Persephone and Hades Pinax

Photo credit: AlMare, 2002. Object located at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico at Reggio Di Calabria in Italy. via Wikipedia Commons 

The city of Locri Epizephyrii was founded on the coast of the Ionian Sea around 680 B.C.E. by Locrians from Amphissa and Opus, and Spartans from Lacedaemon. It was renowned for sanctuaries dedicated to Zeus, Aphrodite, Persephone, Athena, and to Pan and the Nymphs.

This terracotta pinax (votive tablet) dated to around 490-450 B.C.E. is one of many discovered at the Sanctuary of Persephone . The site was excavated by archaeologist Paolo Orsi between 1908 and 1911 near the modern town of Gerace.

In contrast to other temples dedicated to Persephone, the goddess at Locri was honored as a patron of brides, a blesser of marriage, and a protector of young children. Hades is frequently depicted as a beardless youth in the votive tablets found here, and Persephone often appears to acquiesce to accompany him in his chariot. Images of Demeter are absent, and the artifacts depict the culmination of Persephone’s story not as a return from the Underworld to her mother, but as her enthronement at Hades’ side.



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