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DULBAHANTE IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD,

|THE KOR |
"MAN EATER", "IRON LADY ", "IRON MAIDEN", DHEGDHEER.

Persephone: In Greek mythology, Persephone (usually pronounced /prsfni/ in modern English; also called Kore or Cora) was the embodiment of the Earth's fertility at the same time that she was the Queen of the Underworld, the kor (or young maiden), and the parthenogenic daughter of Demeter and, in later Classical myths, a daughter of Demeter and Zeus. In the Olympian version, she also becomes the consort of Hades when he becomes the deity that governs the underworld. The figure of Persephone is well-known today. Her story has great emotional power: an innocent maiden, a mother's grief over her abduction, and great joy after her daughter is returned. It is also cited frequently as a paradigm of myths that explain natural processes, with the descent and return of the goddess bringing about the change of seasons. In Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed. She may be carrying a sheaf of grain and smiling demurely with the "Archaic smile" of the Kore of Antenor. "Persephone" (Greek: , Persephon) is her name in the Ionic Greek of epic literature. The Homeric form of her name is Persephoneia (, Persephonia). In other dialects she was known under various other names: Persephassa (), Persephatta (), or simply [Kore] (, Kor, "girl, maiden") (when worshipped in the context of "Demeter and Kore"). Plato calls her Pherepapha () in his Cratylus, "because she is wise and touches that which is in motion."

The Romans first heard of her from the Aeolian and Dorian cities of Magna Graecia, who used the dialectal variant Proserpine (, Proserpin). Hence, in Roman mythology she was called Proserpina, and as such became an emblematic figure of the Renaissance. At Locri, perhaps uniquely, Persephone was the protector of marriage, a role usually assumed by Hera; in the iconography of votive plaques at Locri, her abduction and marriage to Hades served as an emblem of the marital state, children at Locri were dedicated to Proserpina, and maidens about to be wed brought their peoples to be blessed. In a Classical period text ascribed to Empedocles, c. 490430 BC, describing a correspondence between four deities and the classical elements, the name Nestis for water apparently refers to Persephone. "Now hear the fourfold roots of everything: enlivening Hera, Hades, shining Zeus. And Nestis, moistening mortal springs with tears". Of the four deities of Empedocles's elements, it is the name of Persephone alone that is taboo Nestis is a euphemistic cult title for she was also the terrible [Queen of the Dead], whose name was not safe to speak aloud, who was euphemistically named simply as "Kore" or "the Maiden", a vestige of her archaic role as the deity ruling the underworld. The Queen of the Underworld: There is an archaic role for Persephone as the dread queen of the Underworld, whose very name it was forbidden to speak. In the Odyssey, commonly dated circa 800 to 600 BC, when Odysseus goes to the Underworld, he refers to her as the Iron Queen. Her central myth, for all its emotional familiarity, was also the tacit context of the secret initiatory mystery rites of regeneration at Eleusis, which promised immortality to their awestruck participantsan immortality in her world beneath the soil, feasting with the heroes who dined beneath her dread gaze. The Abduction Myth:The story of her abduction is traditionally referred to as the Rape of Persephone. In the later Olympian pantheon of Classical Greece, Persephone is given a father: according to Hesiod's Theogony, Persephone was the daughter produced by the union of Demeter and Zeus: "And he [Zeus] came to the bed of bountiful Demeter, who bore white-armed Persephone, stolen by Hades from her mother's side" Unlike every other offspring of an Olympian pairing of deities, Persephone has no stable position at Olympus. Persephone used to live far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. In the Olympian telling, the gods Hermes, Ares, Apollo, and Hephaestus, had all wooed Persephone; but Demeter rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the Olympian deities. Thus, Persephone lived a peaceful life before she became the goddess of the underworld, which, according to Olympian mythographers, did not occur until Hades abducted her and brought her into it. She was innocently picking flowers with some nymphs, Athena, and Artemis, the Homeric hymn says, or Leucippe, or Oceanids in a field in Enna when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth. Later, the

nymphs were changed by Demeter into the Sirens for not having interfered. Life came to a standstill as the devastated Demeter, goddess of the Earth, searched everywhere for her lost daughter. Helios, the sun, who sees everything, eventually told Demeter what had happened. Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone. However, it was a rule of the Fates that whoever consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there. Before Persephone was released to Hermes, who had been sent to retrieve her, Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, (six, seven, eight, or perhaps four according to the telling) which forced her to return to the underworld for a season each year. In some versions, Ascalaphus informed the other deities that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds. When Demeter and her daughter were united, the Earth flourished with vegetation and color, but for some months each year, when Persephone returned to the underworld, the earth once again became a barren realm. This is an origin story to explain the seasons. In an earlier version, Hecate rescued Persephone. On an Attic red-figured bell krater of ca 440 BCE in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Persephone is rising as if up stairs from a cleft in the earth, while Hermes stands aside; Hecate, holding two torches, looks back as she leads her to the enthroned Demeter. In the earliest known version the dreaded goddess, Persephone, was herself Queen of the Underworld (Burkert or Kerenyi). In some versions, Demeter forbids the earth to produce; in others she is so busy looking for Persephone that she neglects the earth, or her duties as the Earth which she represents, and in the depth of her despair causes nothing to grow. This myth also can be interpreted as an allegory of ancient Greek marriage rituals. The Classical Greeks felt that marriage was a sort of abduction of the bride by the groom from the bride's family, and this myth may have explained the origins of the marriage ritual. The more popular etiological explanation of the seasons may have been a later interpretation. The tenth-century Byzantine encyclopedia Suda, s.v. "Macaria", introduces a goddess of a blessed afterlife assured to Orphic mystery initiates. This Macaria is asserted to be the daughter of Hades and Persephone, though there is no previous mention of her.