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DEMETER TITLES
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Roman Name
Δημητηρ Dêmêtêr Demeter Ceres
OTHER DEMETER CULT PAGES
Demeter Cult 1, Part 2, Part 3

DEMETER was the great Olympian goddess of agriculture, grain, and bread, the sustenance of all mankind. She also presided over Mysteries which promised intiates the path to a blessed afterlife.

This page lists her cult titles and poetic epithets, as well as those of her daughter Kore (Persephone).


CULT TITLES OF DEMETER

The first of Demeter's cult titles referred to her various divine functions: as goddess of agriculture and the fruits of the earth, the great mother, the bringer of laws, patron goddess of Greece:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Χθονια Khthonia Chthonia Of the Earth
Ανησιδωρα Anêsidôra Anesidora She who Sends
Forth Gifts
Χλοη Khloê Chloe Green, First Shoots
Επογμιε Epogmie Epogmia Of the Furrows
Πλουτοδοτειρα Ploutodoteira Plutodotira Giver of Wealth
Καρποφορος Karpophoros Carpophorus Bearer of Fruit
Μαλοφορος Malophoros Malophorus Bearer of Fruit
Θερμασια Thermasia Thermasia Warmth, Heat
Μεγαλα Θεα Megala Thea Megala Thea Great Goddess
Μεγαλα Μητερ Megala Mêter Megala Mater Great Mother
Θεσμοφορος Thesmophoros Thesmophorus Bringer of Law
Θεσμιη Thesmia Thesmia Of the Laws
Προστασια Prostasia Prostasia Patron, Leader
Παναχαια Panakhaia Panachaea Of All the Greeks
Ευρωπη Europê Europa Of Europe

Another set of cult titles were derived from the towns and locations of her shrines, the names of their founders, descriptions of the locale, and cult stories.
Not all of these titles were restricted to their "home-town", for example, Demeter Eleusinia (of Eleusis) was worshipped throughout Greece.

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ελευσινια Eleusinia Eleusinia Of Eleusis
(in Attika)
Λερναια Lernaia Lernaea Of Lerna
(in Argolis)
Στιρια Stiria Stiria Of Stiris
(in Phokis)
Τιλφωσα Tilphôsa Tilphusa Of Thelpousa
(in Arkadia)
Μυκαλησσια Mykalêssia Mycalessia Of Mykalessos
(in Boiotia)
Μυσια Mysia Mysia Of Mysios
(Argive hero)
Πελασγις Pelasgis Pelasgis Of Pelasgos
(Argive hero)
Πρων Prôn Pron Of the Headland
Ἑρκυνα Herkyna Hercyna Of the Stone
Enclosure
Πυγαιη Pylaiê Pylaea Of the Gates
Ερινυς Erinys Erinys Fury, Anger, Wrath
Ερινυσ Τιλφωσα Erinys Tilphôsa Erinys Tilphusa Fury of Thelpousa
Μελαινα Melaina Melaena The Black
Λουσιη Lousiê Lusia Bathing, Purifying
Καβειραιη Kabeiraiê Cabiraea Of the Kabeiroi

The meaning of some of her titles are obscure--

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Προσυμνη Prosymnê Prosymna --
Κιδαριη Kidariê Cidaria --
Αμαια Amaia Amaea --

POETIC TITLES & EPITHETS OF DEMETER

I) Common Homeric names for Demeter:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Δημητηρ Dêmêtêr Demeter Earth-Mother
Δαματηρ Damatêr Demeter Earth-Mother
Δηω Dêô Deo Of the Earth

