Persephone is a Greek goddess and Queen of the Underworld in Greek Mythology. She is¬†the daughter of Zeus (King of the Gods) and Demeter (Goddess of the harvest).¬†Her story was used in ancient Greek culture to explain seasons. She was abducted by¬†Hades (King of the Underworld) and this loss caused her mother to neglect the earth,¬†causing a drought where all crops died, and the ground became hard and infertile. This¬†caused starvation among the people and finally Zeus tried to help Demeter get her¬†daughter back, by trying to force Hades to return Persephone. However it was too late;¬†Hades had tricked Persephone into eating some pomegranate seeds (stories differ¬†between four and six seeds) and whoever eats in the underworld is bound to stay there for¬†eternity. These seeds bound Persephone to the underworld for four (or six) months of the¬†year.
During the four months of the year where Persephone is with Hades, and away from her¬†mother, Demeter grieves and no longer cares from the earth. This matches the Greek¬†Mediterranean weather, where during the hot summer months the land is dry and it is¬†difficult to grow anything. The cult of Persephone and Demeter is believed to have derived¬†from an older agrarian cult, due to their association with the harvest and seasons.
In Roman mythology Persephone, is known as Proserpina, and her mother Ceres.
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