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Περσεφόνη), called Proserpĭna by the Romans; the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. In Homer she is called Persephonīa (Περσεφόνεια); the form Persephoné first occurs in Hesiod. But besides these forms of the name, we also find Persephassa, Phersephassa, Persephatta, Phersephatta, Pherrephassa, Pherephatta, and Phersephonīa, for which various etymologies have been proposed. The Latin Proserpina is only a corruption of the Greek, though the Romans derive it from proserpo. In Attica she was worshipped under the name of Cora (Κόρη, Ion. Κούρη). —that is, “the Daughter,” namely, of Demeter; and the two were frequently called “the Mother

Hades and Persephoné. (Etruscan painting, Dennis.)

and the Daughter” ( Μητὴρ καὶ Κόρη). Being the infernal goddess of death, she is also called a daughter of Zeus and Styx. In Arcadia she was worshipped under the name of Despoena, and was called a daughter of Poseidon Hippius and Demeter, said to have been brought up by the Titan Anytus. Homer describes her as the wife of Hades, and the formidable, venerable, and majestic queen of the Shades, who rules over the souls of the dead, along with her husband. Hence she is called by later Roman writers Iuno Inferna, Averna, and Stygia; and the Erinyes are said to have been her daughters by Pluto. Groves sacred to her are placed by Homer in the western extremity of the earth, on the borders of the lower world, which is itself called the house of Persephoné. The story of her being carried off by Hades or Pluto against her will is not mentioned by Homer, who simply describes her as the wife and queen of Hades. Her abduction is first mentioned by Hesiod. The account of it, which is the most celebrated part of her story, and the wanderings of her mother in search of her, and the worship of

Ruins of Persepolis.

the two goddesses in Attica at the festival of the Eleusinia, are related under Demeter and Eleusinia. In the mystical theories of the Orphics, Persephoné 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, Rhea, Gê, Hestia, Pandora, Artemis, and Hecaté. This mystic Persephoné is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysus, Iacchus, Zagreus, or Sabazius.

Persephoné frequently appears in works of art. She is represented either with the grave and severe character of an infernal Heré or as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, in the act of being carried off by Pluto. Her symbols are a torch or torches, a cornucopia, ears of corn, pomegranates, or a cock as heralding the dawn (i. e. a new life).

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