How to use Demeter in a sentence
At Eleusis, Demeter was venerated as the introducer of all the blessings which agriculture brings in its train - fixed dwelling-places, civil order, marriage and a peaceful life; hence her name Thesmophoros, " the bringer of law and order," and the festival Thesmophoria.
But when Greek deities were introduced into Rome on the advice of the Sibylline books (in 495 B.C., on the occasion of a severe drought), Demeter, the Greek goddess of seed and harvest, whose worship was already common in Sicily and Lower Italy, usurped the place of Ceres in Rome, or rather, to Ceres were added the religious rites which the Greeks paid to Demeter, and the mythological incidents which originated with her.
At Eleusis also, Triptolemus, the son of Celeus, who was said to have invented the plough and to have been sent by Demeter round the world to diffuse the knowledge of agriculture, had a temple and threshing-floor.
In the agrarian legends of Iasion and Erysichthon, Demeter also plays an important part.
It seems to point to the supersession of a primitive local Cretan divinity by Demeter, and the adoption of agriculture by the inhabitants, bringing wealth in its train in the form of the fruits of the earth, both vegetable and mineral.Advertisement
The union of Poseidon and Demeter is thus explained by Mannhardt.
Wandering over the earth in search of her daughter, Demeter learns from Helios the truth about her disappearance.
Some scholars, identifying Iasion with Jason, regard Thessaly as the original home of the legend, and the union with Demeter as the iEpen 'yaµos of mother earth with a health god.
The influence of Demeter, however, was not limited to corn, but extended to vegetation generally and all the fruits of the earth, with the curious exception of the bean, the use of which was forbidden at Eleusis, and for the protection of which a special patron was invented.
In this wider sense Demeter is akin to Ge, with whom she has several epithets in common, and is sometimes identified with Rhea-Cybele; thus Pindar speaks of Demeter xaXKoKparos (" brass-rattling "), an epithet obviously more suitable to the Asiatic than to the Greek earth-goddess.Advertisement
According to the Thelpusan story, Demeter, during her wanderings in search of Persephone, changed herself into a mare to avoid the persecution of Poseidon.
Demeter, at first enraged, afterwards calmed down, and washed herself in the river Ladon by way of purification.
Demeter, clad in black (hence µEXaiva) in token of mourning for her daughter and wrath with Poseidon, retired into a cave.
The cave, still called Mavrospelya ("black cave"), was ever afterwards regarded as sacred to Demeter, and in'it, according to information given to Pausanias, there had been set up an image of the goddess, a female form seated on a rock, but with a horse's head and mane, to which were attached snakes and other wild animals.
Both pampa and iptvis, according to Farnell, are epithets of Demeter as an earth-goddess of the under-world.Advertisement
According to Farnell, the meaning of the epithet is to be looked for in the original conception of Erinys, which was that of an earth-goddess akin to Ge, thus naturally associated with Demeter, rather than that of a wrathful avenging deity.
In any case the association of Poseidon, representing the fertilizing element of moisture, with Demeter, who causes the plants and seeds to grow, is quite natural, and seems to have been widespread.
The Eleusinia and Thesmophoria are discussed elsewhere, but brief mention may here be made of certain agrarian festivals held in honour of Demeter.
Dionysus, as the god of vines, and (in a special procession) Poseidon 4ura?µcos (" god of vegetation ") were associated with Demeter.
It is considered probable that the festival was originally held in honour of Athena, but that the growing importance of the Eleusinia caused it to be attached to Demeter and Kore.Advertisement
The attributes of Demeter are chiefly connected with her character as goddess of agriculture and vegetation - ears of corn, the poppy, the mystic basket (calathus) filled with flowers, corn and fruit of all kinds, the pomegranate being especially common.
In Greek art, Demeter is made to resemble Hera, only more matronly and of milder expression; her form is broader and fuller.
The Demeter of Cnidus in the British Museum, of the school of Praxiteles, apparently shows her mourning for the loss of her daughter.
