grant that I may be able to offer you!" (card 266)
  • Euripides
    Euripides
    Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most...

    • Alcestis:
      • "O' you brave and best hail, sitting as attendand Beside's Hades bride Phersephone!"(card 741)
    • Hecuba:
      • "It is said that any of the dead that stand beside Phersephone, that the Danaids have left the plains to Troy."(card 130)
  • Bacchylides
    Bacchylides
    Bacchylides was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. Later Greeks included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets which included his uncle Simonides. The elegance and polished style of his lyrics have been a commonplace of Bacchylidean scholarship since at least Longinus...

    • Epinicians:
      • "Flushing thunderbolt went down to the halls of slender-ankled Phersephona to bring up into the light of Hades." (book Ep. poem 5)
  • Vergil
    • The Aeneid:
      • "For since she had not died through fate, or by a well-earned death, but wretchedly, before her time, inflamed with sudden madness, Proserpine had not yet taken a lock of golden hair from her head, or condemned her soul to Stygian Orcus." (IV.696-99)

Modern reception

In 1934, Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

 based his melodrama
Melodrama
The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions. It may also refer to the genre which includes such works, or to language, behavior, or events which resemble them...

 Perséphone
Perséphone (Stravinsky)
Perséphone is a musical work for speaker, solo singers, chorus, dancers and orchestra with music by Igor Stravinsky and a libretto by André Gide....

on Persephone's story.

Persephone also appears many times in popular culture.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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