So for the sake of our joint sovereignty, if that can touch your pride, unite in love that goddess and her uncle [Haides].’ According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, Proserpine was forced to live in the underworld for four months of every year; her departure from earth marked the advent of winter, and her return brought about spring and summer.The muscular, marble-like figures illustrate the influence of Michelangelo (1475–1564) on the younger Florentine artist, while their complex, twisted poses and bright, saturated colors reflect that of his adoptive father and master, Bronzino (1503–1572). Proserpina is an ancient Roman goddess whose story is the basis of a myth of Springtime. ", Ovid, Fasti 4. ", Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 145 (trans. It is closely connected with that of Orpheus and Eurydice. ", Virgil, Georgics 1. . Even so she gave a clue, clear beyond doubt, and floating on her pool she showed the well-known sash which Persephone had chanced to drop there in the sacred spring. How well the goddess knew it! ", Seneca, Hercules Furens 658 ff (trans. I hold court in the sky; another rules the sea, and one the void. But Saturnius [Hades] restrained his wrath no longer. She moaned long within herself.  In the early 1st century CE, Ovid gives two poetic versions of the myth in Latin: one in Book 5 of his Metamorphoses (Book 5) and another in Book 4 of his Fasti. Unmarried girls should emulate the chastity of Proserpina, the maiden; married women should seek to emulate Ceres, the devoted and fruitful Mother. The daughter spied this and shouted : ‘Over here, friends. 2 ff (trans. The new cult and its priesthood were actively promoted by Rome's religious authorities as morally desirable for respectable Roman women, and may have partly subsumed the temple's older, native cult to Ceres, Liber and Libera; but the new rites seem to have functioned alongside the old, rather than replaced them. A bay confined by narrow points of land lies between Arethusa Pisaea and Cyane. While Proserpina [Persephone] was gathering flowers with Venus [Aphrodite], Diana [Artemis], and Minerva [Athena], Pluto came in his four-horse chariot, and seized her. Into the pool--her pool and she but now its deity--she spread dissolved. In her desperation, Ceres angrily stopped the growth of fruits and vegetables, bestowing a malediction on Sicily. When Jupiter ordered her return, Pluto struck a deal with Jupiter, saying that since she had stolen his pomegranate seeds, she must stay with him four months of the year in return. Proserpine ate six pomegranate seeds, and so Pluto confined her to his kingdom six months of each year. Walsh) (Roman novel C2nd A.D.) . 270 ff : The accompanying scenes, depicting Aeneas and Anchises and Narcissus, are today located in the residence of the Turkish Ambassador, Washington, D.C. That day would have terminated her wandering, if pigs had not disturbed the marks she found . . . ‘Stop, stop!’ she cried, ‘You cannot take this girl to wife against Queen Ceres' will! 417 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. . Afterwards Ceres [Demeter] obtained from Jove [Zeus] permission for her to stay half of the year with her, and half with Pluto [Haides]. So she spoke. to C1st A.D.) : Ovid, Fasti 4. . . Just as Persephone was thought to be a daughter of Demeter, Romans made Proserpina a daughter of Demeter's Roman equivalent, Ceres. . Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.) His survey done, and no point found to fail, he put his fears aside; when, as he roamed, Erycina [Venus-Aphrodite], from her mountain throne, saw him and clasped her swift-winged son, and said : ‘Cupido [Eros], my child, my warrior, my power, take those sure shafts with which you conquer all, and shoot your speedy arrows to the heart of the great god to whom the last lot fell when the three realms were drawn. ", Apuleius, The Golden Ass 6. She is a life-death-rebirth deity. Ceres [Demeter], seeking Porserpina [Persephone], her daughter. The boughs give cooling shade, the watered grass is gay with spangled flowers of every hue, and always it is spring. 36 ff (trans. It arrived along with its Greek priestesses, who were granted Roman citizenship so that they could pray to the gods "with a foreign and external knowledge, but with a domestic and civil intention". ‘Don't waste time,’ he says, ‘You seek the bride of Jove's brother [Pluto-Haides], the third realm's queen.’ Her band of servant friends, piled with flowers, call out, ‘Persephone, come and see your presents.’ When the shout meets silence, their howling fills the hills; they hammer naked breasts with grieving hands. 