the king of all the Roman gods, had three sisters.
Hera, his wife and
sister, was the goddess of marriage and the queen of all the
another of his sisters, was a much loved goddess by the woman of Rome
- Vesta was the goddess of home and hearth.
third sister, Ceres,
was in charge of the harvest. If Ceres was upset, the
crops could die. Everyone, gods and mortals, worked hard to keep Ceres
happy. What made her the happiest was enjoying the company of her
the story goes ....
grown into a beautiful young woman. She had a smile for everyone.
One day, while picking flowers in the fields, Pluto, her uncle,
the god of the underworld, noticed her. Pluto was normally a
gloomy fellow. But
beauty had dazzled him. He fell in love instantly. Quickly,
before anyone could interfere, he kidnapped Proserpine and
hurled his chariot down into the darkest depths of the
underworld, taking Proserpine with him.
in a room in the
cried and cried. She
refused to speak to Pluto. And
she refused to eat. Legend said if you ate anything in Pluto, you could never leave. She did not know if the legend was
true, but she did not want to risk it in case someone came to
a week went by. Finally, unable to bear her hunger, Proserpine ate six pomegranate seeds. It seemed her fate was sealed. She
would have to live in the Underworld forever.
back on earth,
was worried about the crops. The people
would die if the crops failed.
that happened, who would worship Jupiter? He had to do something.
Jupiter did what he often did. He sent Mercury, his youngest son,
the messenger, to crack a deal, this time with Pluto.
as a baby, Mercury was great at making deals. Everyone knew that.
But this deal might be the challenge of his life. His uncle Pluto, king of the underworld, was really in love. This was no
Mercury heard that Proserpine had eaten six pomegranate seeds, he
had to think quickly. The deal he made with Pluto was that if Proserpine
would marry Pluto, she would live as queen of the
underworld for six months out of the year. However, each spring,
Proserpine would return and live on earth for the other six
months of the year. Pluto agreed. Jupiter agreed. Proserpine agreed. And finally, Ceres agreed.
spring, Ceres makes sure all the flowers bloom in welcome when
her daughter, Queen of the Underworld, returns to her.
Each fall, when Proserpine returns to Pluto, Ceres cries, and
lets all the crops die until spring, when the cycle starts
According to the
ancients, it's the reason for the seasons.