demeter

by Fikry
Last updated 9 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
History

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demeter

Demeter

Demeter was the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, the seasons (personified by the Hours), and the harvest. Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sanctity of marriage, the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.Her Roman cognate is Ceres.

Demeter's symbols arecornucopia, sheaves of wheat, autumn harvest, torch, bread, honey, and acorns.Her animals are Cats and dogs (all domestic pets), lions snakes, crane, and lizardsHer plants are Poppies, sunflower, cypress, sheaves of wheat, foxglove, daisy, columbine, ash and oak trees

Persephone was the Queen of the Underworld, and a daughter of Demeter and Zeus. In the Olympian version, she also becomes the consort of Hades when he becomes the deity that governs the underworld.The figure of Persephone is well-known today. Her story has great emotional power: an innocent maiden, a mother's grief over her abduction, and great joy after her daughter is returned. It is also cited frequently as a paradigm of myths that explain natural processes, with the descent and return of the goddess bringing about the change of seasons.In Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed. She may be carrying a sheaf of grain and smiling demurely with the "Archaic smile" of the Kore of Antenor.

The consort of Hades was Persephone, represented by the Greeks as the beautiful daughter of Demeter.Persephone did not submit to Hades willingly, but was abducted by him while picking flowers in the fields of Nysa. In protest of his act, Demeter cast a curse on the land and there was a great famine; though, one by one, the gods came to request she lift it, lest mankind perish, she asserted that the earth would remain barren until she saw her daughter again. Finally, Zeus intervened; via Hermes, he requested that Hades return Persephone. Hades complied, "But he on his part secretly gave her sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with grave, dark-robed Demeter."Demeter questioned Persephone on her return to light and air: "…but if you have tasted food, you must go back again beneath the secret places of the earth, there to dwell a third part of the seasons every year: yet for the two parts you shall be with me and the other deathless gods."


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