46 Facts About Demeter


In Greek tradition, Demeter is the second child of the Titans Rhea and Cronus, and sister to Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus.

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One of the most notable Homeric Hymns, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, tells the story of Persephone's abduction by Hades and Demeter's search for her.

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Demeter searched everywhere to find her missing daughter to no avail until she was informed that Hades had taken her to the Underworld.

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Demeter was often considered to be the same figure as the Anatolian goddess Cybele, and she was identified with the Roman goddess Ceres.

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Demeter was frequently associated with images of the harvest, including flowers, fruit, and grain.

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However, Demeter is not generally portrayed with any of her consorts; the exception is Iasion, the youth of Crete who lay with her in a thrice-ploughed field and was killed afterwards by a jealous Zeus with a thunderbolt.

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Demeter is assigned the zodiac constellation Virgo, the Virgin, by Marcus Manilius in his 1st-century Roman work Astronomicon.

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Demeter's was consequently depicted with the head of a horse in this region.

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In epic poetry and Hesiod's Theogony, Demeter is the Corn-Mother, the goddess of cereals who provides grain for bread and blesses its harvesters.

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Demeter's emblem is the poppy, a bright red flower that grows among the barley.

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Demeter was zeidoros ar?ura, the Homeric "Mother Earth ar?ura" who gave the gift of cereals .

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Greeks, Demeter was still a poppy goddessBearing sheaves and poppies in both hands.

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Demeter's was worshipped at Athens by the Gephyraeans who had emigrated from Boeotia.

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Demeter's was the nurse of Trophonios to whom a chthonic cult and oracle was dedicated.

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Major cults to Demeter are known at Eleusis in Attica, Hermion, Megara, Celeae, Lerna, Aegila, Munychia, Corinth, Delos, Priene, Akragas, Iasos, Pergamon, Selinus, Tegea, Thoricus, Dion Lykosoura, Mesembria, Enna, and Samothrace.

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The worship of Demeter has formally merged with that of Ceres around 205 BC, along with the ritus graecia cereris, a Greek-inspired form of cult, as part of Rome's general religious recruitment of deities as allies against Carthage, towards the end of the Second Punic War.

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Demeter is notable as the mother of Persephone, described by both Hesiod and in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter as the result of a union with her younger brother Zeus.

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Diodorus states that Dionysus' birth from Zeus and his older sister Demeter was somewhat of a minority belief, possibly via conflation of Demeter with her daughter, as most sources state that the parents of Dionysus were Zeus and Persephone, and later Zeus and Semele.

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Demeter turned into a horse to avoid her younger brother's advances.

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Elsewhere, he says that the Phigalians assert that the offspring of Poseidon and Demeter was not a horse, but Despoina, "as the Arcadians call her".

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In Orphic literature, Demeter seems to be the mother of the witchcraft goddess Hecate.

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Demeter searched for her ceaselessly for nine days, preoccupied with her grief.

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Demeter declined them both because she mourned the loss of Persephone.

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Demeter was most pleased with the sight and delighted she accepted the food and wine.

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Demeter's assumed the form of an old woman and asked him for shelter.

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Demeter took her in, to nurse Demophon and Triptolemus, his sons by Metanira.

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The myth describes how he pursued his older sister, Demeter, who hid from him among the horses of the king Onkios, but even in the form of a mare, she could not conceal her divinity.

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Demeter was furious at Poseidon's assault; in this furious form, she became known as Demeter Erinys.

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Demeter's absence caused the death of crops, livestock, and eventually of the people who depended on them .

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At Phigaleia, a xoanon of Demeter was erected in a cave which, tradition held, was the cave into which Black Demeter retreated.

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Demeter's had the head and hair of a horse, and there grew out of her head images of serpents and other beasts.

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One tree, a huge oak, was covered with votive wreaths, symbols of the prayers Demeter had granted, so Erysichthon's men refused to cut it down.

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Demeter punished the king by calling upon Limos, the spirit of unrelenting and insatiable hunger, to enter his stomach.

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Demeter then poured her drink over him and turned him into a gecko, hated by both men and gods.

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Demeter, hearing that, grew angry and trampled Minthe; from the earth then sprang a lovely-smelling herb named after the nymph.

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Colontas was punished by being burnt along with his house, while Demeter took Chthonia to Hermione, where she built a sanctuary for the goddess.

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Demeter pinned Ascalaphus under a rock for reporting, as sole witness, to Hades that Persephone had consumed some pomegranate seeds.

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Demeter turned the Sirens into half-bird monsters for not helping her daughter Persephone when she was abducted by Hades.

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Demeter gave Triptolemus her serpent-drawn chariot and seed and bade him scatter it across the earth .

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Demeter then saved Triptolemus by turning Lyncus into a lynx and ordered Triptolemus to return home airborne.

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Hyginus records a very similar myth, in which Demeter saves Triptolemus from an evil king named Carnabon who additionally seized Triptolemus' chariot and killed one of the dragons, so he might not escape; Demeter restored the chariot to Triptolemus, substituted the dead dragon with another one, and punished Carnabon by putting him among the stars holding a dragon as if to kill it.

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When her son Philomelus invented the plough and used it to cultivate the fields, Demeter was so impressed by his good work that she immortalized him in the sky by turning him into a constellation, the Bootes.

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Hierax, a man of justice and distinction, set up sanctuaries for Demeter and received plenteous harvests from her in return.

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Demeter neglected Poseidon in favour of Demeter, so the sea god destroyed all of her crops.

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Besides giving gifts to those who were welcoming to her, Demeter was a goddess who nursed the young; all of Plemaeus's children born by his first wife died in a cradle; Demeter took pity on him and reared herself his son Orthopolis.

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Demeter raised Trophonius, the prophetic son of either Apollo or Erginus.

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