Demeter Facts

Demeter Facts
Demeter is the Greek goddess of agriculture, fertility, and harvest, and presided over sacred law, including the cycle of life and death. Her Roman goddess equivalent is Ceres. Demeter's parents were Cronus and Rhea and her siblings included Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Chiron, and Zeus. Demeter's symbols included swine, torches, cornucopia, and wheat. She did not marry but she had children with Poseidon (Despoina, Arion), Iason (Plutus, Philomelus), Karmanor (Eubuleus, Chrysothemis), Tripolemus (Amphitheus), Oceanus (Dmia), and Zeus (Persephone). Demeter was often portrayed as a woman sitting on a throne, wearing a crown and carrying wheat or a torch. She was also portrayed riding a golden chariot being pulled by dragons.
Interesting Demeter Facts:
When Demeter was born to Rhea her father Cronus swallowed her. This happened to her other siblings as well. Zeus rescued her.
In Greek mythology it was believed that Demeter was responsible for making the crops grow every year. At harvest the first loaf of bread was always offered to her.
Agricultural products were sacred to Demeter as well as livestock, the crane, and poppies.
Demeter's daughter Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the Underworld to be his wife. Demeter cursed the world and caused the earth to become barren. Zeus tried to return Persephone but made a deal to return her to the Underworld each year for four months. This became the winter season, when things would not grow.
While looking for her daughter Persephone, after Hades had kidnapped her, Demeter met a man and taught his son Triptolemus about agriculture. He then traveled across Greece teaching people how to farm.
Demeter lived at the summit of Mount Olympus as one of the twelve Olympian gods.
Arion, one of Demeter's (and Poseidon's) sons, was a poet and singer. When he was born he was a flying and talking horse, according to Greek mythology.
Demeter gave mortals the Eleusinian Mysteries, which are hopes for this life and for the afterlife, which became some of Ancient Greece's most important ceremonies.
The Roman equivalent of Demeter was Ceres, which is the word from which 'cereal' is derived.
One of the major festivals in honor of Demeter was Thesmophoria, celebrated only by women in honor of Demeter's role in in marriage and the impact of agriculture on social institutions.
The main temple in honor of Demeter was located near Athens at Eleusis, where the sacred ceremony called the Eleusinian Mysteries were held every year.
Demeter earned the nickname 'Lady of the Golden Blade' because she carried a golden sword when she went into battle.
In several pieces of ancient art, Demeter was portrayed with a wreath on her head made of the ears of corn.
There are major temples or cults in honor of Demeter in Attica, Crete, Megara, Iasos, Sicily, Dion, Thoricus, Tegea, and many other places.
Demeter was also referred to as a poppy goddess by Theocritus.
Demeter was also known as the 'Corn Mother', 'Mother Earth', 'the Great Mother Demeter', 'Chloe', and 'Anesidora' which means 'sending up gifts from the earth'.

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