Hades and Persephone in the Underworld. They are holding symbols associated with worship:grain, parsley, a rooster and a bowl.
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Persephone was the Greek goddess of the Underworld and the wife of Hades. Hades fell in love with her after seeing her picking flowers in a plain in Sicily. He decided at once to abduct her and carry her off to the Underworld.
Demeter, sister of Zeus, was the mother of Persephone. After Persephone's abduction, Demeter wandered the world in search of her. Finally she learned of her daughter's fate, and pleaded with Zeus, to obtain the release of Persephone from the dark kingdom of the
He consented, providing that she had not eaten anything during her stay in the lower world. Unfortunately, Persephone had eaten some seeds of a pomegranate which Hades had offered to her. After much crying and sadness, Zeus allowed a compromise, whereby Persephone was allowed to spend half of each year in the light of day, on Earth with her mother, and the other half in the underworld, where she reigned as Queen of the Underworld alongside her husband the god Pluto.
During the half year with her mother, spring and summer cover the Earth in warmth, flowers bloom, fruit is on the trees, and the birds raise their young. During autumn and winter, the Earth is in the grip of icy cold. Flowers die, the trees are barren, and birds disappear from their nests. This legend, therefore, relates the mythological creation of the seasons. Romans identified Persephone with the Latin Proserpina.
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