II) Common Homeric epithets of Demeter:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Αγλαοκαρπος Aglaokarpos Aglaocarpus Giver of Goodly Fruit
Αγλαοδωρος Aglaodôros Aglaodorus Bestower of
Splendid Gifts
Ὡρηφορος Hôrêphoros Horaphorus Bringer of the
Seasons
Πολυφορβος Polyphorbos Polyphorbus All-Nourishing,
Bountiful
Καλλιστεφανος Kallistephanos Callistephanus Beautiful Crowned
Ευστεφανος Eustephanos Eustephanus Lovely Crowned
Ευκομος Eukomos Eucomus Lovely Haired
Ξανθη Xanthê Xanthe Blonde, Golden,
Golden-Haired
Χρυσαορος Khrysaoros Chrysaorus Of the Golden Sword,
Of the Golden Blade
Κυανοπεπλος Kyanopeplos Cyanopeplus Dark Veiled,
Dark Cloaked
Καλλισφυρος Kallisphyros Callisphyrus Beautiful Ankled,
Trim Ankled
Σεμνη Semnê Semne Holy, August,
Revered
Ἁγνη Hagnê Hagne Pure, Chaste, Holy
Δια Θεα Dia Thea Dia Thea Bright Goddess
Ανασσα Anassa Anassa Queen, Lady
Ποτνια Potnia Potnia Queen
Ποτνια Θεαων Potnia Theaôn Potnia Theaon Queen amongst
Goddesses
Κυδρη Θεα Kydrê Thea Cydra Thea Glorious Goddess,
Noble Goddess
Ρεα ευκομος
θυγατερ
Rhea eukomos
thugater
-- Daughter of
rich-haired Rhea

CULT TERMS OF DEMETER

Some general terms relating to the goddess' cult include:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Δημητριον Dêmêtrion Demetreum Temple of Demeter
Ελευσινιον Eleusinion Eleusineum Temple of Eleusinian
Demeter
Δηωιος Dêôios Deoeus Sacred to Demeter
(adjective)
Οργια Orgia Orgia Religious Orgies,
Mysteries
Μυστηρια Mystêria Mysteria Mysteries
Ελευσινια Eleusinia Eleusinia Festival of Eleusinian
Demeter
Χθονια Khthonia Chthonia Festival of
Demeter Khthonia
Θεσμοφορια Thesmophoria Thesmophoria Festival of Demeter
Thesmophoros

CULT TITLES OF KORE (PERSEPHONE)

The first of Kore's cult titles referred to her various divine functions, as goddess of the earth and the first fruits of spring, mistress of the underworld, goddess of the afterlife:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Χθονια Khthonia Chthonia Of the Earth,
Subterranean
Καρποφορος Karpophoros Carpophorus Bringer of Fruit
Σωτειρα Sôteira Soteira Saviour
Μεγαλα Θεα Megala Thea Megala Thea Great Goddess
Ἁγνη Hagnê Hagne Pure, Holy One
Δαειρα Daeira Daeira Knowing One
Πραξιδικη Praxidikê Praxidice Exacter of Justice

Another set of titles described the location of a particular shrine, or were derived from a local cult story, and a few others remain obscure:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ἑρκυνα Herkyna Hercyna Of the Stone
Enclosure
Πρωτογονη Prôtogonê Protogone First Born
Αζησια Azêsia Azesia --
Λεπτυνις Leptynis Leptynis --

ENCYCLOPEDIA DEMETER TITLES

ACHAEA (Achaia), a surname of Demeter by which she was worshipped at Athens by the Gephyraeans who had emigrated thither front Boeotia. (Herod. v. 61; Plut. Is. et Osir. p. 378, D.)

AMPHICTY′ONIS (Amphiktuonis), a surname of Demeter, derived from Anthela, where she was worshipped under this name, because it was the place of meeting for the amphictyons of Thermopylae, and because sacrifices were offered to her at the opening of every meeting. (Herod. vii. 200 ; Strab. ix. p. 429.)

ANESIDO′RA (Anêsidôra), the spender of gifts, a surname given to Gaea and to Demeter, the latter of whom had a temple under this name at Phlius in Attica. (Paus. i. 31. § 2; Hesych. s. v.; Plut. Sympos. p. 745.)

