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Demeter

Demeter
Goddess of agriculture, fertility, and the harvest
Demeter Altemps Inv8546.jpg
A marble statue of Demeter, National Roman Museum
Other names Sito, Thesmophoros
Abode Mount Olympus
Symbol Cornucopia, wheat, torch, bread
Consort Iasion, Zeus, Oceanus, Karmanor, Poseidon and Triptolemus
Parents Cronus and Rhea
Siblings Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus, Chiron
Children Persephone, Despoina, Arion, Plutus, Philomelus, Eubuleus, Chrysothemis, and Amphitheus I
Roman equivalent Ceres
Festivals Thesmophoria

In ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, Demeter (/dˈmtər/; Attic: Δημήτηρ Dēmḗtēr; Doric: Δαμάτηρ Dāmā́tēr) is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito (Σι τώ), "she of the Grain", as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros (θεσμός, thesmos: divine order, unwritten law; φόρος, phoros: bringer, bearer), "Law-Bringer," as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of circa 1400–1200 BC found at Pylos, the "two mistresses and the king" may be related with Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.



For the Greeks Demeter was still a poppy goddess
Bearing sheaves and poppies in both hands.Idyll vii.157
  • The goddesses, often distinguished as "the older" and "the younger" in Eleusis.
  • Demeters, in Rhodes and Sparta
  • The thesmophoroi, "the legislators" in the Thesmophoria.
  • The Great Goddesses, in Arcadia.
  • The mistresses in Arcadia.
  • Aganippe ("the Mare who destroys mercifully", "Night-Mare")
  • Potnia ("mistress") in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Hera especially, but also Artemis and Athena, are addressed as "potnia" as well.
  • Despoina ("mistress of the house"), a Greek word similar to the Mycenean potnia. This title was also applied to Persephone, Aphrodite and Hecate.
  • Thesmophoros ("giver of customs" or even "legislator"), a role that links her to the even more ancient goddess Themis, derived from thesmos, the unwritten law. This title was connected with the Thesmophoria, a festival of secret women-only rituals in Athens connected with marriage customs.
  • Erinys ("implacable"), with a function similar with the function of the avenging Dike (Justice), goddess of moral justice based on custom rules who represents the divine retribution, and the Erinyes, female ancient chthonic deities of vengeance and implacable agents of retribution.
  • Chloe ("the green shoot"), that invokes her powers of ever-returning fertility, as does Chthonia.
  • Chthonia ("in the ground"), chthonic Demeter in Sparta.
  • Anesidora ("sending up gifts from the earth") applied to Demeter in Pausanias 1.31.4, also appears inscribed on an Attic ceramic a name for Pandora on her jar. There was a temple of Demeter under this name in Phlius in Attica.
  • Europa ("broad face or eyes") at Livadeia of Boeotia. She was the nurse of Trophonios to whom a chthonic cult and oracle was dedicated.
  • Kidaria in the mysteries of Pheneos in Arcadia where the priest put on the mask of Demeter kept in a secret place. It seems that the cult was connected with the underworld and with an agrarian magic.
  • Malophoros ("apple-bearer" or "sheep-bearer", Pausanias 1.44.3)
  • Lusia ("bathing", Pausanias 8.25.8)
  • Thermasia ("warmth", Pausanias 2.34.6)
  • Achaea, the name by which she was worshipped at Athens by the Gephyraeans who had emigrated from Boeotia.
  • Demeter was frequently associated with images of the harvest, including flowers, fruit, and grain. She was also sometimes pictured with her daughter Persephone.
  • The Black Demeter, a sculpture made by Onatas.
  • Demeter is not generally portrayed with a consort: the exception is Iasion, the youth of Crete who lay with Demeter in a thrice-ploughed field, and was sacrificed afterwards by a jealous Zeus with a thunderbolt.
  • Demeter is assigned the zodiac constellation Virgo the Virgin by Marcus Manilius in his 1st century Roman work Astronomicon. In art, constellation Virgo holds Spica, a sheaf of wheat in her hand and sits beside constellation Leo the Lion.
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Wikipedia

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