Regina Inferorum

The myth of Proserpina in Latin Literature and in Art from Anquity to the Renaissance

On-line Course in Latin, 17th May – 28th June, 2023. 

The myth of Proserpina, regina Erebi in the noted words of Vergil, has enjoyed continual treatment in literature and art from antiquity to our own time.

After an introduction on the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and the story surrounding its rediscovery in the Eighteenth century, the first part of this course will center on reading and discussing in Latin salient excerpts from the Metamorphoes and the Fasti of Ovid as well as the De raptu Proserpinae of Claudian. The second part of the course will examine the allegorical readings of the myth in the Middle Ages up to the time of Dante and Boccaccio. Parallel to this, the course will also explore the large number of Latin authors between the Fifteenth to the Sixteenth Century who studies the geography, history, and mythology of Enna and the nearby Lake Pergusa where, according to tradition, Pluto abducted the young Proserpina to fashion her into his spouse in the underworld.

Throughout the sessions, ample attention will given to the portrayal of this myth in painting (Rubens, Veronese, Peruzzi, Tintoretto, Pietra da Cortona) and in sculpture (Bernini, Girardon, Powers).

The course will take place in seminar format via zoom (meeting) every Wednesday from 17:00 to 19:00 CET.

Each lesson will be conducted entirely in Latin.

Each session will be recorded and made available until 1st September 2023.


Program schedule


When Topic
I. Wednesday, 17th May, h. 17:00-19:00 CET Greetings and an Introduction to the Course

Distribution and orientation of course materials

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter and its rediscovery in the Modern Era

Proserpina in Cicero’s In Verrem

II. Wednesday, 24th May, h. 17:00-19:00 CET Proserpina in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (part 1)
III. Wednesday, 31st March, h. 17:00-19:00 CET Proserpina in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (part 2)

Proserpina in Ovid’s Fasti

IV. Wednesday, 7th June, h. 17:00-19:00 CET Claudian’s De raptu Proserpinae (part 1)
V. Wednesday, 14th June, h. 17:00-19:00 CET Claudian’s De raptu Proserpinae (part 2)
VI. Wednesday 21st June, h. 17:00-19:00 CEST Medieval readings of the myth (13th-14th century)
VII. Wednesday 28th June, h. 17:00-19:00 CEST
The rediscovery of the myth of Proserpina in Renaissance Europe (15 th -17 th )


Last day to Register: 16th May 2023



    Regina Erebi



    Infera Iuno



    Domina Ditis




    Giuseppe Marcellino


    Intended course audience

    Teachers, students and scholars of the ancient world.


    Online, using Zoom as a platform




    Intermediate or advanced

    Professional development credit

    At the end of the course, a certificate of participation will be issued on request.

    Registration fee

    139 €

    Course registration and Availability to Recorded Sessions

    Upon successfully registering for the course, you will be entered on the list of course participants and you will be emailed the sign in information needed to join the session meetings. At the end of each session, a recording will be made available until 1st September 2023.