Ancient Greek Religion

The Eleusinian Mysteries: Demeter and her daughter Percephone

Homeric Hymn to Demeter, 7th century BC, Ancient Greece.

Percephone should spend only a third of every year in the Underworld.

Zeus sent the goddess Rhea to fetch Demeter to Mount Olympus, promising to grant to Demeter any favour she wished among the gods, and agreeing that her daughter Percephone should spend only a third of every year in the Underworld, and the rest of the year in the sunlight with her mother.

Rhea flew down to where the fields lay lifeless and barren. And she knew that soon it would be waving with long ears of corn... Then bright-coiffed Rhea said to Demeter: 'Come, my daughter; for far-reaching Zeus... has promised to give you what rights you please among the deathless gods, and has agreed that for a third part of the circling year your daughter shall go down to darkness and gloom, but for the two parts shall be with you and the other deathless gods: so has he declared it shall be and has bowed his head in token.

'And everyone identifies with the hero or heroine in any story they read,' said Miranda.

Story fragment retold from: Homeric Hymns. Online Medieval and Classical Library. II. Homeric Hymn to Demeter, lines 450–69.


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Demeter – Wikipedia

Homeric Hymns – Wikipedia

The Homeric Hymns – The Online Medieval and Classical Library


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