ANTAEA (Antaia), a surname of Demeter, Rhea, and Cybele, probably signifies a goddess whom man may approach in prayers. (Orph. Hymn. 40. 1; Apollon. i. 1141; Hesych. s. v.)

BRIMO (Brimô), the angry or the terrifying, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Hecate or Persephone (Apollon. Rhod. iii. 861, 1211; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 1171), Demeter (Arnob. v. p. 170), and Cybele. (Theodoret. Ther. i. 699.) The Scholiast on Apollonius (l. c.) gives a second derivation of Brimo from Bromos, so that it would refer to the crackling of the fire, as Hecate was conceived bearing a torch.

CALLIGENEIA (Kalligeneia), a surname of Demeter or of her nurse and companion, or of Gaea. (Aristoph. Thesm/. 300, with the Schol.; Hesych. s. v.; Phot. Lex. s. v.)

CARPO′PHORI (Karpophoroi), the fruitbearers, a surname of Demeter and Cora, under which they were worshipped at Tegea. (Paus. viii. 53. § 3.) Demeter Carpophoros appears to have been worshipped in Paros also. (Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, i. p. 49.)

CHAMYNE (Chamunê), a surname of Demeter in Elis, which was derived either from the earth having opened (chainein) at that place to receive Pluto, or from one Chamynus, to whom the building of a temple of Demeter at Elis was ascribed. (Paus. vi. 21. § 1.)

CHLOE (Chloê), the blooming, a surname of Demeter the protectress of the green fields, who had a sanctuary at Athens conjointly with Ge Curotrophos. (Paus. i. 22. § 3; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 772.) This surname is probably alluded to when Sophocles (Oed. Col. 1600) calls her Dêmêtêr eu Chloos. (Comp. Aristoph. Lysist. 815.) Respecting the festival Chloeia, see Dict. of Ant. s.v.

CHRYSAOR (Chrusaôr). The god with the golden sword or arms. In this sense it is used as a surname or attribute of several divinities, such as Apollo (Hom. II. xv. 256), Artemis (Herod. viii. 77), and Demeter. (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 4.)

CHTHO′NIA (Chthonia), may mean the subterraucous, or the goddess of the earth, that is, the protectress of the fields, whence it is used as a surname of infernal divinities, such as Hecate (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 148; Orph. Hymn. 35. 9), Nyx (Orph. Hymn. 2. 8), and Melinoë (Orph. Hymn. 70. 1), but especially of Demeter. (herod. ii. 123; Orph. Hymn. 39. 12; Artemid. ii. 35; Apollon. Rhod. iv. 987.) Although the name, in the case of Demeter, scarcely requires explanation, yet mythology relates two stories to account for it. According to one of them, Clymenus and Chthonia, the children of Phoroneus, founded at Hermione a sanctuary of Demeter, and called her Chthonia from the name of one of the founders. (Paus. ii. 3.5. § 3.) According to an Argive legend, Demeter on her wanderings came to Argolis, where she was ill-received by Colontas. Chthonia, his daughter, was dissatisfied with her father's conduct, and, when Colontas and his house were burnt by the goddess, Chthonia was carried off by her to Hermione, where she built a sanctuary to Demeter Chthonia, and instituted the festival of the Chthonia in her honour. (Paus. ii. 35. § 3; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Chthonia.)

CIDA′RIA (Kidaria), a surname of the Eleusinian Demeter at Pheneus, in Arcadia, derived either from an Arcadian dance called kidaris, or from a royal head-dress of the same name. (Paus. viii. 15. § 1.)

DEMO (Demô), a name of Demeter. (Suidas, s. v. Dgmô) It also occurs as a proper name of other mythical beings, such as the Cumaean Sibyl (Paus. x. 12. § 1) and a daughter of Celeus and Metaneira, who, together with her sisters, kindly received Demeter at the well Callichoros in Attica. (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 109.)

