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Listed 31 sub titles with search on: Mythology for destination: "ELEFSIS Ancient city ATTICA, WEST".


Mythology (31)

Historic figures

Eleusis

Eleusis, a son of Hermes and Daeira, the daughter of Oceanus. The town of Eleusis in Attica was believed to have derived its name from him (Paus. i. 38.7; Apollod. i. 5.2; Hygin Fab. 147).Lie was married to Cothonea or Cyntinia (Hygin l. c.; Serv ad Virg. Georg. i 19) .


Gods & heroes related to the location

Iacchus

Iacchus (Iakchos), the solemn name of the mystic Bacchus at Athens and Eleusis. The Phrygian Bacchus was looked upon in the Eleusinian mysteries as a child, and as such he is described as the son of Demeter (Deo or Calligeneia) and Zeus, and as the brother of Cora, that is, the male Cora or Corus (Aristoph. Ran. 338; Soph. Antig. 1121; Orph. Hymn. 51, 11). His name was derived from the boisterous festive song which is likewise called Iacchus (Aristoph. Ran. 321, 400; Herod. viii. 65; Arrian, Anab. ii. 16). From these statements (comp. Schol. ad Aristoph. Ran. 326), it is clear that the ancients distinguished Iacchus, the son of Zeus and Demeter, from the Theban Bacchus (Dionysus), the son of Zeus and Semele, nay, in some traditions Iacchus is called a son of Bacchus, but in others the two are confounded and identified (Soph. Antig. 1115, 1154; Strab. x; Virg. Eclog. vi. 15; Ov. Met. iv. 15). He is also identified with the infernal Zagreus, the son of Zeus and Persephone (Schol. ad Pind. Isthm. vii. 3, ad Eurip. Orest. 952, ad Aristoph. Ran. 401, 479; Arrian, l. c.). At Athens a statue of Iacchus, bearing a torch in his hand, was seen by the side of those of Demeter and Cora (Paus. i. 2.4, 37.3). At the celebration ofthe great Eleusinian mysteries in honour of Demeter, Persephone, and Iacchus, the statue of the last divinity, carrying a torch and adorned with a myrtle wreath, was carried on the sixth day of the festival (the 20th of Boedromion) from the temple of Demeter across the Thriasian plain to Eleusis, accom panied by a numerous and riotous procession of the initiated, who sang the Iacchus, carried mystic baskets, and danced amid the sounds of cymbals and trumpets (Schol. ad Pind. Isthm. vii. 3; Plut. Themist. 15, Camill. 19; Herod. viii. 65; Athen. v.; Virg. Georg. i. 166). In some traditions Iacchus is described as the companion of Baubo or Babo, at the time when she endeavoured to cheer the mourning Demeter by lascivious gestures; and it is perhaps in reference to this Iacchus that Suidas and Hesychius call Iacchus heros tis.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Daeira (Daira)

Daughter of Ocean and mother of Eleusis, the eponymous hero of the city.


Daeira (or Daira), that is, "the knowing," a divinity connected with the Eleusinian mysteries. According to Pausanias (i. 38.7) she was a daughter of Oceanus, and became by Hermes the mother of Eleusis; but others called her a sister of Styx; while a third account represents her as identical with Aphrodite, Demeter, Hera, or Persephone (Apollon. Rhod. iii. 847; Eustath, ad Hom.).


Eubouleus

"Good counsellor", an important deity at Eleusis, playing a major role in the myth and rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries, especially as companion to Persephone on her annual return from Hades. He is represented as a torch-bearer in Eleusinian scenes.


