Greek Mythology is the set of mythological stories about the Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, and rituals created by Ancient Greeks. These fascinating tales were created to be the basic beliefs of religious Greek spirituals. These people believed that the gods held immense powers that controlled nature in all its forms. Though there is no single original text that introduces all of the characters and stories, such as the Christian Bible, they did start as a tradition in the Bronze Age. A writer named Aristophanes who lived through 446-386 B.
C. was a comedic playwright who wrote over 40 plays. He provided historians information about life in Athens around that era. A Greek goddess named Persephone, or Kore (meaning the maiden), was known as the “Queen of the Underworld” and was married to Hades. Persephone is well known for her tale of being kidnapped by Hades. She was a bright, beautiful, and young maiden on the edge of womanhood.
Persephone is associated with multiple objects such as a torch, the narcissus flower, and a pomegranate. The torch represents Demeter and other gods searching for Persephone in the night nonstop. As for the pomegranate and narcissus, these were the tricks used by Hades to keep Persephone. Demeter, the goddess of harvest, and Zeus, the supreme God of Olympians, are her parents. Because she is Demeter’s daughter, she is known as the goddess of spring growth. Her tale is one of a kind to Greeks. In Persephone’s story, she falls the victim of Hades’ dream girl.
Zeus did not mind if he took Persephone’s hand in marriage, but Demeter felt very different. She would not allow for Hades to take her daughter. One evening when Persephone was out picking flowers, Hades placed a narcissus there.
Upon her picking it, Persephone was taken to the Underworld held by Hades. She was forced to eat six pomegranate seeds; this represented the months that she now had to spend with Hades every year in the Underworld. Demeter was devastated, so much so that she doesn’t allow the crops and plants to grow within those six months.
This story explains why we have the winter seasons. Persephone is mentioned in Eleusis, which is where her mother decided to rest from searching for her. The daughters of the king, Celeus, had offered to help Demeter who was disguised as an old woman to keep her identity safe. Demeter took a shine to the king’s infant son Demophon; she tried to make him immortal. The Queen saw this one night and thought this old woman had different intentions, possibly trying to kill the infant. Demeter revealed her true identity and demanded that the people of Eleusis build her a temple, in which she stayed until Persephone’s return. This is what caused the crops and plants to die off, leaving everything stranded in the winter season.
Once the ordeal of Persephone was solved, Demeter thanked the people of Eleusis and taught them sacred rites so that they may prosper.