"the swine of Euboeleus"
The abduction of Persephone
Public DomainThe abduction of Persephone - Credit: Circle of Josef Anton Koch

In Greek mythology, Euboeleus is a swineherd who tends his pigs at the entrance to the Underworld. When Pluto, the king of the Underworld, abducts Persephone as his bride, the swine disappear into the chasm which opens up to admit the fleeing deities. Euboeleus’ fate is assuaged by the casting of piglets into sacrificial pits dedicated to Persephone and her mother Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility. The decaying remains were recovered by women who, after a purity ritual, mingled the flesh with seeds to ensure fecundity for both the land and its inhabitants.

 

 

 

Euboleus
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeEuboleus - Credit: Marsyas