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Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods Cult >> Demeter Cult >> Titles & Epithets

DEMETER TITLES

Greek Name

Δημητηρ

Transliteration

Dêmêtêr

Latin Spelling

Demeter

Roman Name

Ceres

DEMETER was the Olympian goddess of agriculture, grain and bread. She was also worshipped in a Mystery Cult which promised initiates a blessed afterlife.

This page lists her cult titles and poetic epithets and those of her daughter Kore-Persephone.


CULT TITLES & EPITHETS

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

Χθονια

Χλοη

Επογμιε

Ανησιδωρα

Transliteration

Khthonia

Khloê

Epogmie

Anêsidôra

Latin Spelling

Chthonia

Chloe

Epogmia

Anesidora

Translation

Of the Earth

Green, First Shoots

Of the Furrows

She who Sends Forth Gifts

Greek Name

Πλουτοδοτειρα

Καρποφορος

Μαλοφορος

Θερμασια

Transliteration

Ploutodoteira

Karpophoros

Malophoros

Thermasia

Latin Spelling

Plutodotira

Carpophorus

Malophorus

Thermasia

Translation

Giver of Wealth

Bearer of Fruit

Bearer of Fruit

Warmth, Heat

Greek Name

Μεγαλα Θεα

Μεγαλα Μητερ

Θεσμοφορος

Θεσμιη

Transliteration

Megala Thea

Megala Mêter

Thesmophoros

Thesmia

Latin Spelling

Megala Thea

Megala Mater

Thesmophorus

Thesmia

Translation

Great Goddess

Great Mother

Bringer of Law

Of the Laws

Greek Name

Προστασια

Παναχαια

Ευρωπη

Transliteration

Prostasia

Panakhaia

Europê

Latin Spelling

Prostasia

Panachaea

Europa

Translation

Patron, Leader

Of All the Greeks

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 confined to their "home-town", for example, Demeter Eleusinia (of Eleusis) was worshipped throughout Greece.

Greek Name

Ελευσινια

Λερναια

Στιρια

Τιλφωσα

Transliteration

Eleusinia

Lernaia

Stiria

Tilphôsa

Latin Spelling

Eleusinia

Lernaea

Stiria

Tilphusa

Translation

Of Eleusis (Attica)

Of Lerna (Argolis)

Of Stiris (Phocis)

Of Thelpusa (Arcadia)

Greek Name

Μυκαλησσια

Μυσια

Πελασγις

Ἑρκυνα

Transliteration

Mykalêssia

Mysia

Pelasgis

Herkyna

Latin Spelling

Mycalessia

Mysia

Pelasgis

Hercyna

Translation

Of Mykalessus (Boeotia)

Of Mysius (Argive hero)

Of Pelasgus (Argive hero)

