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In Greek mythology, Demeter (Attic Δημήτηρ Dēmētēr. Doric Δαμάτηρ Dāmātēr) is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons (personified by the Hours). Her common surnames are Sito (σίτος: wheat) as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros (θεσμός, thesmos: divine order, unwritten law) as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society. 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 predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of circa 1400-1200 BC found at Pylos, the “two mistresses and the king” are identified with Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.

In Greek mythology, Persephone ( /pərˈsɛfəniː/) in modern English—also called Kore)1 is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, and queen of the underworld; she was abducted by Hades the king of the underworld.23

The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence she is also associated with spring and with the seeds of the fruits of the fields. Persephone as a vegetation goddess (Kore) and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B (Mycenean Greek) tablets dated 1400-1200 BC found at Pylos, the “two mistresses and the king” are mentioned; John Chadwick identifies these as Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon.4

In Classical Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed. She may be carrying a sheaf of grain; in Latin, she is called Proserpina.

Comments

  • Mark Skay
    Mark Skayover 3 years ago

    Love the Greek mythology. Exellent Gal !

  • Wow thanks Mark!

    – Gal Lo Leggio

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