2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Cult Worship and Myths of Demeter
Alyssa H. Eberle
Dr. Bob Cummings and Dr. Thomas Zoumaras, Faculty Mentors

The Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone has evolved through several forms and been interpreted by scholars in several different ways. At the basic level the myth is an explanation of the changing seasons; on a higher level it examines male/female power relations, maternal love and the afterlife. The ancient Greeks worshipped Demeter, the goddess of fertility, in a temple dedicated to her at Eleusis. The sacred ceremony known as the Eleusinian Mysteries took place here to honor her. Today, visitors to this ancient site can stand in what was once the center of the Temple to Demeter and can see the stone seating that once accommodated the worshippers. However, little is known about the actual ceremonies, because cult initiates were sworn to secrecy under penalty of death. This paper was originally presented in Eleusis for a Study Abroad course.

Keywords: Greece, Sacred Sites, Demeter, Persephone, Eleusinian Mysteries, cult worship , myth


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 50-3
Location: VH 1232
Time: 4:15

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