Ceres (Demeter) & Dionysus The Two Great Gods of Earth

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Ceres (Demeter)

Ceres (Demeter)& DionysusThe Two Great Gods of Earth

Cronus m. RheaHestiaHadesPoseidonDemeterHeraZeusDemeter was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and is one of the three goddesses of the first Olympian generation

She is the goddess of corn, the ripe grain, vegetation, agriculture, and the Eleusinian mysteries, and Persephones (per-seph-a-knee) mother

Demeter's emblem is the poppy, a bright red flower that grows among the barleyDemeters Festival

Her chief festival came at harvest timeTook place in September Every five yearsConsidered the most sacred days Processions took place; dances and song

One of the most common myths involving Demeter is the abduction of her daughter, Persephone, by Hades. When Persephone wandered away from her companions he lured her away and took her to the underworld. Her cry echoed in the depths of the sea and her mother, Demeter, heard it. Demeter searched high and low for her but no one would help her except the Sun. The myth states that for nine days she would not eat ambrosia or put sweet nectar on her lips. In her pain, she left Mt. Olympus and wandered the earth disguised as an old woman.

Demeter was searching for her daughter Persephone.She came to Eleusis and rested by a well. Four maidens (sisters) asked her if she was okay and then asked their parents (Celeus & Metaneira) if they could bring her home.Having taken the form of an old woman called Doso, she received a hospitable welcome from Celeus of Eleusis, and his wife Metaneira.Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries

As a gift to Celeus, because of his hospitality, Demeter planned to make their son Demophon a god, by coating and anointing him with Ambrosia, breathing gently upon him while holding him in her arms, and making him immortal by burning his mortal spirit away in the family hearth every night.Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries

Demeter and the Eleusinian MysteriesDemophon flourished like a god and would have become immortal, if unfortunate Metaneira had not seen what was happening she didnt understand the rituals and thought a stranger was trying to burn her child in the fire

Demeter Reveals Her True Identity

Demeter finally reveals her true identity and tells them they must build her a temple in order to win her favor back.The people of the village, commanded by Celeus, build Demeter a temple and as she sat in it she wasted away thinking about her daughter.Because Demeter was the god of the corn and harvest, everything on earth wilted away. Nothing grew or flourished.Zeus sent numerous gods to try to pull Demeter away from her anger, but she wouldnt relent.As a last result, Zeus sent Hermes, the messenger of the gods, to talk to his brother, Hades and see if he would relinquish his bride Persephone.

Persephone is Rescued

When Hermes arrived in the Underworld, he found Persephone and Hades sitting together.Persephone, happy she was rescued, gladly went with Hermes.But, Hades made her eat a pomegranate seed in hopes she would return to him.Hermes carried her directly to Demeter, her mother.Demeter is thrilled when she holds Persephone in her arms, but extremely upset when she discovers Persephone ate the pomegranate seed.Persephones Return

Zeus asks his mother, Rhea, the oldest god, to go down to earth and talk to Demeter.

Demeter listens to Rheas instructions and restores the earth.

She is still saddened that she must relinquish Persephone four months every year to go down to the Underworld, but she does so.

Once Persephone was returned to Demeter, she brought fertility back to the Earth.Persephone

Dies a little each year as she went to Hades

The radiant maiden of the spring

One of the greatest gifts which Ceres gave people were cereal, the cultivation of which made man different from wild animals

Temple of CeresThe temple on the Aventine hill in Rome was dedicated to Ceres, and the ritual of worship in her temple was stylistically Greek, even the prayers were spoken in Greek.

Dionysus (Bacchus)Born in Thebes

Father is Zeus, mother is Theban princess Semele

Only god whose parents were not both divine.

Zeus & Semele (Dionysus mother)Zeus, cheating on Hera, fell madly in love with Semele.

He asked her what she wanted.

Semele said she wanted to see Zeus in his full splendor as King of Heaven and Lord of the Thunderbolt (Hamilton, p. 56) This was secretly placed in her heart from Hera.Legend has it that a mortal cannot behold Zeus in his full splendor and live.

Zeus & Semele (Dionysus mother)Zeus swore on the Stynx that he would fulfill whatever promise she wanted. He was held to his word.

Unfortunately, Semele dies.

Zeus snatches her young infant daughter and hides her from Hera.

Hermes takes the baby to stay with the nymphs of Nysa (supposedly one of the loveliest valleys, but no one has ever seen it)Dionysus is BornGod of the VineBorn of fireNursed by rain

Wandered far to strange places many stories

One day, near Greece, a pirate ship sailed nearby. They saw Dionysus dressed as a beautiful youth with dark hair and a purple cloak

Soldiers thought they could kidnap him and perhaps his wealthy parents would pay a ransom (or so they assumed).

Sailors Attack DionysusWhen the soldiers put ropes around him they would not hold together and fell apart when they touched his hands or feet.

Dionysus looked at soldiers with a smile and his dark eyes (Hamilton, p. 57).

One helmsman understood that Dionysus was a god and told the rest of the soldiers to let him go, but the captain would not and mocked Dionysus.A Captains Pride

The captain told the sailors to joist the sail, but when they did the ship did not move.

Strange things happened:Wine ran down in streams down the deckA vine spread out over the sailA dark green ivy-plant with flowers and fruit twined around the mast like garland

Dionysus turned into a lion and roared at the men. The men panicked and leaped overboard. Dionysus turned them into dolphins.

Princess of Crete: AdriadneDionysus one true loveShe was abandoned on the shore of Naxos by the Athenian prince, Theseus, whose life she had just saved.

Dionysus rescues her and falls in love with her.

When she dies he took her crown (that he gave her) and placed it among the stars.

Missing MomDionysus was also a god of great courage.

He longed for the mother he never met: Semele.

He dared the terrible descent to the lower world to seek her (Hamilton, p. 58).

Dionysus rescued her and brought her to Mt. Olympus where the gods allowed Semele to stay although she dwelled with immortals. Remember, she was a mortal, yet the mother of a god. Maenads and the Worship of DionysusMaenads (Bacchantes) women who drank lots of wine and ran through the woods and mountains uttering sharp cries and acted in erratic and indescribable ways.

Name means raving ones.

They did not worship in a temple, rather worshiped in the wilderness shows how wild they were.

Dionysus had pity on them and gave them food and drink, herbs and berries and the milk of wild goat.

A Kind and Beneficent or Cruel and Evil god??The maenads worshiped him.

The worship of Dionysus was centered on two ideas:Freedom and ecstatic joySavage brutality

Throughout several myths he either gives man blessing or sometimes leads man to his ruin.

Pantheus, King of ThebesSon of Semeles sister, which made him Dionysus cousin

Pantheus did not know Zeus saved Semeles child (Dionysus)

Pantheus did not like the wild dancing and loud singing and strange behavior of the strangers that followed Dionysus so he ordered his guards to seize and imprison the visitors and Dionysus. Pantheus, King of ThebesA prophet, by the name of Teiresias, the holy man of Thebes, warned Pantheus that the stranger he was imprisoning was Semeles child, who m Zeus rescued and with Demeter, is greatest upon earth for men (Hamilton, p. 59).

Pantheus didnt believe Teiresias because the old man was covered in ivy and appeared to be drunk with wine. He didnt heed the warning.Pantheus, King of ThebesThe Maenads escaped, but the guards told Pantheus they couldnt keep the chains on Dionysus. They knew he had to be a god.

Dionysus did not fight Pantheus though. He said, The wrongs you do to me are wrongs done to the gods (Hamilton, p. 60).

At one point Pantheus spews insults at Dionysus, but Dionysus did not fight back. [] Dionysus left him to his doom. It was the most horrible that there could be (Hamilton, p. 60).Dionysus AngerDionysus causes Pentheus mother and sisters to believe Pantheus was a wild beast, a mountail lion, and they all attacked him and tore him limb from limb (Hamilton, p. 61).

At that moment, Dionysus restored the womens sanity and they saw what they had done.

Dionysus took pleasure in this. Irony in the Name of DionysusGod of the vine wine.Wine is bad as well as good.

It cheers and warms mens hearts, yet also makes them drunk and unaware of their evil actions (Hamilton, p. 61).

Dionysus was the god of the vine so he could make men commit frightful and atrocious crimes (Hamilton, p. 61).

Many believed the reason why Dionysus was so erratic in his behavior is because he was the god of wine. He was mans benefactor and hw as mans destroyer (Hamilton, p. 63).