Happy Summer! I present to you the magnificent Goddess of Morgantina, in celebration of the solstice. Scholars don’t know if she represents Aphrodite, Demeter, Persephone, or Hera. But her size (2.20-2.25 meters high), indicates that it was certainly a mystery cult statue of great importance. Personally, I believe that she is Persephone because her right arm is extended in a very similar way to dozens of statuettes that I’ve seen throughout Sicily that illustrate the Queen of the Underworld holding a lantern to light arrivals’ way into Hades.
Today, however, we recognize Persephone’s return to the upper world! Oh, her mother, the goddess Demeter, is so happy, the entire hemisphere is in bloom! In the ancient Mediterranean, specifically in Magna Grecia (i.e. Sicily), when this statue was created (some time between 420 and 410 BCE), Persephone’s following was one of the largest, especially in Eastern Sicily, where this statue was excavated from Morgantina in the late 1970s. Today, it can be seen in the museum at Aidone.