Page 1: Participant Information

Dread Persephone and Lord Hades: Hellenic Polytheists’ Engagement with Ancient Evidence

I would like to invite you to take part in my research project looking at the way that Hellenic Polytheists who worship Persephone and Hades engage with ancient evidence. Before you decide whether to participate I would like you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it would involve for you. Talk to others about the study if you wish. Please ask me questions if anything is unclear. 

What is the purpose of the project? 

The aim of the study is to examine how contemporary pagans, specifically Hellenic Polytheists who worship Persephone and Hades, engage with ancient material culture and literature. This will include discussions of what these communities think of as ‘ancient’ evidence, how much they know about the context of ancient material, and how and why they decide on which aspects of ancient material to focus on. I will discuss the ways that participants interpret three pieces of ancient Greek evidence related to Persephone: an excerpt from the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, a vase painting that shows Persephone retuning from the Underworld, and a wall painting that shows Persephone being abducted by Hades. 

I aim to understand how modern Hellenic Polytheists and other pagans who worship Persephone interpret and engage with ancient source material, and how much of their understanding of the ancient context colours this interpretation. My hope is to draw some conclusions about how professional ancient historians may be able to assist in the informed research of Hellenic polytheists.

Why have I been invited to participate? 

Participants will self-select into the study. You have been invited because you are a member of an online community of Hellenic Polytheists. 

Do I have to take part? 

It is up to you to decide whether you wish to participate in the project. If you agree to take part, I will then ask you to indicate your consent on the form below. You are free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. At no point will you be asked for identifying information, and each respondent will be allocated a response number to which your data will be linked. You are free to withdraw your consent to the study at any time.

What will happen to me if I take part and what will I have to do? 

The survey contains 15 questions, many of which are open-text. You are free to give as much or as little detail as you wish. One question requires you to read a substantial excerpt of text from the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. A further two questions require you to examine pieces of visual evidence. 

What are the possible disadvantages and risks involved in taking part in the project?

There are no foreseeable risks involved in taking part in this project. 

What are the possible benefits of taking part? 

My aim with this project is to give insight into the way that Hellenic Polytheists engage with ancient evidence to professional ancient historians and classicists. I anticipate this will include a series of conclusions about how academics can best address the needs of the Hellenic Polytheist community as one which engages in ongoing and rigorous research on the ancient world. 

Will my participation in this project be kept confidential? 

Your data will be collected via an online survey platform, Online Surveys. This platform is GDPR compliant. No identifying or personal data will be collected. Data will be stored securely on my University of Bristol file store.  Data will be used in published outputs, where each participant will be given an identification number. Data will be retained for future expansion of the project, however where future work is decided against, data will be permanently deleted.

What will happen to the results of the research project?

The initial publication of the project will be in a chapter in an edited collection titled Persephone in Love: Persephone and Hades in Popular Culture.

Who has reviewed the study? 

The project has been reviewed by the Faculty of Arts Research Ethics Committee at the University of Bristol.

Further information and contact details 

For further information or clarification on the study please contact Dr Ellie Mackin Roberts at

If you have any concerns related to your participation in this study, please direct them to the Research Governance Team: