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Part-time Goddess of the Underworld

If you want her phone number try looking in the Telephone Book of the Dead. It's best to ring in the spring.

She is the illicit daughter of ZEUS and DEMETER and grew into such a beauty, men would look at her open-mouthed and exclaim 'Cor!' or in Greek 'Kore!' — which is what she came to be called. Although she always insisted her proper name was PERSEPHONE.

With ZEUS and his brother POSEIDON always getting the pick of ravishing beauties, the third brother HADES felt very left out, what with being stuck in the Underworld. So ZEUS promised him a beautiful woman named Kore when she was old enough. What he neglected to do was let DEMETER or PERSEPHONE know.

PERSEPHONE was engaged in the innocent pursuit of picking flowers when a black-horsed chariot came surging up from a chasm and she was snatched. To all intents and purposes she had vanished without trace.

DEMETER was devastated, especially when HELIOS, who sees everything, revealed what had happened. Angered beyond belief, she sank into a fuming depression and abandoned her harvests. An untimely winter set in across the world.

HADES, who had the hots for PERSEPHONE like you wouldn't believe, was reluctantly persuaded by ZEUS to let her go. But first he tricked the silly girl into nibbling a few pomegranate seeds. There is an unbreakable bond that those who partake of food in the Underworld are tied to it forever.

This caused some concentrated arbitration, but ZEUS, the wily old diplomat, cobbled together an agreement whereby PERSEPHONE could stay with DEMETER for the spring and summer to help with the growth industries and then pop down to live with HADES for six months or so, creating a winter break and season ticket for nature to take time off.

DEMETER's never been happy about this. While her daughter is living it up in the Underworld, she retreats to her chambers, withdraws her powers from the world and spends the winter morosely missing her daughter. That's why winters are so lifeless and bleak. So think of HADES when you are cuddled up comfortably in front of a live fire.

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Article last updated on 25 March 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Persephone is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Location : Ancient Greece
Gender : Female
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : KORE, PERSEPHASSA
Popularity index : 3006

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