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Proserpina and the Pomegranate



Proserpina refused the pomegranate
Pluto offered her, wonderfully beautiful

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Virginia Frances Sterrett: Proserpina

Title: Proserpina refused the pomegranate, Virginia Frances Sterrett

Proserpina, the daughter of Ceres, was abducted by Pluto, ruler of the Underworld. After Proserpine was transported to Hades, she made the mistake of eating the seeds of a pomegranate. Ceres was consumed with grief and cast a blight upon the earth, so that it produced neither grain, nor flower, nor fruit. The people of the earth starved and Jupiter was forced to intervene. It was agreed that Proserpina would be returned to her mother, provided Proserpina had not eaten anything while in the underworld. Pluto, however, had persuaded Proserpina to eat part of a pomegranate, which she finally accepted. Therefore, the Fates refused to free Proserpina, but a compromise was reached whereupon she would spend six month each year with Pluto in the underworld, one for each pomegranate seed that she had eaten. The rest of the year she spends her mother, Ceres, the months we know as spring and summer. When Proserpina is with Pluto the earth is barren and cold and when she returns to her mother, Ceres pours forth the blessings of spring to welcome her beloved daughter home.

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