why called the rape of persephone

“Bitter pain seized her [Demeter’s] heart, and she rent the covering upon her divine hair with her dear hands : her dark cloak she cast down from both her shoulders and sped, like a wild-bird, over the firm land and yielding sea, seeking her child. But no one would tell her the truth, neither god nor mortal man; and of the birds of omen none came with true news for her. Then for nine days queenly Deo wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, so grieved that she never tasted ambrosia and the sweet draught of nektaros, nor sprinkled her body with water. But when the tenth enlightening dawn had come, Hekate, with a torch in her hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her news : ‘Queenly Demeter, bringer of seasons and giver of good gifts, what god of heaven (theon ouranion) or what mortal man has rapt away Persephone and pierced with sorrow your dear heart? For I heard her voice, yet saw not with my eyes who it was. But I tell you truly and shortly all I know.’
So, then, said Hekate. And [Demeter] the daughter of rich-haired Rheia answered her not, but sped swiftly with her, holding flaming torches in her hands. So they came to Helios (the Sun), who is watchman of both gods and men, and stood in front of his horses: and the bright goddess enquired of him : ‘Helios, do you at least regard me, goddess as I am, if ever by word or deed of mine I have cheered your heart and spirit. Through the fruitless air (aitheros) I heard the thrilling cry of my daughter whom I bare, sweet scion of my body and lovely in form, as of one seized violently; though with my eyes I saw nothing. But you–for with your beams you look down from the bright upper air (aitheros) over all the earth and sea–tell me truly of my dear child if you have seen her anywhere, what god or mortal man has violently seized her against her will and mine, and so made off.’
So said she. And the Son of Hyperion [Helios] answered her : ‘Queen Demeter, daughter of rich-haired Rheia, I will tell you the truth; for I greatly reverence and pity you in your grief for your trim-ankled daughter. None other of the deathless gods is to blame, but only cloud-gathering Zeus who gave her to Aides, her father’s brother, to be called his buxom wife. And Aides seized her and took her loudly crying in his chariot down to his realm of mist and gloom. Yet, goddess, cease your loud lament and keep not vain anger unrelentingly : Aidoneus Polysemantor (Ruler of Many) is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: also, for honour, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells.’
So he spake, and called to his horses: and at his chiding they quickly whirled the swift chariot along, like long-winged birds. But grief yet more terrible and savage came into the heart of Demeter, and thereafter she was so angered with [Zeus] the dark-clouded Son of Kronos that she avoided the gathering of the gods and high Olympos. She [Demeter] vowed that she would never set foot on fragrant Olympos nor let fruit spring out of the ground until she beheld with her eyes her own fair-faced daughter.
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 2. 3 – 5. 5. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
“The Sikeliotai (Sicilians) who dwell in the island [Sicily] have received the tradition from their ancestors, the report having ever been handed down successively from earliest time by one generation to the next, that the island is sacred to Demeter and Kore (Core) [Persephone]; although there are certain poets who recount the myth that at the marriage of Plouton (Pluto) [Haides] and Persephone Zeus gave this island as a wedding present to the bride . . .
The fact that the Rape of Kore [Persephone] took place in Sikelia (Sicily) is, men say, proof most evident that the goddesses made this island their favourite retreat because it was cherished by them before all others. And the Rape of Kore, the myth relates, took place in the meadows of the territory of Enna. The spot lies near the city, a place of striking beauty for its violets and every other kind of flower and worthy of the goddess. And the story is told that, because of the sweet odour of the flowers growing there, trained hunting dogs are unable to hold the trail, because their natural sense of smell is balked. And the meadow we have mentioned is level in the centre and well watered throughout, but on its periphery it rises high and falls off with precipitous cliffs on every side. And it is conceived of as lying in the very centre of the island, which is the reason why certain writers call it the navel of Sikelia. Near to it also are sacred groves, surrounded by marshy flats, and a huge grotto which contains a chasm which leads down into the earth and opens to the north, and through it, the myth relates, Plouton, coming out with his chariot, effected the Rape of Kore. And the violets, we are told, and the rest of the flowers which supply the sweet odour continue to bloom, to one’s amazement, throughout the entire year, and so the whole aspect of the place is one of flowers and delight.
And both Athene and Artemis, the myth goes on to say, who had made the same choice of maidenhood as had Kore and were reared together with her, joined with her in gathering the flowers, and all of them together wove the robe for their father Zeus. And because of the time they had spent together and their intimacy they all loved this island above any other, and each one of them received for her portion a territory, Athene receiving hers in the region of Himera . . . Artemis received from the gods the island of Syrakouse (Syracuse) . . . Like the two goddesses whom we have mentioned Kore, we are told, received as her portion the meadows round about Enna; but a great fountain was made sacred to her in the territory of Syrakousa and given the name Kyane or ‘Azure Font’. For the myth relates that it was near Syrakousa that Plouton effected the Rape of Kore and took her away in his chariot, and that after cleaving the earth asunder he himself descended into Haides, taking along with him the bride whom he had seized, and that he caused the fountain named Kyane (Cyane) to gush forth, near which the Syrakousans each year hold a notable festive gathering; and private individuals offer the lesser victims, but when the ceremony is on behalf of the community, bulls are plunged in the pool, this manner of sacrifice having been commanded by Herakles on the occasion when he made the circuit of all Sikelia, while driving off the cattle of Geryones.
After the Rape of Kore, the myth goes on to recount, Demeter, being unable to find her daughter, kindled torches in the craters of Mount Aitna (Etna) and visited many parts of the inhabited world . . . The inhabitants of Sikelia (Sicily), since by reason of the intimate relationship with Demeter and Kore with them they were the first to share in the corn after its discovery, instituted to each on of the goddesses sacrifices and festive gatherings . . .
That the Rape of Kore took place in the manner we have described is attested by many ancient historians and poets. Karkinos (Carcinus) the tragic poet, for instance, who often visited Syrakousa and witnessed the zeal which the inhabitants displayed in the sacrifices and festive gatherings for both Demeter and Kore, has the following verses in his writings : ‘Demeter’s daughter, her whom none may name, by secret schemings Plouton [Haides], men say, stole, and then he dropped into earth’s depths, whose light is darkness. Longing for the vanished girl her mother searched and visited all lands in turn. And Sikelia’s land by Aitna’s crags was filled with streams of fire which no man could approach, and groaned throughout its length; in grief over the maiden now the folk, beloved of Zeus, was perishing without the corn. Hence honour they these goddesses even now.’”