Persephone

Persephone, in Latin Proserpina, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (Hom. Il. xiv. 326, Od. xi. 216; Hes. Theog. 912, &c. ; Apollod. i. 5.1). Her name is commonly derived from pherein phonon, "to bring" or "cause death," and the form Persephone occurs first in Hesiod (Theog. 913; comp. Horn. Hymm. in Cer. 56), the Homeric form being Persephoneia. But besides these forms of the name, we also find Persephassa, Phersephassa, Persephatta, Phersephatta. Pherrephassa, Pherephatta, and Phersephoneia, for which various etymologies have been proposed. The Latin Proserpina, which is probably only a corruption of the Greek, was erroneously derived by the Romans from proscrpere,"to shoot forth" (Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 26). Being the infernal goddess of death, she is also called a daughter of Zeus and Styx (Apollod. i. 3.1 ); in Arcadia she was worshipped under the name of Despoena, and was called a daughter of Poseidon, Hippius, and Demeter, and said to have been brought up by the Titan Anytus (Paus. viii. 37.3, 6, 25.5). Homer describes her as the wife of Hades, and the formidable, venerable, and majestic queen of the Shades, who exercises her power, and carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead, along with her husband (Hom. Od. x. 494, xi. 226, 385, 134, Il. ix. 457, 569; comp. Apollod. i. 9.15). Hence she is called by later writers Juno Inferna, Auerna, and Stygia (Virg. Aen. vi. 138; Ov. Met. xiv. 114), and the Erinnyes are said to have been daughters of her by Pluto (Orph. Hymn. 29. 6, 6, 70. 3). Groves sacred to her are said by Homer to be in the western extremity of the earth, on the frontiers of the lower world, which is itself called the house of Persephone (Od. x. 491, 509).
  The story of her being carried off by Pluto, against her will, is not mentioned by Homer, who simply describes her as his wife and queen; and her abduction is first mentioned by Hesiod (Theog. 914). Zeus, it is said, advised Pluto, who was in love with the beautiful Persephone, to carry her off, as her mother, Demeter, was not likely to allow her daughter to go down to Hades (Comp. Hygin. Fab. 146). Pluto accordingly carried her off while she was gathering flowers with Artemis and Athena (Comp. Diod. v. 3). Demeter, when she found her daughter had disappeared, searched for her all over the earth with torches, until at length she discovered the place of her abode. Her anger at the abduction obliged Zeus to request Pluto to send Persephone (or Cora, i. e. the maiden or daughter) back. Pluto indeed complied with the request, but first gave her a kernel of a pomegranate to eat, whereby she became doomed to the lower world, and an agreement was made that Persephone should spend one third (later writers say one half) of every year in Hades with Pluto, and the remaining two thirds with the gods above (Apollod. i. 5. 1; Or. Met. v. 565). The place where Persephone was said to have been carried off, is different in the various local traditions. The Sicilians, among whom her worship was probably introduced by the Corinthian and Megarian colonists, believed that Pluto found her in the meadows near Enna, and that the well Cyane arose on the spot where he descended with her into the lower world (Diod. v. 3, &c.; comp. Lydus, De Mens.; Ov. Fast. iv. 422). The Cretans thought that their own island had been the scene of the rape (Schol. ad Hes. Theog. 913), and the Eleusinians mentioned the Nysaean plain in Boeotia, and said that Persephone had descended with Pluto into the lower world at the entrance of the western Oceanus. Later accounts place the rape in Attica, near Athens (Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 1590) or at Erineos near Eleusis (Paus. i. 38.5), or in the neighbourhood of Lerna (ii. 36.7; respecting other localities see Conon, Narr. 15 ; Orph. Argon. 1192; Spanheim, ad Callim. Hymn. in Cer. 9).
  The story according to which Persephone spent one part of the year in the lower world, and another with the gods above, made her, even with the ancients, the symbol of vegetation which shoots forth in spring, and the power of which withdraws into the earth at other seasons of the year (Schol. ad Theocrit. iii. 48). Hence Plutarch identifies her with spring, and Cicero (De Nat. Deor. ii. 26) calls her the seed of the fruits of the field. In the mysteries of Eleusis, the return of Cora from the lower world was regarded as the symbol of immortality, and hence she was frequently represented on sarcophagi. In the mystical theories of the Orphics, and what are called the Platonists, Cora is described as the all-pervading goddess of nature, who both produces and destroys every thing (Orph. Hymn. 29. 16), and she is therefore mentioned along, or identified with, other mystic divinities, such as Isis, Rhea, Ge, Hestia, Pandora, Artemis, Hecate (Tzetz. ad Lye. 708, 1176; Schol. ad Apollon. Rlod. iii. 467; Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 12 ; Serv. ad Aen. iv. 609). This mystic Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the another of Dionysus, Iacchus, Zagreus or Sabazius (Hesych. s. v. Zagreus; Schol. ad Eurip. Or. 952 ; Aristopll. Ran. 326; Diod. iv. 4; Arrian. Exped. Al. ii. 16; Lydus De Mens.; Cic. de Nat. Deor. iii. 23). The surnames which are given to her by the poets, refer to her character as queen of the lower world and of the dead, or to her symbolic meaning which we have pointed out above. She was commonly worshipped along with Demeter, and with the same mysteries, as for example, with Demeter Cabeiria in Boeotia (Paus. ix. 25.5). Her worship further is mentioned at Thebes, which Zeus is said to have given to her as an acknowledgment for a favour she had bestowed on him (Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 687): in like manner Sicily was said to have been given to her at her wedding (Pind. Nem. i. 17; Diod. v.2; Schol. ad Theocrit. xv. 14), and two festivals were celebrated in her honour in the island, the one at the time of sowing, and the other at the time of harvest (Diod. v. 4; Athen. iv). The Eleusinian mysteries belonged to Demeter and Cora in common, and to her alone were dedicated the mysteries celebrated at Athens in the month of Anthesterion (Comp. Paus. i. 31.1, &c.). Temples of Persephone are mentioned at Corinth, Megara, Sparta, and at Locri in the south of Italy (Paus. iii. 13.2; Liv. xxix. 8, 18; Appian, iii. 12). In works of art Persephone is seen very frequently: she bears the grave and severe character of an infernal Juno, or she appears as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, but she was mostly represented in the act of being carried off by Pluto (Paus. viii. 37.2).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Demeter (lat. Ceres)

The goddess of agriculture, daughter of Cronus by Gaea, sister of Zeus and mother of Persephone by Zeus (Il. 5.500, 14.326, Od. 5.125).


