Persephone: Religion as a Successful Tool of Hellenic Colonization
Persephone is an example of how religion facilitated the integration of natives into Greek society. Her personality and story were easily recognized. She was the goddesses of agriculture, which was the main source of economy in Sicily. Sicily was so fertile and prosperous that almost every city in Sicily had the symbol of wheat or corn on their coin. It is easy to see how ber agricultural elements were easily recognized and embraced. Though evidence of Sicilian rituals prior to the Greeks is scant, there was seemingly no difference between domestic and chthonic iconography. There also was no separation between the world of the living and the grounds that were reserved the ,burying of the dead. Persephone encompassed elements of li fe and death. Her personality was therefore familiar for even though the Greeks respected a line a between life and death, Persephone was a chthonic deity and she presided over both spheres. Natives therefore did not have to sacrifice that familiarity.