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Persephone

Tales beyond belief

Persephone for kids
Discover the myths surrounding Persephone, the Greek goddess of Spring and queen of the Underworld. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and was made Queen of the Underworld after being abducted by Hades (aka Pluto) in ancient mythology. Persephone passed half her time with her husband in the Underworld but she returned to earth every Spring to be with her mother. Her connection with Spring led to her being referred to the goddess of Springtime.  

Who was Persephone? The Abduction of Persephone
Persephone was the Greek goddess of Spring and one of the extraordinary number of gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. The legend and myth about Persephone has been passed down through the ages and plays an important role in the history of the Ancient World and the study of the Greek classics. When she was a beautiful young maiden, Hades seized her and held her captive in his underworld. Her mother, the goddess Demeter, eventually persuaded the gods to let her daughter return to her. However, Persephone was required to remain in the underworld for four months because Hades had tricked her into eating a pomegranate (the food of the dead). When Persephone left the earth, the flowers withered and the grain died, but when she returned, life blossomed anew and Persephone is therefore associated with Spring. This mythical story symbolizes the annual vegetation cycle, the dying and rebirth of the plant world. Persephone was venerated by the Romans under the name of Proserpina.

Facts about Persephone
Persephone features in the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks which are based on the idea that these supernatural beings resembled mortals but possessed great mystical powers. The following information, facts and profile provides a fast overview of Persephone:

  • Greek Name: Persephone

  • Role & Function: The function of Persephone is described as being the Queen of the Underworld and also the goddess of spring time

  • Status: Occasionally included amongst the names of the Olympians

  • Symbols: The Pomegranate, wreath of flowers worn in hair, torch, bat

  • Gender: Female

  • Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this god was Proserpina or Proserpine

  • Name of Husband: Hades

  • Name of Father: Zeus

  • Name of Mother: Demeter

The Symbols of Persephone
Each ancient Greek god and goddess were associated with special symbols, animals and attributes. The Symbols of Persephone helped the ancient Greeks instantly recognize the gods and goddesses that were depicted in the pictures, mosaics, statues and images. The symbols of Persephone and their meanings were as follows:

  • The Pomegranate

    • The pomegranate was also known as the "fruit of the dead" and anyone who ate the food of the dead was committed to stay in the underworld.

  • The Torch

    • The symbol of the torch relates to the pair of flaming torches Demeter carried in her search for Persephone

  • The Bat

    • The bat symbolized death and rebirth

  • Wreath of Flowers

    • A Wreath of Flowers - Flowers were associated with birth and life after death. Flowers also symbolized with the return of spring after winter

Persephone (Roman Counterpart was Proserpina)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Persephone, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Persephone was Proserpina.

Facts about Persephone in Greek Mythology
Persephone, the Greek goddess of Spring, featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology. Discover interesting information and facts about the Greek goddess of Spring.

  • Fact 1: When Hades pursued a nymph named Minthe, Proserpine turned her into a mint plant

  • Fact 2: She is most commonly associated with the abduction myth (refer to the Myth of Demeter and Persephone and the Myth of Proserpine)

  • Fact 3: She features in the Myth of Adonis in which she cared for the handsome youth but refused to return him to Aphrodite (refer to the Myth of Aphrodite)

  • Fact 4: In the Myth about Psyche the maiden travels across the Styx to ask the Queen of Hades for a box of precious ointment for Aphrodite (refer to the Myth of Psyche)

  • Fact 5: The Argonaut Orpheus attempted to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the Underworld (refer to the Myth of Orpheus)

  • Fact 6: Proserpine was also revered as the protector of marriage

  • Fact 7: Pirithous requested Theseus to assist him in his ambitious scheme of descending to the lower world and carrying off the queen of Hades

  • Fact 8: The Moirae are mentioned as assisting the Charites to conduct Proserpine to the upper world at her periodical reunion with her mother Demeter.

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods and Goddesses

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