In Greek mythology Demeter and Proserpine were closely associated, being known together as the two goddesses, the venerable or august goddesses, sometimes as the great goddesses.
The Sicilians claimed to be the first on whom Demeter had bestowed the gift of corn, and hence they honoured the two goddesses with many festivals.Advertisement
They celebrated the festival of Demeter when the corn began to shoot, and the descent of Proserpine when it was ripe.
Demeter and Proserpine were worshipped together by the Athenians at the greater and less Eleusinian festivals, held in autumn and spring respectively.
At Rome Proserpine was associated with Ceres (the Roman representative of Demeter) in the festival of the Cerealia (April 12 to 19), she was represented as the wife of Dis Pater (the Roman Pluto), and was sometimes identified with the native Latin goddess Libera.
Hence the nations of antiquity ascribed to it a divine origin; Brahma in Hindustan, Isis in Egypt, Demeter in Greece, and Ceres in Italy, were its founders.
Side by side with the conception of the corn spirit as an animal is the anthropomorphic view of it; and this element must have predominated in the evolution of the cereal deities like Demeter; at the same time traces of the association of gods and goddesses of corn with animal embodiments of the corn spirit are found.Advertisement
He was past eighty when he published the collection of new verses entitled Demeter and other Poems (1889), which appeared almost simultaneously with the death of Browning, an event which left Tennyson a solitary figure indeed in poetic literature.
Here were represented Isis and Serapis, Helios, the Mother of the Gods, the Fates, Demeter and Persephone; but no trace of these temples remains.
Modelled after the Greek Demeter, she is practically identical with Copia, Annona and similar goddesses.
Capture of the boar of Erymanthus, while chasing which he fought the Centaurs and killed his friends Chiron and Pholus, this homicide leading to Demeter's institution of mysteries.
Many weights have been found in the temenos of Demeter at Cnidus, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, and in a temple of Aphrodite at Byblus (44); and the making or sale of weights may have been a business of the custodians of the temple standards.Advertisement
In the cave of Phigalia Demeter was, according to popular tradition, represented with the head and mane of a horse, possibly a relic of the time when a non-specialized cornspirit bore this form.
In Europe the corn spirit sometimes immanent in the crop, sometimes a presiding deity whose life does not depend on that of the growing corn, is conceived in some districts in the form of an ox, hare or cock, in others as an old man or woman; in the East Indies and America the rice or maize mother is a corresponding figure; in classical Europe and the East we have in Ceres and Demeter, Adonis and Dionysus, and other deities, vegetation gods whose origin we can readily trace back to the rustic corn spirit.
Newton discovered a fine seated statue of Demeter, which now adorns the British Museum; and about 3 m.
Demeter, during her search for her daughter Persephone, arrived at Eleusis in the form of an old woman.
Demophon was burnt to death, and Demeter, to console his parents, took upon herself the care of Triptolemus, instructed him in everything connected with agriculture, and presented him with a wonderful chariot, in which he travelled all over the world, spreading the knowledge of the precious art and the blessings of civilization.Advertisement
Celeus endeavoured to kill him on his return, but Demeter intervened and forced him to surrender his country to Triptolemus, who named it Eleusis after his father and instituted the festival of Demeter called Thesmophoria.
In the Homeric hymn to Demeter, Triptolemus is simply one of the nobles of Eleusis, who was instructed by the goddess in her rites and ceremonies.
In works of art Triptolemus appears mounted on a chariot (winged or drawn by dragons, symbols of the fruitfulness of the earth), with Demeter and Persephone handing him the implements of agriculture.
His attributes were a sceptre of ears of corn, sometimes a drinking-cup, which is being filled by Demeter.
See the Homeric hymn to Demeter, 153,474; Ovid, 1l?etam.Advertisement
Sicel Henna (Enna, Castrogiovanni) is the special seat of the worship of Demeter and her daughter.
It is at least remarkable that, except at Argos, Hera had little to do with agriculture, and was not closely associated with such deities as Cybele, Demeter, Persephone and Dionysus, whose connexion with the earth, or with its fruits, is beyond doubt.
