In Greek mythology, Persephone (; Greek: Περσεφόνη), also called Kore (; "the maiden"), is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and is the queen of the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. Persephone was married to Hades, the god of the underworld. The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation, which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence, she is also associated with spring as well as the fertility of vegetation. Similar myths appear in the Orient, in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis, and Osiris, and in Minoan Crete. Persephone as a vegetation goddess and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries, which promised the initiated a more enjoyable prospect after death. In some versions, Persephone is the mother of Zeus's sons Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on very old agrarian cults of agricultural communities. Persephone was commonly worshipped along with Demeter and with the same mysteries. To her alone were dedicated the mysteries celebrated at Athens in the month of Anthesterion.
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