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Demeter of Cnidus | Greek statue from Cnidus C4th B.C. | British Museum, London
"Demeter of Cnidus", Greek statue from Cnidus C4th B.C., British Museum

DEMETER was the Olympian goddess of agriculture, grain and bread. She was usually worshipped in conjunction with her daughter Kore.

This page describes the cult of the goddess in central and northern Greece, the Aegean islands and the Greek colonies of Asia Minor and Italy. Her most significant shrines in these regions were those of Thermopylai--site of the Amphityonic League--and Enna on the grain-rich island of Sicily.

The image right (S3.7) showing a seated matron with a head veil is believed to represent Demeter mourning her lost daughter Persephone.



I. THEBES Main City of Boeotia (Boiotia)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 16. 5 - 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The sanctuary of Demeter Thesmophoros (Lawgiver) [in Thebes, Boiotia] is said to have been at one time the palace of [the mythical king] Kadmos and his descendants. The image of Demeter is visible down to the chest. Here have been dedicated bronze shields, said to be those of Lakedaimonian officers who fell at Leuktra."

Aelian, Historical Miscellany 12. 57 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"When Alexandros the son of Philippos led his forces against Thebes the gods sent them signs and portents presaging their imminent fate . . . In the city at the temple of Demeter a spider began to cover the face of the cult statue with its handiwork and weave its usual product."

II. Near THEBES Main City of Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 25. 5 - 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Advancing from here twenty-five stades [from the Neistan Gate of Thebes, Boiotia] you come to a grove of Demeter Kabeiraie (of the Kabeiroi) and Kore (the Maid). The initiated are permitted to enter it. The sanctuary of the Kabeiroi is some seven stades distant from this grove. I must ask the curious to forgive me if I keep silence as to who the Kabeiroi are, and what is the nature of the ritual performed in honor of them and of Meter (the Mother). But there is nothing to prevent my declaring to all what the Thebans say was the origin of the ritual. They say that once there was in this place a city, with inhabitants called Kabeiroi; and that Demeter came to know Prometheus, one of the Kabeiroi, and Aetnailis his son, and entrusted something to their keeping. What was entrusted to them, and what happened to it, seemed to me a sin to put into writing, but at any rate the rites are a gift of Demeter to the Kabeiroi."

III. SCOLLUS (SKOLLOS) Village in Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 3. 4 :
"The temple of Demeter and Kore [at Skollos, Boiotia] among the ruins is not finished, and only half-finished are the images of the goddesses."

IV. ASCRA (ASKRA) Village in Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 23. 3 :
"It is said that on reaching old age a vision came to him [the poet Pindaros of Askra in Boiotia] in a dream. As he slept Persephone stood by him and declared that she alone of the deities had note been honoured by Pindaros with a hymn, but that Pindaros would compose an ode to her also when he had come to her. Pindaros died at once, before ten days had passed since the dream. But there was in Thebes an old woman related by birth to Pindaros who had practised singing most of his Odes. By her side in a dream stood Pindaros and sang a hymn to Persephone. Immediately on waking out of her sleep she wrote down all she had heard him singing in her dream. In this song, among the epithets he applies to Haides is ‘golden-reined’--a clear reference to the rape of Persephone."

V. PLATAEA (PLATAIA) Town in Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 4. 3 :
"There is also at Plataia [in Boiotia] a sanctuary of Demeter, surnamed Eleusinia (of Eleusis)."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 6. 5 :
"When Philip died, and the kingship of Makedonia devolved on Alexandros, the Thebans succeeded in destroying the [Makedonian] garrison. But as soon as they had done so, heaven warned them of the destruction that was coming on them, and the signs that occurred in the sanctuary of Demeter Thesmophoros (Lawgiver) were the opposite of those that occurred before the action at Leuktra."

Herodotus, Histories 9. 57 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"By the stream Molois and the place called Argiopion [near Plataia in Boiotia] there is a shrine of Demeter Eleusinia."