Of the Stone Enclosure

Greek Name

Πρων

Πυγαιη

Ερινυς

Ερινυσ Τιλφωσα

Transliteration

Prôn

Pylaiê

Erinys

Erinys Tilphôsa

Latin Spelling

Pron

Pylaea

Erinys

Erinys Tilphusa

Translation

Of the Headland

Of the Gates

Fury, Wrath

Fury of Thelpusa

Greek Name

Μελαινα

Λουσιη

Καβειραιη

Transliteration

Melaina

Lousiê

Kabeiraiê

Latin Spelling

Melaena

Lusia

Cabiraea

Translation

The Black

Bathing, Purifying

Of the Kabeiroi

The meaning of some of her titles are obscure:--

Greek Name

Προσυμνη

Κιδαριη

Αμαια

Transliteration

Prosymnê

Kidariê

Amaia

Latin Spelling

Prosymna

Cidaria

Amaea

Translation

--

--

--


POETIC TITLES & EPITHETS

I. Common Homeric names for Demeter:--

Greek Name

Δημητηρ

Δαματηρ

Δηω

Transliteration

Dêmêtêr

Damatêr

Dêô

Latin Spelling

Demeter

Damater

Deo

Translation

Earth-Mother

Earth-Mother

Of the Earth

II. Common Homeric epithets of Demeter:--

Greek Name

Ὡρηφορος

Πολυφορβος

Αγλαοκαρπος

Αγλαοδωρος

Transliteration

Hôrêphoros

Polyphorbos

Aglaokarpos

Aglaodôros

Latin Spelling

Horaphorus

Polyphorbus

Aglaocarpus

Aglaodorus

Translation

Bringer of the Seasons

All-Nourishing, Bountiful

Giver of Goodly Fruit

Bestower of Splendid Gifts

Greek Name

Καλλιστεφανος

Ευστεφανος

Ευκομος

Ξανθη

Transliteration

Kallistephanos

Eustephanos

Eukomos

Xanthê

Latin Spelling

Callistephanus

Eustephanus

Eucomus

Xanthe

Translation

Beautiful Crowned

Lovely Crowned

Lovely Haired

Blonde, Golden-Haired

Greek Name

Κυανοπεπλος

Καλλισφυρος

Χρυσαορος

Δια Θεα

Transliteration

Kyanopeplos

Kallisphyros

Khrysaoros

Dia Thea

Latin Spelling

Cyanopeplus

Callisphyrus

Chrysaorus

Dia Thea

Translation

Dark Veiled, Cloaked

Beautiful, Trim-Ankled

Of the Golden Blade

Bright Goddess

Greek Name

Σεμνη

Ἁγνη

Ανασσα

Ποτνια

Transliteration

Semnê

Hagnê

Anassa

Potnia

Latin Spelling

Semne

Hagne

Anassa

Potnia

Translation

Holy, August, Revered

Pure, Chaste, Holy

Queen, Lady

Queen

Greek Name

Ποτνια Θεαων

Κυδρη Θεα

Ρεα ευκομος θυγατερ

Transliteration

Potnia Theaôn

Kydrê Thea

Rhea eukomos thugater

Latin Spelling

Potnia Theaon

Cydra Thea

Rhea eucomus thugater

Translation

Queen Amongst Goddesses

Glorious, Noble Goddess

Daughter of rich-haired Rhea


CULT TERMS

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

Greek Name

Δημητριον

Ελευσινιον

Δηωιος

Οργια

Transliteration

Dêmêtrion

Eleusinion

Dêôios

Orgia

Latin Spelling

Demetrium

Eleusinium

Deoeus

Orgia

Translation

Temple of Demeter

Temple of the Eleusinian

Sacred to Demeter (adj.)

Religious Orgies, Mysteries

Greek Name

Μυστηρια

Ελευσινια

Χθονια

Θεσμοφορια

Transliteration

Mystêria

Eleusinia

Khthonia

Thesmophoria

Latin Spelling

Mysteria

Eleusinia

Chthonia

Thesmophoria

Translation

Mysteries

Eleusinian Festival

Festival of Chthonia

Festival of Thesmophorus


CULT TITLES OF CORE-PERSEPHONE

The first of Kore's (Core'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

Χθονια

Καρποφορος

Σωτειρα

Μεγαλα Θεα

Transliteration

Khthonia

Karpophoros

Sôteira

Megala Thea

Latin Spelling

Chthonia

Carpophorus

Soteira

Megala Thea

Translation

Of the Earth, Chthonic

Bringer of Fruit

Saviour

Great Goddess

Greek Name

Ἁγνη

Δαειρα

Πραξιδικη

Transliteration

Hagnê

Daeira

Praxidikê

Latin Spelling

Hagne

Daeira

Praxidice

Translation

Pure, Holy One

Knowing One

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

Ἑρκυνα

Πρωτογονη

Αζησια

Λεπτυνις

Transliteration

Herkyna

Prôtogonê

Azêsia

Leptynis

Latin Spelling

Hercyna

Protogone

Azesia

Leptynis

Translation

Of Stone Enclosure

First Born

--

--


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]."


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. Demô) 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.


SOURCES

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BYZANTINE

OTHER SOURCES

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.