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Death in
Ancient Greece

Demeter and Persephone

Height: 1.500 m (approx.)

GR 1859.12-26.26 (Sculpture 1300)

Demeter and Persephone

From: Knidos, south-west Asia Minor
Date: around 350 BC

Demeter was a very important goddess because she looked after farming and the growth of plants and animals. Her daughter Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, the god of the Underworld, and became his Queen. Demeter travelled the earth searching for her daughter.

Eventually Persephone was allowed to return to Demeter, but, because she had eaten some pomegranate seeds in Hades, she was forced to go back there once every year. When this happened autumn and winter would fall on the earth, and when she came back it would be spring and summer. As Queen of Hades, Persephone had control over life after death, and as a result many people took part in religious ceremonies worshipping her.