Demeter, one of the great divinities of the Greeks. The name Demeter is supposed by some to be the same as ge meter, that is, mother earth, while others consider Deo, which is synonymous with Demeter, as connected with dais and dainumi, and as derived from the Cretan word dha/i, barley, so that Demeter would be the mother or giver of barley or of food generally (Hom. Il. v. 500). These two etymologies, however do not suggest any difference in the character of the goddess, but leave it essentially the same. Demeter was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and sister of Hestia, Hera, Aides, Poseidon, and Zeus. Like the other children of Cronus she was devoured by her father, but he gave her forth again after taking the emetic which Metis had given him (Hesiod. Theog. 452; Apollod. i. 2.1). By her brother Zeus, Demeter became the mother of Persephone (Proserpina) and Dionysus (Hesiod. Theoq. 912; Diod. iii. 62), and by Poseidon of Despoena and the horse Arion (Apollod. iii. 6.8; Paus. viii. 37.6).
  The most prominent part in the mythus of Demeter is the rape of her daughter Persephone by Pluto, and this story not only suggests the main idea embodied in Demeter, but also directs our attention to the principal seats of her worship. Zeus, without the knowledge of Demeter, had promised Persephone to Pluto, and while the unsuspecting maiden was gathering flowers which Zeus had caused to grow in order to tempt her and to favour Pluto's scheme, the earth suddenly opened and she was carried off by Aidoneus (Pluto). Her cries of anguish were heard only by Hecate and Helios. Her mother, who heard only the echo of her voice, immediately set out in search of her daughter. The spot where Persephone was believed to have been carried into the lower world is different in the different traditions; the common story places it in Sicily, in the neighbourhood of Enna, on mount Aetna, or between the wells Cyane and Arethusa (Hygin. Fab. 146, 274; Ov. Met. v. 385, Fast. iv. 422; Diod. v. 3; Cic. in Verr. iv. 48). This legend, which points to Sicily, though undoubtedly very ancient (Pind. Nem. i. 17), is certainly not the original tradition, since the worship of Demeter was introduced into Sicily by colonists from Megara and Corinth. Other traditions place the rape of Persephone at Erineus on the Cephissus, in the neighbourhood of Eleusis (Orph. Hymn. 17.15), at Colonus in Attica (Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 1590), in an island of the Atlantic near the western coast of Spain (Orph. Argon. 1190), at Hermione in Peloponnesus (Apollod. i. 5.1; Strab. viii.), in Crete (Schol. ad Hesiod. Theog. 914), or in the neighbourhood of Pisa (Paus. vi. 21.1). Others again place the event at Pheneus in Arcadia (Conon, Narr. 15), or at Cyzicus (Propert. iii. 21. 4), while the Homeric hymn on Demeter places it in the plain of Nysa in Asia. In the Iliad and Odyssey the rape of Persephone is not expressly mentioned.
  Demeter wandered about in search of her daughter for nine days, without taking any nectar or ambrosia, and without bathing. On the tenth she met Hecate, who told her that she had heard the cries of Persephone, but did not know who had carried her off. Both then hastened to Helios, who revealed to them thai Pluto had been the ravisher, and with the consent of Zeus. Demeter in her anger at this news avoided Olympus, and dwelt upon earth among men, conferring presents and blessings wherever she was kindly received, and severely punishing those who repulsed her or did not receive her gifts with proper reverence. In this manner she came to Celeus at Eleusis. As the goddess still continued in her anger, and produced famine on the earth by not allowing the fields to produce any fruit, Zeus, anxious that the race of mortals should not become extinct, sent Iris to induce Demeter to return to Olympus (Comp. Paus. viii. 42.2). But in vain. At length Zeus sent out all the gods of Olympus to conciliate her by entreaties and presents; but she vowed not to return to Olympus, nor to restore the fertility of the earth, till she had seen her daughter again. Zeus accordingly sent Hermes into Erebus to fetch back Persephone. Aidoneus consented, indeed, to Persephone returning, but gave her a part of a pomegranate to eat, in order that she might not always remain with Demeter. Hermes then took her in Pluto's chariot to Eleusis to her mother, to whom, after a hearty welcome, she related her fate. At Eleusis both were joined by Hecate, who henceforth remained the attendant and companion of Persephone. Zeus now sent Rhea to persuade Demeter to return to Olympus, and also granted that Persephone should spend only a part of the year (i. e. the winter) in subterraneous darkness, and that during the rest of the year she should remain with her mother (Comp. Ov. Met. v. 565, Fast. iv. 614; Hygin. Fab. 146). Rhea accordingly descended to the Rharian plain near Eleusis, and conciliated Demeter, who now again allowed the fruits of the fields to grow. But before she parted from Eleusis, she instructed Triptolemus, Diocles, Eumolpus, and Celeus in the mode of her worship and in the mysteries.
  These are the main features of the mythus about Demeter, as it is contained in the Homeric hymn; in later traditions it is variously modified. Respecting her connexions with Jasion or Jasius, Tantalus, Melissa, Cychreus, Erysichthon, Pandareus, and others, see the different articles. Demeter was the goddess of the earth (Eurip. Bacch. 276), and more especially of the earth as producing fruit, and consequently of agriculture, whence human food or bread is called by Homer (Il. xiii. 322) the gift of Demeter. The notion of her being the author of the earth's fertility was extended to that of fertility in general, and she accordingly was looked upon also as the goddess of marriage (Serv. ad Aen. iv. 58), and was worshipped especially by women. Her priestess also initiated young married people into the duties of their new situation (Plut. de Off. conj. 1). As the goddess of the earth she was like the other Deoi chthonioi, a subterraneous divinity, who worked in the regions inaccessible to the rays of Helios. As agriculture is the basis of a well-regulated social condition, Demeter is represented also as the friend of peace and as a law-giving goddess. (De/omof/oros, Callim. Hymn. in Cer. 138; Orph. Hymn. 39. 4; Virg. Aen. iv. 58; Hom. Il. v. 500; Ov. Met. v. 341; Paus. viii. 15.1).
  The mythus of Demeter and her daughter embodies the idea, that the productive powers of the earth or nature rest or are concealed during the winter season; the goddess (Demeter and Persephone, also called Cora, are here identified) then rules in the depth of the earth mournful, but striving upwards to the allanimating light. Persephone, who has eaten of the pomegranate, is the fructified flower that returns in spring, dwells in the region of light during a portion of the year, and nourishes men and animals with her fruits. Later philosophical writers, and perhaps the mysteries also, referred the disappearance and return of Persephone to the burial of the body of man and the immortality of his soul.
  Demeter was worshipped in Crete, Delos, Argolis, Attica, th western coast of Asia, Sicily and Italy, and her worship consisted in a great measure in orgic mysteries. Among the many festivals celebrated in her honour, the Thesmophoria and Eleusinia were the principal ones. (Dict. of Ant. s. vv. Chloeia, Aloa, Thesmophoria, Eleusinia, Megalartia Chthonia). The sacrifices offered to her consisted of pigs, the symbol of fertility, bulls, cows, honey-cakes, and fruits (Macrob. Sat. i. 12, iii. 11; Diod. v. 4; Paus. ii. 35.4, viii. 42, in fin.; Ov. Fast. iv. 545). Her temples were called Megara, and were often built in groves in the neighbourhood of towns (Pans. i. 39.4, 40.5, vii. 26.4, viii. 54.5, ix. 25. 5; Strab. viii., ix.). Many of her surnames, which are treated of in separate articles, are descriptive of the character of the goddess. She was often represented in works of art, though scarcely one entire statue of her is preserved. Her representations appear to have been brought to ideal perfection by Praxiteles (Paus. i. 2.4). Her image resembled that of Hera, in its maternal character, but had a softer expression, and her eyes were less widely opened. She was represented sometimes in a sitting attitude, sometimes walking, and sometimes riding in a chariot drawn by horses or dragons, but always in full attire. Around her head she wore a garland of corn-ears or a simple ribband, and in her hand she held a sceptre, cornears or a poppy, sometimes also a torch and the mystic basket (Paus. iii. 19.4, viii. 31.1, 42.4; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19). She appears most frequently on gems and vases.
  The Romans received the worship of Demeter, to whom they applied the name of Ceres, from Sicily (Val. Max. i. 1.1). The first temple of Ceres at Rome was vowed by the dictator A. Postumius Albinus, in B. C. 496, for the purpose of averting a famine with which Rome was threatened during a war with the Latins (Dionys. vi. 17, comp. i. 33; Tacit. Ann. ii. 49). In introducing this foreign divinity, the Romans acted in their usual manner; they instituted a festival with games in honour of her (Diet. of A t. s. v. Cerealia), and gave the management of the sacred rites and ceremonies to a Greek priestess, who was usually taken from Naples or Velia, and received the Roman franchise, in order that the sacrifices on behalf of the Roman people might be offered up by a Roman citizen (Cic. pro Balb. 24; Festus, s. v. Graeca sacra). In all other respects Ceres was looked upon very much in the same light as Tellus, whose nature closely resembled that of Ceres. Pigs were sacrificed to both divinities, in the seasons of sowing and in harvest time, and also It the burial of the dead. It is strange to find that the Romans, in adopting the worship of Demeter from the Greeks, did not at the same time adopt the Greek name Demeter. The name Ceres can scarcely be explained from the Latin language. Servius informs us (ad Aen. ii. 325), that Ceres, Pales, and Fortuna were the penates of the Etruscans, and it may be that the Romans applied to Demeter the name of a divinity of a similar nature, whose worship subsequently became extinct, and left no trace except the name Ceres. We remarked above that Demeter and Persephone or Cora were identified in the mythus, and it may be that Ceres is only a different form for Cora or Core. But however this may be, the worship of Ceres soon acquired considerable political importance at Rome. The property of traitors against the republic was often made over to her temple (Dionys. vi. 89, viii. 79; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 4. s. 9; Liv. ii. 41). The decrees of the senate were deposited in her temple for the inspection of the tribunes of the people (Liv. iii. 55, xxxiii. 25). If we further consider that the aediles had the special superintendence of this temple, it is very probable that Ceres, whose worship was like the plebeians, introduced at Rome from without, had some peculiar relation to the plebeian order.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Demeter. Fertility goddess of the harvest and the corn, sister of Zeus, Demeter was worshipped all over Greece, mainly in agricultural societies.
  The most important of her celebrations were the Thesmophoriae, which took place in autumn and was only for women. Demeter and her daughter Persephone were also worshipped at the Eleusinian mysteries and in Rome they were known as Ceres and Proserpine.
  Demeter's name is discussed: we know that “meter” means mother, but what exactly “de” stands for is not sure. A common translation is seed, Mother of Seed in other words, or earth, thus Mother Earth.
  The best known story about Demeter is the one of Persephone, her daughter. Persephone is also called Kore (“girl” or “daughter”) and was very beautiful. She was one day kidnapped by Hades, whose ice-cold heart had melted at the sight of her. Demeter was beside herself, and in her search for Persephone, she forgot all about the earth, and this caused everything to wither and die.
  The humans were on the verge of extincion when Zeus heard their prayers, and intervened to negotiate a solution with Hades. The agreement was that Persephone would stay half the year with Hades, and the other half with her mother. Demeter was overjoyed when she saw her daughter again, and everything flourished once again on Earth. When it was time for Persephone to leave, once again everything dried up - thus creating the two seasons winter and summer.
  Demeter also had many epithets: Achaea, Amphictyonis, Anesidora, Cabeirae, Carpophorus, Chamyne, Chloe, Chthonia, Cidaria, Corytheuses, Delia, Eleusinia, Epipole, Erinys, Europa, Hercyna, Malophoros, Megara, Melaenis, Mycalessia, Mysia, Panachaea, Pelasga, Prosymna, Stiria, Thermasia, Thesmia, Thesmophoros