Its fame in later times was chiefly associated with the temple of Despoena, containing the colossal group made by Damophon of Messene, of Despoena and Demeter seated, with Artemis and the Titan Anytus standing beside them.
In later philosophy Hestia became the hearth of the universe - the personification of the earth as the centre of the universe, identified with Cybele and Demeter.
Again, the worship of Dionysus, and of Demeter and Persephone, is mainly or wholly post-Homeric. The greatest difference, however, lies in the absence of hero-worship from the Homeric order of things.Advertisement
These stimulants were offered rather by Demeter and Dionysus, later by Cybele, Isis and Mithras.
As a chthonian power, she is worshipped at the Samothracian mysteries, and is closely connected with Demeter.
Alone of the gods besides Helios, she witnessed the abduction of Persephone, and, torch in hand (a natural symbol for the moon's, light, but see Farnell), assisted Demeter in her search for her daughter.
To the east of Grammichele a cave shrine of Demeter, with fine votive terra-cottas, has been discovered.
Nicholas Mavrocordato, the first of the series, was himself the author of a Greek work on duties, and maintained at his court Demeter Prokopios of Moschopolis in Macedonia, who wrote a review of Greek literature during the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries.
His name indicated the free, unrestrained character of his worship. When, at an early period, the Hellenic religion of Demeter spread to Rome, Liber and Libera were identified with Dionysus and Persephone, and associated with another Italian goddess Ceres, who was identified with Demeter.
The fig also found its favourite home in this country, for Demeter was said to have bestowed it as a gift on the Eleusinian Phytalus, i.e.
The place in Attica which has been the chief scene of excava tions (independently of Athens and its vicinty) is Eleusis, where the remains of the sanctuary of Demeter, the home of the Eleusinian Mysteries, together with other buildings in its neighbourhood, were cleared by the Greek Archaeological Society in 1882-1887 and 1895-1896.
The gods detected the crime, and none of them would touch the food except Demeter (according to others, Thetis), who, distracted by the loss of her daughter Persephone, ate of the shoulder.
The gods restored Pelops to life, and the shoulder consumed by Demeter was replaced by one of ivory.
His first book, The Life and the Adventures of Demeter Obradovich - a monk named Dositey (Leipzig, 1783), was written in the language spoken in Servian towns.
It was the last flower gathered by Persephone before she was carried off by Hades, and was sacred to Demeter and Core (the cult name of Persephone), the great goddesses of the underworld.
The name of the council (pylaea) and of one set of deputies (pylagori), together with the important place held in the amphictyony by the temple of Demeter at Anthela, near Thermopylae, suggests that this shrine was the original centre of the association.
The town lay upon the Monte Varvaro (1345 ft.); considerable remains of its external walls, of houses and of a temple of Demeter are to be seen.
But the Zeus whose grave was shown in Crete, or the Zeus who played Demeter an obscene trick by the aid of a ram, or the Zeus who, in the shape of a swan, became the father of Castor and Pollux, or the Zeus who was merely a rough stone, or the Zeus who deceived Hera by means of a feigned marriage with an inanimate object, or the Zeus who was afraid of Attes, is a being whose myth is felt to be unnatural and in great need of explanation.
Max Muller says (speaking of the Greeks), " their poets had an instinctive aversion to everything excessive or monstrous, yet they would relate of their gods what would make the most savage of Red Indians creep and shudder " - stories, that is, of the cannibalism of Demeter, of the mutilation of Uranus, the cannibalism of Cronus, who swallowed his own children, and the like.
Isis wandered, mourning, in search of the body, as Demeter sought Persephone, and perhaps in Plutarch's late version some incidents may be borrowed from the Eleusinian legend.
Plutarch remarked the fact that the Greek myths of Cronus, of Dionysus, of Apollo and the Python, and of Demeter, " all the things that are shrouded in mystic ceremonies and are presented in rites," " do not fall short in absurdity of the legends about Osiris and Typhon."
Their children were Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades a.nd Poseidon.
