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Persephone
Persephone
Parents Zeus and Demeter
Siblings
Immortal children
Mortal children None
Wife/husband Hades
Names Queen of the Underworld
Titles Goddess of spring, flowers
Weapons
Allies Olympians
Enemies Titans

Persephone was the goddess of springtime and the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She is the wife of Hades and queen of the Underworld.

History

Unlike Zeus' other children, Persephone has no position at Olympus. Persephone used to live far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. When Persephone reached marriageable age, the gods Hermes, Ares, Apollo and Hephaestus had all wooed her, but Demeter rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the Olympian deities (ironically, Demeter said that Persephone could have married the god of doctors, who is Apollo, since he is the god of medicine). Thus, Persephone lived a peaceful life before she became the goddess of the Underworld, which did not occur until Hades brought her to the Underworld through his infamous kidnapping of her.

In some stories it is said that Eros, the god of love shot a golden arrow into Hades' heart while he was riding in his black chariot when Hades rode across the field and saw Persephone, thus he fell in love with her. Most versions agree that Hades first obtained the permission of Zeus to kidnap her. Persephone's uncle, Hades, was lonely and wanted a wife. He spied Persephone in the fields one day and, entranced by her purity and beauty, fell in love with her at first sight. Persephone was innocently picking flowers with some nymphs in a field in Enna when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth. Life came to a standstill as the devastated Demeter, goddess of harvest, searched everywhere for her lost daughter. Hecate, goddess of magic, then told Demeter she had heard Persephone scream that she was being kidnapped. Demeter then stopped caring for the Earth, and the land didn't flourish and people began to starve and die.

Hades was determined to make Persephone love him, and tried in many ways. She hated him at first for snatching her away from her mother, but soon she came to revel in Demeter's absence as she had never been allowed away from her mother before. Hades very much wanted Persephone's love and, at first, tried to buy it with many gifts. But then he took to spending all of his day with his new wife, working to make her happy. Hecate, goddess of magic, came down to the Underworld and befriended Persephone, and Hades was pleased, because Persephone was not depressed or unhappy when she was around.

When Demeter and her daughter are reunited, the Earth flourishes with vegetation and color, but for six months each year, when Persephone returns to the Underworld, the earth once again becomes a barren realm; that is how the seasons came to be. Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to return his daughter, Persephone. However, it was a rule of theFates that whoever consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there. Before Persephone was released to Hermes, who had been sent to retrieve her, Hades tricked Persephone into eating six pomegranate seeds, which forced her to return to the Underworld for a season each year. In another version she ate the pomegranate off of a tree not knowing the results, but a servant (or sometimes a gardener) of Hades testified against her forcing her to return.

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