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Proserpina Essay

1426 words - 6 pages

The Reasons For The Seasons

Zimbabwe Davis


Topics in Cultural Studies

Diana Robbins



Proserpina was the Roman goddess of Springtime and the goddess of the Underworld. She was born to Ceres and Jupiter. Her plight is directly related to changing of the season. This is due to that abduction of the fair goddess by Pluto the good of the Underworld.

Proserpina, the roman goddess associate with the seasons, is probably one of the more interesting stories in Roman mythology. Really you cannot say that any of them are not interesting, but I would have to say that I have taken quite a liking to her particular plight and how it relates the ...view middle of the document...

It’s thought that this is in respect to the growing of grain. In the Aeolian and Dorian cities of Magna Graecia is where the Romans first head of the goddess, though in there dialect it was pronounced Proserpine (Προσερπίνη). In Locri a town in the province of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy, Proserpina was thought to be the protector of marriage. It was her kidnapping and joining to Pluto was the emblem for that of the marital state. This makes me really curious about this city if abduction and rape is the staple for marriage.
To bring an understanding the plight of Proserpina you have to mention a few other renowned deities. Enter Venus, the goddess love, Amor, the god of affection, Pluto, the god of the underworld and Mercury, the god of trade. Each of these deities played a part in the plight that befell Proserpina.
Venus, in attempt to bring love to Pluto, she ordered her son Amor to shoot Pluto with his bow. Pluto now infected with love began to search. Proserpina was playing in Sicily collecting flower. She was at Pergusa Lake frolicking with nymphs; some versions of the story say her companions in the meadows were the Oceanids, the daughters of Oceanus. Pluto emerged from the volcano Etna propelled by four black horses, Orphnaeus, Aethon, Nycteus and Alstor. He saw her and fell in love instantly. He immediately took her to the underworld to make her his wife. In another variant of the story Pluto made a beautiful flower grow and when Proserpina went to reach for it the ground widened and belched forth Pluto again drain by his immortal steeds.
Ceres distraught over the disappearance of her daughter began to search. She search for 9 days and on the 10th day Trivia had pity in the agricultural goddess and told her that she heard Proserpina cry out but was unaware what happened to her. Ceres so angered by the events that took human from and began to walk. Finally Ceres was compelled to return to Olympus, but here sadness and anger was causing a worldwide famine. Mankind was facing its end, possible extinction from starvation. However the mortals were not the only ones starving. Proserpina trapped in the underworld had not eaten either. By this time Jupiter had sent Mercury to carry his command to free his daughter. Pluto conspired to insure she could not leave for long feed Proserpina some pomegranate seeds.
Mother and daughter were finally reunited. Ceres sensing that something was wrong questioned her daughter. Finally Proserpina admitted to being trick in to eating the food of the underworld. Demeter again was distraught because she know to eat the food of the underworld means that person must return to the underworld. Jupiter powerless to do anything decreed that Proserpina spend 1/3 of the year in the underworld with her new husband and the other 2/3 she was allowed to return to earth or Olympus. She would now be known as the goddess of the underworld. With this compromise Ceres restore to order...

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