Herodotus, Histories 9. 65 :
"At Plataia the [historical army of the] Persians routed by the Lakedaimonians, fled in disorder to their own camp and inside the wooden walls which they had made in the territory of Thebes. It is indeed a marvel that although the battle was right by the grove of Demeter, there was no sign that any Persian had been killed in the precinct or entered into it; most of them fell near the temple in unconsecrated ground. I think--if it is necessary to judge the ways of the gods--that the goddess herself denied them entry, since they had burnt her temple, the shrine at Eleusis."

Herodotus, Histories 9. 69 :
"They kept to the spurs of the mountain [Kithairon in Boiotia] and the hill country, by the road that led upward straight to the temple of Demeter."

Herodotus, Histories 9. 101 :
"There was the additional coincidence, that there were precincts of Demeter Eleusinia on both battlefields [of the historical Greek-Persian War]; for at Plataia the fight was near the temple of Demeter, as I have already said, and so it was to be at Mykale also [an Ionian promontory opposite the island of Samos]."

VI. POTNIAE (POTNIAI) Village in Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 8. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Across the Asopos [in Boiotia], about ten stades distant from the city, are the ruins of Potniai, in which is a grove of Demeter and Kore (the Maid). The images at the river that flows past Potniai [text missing] they name the goddesses. At an appointed time they perform their accustomed ritual, one part of which is to let loose young pigs into what are called ‘the halls (megara).’ At the same time next year these pigs appear, they say, in Dodona. This story others can believe if they wish."


Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 19. 5 :
"On the way to the coast of Mykalessos is a sanctuary of Demeter Mykalessia. They say that each night it is shut up and opened again by Herakles, and that Herakles is one of what are called the Daktyloi Idaioi [or perhaps originally the hero]. Here is shown the following marvel. Before the feet of the image they place all the fruits of autumn, and these remain fresh throughout all the year."

VIII. ANTHEDON Village in Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 22. 5 :
"About the center of Anthedon [in Boiotia] is a sanctuary of the Kabeiroi, with a grove around it, near which is a temple of Demeter and her daughter [Kore], with images of white marble."

IX. COPAE (KOPAI) Village in Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 24. 2 :
"Here [in the town of Kopai by Lake Kopais, Boiotia] is a sanctuary of Demeter."

X. LEBADEIA Village in Boeotia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 39. 4 - 5 :
"[In the grove of the oracular daimon Trophonios at Lebadeia, Boiotia] there is also a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Europe, and a Zeus Huetios (Rain-god) in the open . . . He who descends [into the oracle of Trophonios] sacrifices to Trophonios himself and to the children of Trophonios, to Apollon also and . . . to Demeter whom they surname Europa and say was the nurse of Trophonios."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 39. 2 - 3 :
"The grove of Trophonios [stands] by the river Herkyna. They say that here Herkyna, when playing with Kore (the Maid), the daughter of Demeter, held a goose which against her will she let loose. The bird flew into a hollow cave and hid under a stone; Kore entered and took the bird as it lay under the stone. The water flowed, they say, from the place where Kore took up the stone, and hence the river received the name of Herkyna (Lady of the Stone Enclosure). On the bank of the river there is a temple of Herkyna [of Kore Herkyna], in which is a maiden holding a goose in her arms."


Demeter-Ceres | Greco-Roman marble statue | State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Demeter-Ceres, Greco-Roman marble statue, State Hermitage Museum

I. DRYMAEA (DRYMAIA) Village in Phocis (Phokis)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 33. 12 :
"At Drymaia [in Phokis] is an ancient sanctuary of Demeter Thesmophoros (Lawgiver), with a standing image made of stone. Every year they hold a feast in her honor, the Thesmophoria."

II. STIRIS Village in Phocis

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 35. 10 :
"In Stiris [in Phokis] is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Stiria. It is of unburnt brick; the image is of Pentelic marble, and the goddess is holding torches. Beside her, bound with ribbons, is an image of Demeter, as ancient as any of that goddess that exists."


I. THERMOPYLAE (THERMOPYLAI) Town in Locris (Lokris)

Strabo, Geography 9. 4. 17 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"There is also a large harbor here [at Thermopylai, Opuntian Lokris], and a temple of Demeter, in which at the time of every Pylaian assembly the Amphiktyons performed sacrificial rites."

