Sunday, November 27, 2011

Death of Adonis

“He is dying, Aphrodite;
luxuriant Adonis is dying.
What should we do?”

“Beat your breasts, young maidens.
And tear your garments
in grief.”
- Sappho of Lesbos This is the tale of Persephone, the "Maiden,", "she who destroys the light", and Adonis, meaning "Lord".

Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. When young Adonis was born, he was so handsome that when Aphrodite gave him to her to baby-sit, Persephone refused to give the infant to her. They agreed to let Adonis spend four months of the year with each of them, and four months with whomever he chose to spend the time with. He chose Aphrodite, for Persephone, Queen of the Dead, was forced to live underground in Hades for 6 months of every year. Adonis spent the fall and winter with Persephone, and the spring and summer with Aphrodite.

Adonis grew to be such a handsome youth that Aphrodite and Persephone fell in love with him. He was killed by a wild boar sent by Ares, the lover of Aphrodite, who had grown jealous of her love for Adonis. Where his blood fell, wild red anemones sprang up. Aphrodite, hunting in her swan-drawn carriage, found him dying. Both goddesses mourned him.

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