PERSEPHONE Picture

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Persephone
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




The Greek Underworld
Residents:
Persephone
Hades
Minos
Aeacus
Rhadamanthus
Charon
Cerberus

Geography:
Acheron
Cocytus
Tartarus
Lethe
Elysion
Styx
Phlegethon
Asphodel Meadows
Erebus

Famous inmates:
Ixion
Sisyphus
Tantalus
The Titans

Related:
Greek mythology
Greek religion



was the Queen of the Underworld of epic literature. In other dialects she was known under various other names: Persephassa, Persephatta, or simply Kore (Greek κόρη, "daughter") (when worshipped in the context of Demeter and Kore).

The Romans first heard of her from the Aeolian and Dorian cities of Magna Graecia, who use the dialectal variant Proserpina. Hence, in Roman mythology she was called Proserpina, and as a revived Roman Proserpina she became an emblematic figure of the Renaissance.

In Greek art, Persephone/Kore is invariably portrayed robed. She may be carrying a sheaf of grain and smiling demurely with the "Archaic smile" of the Kore of Antenor.

The figure of Persephone is well-known today. Her story has great emotional power: an innocent maiden, a mother's grief at the abduction, and the return of her daughter. It is also cited frequently as a paradigm of myths that explain natural processes, with the descent and return of the goddess bringing about the change of seasons.

In a text ascribed to Empedocles describing a correspondence between four gods and the classical elements, the name Nestis for water apparently refers to Persephone.[1] "Now hear the fourfold roots of everything: Enlivining Hera, Hades, shining Zeus. And Nestis, moistening mortal springs with tears".

Of the four gods of Empedocles' elements it is the name of Persephone alone that is taboo, for the Greeks knew another face of Persephone as well. She was also the terrible Queen of the dead, whose name was not safe to speak aloud, who was named simply "The Maiden". In The Odyssey, when Odysseus goes to the Underworld, he refers to her as the Iron Queen. Her central myth, for all of its emotional familiarity, was also the tacit context of the secret initiatory mystery rites of regeneration at Eleusis, which promised immortality to their awe-struck participants — an immortality in her world beneath the soil, feasting with the heroes beneath her dread gaze (Kerenyi 1960, 1967).
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