Phaethon & Persephone
Posted by Lydia on February 20, 1998 at 09:27:24:
In response to Phaethon and Persephone..., written by Kate on February 19, 1998 at 23:21:02
Here are the Myhtological Answers:
Phaethon- The son of the sun-god Helios. When Phaeton ("the shining one") finally learned who his father was, he went east to meet him. He induced his father to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun across the heavens for one day. The horses, feeling their reins held by a weaker hand, ran wildly out of their course and came close to the earth, threatening to burn it. Zeus noticed the danger and with a thunderbolt he destroyed Phaeton. He fell down into the legendary river Eridanus where he was found by the river nymphs who mourned him and buried him. The tears of these nymphs turned into amber. For the Ethiopians however it
was already too late: they were scorched by the heat and their skins had turned black.
Persephone- goddess of the underworld in Greek mythology. She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of the harvest. Persephone was such a beautiful girl that everyone loved her, even Hades wanted her for himself. When she was a little girl, she and the Oceanids were collecting flowers on the plain of Enna, when suddenly the earth opened and Hades rose up from the gap and abducted her. None but Zeus had noticed it.
Broken-hearted, Demeter wandered the earth, looking for her daughter until Helios, the all-seeing, revealed what had
happened. Demeter was so angry that she withdrew herself in loneliness, and all fertility on earth stopped. Finally, Zeus sent Hermes down to Hades to make him release Persephone. Hades grudgingly agreed, but before she went back he gave Persephone a pomegranate to eat, thus she would always be connected to his realm and had to stay there one-third of the year. The other months she remained with her mother. When Persephone was in Hades, Demeter refused to let anything grow and winter began. This myth is a symbol of the budding and dying of nature. In the Eleusinian mysteries, this happening was celebrated in honor of Demeter and Persephone, who was known in this cult as Kore.
(In some forms of the story, Persephone eats six seeds, and so spends six months in Hades and six with her mother - I guess it all depended on your region's winters)
Hope this helps!
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