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.


Demeter. The daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Her name signifies Mother Earth, meaning that she was goddess of agriculture and of the civilization based upon it. Her children were: by Iasion, a son Plutus, the god of riches, and by her brother Zeus, a daughter Persephone. Round Demeter and this daughter centre her worship and the fables respecting her. Hades carried off Persephone, and Demeter roamed for nine days over the earth seeking her, till on the tenth day she learned the truth from the all-seeing Sun. She was angry with Zeus for permitting the act of violence; visited Olympus, and wandered about among men in the form of an old woman under the name of Deo, or the Seeker, till at length, at Eleusis, in Attica, she was kindly received at the house of King Celeus, and found comfort in tending his newly born son Demophoon.
    Surprised by his mother in the act of trying to make the child immortal by putting it into the fire, she revealed her deity, and caused a temple to be built to her, in which she gave herself up to her grief. In her wrath she made the earth barren, so that mankind were threatened with destruction by famine, as she did not allow the fruit of the earth to spring up again until her daughter was allowed to spend two thirds of the year with her. On her return to Olympus she left the gift of corn, of agriculture, and of her holy mysteries with her host, as a token of grateful recollection. She sent Triptolemus the Eleusinian round the world on her chariot, drawn by serpents, to diffuse the knowledge of agriculture and other blessings accompanying it--the settlement of fixed places of abode, civil order, and wedlock.
   Thus Demeter was worshipped as the goddess of agriculture and founder of law, order, and especially of marriage, in all places where Greeks dwelt, her daughter being usually associated with her. The most ancient seats of her worship were Athens and Eleusis, where the Rharian plain was solemnly ploughed every year in memory of the first sowing of wheat. She was also much worshipped in Sicily, which from its fertility was accounted one of her favourite places of abode. As the goddess of fertility, Demeter was in many regions associated with Poseidon, the god of fertilizing water. This was particularly the case in Arcadia, where Poseidon was regarded as the father of Persephone.
   She was also joined with Dionysus, the god of wine; and as mother of Persephone and goddess of the earth, to which not only the seed, but the dead are committed, she is connected with the lower world under the name of Chthonia. In later times she was often confused with Gaea and Rhea or Cybele. Besides fruit and honeycombs, the cow and the sow were offered to her, both as emblems of productivity. Her attributes are poppies and ears of corn (also a symbol of fruitfulness), a basket of fruit, and a little pig. Other emblems had a mystic significance--e. g. the torch, and the serpent, as living in the earth, and as symbolizing a renewal of life by shedding its skin. The Romans identified her with their own Ceres.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Demeter Eleusinia

Eleusina or Eleusinia, a surname of Demeter and Persephone, derived from Eleusis in Attica, the principal seat of their worship. (Virg Georg. i. 163; Phornut N. D. 27; Steph. Byz s. v. Eleusis.)


Demeter Rharias

Rharias, a surname of Demeter, which she derived from the Rharian plain in the neighbourhood of Eleusis, the principal seat of her worship. (Paus. i. 38.6; Steph. Byz. and Suid. s. v.)


Ancient myths

Cercyon

Cercyon (Kerkuon). Son of Poseidon or of Hephaestus. A cruel tyrant at Eleusis, who put to death his daughter Alope and killed all strangers whom he overcame in wrestling. He was, in the end, conquered and slain by Theseus.


Alope

Alope. The daughter of the evil king Cercyon of Eleusis. She had an affair with Poseidon, who also was the father of Cercyon. This made Alope's father her stepson as well as Poseidon her grandfather.
  Alope was very beautiful. Because she feared her cruel father she had her son by Poseidon exposed. The baby was rescued by a mare who suckled him, and then he was discovered by shepherds.
  The baby wore expensive garments, and so the shepherds started to quarrel over who should take them. Finally they brought the case to king Cercyon, who understood what had happened, and again had the child exposed.
  Again the baby boy was suckled by a mare, and discovered by shepherds. These were kind men, and they raised the child and named him Hippothoon.
  Cercyon had Alope executed for what she had done, but Poseidon turned her into a fountain, which was named after her. On the road from Eleusis to Megara, where Alope had been killed, a monument in her honour was built. Cercyon was eventually killed by Theseus.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.


Alope, a daughter of Cercyon, who was beloved by Poseidon on account of her great beauty, and became by him the mother of a son, whom she exposed immediately after his birth. But a mare came and suckled the child until it was found by shepherds, who fell into a dispute as to who was to have the beautiful kingly attire of the boy. The case was brought before Cercyon, who, on recognising by the dress whose child the boy was, ordered Alope to be imprisoned in order to be put to death, and her child to be exposed again. The latter was fed and found in the same manner as before, and the shepherds called him Hippothous. The body of Alope was changed by Poseidon into a well, which bore the same name (Hygin. Fab. 187; Paus. i. 5.2; Aristoph. Av. 533). The town of Alope, in Thessaly, was believed to have derived its name from her (Pherecyd. ap. Steph. Byz. s. v. Alope, where, however, Philonides speaks of an Alope as a daughter of Actor.) There was a monument of Alope on the road from Eleusis to Megara, on the spot where she was believed to have been killed by her father (Paus. i. 39.3).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Cercyon (Kerkuon), a son of Poseidon by a daughter of Amphictyon, and accordingly a halfbrother of Triptolemus (Paus. i. 14.1). Others call him a son of Hephaestus (Hygin. Fab. 38). He came from Arcadia, and dwelt at Eleusis in Attica (Plut. Thes. 11; Ov. Met. vii. 439). He is notorious in ancient story for his cruelty towards his daughter Alope and all who refused to fight with him, but he was in the end conquered and slain by Theseus (Paus. i. 39.3). Another personage of the same name is mentioned by Pausanias (viii. 5.3).



Baubo

Baubo (or Babo), a mythical woman of Eleusis, whom Hesychius calls the nurse of Demeter; but the common story runs thus : -on her wanderings in search of her daughter, Demeter came to Baubo, who received her hospitably, and offered her something to drink; but when the goddess, being too much under the influence of grief, refused to drink, Baubo made such a strange gesture, that the goddess smiled and accepted the draught (Clem. Alex. Cohort.). In the fragment of the Orphic hymn, which Clemens Alex. adds to this account, it is further related, that a boy of the name of Iacchus made an indecent gesture at the grief of Demeter. Arnobius (Adv. Gent) repeats the story of Baubo from Clemens, but without mentioning the boy Iacchus, who is otherwise unknown, and, if meant for Dionysus, is out of place here. The different stories concerning the reception of Demeter at Eleusis seem all to be inventions of later times, coined for the purpose of giving a mythical origin to the jokes in which the women used to indulge at the festival of this goddess.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Kings

Celeus & Metaneira (Metanira)


   Celeus, (Keleos). King of Eleusis, husband of Metanira, and father of Demophon and Triptolemus. He received Demeter with hospitality at Eleusis, when she was wandering in search of her daughter. The goddess, in return, wished to make his son Demophon immortal, and placed him in the fire in order to destroy his mortal parts; but Metanira screamed aloud at the sight, and Demophon was destroyed by the flames. Demeter then bestowed great favours upon Triptolemus. Celeus is described as the first priest, and his daughters as the first priestesses, of Demeter at Eleusis.
    Metanira, (Metaneira). The wife of Celeus, and mother of Triptolemus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Celeus (Keleos), a king of Eleusis, and husband of Metaneira. When Demeter, on her wanderings in search of her daughter, came to Eleusis, she stayed in the house of Celeus. The goddess wished to make his son Demophon immortal, and, in order to destroy his mortal parts, she put him at night into the fire; but Metaneira, ignorant of the object, screamed aloud on seeing her child in the fire, and Demophon was destroyed by the flames. Demeter, to make up for the loss, bestowed great favours upon Triptolemus, the other son of Celeus (Apollod. i. 5.1). Celeus is described as the first priest of Demeter at Eleusis, and his daughters as priestesses of the goddess (Hom. Hym. in Dem. 101, &c.; Paus. i. 38.3, ii. 14.2). There is another mythical personage of this name (Anton. Lib. 1.9).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Triptolemus

