(also Kore, Proserpina to the Romans)
Persephone's mother, Demeter, wandered the earth searching for her. Finally, she found Helios, who described what happened. In her depression, Demeter's negligence stopped all growth on earth. To restore order, Zeus sent Hermes to persuade Hades into releasing Persephone. Hades eventually gave in, but gave Persephone a pomegranate, a food of the dead, which forever binded her to the underworld. Persephone would then have to spend a portion of the year underground, during which time Demeter would again fall into depresion and the world would become temporarily infertile. The myth symbolizes the cyclical seasons, Persephone's annual return to Hades begins winter.