Demeter (Roman Counterpart was Ceres)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Demeter, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Demeter was Ceres.
Picture of the goddess Demeter mourning the loss of Persephone
Demeter and the Earth Goddesses
In ancient Greek mythology there are three great earth-goddesses Gaia, Rhea, and Demeter.
- Gaia represented the earth as a whole, with its subterranean forces
- Rhea represented the productive power that caused vegetation to grow, sustaining men and animals
- Demeter, by presiding over agriculture, directed and utilized Rhea's productive powers
Demeter, however, by introducing a knowledge of agriculture, put an end to the primitive nomadic lifestyles which led men to live a settled and civilised way of life.
Facts about Demeter
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Demeter:
Demeter Profile & Fact File
Personality: Kind, peaceful, patient
Appearance: Abundant, golden hair, attractive
Role & Function: The function of Demeter is described as being the earth goddess and the goddess of fertility. She was also the goddess of agriculture, nature and the seasons
Status: A Major goddess and one of the Twelve Olympians
Symbols of Demeter: Torch, wheat, poppy and swine
Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this goddess was Ceres
Name of Husband: Unmarried
Name of Father: Cronus
Name of Mother: Rhea
Picture of Arion on a sea horse
The Family of Demeter, The Earth Goddess
According to Greek legends and myths the family of Demeter were as follows:
- Father: Cronus
- Mother: Rhea
- Brothers: Zeus, Hades and Poseidon
- Sisters: Hestia and Hera
- Husband: Unmarried
- Children of Demeter: Daughter by Zeus - Persephone. Despoina and Arion (by Poseidon) Plutus and Philomelus (by Iasion)
Demeter and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods, that included Demeter, were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes.