The ‘Dahlia’ Scarf from our Persephone Spring 2015 Collection.
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The rape of Persephone is one of the earliest recorded Greek myths, and the most often misappropriated. Persephone’s capture by Hades is an allegory for the Greek institution of marriage, but what’s often overlooked is how closely this myth correlates to the real-life horrors of marriage and womanhood in ancient Greece.
Before Persephone’s capture, she lives with her mother, Demeter, and is known by the name Κόρη, which literally translates to “girl” or “virgin.” When the god Hades - her much older uncle - sees her, he falls instantly in love, and asks Zeus, Persephone’s father-uncle and Hades’ brother, for her hand in marriage. When Hades carries her away on his chariot, she is still a young teenager, probably between thirteen and fifteen years of age - the Greeks’ idea of a healthy marriageable age for girls.
And he seized the unwilling girl up on his golden chariot as she wailed, and she cried out in her clear voice, pleading with her father, Zeus the best and highest. (Hom. Hymn 2 to Demeter)
So Persephone goes down to Hades as an unwilling bride. This parallels a traditional Greek marriage ceremony, in which the bride was led through the streets by her new husband, who gripped her by the wrist as she looked at the ground and followed him, submissively, to his house.
Persephone’s myth has a supposedly happy ending: It’s said that she grew to consider the Underworld home, and that she rivaled the other gods in power. Hades was faithful to his wife, unlike most Greek gods, and because she was a goddess, Persephone was granted the concession that she would be able to visit her mother for a few months every year - a concession that mortal women might not have been given. In short, the myth of Persephone and Hades tells us two things: First, the Greeks believed that a woman who was forced would come to love her husband; and second, that the Greeks believed that a woman could only become powerful by accepting the wishes of her father and husband and learning to make the best of her new home after marriage.
You can read Homeric Hymn 2, in which Persephone’s story is told, here. The story is also told in Apollodorus’ Library 1.29, Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book 5, and referenced in Cicero’s In Verrem 2.4, among others. Photo credit to Luminous Lu.
I ordered the men at once to flay the sheep that lay before us, killed by my ruthless blade, and burn them both, and then say prayers to the gods, to the almighty god of death and the dread Persephone.
Out of the other bookmarks I liked this one the best.(even though it’s kinda rushed ugh) I wanted to put Hades and Persephone in a old noir? like setting~ . 3. (heavily inspired by J. C. Leyendecker wutwut~~)
greek mythology dreamcast: mads mikkelsen as hades & amber heard as persephone
although the underworld was always meant for the dead, the realm came to know one living inhabitant. her mother, demeter, fought to keep her away, but hades was cunning and cruel in his lust. unafraid of the penalties, how easy her abduction seemed, particularly with the girl’s hunger. it was not for him, although he maintained that it one day would be. she was desperate when she plucked a pomegranate from a tree, certain that no one had seen — but he had, of course, for it was his realm and she was his, as far as he was concerned. she bound herself to be his goddess, trapped as the queen of the underworld.
Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and the goddess of springtime. One day, while she was collecting flowers, Hades, who was in love with her and amazed by her beauty, appeared and abducted her. He took her to the Underworld and made her his wife. Persephone’s mother, Demeter, was so heartbroken that she refused to let the Earth fruit until her daughter was returned. Zeus couldn’t let that happen, and persuaded Hades to surrender the goddess. Even though Persephone grew to love Hades and enjoy her role as a queen, she missed Earth and her mother. However, since Persephone had eaten from the god of death’s food, she had to spend half of each year in the Underworld as Hades’ queen. During that time, it was winter on Earth; when she returned, the flowers started to bloom and life became radiant again: it was spring.
“Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She was the goddess of springtime and, after her abduction by Hades she became his wife and Queen of the underworld for six months of each year. The mint and pomegranate is sacred to her.”