Persephone, also called Kore or Cora meaning 'the maiden', is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She became the queen of the Underworld after her abduction by Hades, the god of the underworld, with the approval of Zeus, her father/uncle (and brother in-law after her marriage to Hades). The myth of her abduction, her sojourn in the underworld and her temporary return to the surface represents her functions as the embodiment of spring and the personification of vegetation, especially grain crops, which disappear into the earth when sown, sprout from the earth in spring, and are harvested when fully grown. In Classical Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed, often carrying a sheaf of grain. She may appear as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, but she was mostly represented in the process of being carried off by Hades. Persephone as a vegetation goddess and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which promised the initiated a happy afterlife. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on ancient agrarian cults of agricultural communities. In Athens, the mysteries celebrated in the month of Anthesterion were dedicated to her.

Greek myth > Underworld Gods