DEO (Dêô), another name for Demeter. (Hom. Hymn. in Dem. 47; Aristoph. Plut. 515; Soph. Antig. 1121; Orph. Hymn. 38. 7; Apollon. Rhod. iv. 988; Callim. Hymn. in Cer. 133; Schol. ad Theocrit. vii. 3.) The patronymic form of it, Deiois, Deoine, or Deïone, is therefore given to Demeter's daughter, Persephone. (Ov. Met. vi. 114; Athen. x. p. 449.)

DESPOENA (Despoina), the ruling goddess or the mistress, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Aphrodite (Theocrit. xv. 100), Demeter (Aristoph. Thesm. 286), and Persephone. (Paus. viii. 37. § 6.)

ELEUSI′NA or ELEUSINIA (Eleusinia), a surname of Demeter and Persephone, derived from Eleusis in Attica, the principal seat of their worship. (Virg Georg. i. 163; Phornut N. D. 27; Steph. Byz s. v. Eleusis.)

EUNOSTUS (Eunostos). A goddess of mills, whose image was set up in mills, and who was believed to keep watch over the just weight of flour. (Hesych. s. v.; Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 214, 1383.)

HERCYNA (Herkuna) . . . Hercyna founded the worship of Demeter at Lebadeia, who hence received the surname of Hercyna. (Lycoph. 153, with the note of Tzetzes.) Hercyna was worshipped at Lebadeia in common with Zeus, and sacrifices were offered to both in common. (Liv. xlv. 27.)

MYCALE′SSIA (Mukalêssia), a surname of Demeter, derived from Mycalessus in Boeotia, where the goddess had a sanctuary. (Paus. ix. 19. § 4.)

MY′SIA (Musia). A surname of Demeter, who had a temple, Musaion, between Argos and Mycenae and at Pellene. It is said to have been derived from an Argive Mysius, who received her kindly during her wanderings, and built a sanctuary to her. (Paus. ii. 18. § 3, 35. § 3, vii. 27. § 4.)

PANACHAEA (Panachaia),that is, the goddess of all the Achaeans, occurs as a surname of Demeter, at Aegae, in Achaia (Paus. vii. 24. § 2), and of Athena at Laphiria (Paus. vii. 20. § 2).

PELASGA or PELASGIS (Pelasgis), i.e. the Pelasgian (woman or goddess), occurs as a surname of the Thessalian Hera (Apollon. Rhod. i. 14, with the Schol.; Propert. ii. 28. 11), and of Demeter, who, under this name, had a temple at Argos, and was believed to have derived the surname from Pelasgus, the son of Triopas, who had founded her sanctuary. (Paus. ii. 22. § 2.)

RHA′RIAS (Rharias), a surname of Demeter, which she derived from the Rharian plain in the neighbourhood of Eleusis, the principal seat of her worship. (Paus. i. 38. § 6; Steph. Byz. and Suid. s. v.)

SITO (Sitô), a surname of Demeter, describing her as the giver of food or corn. (Athen. x. p. 416, iii. p. 109; Aelian, V. H. i. 27; Eustath. ad Hom. P. 265.)

TELPHU′SA (Telphoussa or Telphousa). Telphussaea or Tilphussaea occurs as a surname of Demeter Erinnys, derived from a town Telphussion. (Schol. ad Soph. Antig. 117; Callim. Fragm. 207, ed. Bentley.)

THE′SMIA or THESMO′PHOROS (Thesmia, Thesmophoros), that is, "the law-giver," a surname of Demeter and Persephone, in honour of whom the Thesmophoria were celebrated at Athens in the month of Pyanepsion (Herod. ii. 171, vi. 16 ; Aristoph. Thesm. 303), and to whom sanctuaries were also erected at Megara, Troezene, Pheneos, and other places. (Paus. i. 42. § 7, ii. 32. § 7, viii. 15. § 1, ix. 16. § 3, x. 33, in fin.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


ENCYCLOPEDIA PERSEPHONE TITLES

AZE′SIA (Azêsia), a surname of Demeter and Persephone, which is derived either from azainein tous karpous, to dry fruits, or from zêtein, to seek. (Zenob. iv. 20; Suid. s. v.; Hesych. s. v.; Spanheim, ad Callim. p. 740.)