Their cult at an early date was united with that of Demeter and Kore, with the result that two pairs of Cabeiri appeared, Hephaestus and Demeter, and Cadmilus and Kore.
Cabeiro, who is mentioned in the logographers Acusilaus and Pherecydes as the wife of Hephaestus, is identical with Demeter, who indeed is expressly called Kaaeipia in Thebes.
Isis was identified with Demeter by Herodotus, and described as the goddess who was held to be the greatest by the Egyptians; he states that she and Osiris, unlike other deities, were worshipped throughout the land.
These were traditional in ancient Egypt, and in their later development were no doubt affected by the Eleusinian mysteries of Demeter.
The Eleusinian mysteries were generally considered to have been founded by Eumolpus, the first priest of Demeter, but, according to some, by Eumolpus the son of Musaeus, Eumolpus the Thracian being the father of Keryx, the ancestor of the priestly family of the Kerykes.
The attribution to Demeter is supported by the discovery of votive terra-cottas, representing Demeter and Kore in the neighbourhood, while the conjecture that it was dedicated to the rivergod Acragas rests on its position above the river, in the valley of which, indeed, a statue which may represent the deity has been discovered.
According to the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Persephone, while gathering flowers on the Nysian plain (probably here a purely mythical locality), was carried off by Hades (Pluto), the god of the lower world, with the connivance of Zeus (see also Proserpine).
Another important aspect of Demeter was that of a divinity of the under-world; as such she is XBovia at Sparta and especially at Hermione in Argolis, where she had a celebrated temple, said to have been founded by Clymenus (one of the names of Hades-Pluto) and his sister Chthonia, the children of Phoroneus, an Argive hero.
Demeter also appears as a goddess of health, of birth and of marriage; and a certain number of political and ethnic titles is assigned to her.
Chloeia or Chloia, the festival of the corn beginning to sprout, held at Eleusis in the early spring (Anthesterion) in honour of Demeter Chloe, " the green," the goddess of growing vegetation.
The name of Demeter is also associated with the Scirophoria (see Athena).
Reinach (Revue des etudes grecques, xix., 1906), who draws special attention to the similar formation "hierophant," the sycophant was an official connected with the cult of the Phytalidae, whose eponymus Phytalus was rewarded with a fig-tree by the wandering Demeter in return for his hospitality.
To the west was the IIE3Lov `Pdptov or Rharian Plain, where Demeter is said to ???
Some regard the legend as a chthonian myth, Aea (Colchis) being the under-world in the Aeolic religious system from which Jason liberates himself and his betrothed; others, in view of certain resemblances between the story of Jason and that of Cadmus (the ploughing of the field, the sowing of the dragon's teeth, the fight with the Sparti, who are finally set fighting with one another by a stone hurled into their midst), associate both with Demeter the corn-goddess, and refer certain episodes to practices in use at country festivals, e.g.
In the archaic period the Dionysiac rites and orgies spread from Thrace into Greece, in spite of opposition which has left many traces in tradition, and the worship of Demeter at Eleusis was modified by Cretan influence ultimately traceable to Asia Minor.
As such they are companions of the Nymphs and Graces, with whom they are often confounded, and of other superior deities connected with the spring growth of vegetation (Demeter, Dionysus).
In addition to the great Homeric gods, the poet knows a whole " Olympian consistory " of deities, nymphs, nereids, sea-gods and goddesses, river-gods, Iris the rainbow goddess, Sleep, Demeter who lay with a mortal, Aphrodite the goddess of love, wife of Hephaestus and leman of Ares, and so forth.
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Cronus and Rhea were supposed to be the parents of Demeter, Hera, Hades, Hestia and Poseidon, along with Zeus, the youngest.
Demeter then returns to Olympus, but before her final departure from earth, in token of her gratitude, she instructs the rulers of Eleusis in the art of agriculture and in the solemnities and rites whereby she desires in future to be honoured.
Demeter " the angry " (Epivis) became Demeter " the bather " (Xovaia).
The Romans identified Demeter with their own Ceres.