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The Rape of Proserpine PDF Print E-mail

The Rape of Proserpine

The Rape of Proserpina is a myth among the most famous Sicilian pagan tradition. The rape was realized in  the lake of Pergusa, near Enna.

According to the story of the famous poet Claudiano, Plutone, king of hell, decided to visit the earth, emerged near Enna and saw Proserpina, the daughter of the goddess Cerere, among many young women intent on picking flowers on the shores of lake of Pergusa. He fell in love and
kidnapped Proserpina bringing her to the underworld.

Cerere, the mother of Proserpina and goddess of Olympus, was desperate for news of the death of her daughter: after nine days and sleepless nights of pain, she decided to beg Zeus to get back her daughter but Zeus could not betray his brother Plutone. Then Cerere, mad for pain, decided to produce a great drought in the island and
after this the famine and beasts came on the island and men were dying in large quantities.

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The men asked for help to Zeus but Proserpina had eaten the pomegranate, symbol of love, given to her by Pluto, and then to all intents his wife, and could not return permanently to his mother. Zeus, moved by the pain of her sister, solved the problem by deciding that Proserpina was for eight months, from January to August, on the earth with her mother, and for four months, from September to December, undergrounf with her husband Plutone, thus creating the alternating two seasons in the climate of Sicily. The legend says that Proserpina goes back to the earth in the spring to take abundance to the island and disappearance with the first cold winter.


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