Strabo, Geography 9. 3. 7 :
"The first cities which came together [to form the Amphiktyonic League to care for the shared shrines of Ancient Greece] are said to have been twelve, and each sent a Pylagoras, the assembly convening twice a year, in spring and in late autumn; but later still more cities were added. They called the assembly Pylaia, both that of spring and that of late autumn, since they convened at Pylai, which is also called Thermopylai; and the Pylagorai sacrificed to Demeter."

Herodotus, Histories 7. 200 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"Between the river [Phoinix, a tributory of the Asopos River] and Thermopylai there is a village named Anthele, past which the Asopos flows out into the sea, and there is a wide space around it in which stand a temple of Demeter Amphiktyonis, seats for the Amphiktyones, and a temple of Amphiktyon himself."


I. Near HALOS Town of Phthiotis in Thessaly (Thessalia)

Strabo, Geography 9. 5. 15 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[In the region of Phthiotis in Thessalia] One comes to Pteleon and Halos; and then to the temple of Demeter and to Pyrasos."

Callimachus, Hymn 6 to Demeter (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"In holy Dotion [in Thessalia] dwelt the Pelasgians and unto thyself they made a fair grove abounding in trees; hardly would an arrow have passed through them. Therein was pine, and therein were mighty elms, and therein were pear-trees, and therein were fair sweet-apples; and from the ditches gushes up water as it were of amber. And the goddess loved the place to madness, even as Eleusis, as Triopion [in Karia], as Enna [in Sikelia (Sicily)] . . . Nikippe, whom the city had appointed to be her public priestess, and in her hand she grasped her fillets and her poppy, and from her shoulder hung her key [as priestess]."


I. PAROS Main Town of Paros

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 28. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[Depicted on the boat of Kharon in the painting by Polygnotos at Delphoi:] not altogether distinguished. Tellis appears as a youth in years, and Kleoboia as still a maiden, holding on her knees a chest such as they are wont to make for Demeter. All I heard about [Kleobaia was that] . . . Kleoboia, they say that she was the first to bring the Orgia (Mysteries) of Demeter to Thasos from Paros."

Herodotus, Histories 6. 134 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"[The historical Athenian general] Miltiades was in a quandary [over how to capture the island of Paros], a captive woman named Timo, Parian by birth and an under-priestess of the goddesses of the dead [Persephone], came to talk with him. Coming before Miltiades, she advised him, if taking Paros was very important to him, to do whatever she suggested. Then, following her advice, he passed through to the hill in front of the city and jumped over the fence of the precinct of Demeter Thesmophoros (the Lawgiver), since he was unable to open the door. After leaping over, he went to the shrine, whether to move something that should not be moved, or with some other intention. When he was right at the doors, he was immediately seized with panic and hurried back by the same route; leaping down from the wall he twisted his thigh, but some say he hit his knee.
So Miltiades sailed back home in a sorry condition, neither bringing money for the Athenians nor having won Paros; he had besieged the town for twenty-six days and ravaged the island. The Parians learned that Timo the under-priestess of the goddesses had been Miltiades' guide and desired to punish her for this. Since they now had respite from the siege, they sent messengers to Delphoi to ask if they should put the under-priestess to death for guiding their enemies to the capture of her native country, and for revealing to Miltiades the rites that no male should know. But the Pythian priestess forbade them, saying that Timo was not responsible: Miltiades was doomed to make a bad end, and an apparition had led him in these evils."


I. THASOS Main Town of Thasos

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 28. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"All I heard about [Kleobaia was that] . . . Kleoboia, they say that she was the first to bring the orgies (mysteries) of Demeter to Thasos from Paros."


Suidas s.v. Asphodelos (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Asphodelos (Asphodel) : A bulbous plant, having long leaves and an edible stem; and its seed when roasted and the root chopped up with figs fetches a high price. [It is] sacred to Persephone and the underworld [deities]. Also Rhodians wreath Kore [Persephone] and Artemis with asphodel."


