Persephone was the Daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Her name Kore (Greek for "the girl") was often used to stress her relation to her mother, the grain-goddess Demeter. The Romans called her Proserpina. Hades (Roman Pluto) was the son of Chronos and Rhea and ruled the Underworld and all of its denizens. He was one of the three rules of the world, with Poseidon who ruled the oceans and Zeus who ruled the sky.
One day, Persephone was picking flowers in a meadow. Pluto (Hades) abducted her and carried her back to the Underworld. Demeter discovered that her daughter was missing and went searching for her. Not finding her, she grieved and withdrew her blessings from the earth, which caused all plants to wither and die. The peoples of the world starved and called to the gods. Zeus attempted to intervene but Demeter would not listen. Zeus sent Hermes to the Underworld to ask for Persephone's release. Hades agreed, but first he tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds which would trap her in the Underworld forever. An agreement was then made that Persephone would spend half of the year in the Underworld with her new husband Hades, and rest with her mother Demeter. When Persephone is in the Underworld, Demeter grieves and the we know this as winter.
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