Triptolemus (Triptolemos). The son of Celeus, king of Eleusis, and Metanira or Polhymnia. Others describe him as a son of King Eleusis by Cothonea, or of Oceanus and Gaea, or of Trochilus by an Elensinian woman. Triptolemus was the favourite of Demeter and the inventor of the plough and agriculture, and of civilization, which is the result of it. He was the great hero in the Eleusinian Mysteries. According to the common legend, he hospitably received Demeter at Eleusis, when she was wandering in search of her daughter. The goddess, in return, wished to make his son Demophon immortal, and placed him in the fire in order to destroy his mortal parts; but Metanira screamed out at the sight, and the child was consumed by the flames.
    As a compensation for this bereavement, the goddess gave to Triptolemus a chariot with winged dragons and seeds of wheat. In this chariot Triptolemus rode over the earth, making man acquainted with the blessings of agricultureOn his return to Attica, Celeus endeavoured to kill him; but by the command of Demeter he was obliged to give up his country to Triptolemus, who now established the worship of Demeter, and instituted the Thesmophoria. Triptolemus is represented in works of art as a youthful hero, sometimes with the petasus, on a chariot drawn by dragons, and holding in his hand a sceptre and corn ears.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Triptolemus (Triptolemos), a son of Celeus and Metaneira or Polymnia, or according to others, a son of king Eleusis by Cothonea (or Cyntinea or Hyona, Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 19; Schol. ad Stat. Theb. ii. 382). Others again describe him as a son of Oceanus and Gaea, as a younger brother or relation of Celeus, as a son of Trochilus by an Eleusinian woman, as a son of Rharus by a daughter of Amphictyon, or lastly, as a son of Dysaules (Hygin. Fab. 147; Apollod. i. 5.2, Pas. i. 14.2; Hom Hymn. in Cer. 153). Triptolemus was the favourite of Demeter, and the inventor of the plough and agriculture, and of civilisation, which is the result of it. He wits the great hero in the Eleusinian mysteries (Plin. H. N. vii. 56; Callim. Hymn. in Cer. 22 ; Virg. Georg. i. 19).
  According to Apollodorus, who makes Triptolemus a son of Celeus and Metaneira, De meter, on her arrival at Eleusis in Attica, undertook as nurse the care of Demophon, a brother of Triptolemus, who had just been born. In order to make the child immortal, Demeter at night put him into a fire, but as Metaneira on discovering the proceeding, screamed out, the child was consumed by the flames. As a compensation for this bereavement, the goddess gave to Triptolemus a chariot with winged dragons and seeds of wheat. According to others Triptolemus first sowed barley in the Rharian plain, and thence spread the cultivation of grain all over the earth; and in later times an altar and threshing floor of Triptolemus were shown there (Paus. i. 38.6). In the Homeric hymn on Demeter, Triptolemus is described as one of the chief men of the country, who like other nobles is instructed by Demeter in her sacred worship (123, 474, &c.); but no mention is made of any relationship between him and Celeus. In the tradition related by Hyginus, who makes Triptolemus a son of Eleusis, Triptolemus himself was the boy whom the goddess wished to make immortal. Eleusis, who wats watching her, was discovered by her and punished with instant death (Ov. Trist. iii. 8. 2). Triptolemus, after having received the dragon-chariot, rode in it all over the earth, making man acquainted with the blessings of agriculture (Comp. Paus. vii. 18.2, viii. 4. § 1; Ov. Met. v. 646, &c.). On his return to Attica, king Celeus wanted to kill him, but by the command of Demeter he was obliged to give up his country to Triptolemus, which he now called after his father Eleusis. He now established the worship of Demeter, and instituted the Thesmophoria (Hygin. Fab. 147 ; comp. Dionys. Hal. i. 12; Ov. Fast. iv. 507, &c.) He had temples and statues both at Eleusis and Athens (Paus. i. 14.1. 38.6). Triptolemus is represented in works of art as a youthful hero, sometimes with the petasus, on a chariot drawn by dragons, and holding in his hand a sceptre and corn ears.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



First ancestors

Eumolpus, (Eumolpos)

Eumolpus, (Eumolpos). In Greek mythology, the son of Poseidon and Chione, the daughter of Boreas and Orithyia. After his birth he was thrown by his mother into the sea, but his father rescued him and brought him to Aethiopia, to his daughter Benthesicyme. When he was grown up, Endius, the husband of Benthesicyme, gave him one of his daughters in marriage, but he desired the other as well, and was accordingly banished, and came with his son Ismarus or Immaradus to the Thracian king Tegyrius in Boeotia. As successor to this king he marched to the assistance of his friends the Eleusinians against the Athenian Erechtheus, but was slain with his son. (See Erechtheus.) According to another story, Immaradus and Erechtheus both fell, and the contending parties agreed that the Eleusinians should submit to the Athenians, but should retain the exclusive superintendence of the mysteries of Eleusis, of which Eumolpus was accounted the founder. He was also spoken of as a writer of consecrational hymns, and as having discovered the art of cultivating the vines and trees in general. The Eumolpidae, his descendants, were the hereditary priests of the Eleusinian ritual.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Eumolpus (Eumolpos), that is, " the good singer," a Thracian who is described as having come to Attica either as a bard, a warrior, or a priest of Demeter and Dionysus. The common tradition, which, however, is of late origin, represents him as a son of Poseidon and Chione, the daughter of Boreas and the Attic heroine Oreithya. According to the tradition in Apollodorus (iii. 15.4), Chione, after having given birth to Eumolpus in secret, threw the child into the sea. Poseidon, however, took him up, and had him educated in Ethiopia by his daughter Benthesicyma. When he had grown up, lie married a daughter of Ben thesicyma.; but as he made an attempt upon the chastity of his wife's sister, Eumolpus and his son Ismarus were expelled, and they went to the Thracian king Tegyrius, who gave his daughter in marriage to Ismarus; but as Eumolpus drew upon himself the suspicion of Tegyrius, he was again obliged to take to flight, and came to Eleusis in Attica, where he formed a friendship with the Eleusinians. After tlhe death of his son Ismsarus, however, lie returned to Thrace at the request of king Tegyrius.
  The Eleusininians, who were involved in a war with Athens, called Eumolpus to their assistance. Eumolpus came with a numerous band of Thracians, but he was slain by Erechtheus. The traditions about this Eleusinian war, however, differ very much. According to sonic, the Eleusinians under Eumolpus attacked the Athenians under Erechtheus, but were defeated, and Eumolpus with his two sons, Phorbas and Immaradus, were slain (Thuc. ii. 15; Plut. Menex.; Isocrat. Panath. 78; Plut. Parall. Gr. et. Rom. 20; Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 854). Pausanias (i. 38.3) relates a tradition that in the battle between the Eleusinians and Athenians, Erechtheus and Immaradus fell, and that thereupon peace was concluded on condition that the Eleusinians should in other respects be subject to Athens, but that they alone should have the celebration of their mysteries, and that Eumolpus and the daughters of Celeus should perform the customary sacrifices. When Eumolpus died, his younger son Ceryx succeeded him in the priestly office. According to Hyginus (Fab. 46; comp. Strab. vii.), Eumolpus came to Attica with a colony of Thracians, to claim the country as the property of his father, Poseidon.
  Mythology regards Eumolpus as the founder of the Eleusinian mysteries, and as the first priest of Demeter and Dionysus; the goddess herself taught him, Triptolemus, Diocles, and Celeus, the sacred rites, and he is therefore sometimes described as having himself invented the cultivation of the vine and of fruit-trees in general (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 476; Plin. H. N. vii. .53; Ov. Met. x. 93). Respecting the privileges which his descendants enjoyed in Attica. As Eumolpus was regarded as an ancient priestly bard, poems and writings on the mysteries were fabricated and circulated at a later time under his name. One hexameter line of a Dionysiac hymn, ascribed to him, is preserved in Diodorus (i. 11; Suid. s. v.). The legends connected him also with Heracles, whom he is said to have instructed in music, or initiated into the mysteries (Hygin. Fab. 273; Theocrit. xxiv. 108; Apollod. ii. 5.12). The difference in the traditions about Eumolpus led some of the ancients to suppose that two or three persons of that name ought to be distinguished (Hesych. s. v. Eumolpidai; Schol. ad Oed. Col. 1051; Phot. Lex. s. v. Eumolpidai). The tomb of Eumolpus was shewn both at Eleusis and Athens (Paus. i. 38.2).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Eumolpidae

