Persephone - Wikipedia
This close connection with the earth was inherited from her mother Rhea, and Daughter of Kronos and Rhea, sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, and Demeter and Persephone (also known as Kore in Greek and. In Greek mythology, Persephone also called Kore is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. .. The Greek version of the abduction myth is related to grain – important and rare in the Greek environment – and the return (ascent) of Persephone was. The story of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and her daughter Persephone, his being an absentee father did not stop Zeus from arranging the marriage of his .
Seeing an old woman sitting there alone, they addressed her kindly and asked her who she was and why she sat by herself and did not enter the town where she would be welcomed. Demeter told the girls that her name was Doso, and that she came from Crete, having been captured by pirates who brought her to the mainland where she had succeeded in escaping them, and had been wandering ever since. She asked the girls if they knew of any house where she could earn her living as nurse, or servant or housekeeper.
Origins of Demeter and her Daughter Persephone
In response, Callidice told the old woman that her mother had just given birth to her only son, a late child, and she was sure she would be very thankful to have a competent nurse to rear him. At Demeter's nod of assent, the four girls filled their pitchers and hurried home, to ask their mother if she would receive the old woman. Hearing their account, Queen Metanaira asked her daughters to hurry back and tell the old woman she was hired. The girls ran back to find her, and escorted her back to their home.
While the girls raced ahead, Demeter trudged behind, gloomy in her dark cloak, her face veiled. Demeter at the Palace of Celeus and Metaneira Metaneira was sitting by a pillar in her great hall with her son in her arms. When Demeter crossed the threshold, it seemed for a moment that her head reached the lintel and the doorway shimmered with a strange radiance.
Filled with sudden awe, Metaneira got to her feet and asked the old woman to sit on a brightly draped couch. Demeter, however, refused the luxurious seat and remained standing silently, until a servant woman Iambe set out a simple jointed stool and placed a sheepskin over it. There Demeter consented to sit, wrapped in grief for her abducted daughter, keeping her face veiled, not taking any food or drink.
Resourceful Iambe was having none of this, however. With a volley of obscene jokes and gestures, she finally provoked the distraught Goddess into smiling and laughing.
Demeter then accepted a drink of mint and barley, refusing wine. As nurse to Demophoon, Metaneira's little boy, Demeter anointed him with ambrosia, the food of the Gods and breathed upon him with her divine breath, causing him to grow rapidly and seem more like a divine being himself than an ordinary baby.
Curious as to the secret of Demeter's remarkable effect on her little boy, Metaneira decided to spy on her one night. From her hidden vantage point, Metaneira observed the nurse dangling her beloved son into the fire. Naturally, Metaneira cried out in fear and horror. Her eyes blazing with anger, Demeter turned upon her, casting the unfortunate infant to the floor in disgust as she did so. You never understand whether anything is for your own good! If you had let me finish, I would have burned away the mortal part of your son and made him as a god, but now he will be mortal and subject to death.
She then demanded that a temple be built for her at Eleusis, outside the palace. This was done the next day. Metaneira worshipping the revealed Demeter who makes a gesture of blessing.
Demeter Goes on Strike and the World Starves Sitting in her new temple, Demeter continued to brood with grief and rage on her stolen daughter Persephone. That year, none of the seed sown in the ploughed fields would germinate and no crops grew. Humankind was in danger of starvation and, consequently, the Gods were in danger of losing the worship and offerings that humans provided. This caught Zeus' attention. Hastily, he sent Iris, messenger of the Gods, to tell Demeter to come to Olympus and cease from her disastrous withdrawal from the world.
Demeter did not respond to Iris' entreaty. In turn, Zeus sent one God after another to intercede with Demeter, offering her all manner of gifts, but she was obdurate, swearing she would not return to Olympus or allow the crops to grow until she was reunited with her daughter.
Eventually, Zeus gave in; he called to Hermes, telling him to descend to the Underworld and get Hades to give Persephone back. Source The Return of Persephone to the Light Descending to the Underworld, Hermes delivered the unwelcome message to the King of the Dead, whom he found with his unwilling Queen sitting beside him. Concealing his feelings, Hades expressed his acceptance of Zeus' command and told Persephone she could go home to her mother. Secretly, however, Hades forced her to swallow a few pomegranate seeds, the only food she had taken in his house.
Making ready his chariot, Hades conveyed Persephone and Hermes back up through the earth until they arrived at Demeter's temple. When Demeter and her daughter saw each other, they ran to embrace joyously.
Myths and Legends
As she held her daughter, however, Demeter sensed that something was wrong. Instead, she taught Triptolemus the secrets of agriculture, and he in turn taught them to any who wished to learn them.
Thus, humanity learned how to plant, grow and harvest grain. The myth has several versions; some are linked to figures such as EleusisRarus and Trochilus. The Demophon element may be based on an earlier folk tale.
In the cave of Amnisos Crete Enesidaon is related with the cult of Eileithyiathe goddess of childbirth. The "Two Queens" may be related with Demeter and Persephoneor their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in later periods.
These myths seem to be connected with the first Greek-speaking people who came from the north during the Bronze age. Poseidon represents the river spirit of the underworld and he appears as a horse as it often happens in northern-European folklore.
He pursues the mare-Demeter and she bears one daughter who obviously originally had the form or the shape of a mare too. Demeter and Despoina were closely connected with springs and animals, related to Poseidon as a God of waters and especially with Artemisthe mistress of the animals and the goddess of, among others, the Hunt.
Demeter as mare-goddess was pursued by Poseidon, and hid from him among the horses of King Onkiosbut could not conceal her divinity. In the form of a stallion, Poseidon caught and covered her. Demeter was furious erinys at Poseidon's assault; in this furious form, she is known as Demeter Erinys. In ArcadiaDemeter's mare-form was worshiped into historical times.
The Rape of a Goddess: How Demeter Beat the All-Powerful Zeus | Ancient Origins
Her xoanon of Phigaleia shows how the local cult interpreted her: Elaios, is about 30 stades from Phigaleiaand has a cave sacred to Demeter Melaine ["Black"] The image was made in the following fashion: She had the head and hair of a horse, and serpents and other beasts grew out of her head. Her chiton reached right to her feet, and she held a dolphin in one hand, a dove in the other.
Why they made the xoanon like this should be clear to any intelligent man who is versed in tradition. They say they named her Black because the goddess wore black clothing. However, they cannot remember who made this xoanon or how it caught fire; but when it was destroyed the Phigalians gave no new image to the goddess and largely neglected her festivals and sacrifices, until finally barrenness fell upon the land.
Titles and functions[ edit ] Demeter, enthroned and extending her hand in a benediction toward the kneeling Metaneirawho offers the triune wheat c. She was the "Corn-Mother" who blesses the harvesters. Some cults interpreted her as "Mother-Earth".
Demeter may be linked to goddess-cults of Minoan Creteand embody aspects of a pre-Hellenic Mother Goddess. Her other epithets include: TriptolemusDemeter and Persephone by the Triptolemos-painter, c. Hera especially, but also Artemis and Athenaare addressed as "potnia" as well.
Despoina "mistress of the house"a Greek word similar to the Mycenean potnia. This title was also applied to Persephone, Aphrodite and Hecate.
Thesmophoros "giver of customs" or even "legislator"a role that links her to the even more ancient goddess Themis derived from thesmos, the unwritten law. Erinys "implacable" with a function similar with the function of the avenging Dike Justicegoddess of moral justice based on custom rules who represents the divine retribution,  and the Erinyesfemale ancient chthonic deities of vengeance and implacable agents of retribution.
Chloe "the green shoot" that invokes her powers of ever-returning fertility, as does Chthonia.