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Demeter (Ceres)

The Greek Goddess of Grain Demeter and the Roman Goddess Ceres


Demeter is the Greek goddess of grain. Ceres is the Latin name for Demeter. The Eleusinian Mysteries celebrate the rites of Demeter and her daughter Persephone (Ceres and Proserpina).

Demeter was a goddess of fertility, grain, and agriculture. She is pictured as a mature motherly figure. Although she is the goddess who taught mankind about agriculture, she is also the goddess responsible for creating winter. While her daughter Persephone was missing and no one seemed to know what had happened, Demeter grieved. She refused to do her job, so nothing grew. This was winter.

After Persephone was found two compromises were made. (1) Persephone would spend half the year with her husband, Hades, and half the year with her mother, Demeter. (2) As long as Demeter lived with her daughter the crops thrived, but whenever she went to the Underworld, winter came again.

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Colossal Statue of Ceres (Demeter) at the VaticanCeresFrieze of Demeter and Persephone Consecrating TriptolemusDemeter and PersephoneCeres - DemeterCeres - DemeterCeresCeres - Demeter
Demeter - CeresDetail of a fresco with Ceres (Demeter) as an allegory for August, painted by Cosimo Tura.Ceres Fresco
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