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Ponedeljak, 14 Juni 2021 10:33

Pinax of Persephone and Hades from Locri Istaknut

The city of Locri was one of the cities of Magna Graecia. Due to the local peoples' characteristics, Plato called it the "flower of Italy". A major sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Persephone, who was worshiped as the protector of the fertility of marriage. It contained a treasure trove of what are known as pinakes or terracotta tablets with bas-relief illustrations that represent the cult's myth and rituals. One in a series of pinakes from this sanctuary is the pinax of Persephone and Hades, from around 460 BC, which is today located in the National Museum of Magna Graecia, Reggio Calabria.

The pinax of Hades and Persephone shows the king and queen of the underworld. In classical Greek myth, Persephone was a daughter of Zeus, king of the gods, and Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and she was abducted by Hades and taken to his underworld where she was offered fruit. She grows out of the ground every spring to join her mother Demeter, the goddess of cereals and, restores fertility to the earth. Hades means "unseen". Its Roman name Pluto means rich and refers to the abundance of minerals underground and the fertility of the earth. Pluto is worshiped as the god of wealth because the wealth of the earth comes from what is below.

Persephone and Hades sitting on the throne next to each other are presented as symbols of fertility. Persephone holds a sheaf of wheat with one hand and a rooster with the other. Hades holds in his hands a vessel and a sheaf of golden-headed flowers, which are connected with grain. The other rooster is under the throne, and the small burner in front of the throne has a small rooster on top.

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