As you know, in the pagan Greek pantheonincluded 12 gods. Persephone is the goddess of the kingdom of the dead. According to legend, she is forced to spend a third of the year underground, with her husband Hades, and two-thirds - on the ground, with her mother Demetra. Further in the article, we will deal in detail with the person who is Persephone, and what myths there are about her.
Birth of Persephone
Unfortunately, Greek mythology is very stingy atthe explanation of how, in fact, this goddess was born. It is known only that she is the daughter of Zeus himself and the goddess Demeter. Persephone was their only child. About why and how the love relationship between the two gods arose, the myth is not mentioned. It is only known that Zeus seduced his elder sister, turning into a snake. Mother Persephone was revered by the Greeks as the patroness of farmers. Demeter is the goddess of fertility, plowmen and reapers. According to mythology, she was the daughter of Rhea and Kronos. Like all the children of this terrible god, she was once swallowed by them, and then taken back. In Roman mythology, it corresponds to Ceres, also considered the goddess of fertility.
Abduction by Hades
Persephone was very beautiful and cheerfulthe girl. Once it was noticed by her own, half-mad uncle - the god of the underground kingdom of Hades. Once, unsuspecting Persephone was walking along the meadow with her friends, having fun and collecting flowers. Suddenly, out of one crevice in the earth drove a chariot drawn by four horses. It was Hades himself who ruled it. Of course, the weak girl could not do anything and was taken to the realm of darkness and death, where she was to become the wife of the underground god. As the myth tells, I felt no sorrow for it. The abduction of Persephone (which was previously called Cora) was approved by Zeus himself.
Scientists found many ancient Greekartifacts with drawings, on which the abduction of Persephone Aid is presented in all details. This story is described in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. And in our time this interesting myth often attracts the attention of artists, musicians and poets.
The Appeal of Demeter to Zeus
Mother Persephone, of course, could not reconcile withthe disappearance of her daughter. Disheartening, she turned to Zeus himself with a request to return Persephone. The great god was touched by the tears of Demeter, and he ordered Hermes to descend into the kingdom of Hades and take away the young goddess. However, the cunning god of the dead, before releasing Persephone, invited her to eat several pomegranate seeds. Apparently, not so upset and was a young goddess, because she did not refuse. So the old god of the underworld received a guarantee that the Persephone he liked would return to him. So it happened afterwards.
The Return of the Goddess
Finally, Demeter and Persephone met. Suspecting Aida in crookedness, the mother asked her daughter if she had not eaten anything in the underworld. It was necessary for the young goddess to admit that she was deceived by pomegranate grains. However, at the same time Persephone lied, saying that Hades forced her to eat them by force. Let's add that pomegranate grains in Greece are considered a symbol of matrimonial fidelity. According to legend, for the first time a pomegranate planted Aphrodite on a Greek island - Crete.
Demeter understood that she did not return to her forever.her daughter. Thus, Persephone, who ate pomegranate seeds, is forced to spend two-thirds of the year with her mother, and one-third with Hades. However, Greek legends describing heroic deeds and deeds of the gods associated with the underworld never describe his goddess of sorrow or sadness. Rather, it is represented in them as the sovereign sovereign of this gloomy place. Becoming the wife of Hades, Persephone appears no longer as a young girl, but as a young, strict and at the same time loyal to a living woman goddess.
Goddess in the starry sky
Some sources say that,returning from the kingdom of Hades, Persephone - the goddess of the underworld - sometimes ascends to the sky as a constellation of the Virgin. She does it so that her bored mother can see her from everywhere. There are also legends according to which the constellation of Virgo is associated with Demeter herself.
Symbolism of the myth
Of course, Persephone (Greek goddess), andrather the myth of it, symbolizes nothing more than a change of seasons. Two-thirds of the year in warm Greece reigns summer, one-third - winter. When Hades kidnapped Persephone, her mother in grief ceased to fulfill her duties. As a result, the grass and trees ceased to grow, the animals had nothing to eat, and there was a terrible famine on the ground. When Zeus returned Demeter her young daughter, the goddess taught the agricultural crafts a whole detachment of different kinds of heroes. After that, she turned from a hypothetical goddess of fertility to the goddess of a specific layer of Greek society engaged in cultivating fields.
If we talk about archetypes, then Demetra's pair andPersephone is a single "mother-daughter" scheme, in which the latter is too close to the first and is in a position dependent on it. Persephone herself is simultaneously a symbol of a woman-child (Kor), spring (return from the kingdom of Hades) and a guide to the world of the dead.
Persephone in the works of the ancient Greeks
Persephone is a goddess mentioned inmany myths of this ancient country. For example, it was Persephone, which touched the mountain of Orpheus and his beautiful music, released from the realm of the dead Eurydice. However, the last sunlight did not see, and it was the fault of her lover. According to legend, Orpheus was set a condition not to look back when leaving the realm of death. However, he could not resist the temptation.
It is told about Persephone and in the Odyssey of Homer. The protagonist of this epic also once descended into the underworld, where his mistress showed him the souls of the dead righteous women.
Another myth tells of how Persephone -goddess of the underworld - competed with Aphrodite for the love of Adonis. The latter was an ordinary mortal, but a very handsome young man. The most beautiful goddess in the pantheon put him in the basket and sent Persephone so that she hid it. Seeing Adonis and falling in love, the goddess of the underworld refused to give his Aphrodite back. This dispute lasted long. He was allowed to Zeus. By his decree, Adonis was forced to spend a third of the year with Persephone, a third - with Aphrodite, and the rest of the time was left to himself.
In one of the myths of Persephone - the goddess of the undergroundkingdom - appears and as a formidable jealous spouse. Mistress Aida, the nymph Mintu, she turns into a plant (mint). Nymph of the same river Kokid (Kokitida) for the same reason was trampled by her to death. Meanwhile, according to mythology, Persephone herself had two official lovers - Dionysus and Adonis.
The roots of the myth
Persephone is a goddess (judging by her name)originally not Greek. The myth about it was invented not at all in this country. It is believed that it was borrowed from the settlers of the Balkans, where it was popular in the Mycenaean era.
Correspondences in Roman mythology
The myth, similar to the abduction of Persephone by Hades,there is also an ancient Romans. Proserpine corresponds to this goddess. She was also the daughter of the goddess of fertility, which was called Ceres. Stole her the god of the earthly kingdom - Pluto. Like Persephone, Proserpine is forced to spend a third of the year in his kingdom because of the pomegranate seeds that were eaten once.
So, you now know who Persephone is. This is a young goddess, abducted by Hades and who became his wife. The myths that tell about it are eventful and very interesting.