BRIMO (Brimô), the angry or the terrifying, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Hecate or Persephone (Apollon. Rhod. iii. 861, 1211; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 1171), Demeter (Arnob. v. p. 170), and Cybele. (Theodoret. Ther. i. 699.) The Scholiast on Apollonius (l. c.) gives a second derivation of Brimo from Bromos, so that it would refer to the crackling of the fire, as Hecate was conceived bearing a torch.

CARPO′PHORI (Karpophoroi), the fruitbearers, a surname of Demeter and Cora, under which they were worshipped at Tegea. (Paus. viii. 53. § 3.) Demeter Carpophoros appears to have been worshipped in Paros also. (Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, i. p. 49.)

CORE (Korê), the maiden, a name by which Persephone is often called.

DEIO′NE (Dêïônê), that is, the daughter of Deo or Demeter, is used as a name for Persephone. (Callimach. Fragm. 48.)

DESPOENA (Despoina), the ruling goddess or the mistress, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Aphrodite (Theocrit. xv. 100), Demeter (Aristoph. Thesm. 286), and Persephone. (Paus. viii. 37. § 6.)

ELEUSI′NA or ELEUSINIA (Eleusinia), a surname of Demeter and Persephone, derived from Eleusis in Attica, the principal seat of their worship. (Virg Georg. i. 163; Phornut N. D. 27; Steph. Byz s. v. Eleusis.)

EPAINE (Epainê), that is, the fearful, a surname of Persephone. (Hom. Il. ix. 457.) Plutarch (de Aud poet. p. 23, a.) derives the name from ainos, which suggests, that it might also be understood in a euphemistic sense as the praised goddess.

MELITO′DES (Melitôdês), i.e. sweet as honey, occurs as a Euphemistic surname of Persephone. (Theocrit. xv. 94; Porphyr. Antr. Nymph. p. 261.)

PRAXI′DICE (Praxidikê), i.e. the goddess who carries out the objects of justice, or watches that justice is done to men . . . With the Orphic poets Praxidice seems to be a surname of Persephone. (Orph. Argon. 31, Hymn. 28. 5; comp. Miiller, Orchom. p. 122, 2d edit.)

SOTEIRA (Sôteira), i. e. "the saving goddess' (Lat. Sospita), occurs as a surname of several female divinities in Greece, e. g. 1. of Artemis . . . 2. of Persephone in Laconia (iii. 13. § 2), in Arcadia (viii. 31. § 1) ; 3. of Athena (Schol. ad Plat. p. 90. ed. Ruhnken ; Aristot. Rhet. iii. 18); and 4. of Eunomia (Pind. Ol. ix. 25.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. C19th Classics Encyclopedia.


Suidas s.v. Demeter (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Demeter:The earth, as if being Ge-meter (earth-mother). Since the earth is a foundation of every city, as holding up the cities she is represented wearing towers [as a crown]."

Suidas s.v. Demetra :
"Demetra (Demeter): Name of a goddess."

Suidas s.v. Demetrios karpos :
"Demetreios karpos (Demetrian fruit): That of Demeter [i.e. grain]."

Suidas s.v. Azesia :
"Azesia: Kore the Maiden, whereas Demeter is Amaia. And a proverb: Amaia looked for Azesia. Applied to those taking a long time in searches."

Suidas s.v. Oin :
"Oin (Ewe, ram). Sheep. `The ewe, O Damater Epogmie (She-who-presides-over-the-furrows), and the hornless calf [Krethon sacrifices to you].' In the Epigrams."

Suidas s.v. Ploutodoteira :
"Ploutodoteira (Wealth-giver) [epithet of Demeter]."


Sources:

  • The Homeric Hymns - Greek Epic C8th-4th BC
  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd AD
  • Suidas - Byzantine Lexicographer C10th AD
  • Others, see Cult of Demeter pages