One cannot talk of the Eleusinian Mysteries and of Demeter without including Persephone in the mix; thus, however close Hadrian and Antinous were to Demeter, likewise they would have been equally close to her daughter Persephone.
Persephone, the benevolent queen of the underworld, was also sometimes known as Kore (“The Maiden”), and was sometimes attended by Hekate and Artemis. In Roman terms, she either was called Proserpina, or was Libera, the daughter of Ceres. In some of the PGM and other magical texts (including the love spell invoking Antinous as a daimon), she is further syncretized with the near eastern underworld goddess Ereshkigal. The demoi-name commemorating Eleusis is also present in Antinoöpolis under the phyla named for Athens.
A further appearance in connection with Antinous of Kore/Persephone is in the Tebtynis Papyrus, when Herakles is refused entry into the Eleusinian Mysteries, and in his response he says that “I have seen the Maiden.” This account is very similar to a papyrus fragment from Antinoöpolis that is thought to contain a piece of a mystery initiation ritual. Given Hadrian and Antinous’ participation in the Eleusinian Mysteries, it seems possible that these were influential in the creation of the new mysteries devoted to Antinous. In fact, Karl Kerényi believes that this particular account from the Tebtynis Papyrus actually does reflect the content of the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries.
As a result, Persephone rates very highly in the estimation of the Ekklesía Antínoou. She is celebrated on our Eleusinian Festival on September 21.
Khaire Kore Persephone! Khaire Antinoe!