the king of all the Roman gods, had three sisters.
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 Proserpineís
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 Underworld, Proserpine
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 rescue her.
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, Jupiter
was worried about the crops. The people would die if the crops failed. If
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 passing fancy.
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 again.
to the ancients, it's the reason for the seasons.