Eumolpidae: The most distinguished and venerable among the priestly families in Attica, believed to be the descendants of the Thracian bard Eumolpus, the introducer of the Eleusinian mysteries into Attica. The hierophantes was always a member of the family of the Eumolpidae, as Eumolpus himself was believed to have been the first hierophant. For the judicial powers of the Eumolpidae.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Eumolpidae (Eumolpidai), the most distinguished and venerable among the priestly families in Attica, believed to be the descendants of the Thracian bard Eumolpus, the introducer of the Eleusinian mysteries into Attica (Diod. Sic. i. 29; Apollod. iii. 15, 4; Lycurg. c. Leocr. 98). The hierophantes was always a member of the family of the Eumolpidae, as Eumolpus himself was believed to have been the first hierophant. (Hesych. s. v. Eumolpidai: Tac. Hist. iv. 83; Arnob. v. 25; Clemens Alex. Protrept.). For the duties and official dress of the hierophant, see Eleusinia.
The hierophant was attended by four epimeletai ton musterion, one of whom likewise belonged to the family of the Eumolpidae (see Epimeletae 4.) Other members of their family do not seem to have had any particular functions at the Eleusinia, though, together with the second great priestly family of the Kerykes, they were hereditary guardians of the mysteries. The latter family were variously described as descended from a younger son of Eumolpus, or from Hermes and Aglauros. The Eumolpidae and Kerykes had on certain occasions to offer up prayers for the welfare of the state; for these duties, and for the sacred treasures entrusted to their care, they were individually and collectively responsible (Aeschin. c. Ctes. 18).
  The Eumolpidae (perhaps also the Kerykes, as Caillemer conjectures) had also certain judicial powers in cases of asebeia, but only, it would seem, where the mysteries were concerned. Two modes of prosecution for impiety are coupled together, dikazesthai pros Eumolpidas and phrazein pros ton basilea: the two processes must have been practically identical, the king archon acting as eisagogeus or hegemon dikasteriou, and the Eumolpidae furnishing a jury (Dem. c. Androt.). The law according to which they pronounced their sentence, and of which they had the exclusive possession, was not written, but handed down by tradition; and the Eumolpidae alone had the right to interpret it (exegeisthai), or where the law was silent, to act according to their own discretion(Lys. c. Andoc.10). We agree, however, with Caillemer, that the action of the Eumolpidae must have been confined to spiritual censures, such as exclusion from the mysteries, or reduction of a mustes to the ranks of the uninitiated. In democratic Athens none but purely ceremonial functions were left to the old aristocracy (see Eupatridae & Ephetae). When, therefore, we read that it was death for an atimos to enter the sacred precinct of Eleusis (Andoc. de Myst. 33), or for anyone to put the suppliant bough (hiketeria, § 110) in the wrong place or at the wrong time, we may be quite sure that the Eumolpidae, if they declared the sacred law on the subject, had no voice in the capital sentence. In some cases, when a person was convicted of gross violation of the public institutions of his country, the people, besides sending the offender into exile, added a clause in their verdict that a curse should be pronounced upon him by the Eumolpidae (Plut. Alcib. 22; Corn. Nep. Alcib. 4, 5). But the Eumolpidae could pronounce such a curse only at the command of the people, and might afterwards be compelled by the people to revoke it and purify the person whom they had cursed before (Plut. Alcib. 33; Corn. Nep. Alcib. 6, 5).

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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