Sunday, 11 May 2014


"Proserpine" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Origin: Latin
Meaning: "to emerge"
Gender: feminine
Pronunciation: prə-SƏR-pə-nə, or praw-SƏR-pee-nuh

Proserpina is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Persephone. She is the daughter of Ceres, a fertily goddess, and Jupiter, the king of the Gods. Her mother kept her sheltered away from the other Gods, but somehow the Pluto or Hades, the ruler of the Underworld managed to see her and fall in love with her. Jupiter, told Pluto that he could take Proserpina, since her mother would most likely not her go with Pluto. When Pluto took Proserpina, her mother became so sad that she forbid the plants from growing. Jupiter, pressured by the other gods and the cries of the starving mortals, forced Pluto to bring Proserpina back. But Pluto had already tricked Proserpina into eating a kernel of pomegranate. Therefore, when she was rescued, she was still obligated to spend six months in the Underworld, and the remaining time above, which brought the coming and going of the seasons.

Proserpina's kidnapping by the god of the Underworld is often described as the Rape of Proserpina, or the Rape of Persephone.

   Related names:

Proserpine - Roman Mythology, French

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