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(399) Persephone

Reference work entry

Discovered 1895 Feb. 23 by M. F. Wolf at Heidelberg.

The Greek word means maiden. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter {see planets  (5731) and  (1108)}, the wife of Pluto, and the queen of Hades. Pluto abducted her while she was gathering flowers on the plain of Enna in Sicily. Demeter sought her everywhere and threatened destruction for all mankind by withdrawing fertility from the Earth if she could not find her. Zeus promised to restore Persephone to her mother provided Persephone had eaten nothing in Hades; but she had eaten some pomegranate seeds and was compelled to spend six months each year with Pluto but allowed six months with her mother. The Latin name for Persephone is Proserpina {see planet  (26)}. (Z 200)

Named by A. Berberich (AN 156, 127 (1901)).

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© Springer-Verlag 2003

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