61 ff (trans. Cupid shoots Hades, the God of … . "Tartarus hopes not for you [Caesar in the guise of Hades] as king, and may such monstrous lust of empire never seize you, though Greece is enchanted by the Elysian fields, and Proserpine [Persephone] reclaimed cares not to follow her mother. In the late Republican era, Cicero described Liber and Libera as Ceres' children. When the friendly day had dimmed the stars, she sought her daughter still from sunrise until sunset hour by hour . Woods crown the waters, ringing every side, their leaves like awnings barring the sun's beams. . At the Aventine, the new cult took its place alongside the old. She was originally an Italic goddess; at some time during Rome's Regal or very early Republican eras, she was paired with Liber, also known as Liber Pater ('the free father'), Roman god of wine, male fertility, and a guardian of plebeian freedoms. "First, love may cause those afflicted to do strange things. 344 (trans. But the Acheloides [Sirens], why should it be that they have feathers now and feet of birds, though still a girl's fair face, the sweet-voiced Sirenes? For treatment of Ovid's two versions, and comparison with his probable Greek sources, see Stephen Hinds, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, Last edited on 18 November 2020, at 16:03, List of rape victims from ancient history and mythology, "American English Dictionary: Definition of Proserpina", "The known unknown: identification, provenancing, and relocation of pieces of decorative architecture from Roman public buildings and other private structures in Malta", "LacusCurtius • Claudian — The Rape of Proserpine: Book I", English translation online, by AS Kline, 2002, "OCAIW – The Nude in Art History: Peter Paul Rubens", "ARTEHISTORIA – Genios de la Pintura – Ficha Rapto de Proserpina", "Genios de la Pintura – Ficha Rapto de Proserpina", "Proserpina, aka Sea Nymphs – Maxfield Parrish Gallery", "Projekt Gutenberg-DE – SPIEGEL ONLINE – Nachrichten – Kultur", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Proserpina&oldid=989367559, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 November 2020, at 16:03. 22 (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) : Why not there too extend your mother's empire and your own? The mother is Ceres [Demeter]. .  An early 5th century Latin version of the same myth is Claudian's De raptu Proserpinae; in most cases, these Latin works identify Proserpina's underworld abductor and later consort by the Roman god of the underworld's traditional Latin name, Dis. ‘The ravished girl,’ he said, ‘broke her fast with three seeds buried in a pomegranate's tough rind.’ Legend of Proserpine. : Libera was officially identified with Proserpina in 205 BC, when she acquired a Romanised form of the Greek mystery rites and their attendant mythology. . to C1st A.D.) : "Those who, by permission of the Parcae [Moirai], returned from the lower world. 417 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more. A bounteous harvest burst upon idle fields; the bards barely held the heaps of wealth. Then Juppiter [Zeus], to hold the balance fair between his brother and his sister in her grief, portioned the rolling years in equal parts. 36 ff (trans. Theoi Project © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Aaron J. Atsma, Netherlands & New Zealand. She was unable to find anything but a small belt floating upon a little lake made from the tears of the nymphs. As a cow bellows for the calf ripped from her udder and ransacks every grove for her brood, so the goddess roars out her pain and rushes pell-mell. What then, when that's not all, when he yields place to me only because the lots so fell? 462 ff (trans. "I [Pluto-Haides] have scarce ventured one stolen journey [to the upper world], nor was that to the stars on high, when I carried of my bride [Proserpina-Persephone] from the Sicilian mead : unlawfully, so they say, and forthwith comes an unjust decree from Jove [Zeus], and her mother [Ceres-Demeter] cheats me of half a year. As she was gathering flowers with her playmates in a meadow, the earth opened and Pluto, god of the dead, appeared and carried her off to be his queen in the world below. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. Where the girl was she knew not, but reproached the whole wide world--ungrateful, not deserving her gift of grain--and Trinacria [Sicily] in chief where she had found the traces of her loss. Reshaped, he wears great tawny wings, his head swells huge . Another significant Latin version by the Roman poet Claudian can be found in the Theoi Texts Library. My daughter, where are you?’ She is swept away mindless, like a Thracian Maenad with streaming hair.
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