The Goddess Demeter – Greek History Essay
Have you ever thought about how it would be if we lived in a world where there was a god for everything? Very long ago, Greeks strongly believed in different kind of gods and goddesses. One of these goddesses was Demeter who
provided fertility. “Demeter provides all nutrition on the earth, allowing her to be considered a vital source of survival” (A.L. Davidson, The Greek Goddess Demeter). Some of her main symbols include poppy seeds, and corn, which of course have to do with agriculture; and some colors, which represent her, are pink, brown, green, and yellow. She also taught mankind the art of sowing and sloughing. “She can also cross dimensional barriers between worlds and alter her form to appear as an elderly woman” (http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/demeterc.htm). She did not have many enemies, but only disliked the ones who did not help her when she was in search of her daughter Persephone, and also those who ate sacred plants. Demeter was an influential goddess with many characteristics, and a unique history.
Demeter had many personality traits and only few flaws. She was the most generous of all goddesses and was very understanding and respectful. That is why she gained the sympathy and favor of the other Olympian gods. Not only she had the their sympathy but beyond that she also had the ability to truly sympathize with humans. In addition Demeter was very modest and shy. One of her flaws is her ability to invoke curses. For instance, “she cursed King Erysichton with insatiable hunger and endow mystical ability in sorcerers and mystics that know how to call upon her such as Clea” (http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/demeterc.htm).
Although Demeter is a goddess, she has a family background. Demeter is the daughter of Cronus and Rhea; also sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Pluto, Hera and Hestia. “She never married” (http://www.theoi.com/Summary/Demeter.html), but was lovers with her brother Zeus. She had many children but her daughter Persephone was the most known one because of the famous myth. Haides fell in love with Persephone and Zeus helped him to kidnap her from her mother and take her to the Underworld. When Demeter found out that Haides had kidnapped her beloved daughter she became very angry. She searched everywhere for her and even brought “deadly starvation down upon mankind until Zeus agreed to let her return” (http://www.theoi.com/Summary/Demeter.html). Unfortunately when Hermes was sent to the Underworld in search of Persephone, he gave her a pomegranate and Persephone ate it. As a consequence of this, Persephone was forced to stay with Hades for a third of the year. “Only when Persephone is with her, Demeter lets things grow” (Micha F. Lindemans, Demeter.)
Since agriculture played an important role in Greek history, Demeter was worshipped in many different ways. Particularly, she was worshipped in agricultural societies. Furthermore, the first loaf of bread from the harvest was sacrificed in her honor. Also, Demeter was often portrayed as a solemn woman, often wearing a wreath of braided ears of corn. Some regions were she was worshipped at were Attika, Messenia, and Ena. Demeter’s primary festival was the Athenian Thesmophoria. It celebrates the half of the year when Demeter didn’t work as the goddess of the harvest; she spent this half of the year with her daughter.
If we had lived in the ancient Greek times, then Demeter would have been very significant in our lives. Demeter taught humans how to grow, preserve, and prepare grain. Again, earth could not produce without her allowing it. The Greeks experienced that themselves when Persephone was taken away from her mother. Her history is very unique, not only her search for Persephone and the consequences that followed, but also many other myths.Above that. she is the mother of earth itself and is “invoked as the bringer of the seasons” (Micha F. Lindemans, Demeter.)