The abduction of Zeus' daughter Persephone by Hades, or as the Greeks referred to the god, Plouton (later known by the Romans as Pluto), is one of Greek mythology's hallmarks. But a mosaic discovered in Greece adds a third figure, the Greek god Hermes, into the mix.
When Greece's Culture Ministry first announced the mosaic find on Sunday, the archaeologists suspected that the pebbled mosaic floor may have depicted Philip II, Alexander the Great's father, as Hermes' passenger. But the discovery of Persephone on the mosaic, found in Amphipolis in northern Greece, has confirmed that the mosaic depicts the classic story of Pluto and Persephone. "It is obvious this is the mythological representation of the abduction of Persephone by Pluto," the Greek ministry said in a statement.
The archaeologists now believe that the bearded passenger in Hermes' chariot is the god Pluto, not Philip II. Hermes guided souls to the underworld, so as lord of the underworld, it makes sense that Pluto would ride along with Hermes. As for Persephone, the mural depicts her with her hand "raised in fear," Discovery News notes.
Discovery News adds that the revelation "directly links" the Amphipolis tomb to royal tombs in Vergina, Greece — the abduction of Persephone was also depicted in a mural at King Philip II's tomb.