Why called the rape of persephone
Created between 1636 – 1637, Peter Paul Rubens depicted the abduction of Persephone in a piece entitled The Rape of Proserpine. The piece was intended to decorate the lost Torre de la Parada, and as such was owned by the Spanish Royal family. [1]
This list is by no means exhaustive, but seeks to highlight some prominent examples of the myth in Western paintings.

Why called the rape of persephone
The contorted, serpentine configurations of the figures’ bodies expand upon this dynamism; they invite the viewer to move around the sculpture, view it from every side, and become a part of the dynamic story. By forcing the audience to actively view the piece, Bernini ensures that the viewer’s experience of the sculpture is expanded and dynamic in its own right.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, “The Rape of Proserpina,” 1622, Marble. Commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy. Image Credit: Columbia University

Why called the rape of persephone
Demeter and Persephone reunite
Already since the time of Egypt’s Pharao’s, the ruling class declared themselves GOD and the masses slaves. Their Piramides and Sphinxes testify.

Various local traditions place Persephone’s abduction in a different location. The Sicilians, among whom her worship was probably introduced by the Corinthian and Megarian colonists, believed that Hades found her in the meadows near Enna, and that a well arose on the spot where he descended with her into the lower world. The Cretans thought that their own island had been the scene of the rape, and the Eleusinians mentioned the Nysian plain in Boeotia, and said that Persephone had descended with Hades into the lower world at the entrance of the western Oceanus. Later accounts place the rape in Attica, near Athens, or near Eleusis. [31]
The Cult of Demeter and the Maiden is found at Attica, in the main festivals Thesmophoria and Eleusinian mysteries and in a lot of local cults. These festivals were almost always celebrated at the autumn sowing, and at full-moon according to the Greek tradition. In some local cults the feasts were dedicated to Demeter.

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_of_Persephone
http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/deb2170/the-rape-of-prosperina/
http://classicalwisdom.com/mythology/gods/the-rape-of-a-goddess/
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone
http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/deb2170/the-rape-of-prosperina/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *