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Persephone  (pur-SEF-uh-nee)

Beautiful daughter of Zeus and Demeter; sometimes considered an Olympian. While gathering flowers in a field one day, Persephone was abducted to the Underworld by Hades, who arose in his chariot from a fissure in the ground. Demeter, goddess of the harvest, was heartbroken, and while she wandered the length and breadth of the earth in search of her daughter, the crops withered and it became perpetual winter. At length Hades was persuaded to surrender Persephone for one half of every year, the spring and summer seasons when flowers bloom and the earth bears fruit once more. The half year that Persephone spends in the Underworld as Hades' queen coincides with the barren season. The heroes Peirithous and Theseus attempted to abduct Persephone and bring her back to the land of the living.
Abduction of Persephone. (zoom)