The Abduction of Persephone (or Kore, the
Daughter of Zeus and Persephone
Abducted by Hades and taken to the Underworld as his Queen
Demeter can't find her daughter...finds out from Hecate that she was
abducted. Finds out from Helios exactly to where she was abducted, and by
whom. In her grief, Demeter wanders and comes to Eleusis. Know the outline
of the story: Demeter disguises herself, is found by members of the royal
family at the well, is taken in as a nurse to the royal baby (Demophoon)
by his mother and father (Celeus and Metaneira).
What is special about Demeter - how can you tell
she is a goddess?
Who is Iambe and what does she do?
What is kykeon?
How does Demeter try to give immortality to the
Demeter's Grief: She continues her search
for Persephone, and in the meantime neglects the earth. Everything dies, and
a famine comes upon the land. Why do the gods choose to step in? What has
that got to do with them?
How Demeter's anger is assuaged: Know the
details of the deal agreed to by all concerned
The Secular Benefits: Demeter teaches
mankind how to plant and grow grain by teaching the secret to
Triptolemus (he becomes a sort of divinely ordained Johnny Appleseed of
The Eleusinian Mysteries. As in any ritual
that derives form myth, the details are designed to reenact the experiences
of the god(dess). But since the rites were secret, no one really knows
exactly what the point of the mysteries were. But because of the association
of the tale with the cycle of birth and death (Persephone's return form the
underworld every spring, and the rebirth of the earth), it is assumed that
the Eleusinian Mysteries was a religious ritual that assuaged the fear of
human beings in regard to death. In other words, it offered insight into
Life after Death. If you believed and worshipped the goddesses Demeter and
Persephone, you would be rewarded with life after death.
Eleusis is a town about fourteen miles west
of Athens, which adopted the mysteries as part of itsa state religion. Feel
free to check out these images on
own Eleusis website,
including the Triptolemus
relief, which you must know about).
The Perseus Project offers these links:
Overview of the site of Eleusis as sanctuary
Overview of the Eleusinian Mysteries (Perseus)
Know that Hiera
means "sacred objects" even though we don't know what that means, and know
that the the Hierophant
is the one "who reveals the Hiera," the sacred priest of teh mysteries.