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Demeter

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  1. Demeter By Tia Dickhut

  2. Background • Roman- Ceres • Goddess of corn and the Harvest • Also presided over cycle of life and death, the sanctity of marriage and sacred law

  3. Background Con’t • Sometimes identified with Rhea and Gaia as the fertility goddess • Most beneficial to humans in agriculture, but also gave Mysteries, which initiate higher hope in this life and the afterlife

  4. Background Con’t • Symbol is poppy and torch • Often portrayed as a solemn woman wearing a wreath of braided ears of corn • Sacred animals were the snake and the pig

  5. Family • Daughter of Cronus and Rhea • Sister of Zeus, by whom she is the mother of Persephone • Son Ploutos by Iasion

  6. Abduction of Persephone • Hades, the god of the Underworld, desired a queen • One day Persephone was collecting flowers in a field when the earth opened up and Hades snatched her away to become his wife • Demeter wandered the earth, desolate at the loss of her only daughter

  7. Abduction of Persephone • The harvest was poor, and the earth barren • She came to Eleusis in human form and was taken in by the king and queen to be a nurse • She placed their son in the fire every night after the parents had gone to sleep to burn away the mortality of the son • One night, the queen caught her and was , surprisingly, horrified

  8. Abduction of Persephone • To appease Demeter’swrath, a temple was built in which she locked herself away • After Helios, the sun god, revealed to Demeter who had taken her daughter, she appealed to Zeus to force Hades to give her daughter back • His refusal to release their daughter led to her refusal to let crops return and the harvest continued to perish

  9. Abduction of Persephone • Zeus realized that he had no choice and told Hades to let Persephone go • Hades wittily slipped Persephone a pomegranate seed, so she was bound to spend one-third of the year in the Underworld as the wife of Hades • While Persephone is in the Underworld, her mother mourns and refuses to allow crops to grow until her daughter is returned

  10. Legacy • The abduction of Persephone is the basis for the cycle of the seasons • Persephone is the fructified flower that returns in the Spring, bringing life and joy with her to the earth, left barren by Winter