Demeter-Ceres | Greco-Roman marble statue | Palazzo Altemps National Roman Museum, Rome
Demeter-Ceres, Greco-Roman marble statue, Palazzo Altemps National Roman Museum

I. EPHESUS (EPHESOS) City of Ionia - Lydia

Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Androklos, legitimate son of Kodros the king of Athens, was the leader of the Ionian colonization . . . and that he became the founder of Ephesos . . . And still now the descendants of his family are called kings; and they have certain honors, I mean the privilege of . . . [various privileges listed including the] superintendence of the sacrifices in honor of Demeter Eleusinia."


I. MYCALE (MYKALE) Town in Ionia - Caria (Karia)

Herodotus, Histories 9. 101 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"There was the additional coincidence, that there were precincts of Demeter Eleusinia on both battlefields [of the historical Greek-Persian War]; for at Plataia the fight was near the temple of Demeter, as I have already said, and so it was to be at Mykale also [on the Ionian promontory opposite the island of Samos]."

Herodotus, Histories 9. 97 :
"They came past the temple of the Goddesses [Demeter and Persephone] at Mykale [in Asia Minor]."

II. MILETUS (MILETOS) Town in Ionia - Caria

Parthenius, Love Romances 8 (trans. Gaselee) (Greek poet C1st B.C.) :
"During the invasion of Ionia by the Gauls [circa 275 BC] and the devastation by them of the Ionian cities, it happened that on one occasion at Miletos, the feast of the Thesmophoria [of Demeter Thesmophoros] was taking place, and the women of the city were congregated in temple a little way outside the town. At that time a part of the barbarian army had become separated from the main body and had entered the territory of Miletos; and there, by a sudden raid, it carried off the women."


Callimachus, Hymn 6 to Demeter (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"And the goddess loved the place [her holy precinct] to madness, even as Eleusis, as Triopion [in Karia], as Enna [in Sikelia]."


I. BORYSTHENITAE (BORYSTHENEITAI) Town in Scythia (Skythia) (Greek Colony)

Herodotus, Histories 4. 53 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"When the Borysthenes [river of Skythia] comes near the sea, the Hypanis mingles with it, running into the same marsh; the land between these rivers, where the land projects like a ship's beak, is called Hippolaus' promontory; a temple of Demeter stands there. The settlement of the Borystheneitai [a Greek colony] is beyond the temple, on the Hypanis."


Ovid, Metamorphoses 10. 431 (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The time of Ceres' [Demeter's] festival had come [to Kypros], in duty kept by mothers every year, when, robed in white, they bring their first fruit gifts of wheat in garlands, and for nine nights count love and the touch of men forbidden things."


Pindar, Nemean Ode 1 ant1 (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"This isle, which Zeus, lord of Olympos, gave to Persephone, and ruled nodding his flowing locks, that Sikilia (Sicily) bear on her soil the dower of harvest riches, first of all fruitful earth, and her proud crown of glorious citadels. Bestowed upon her too the son of Kronos a people of proud horsemen."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 2. 3 - 5. 5. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"The Sikeliotai who dwell in the island [of Sicily] have received the tradition from their ancestors, the report having ever been handed down successively from earliest time by one generation to the next, that the island is sacred to Demeter and Kore [Persephone]; although there are certain poets who recount the myth that at the marriage of Plouton [Haides] and Persephone Zeus gave this island as a wedding present to the bride.
That the ancient inhabitants of Sikelia (Sicily), the Sikanoi, were indigenous, is stated by the best authorities among historians, and also that the goddesses we have mentioned made their first appearance on this island, and that it was the first, because of the fertility of the soil, to bring forth the fruit of corn, facts to which the most renowned of the poets also bears witness when he [Homer in the Odyssey in describing the land of the Kyklopes] writes : ‘But all these things grow there for them unsown and even untilled, both wheat and barley, yea, and vines, which yield such wine as fine grapes give, and rain of Zeus gives increase unto them.’
Indeed, in the plain of Leontini, we are told, and throughout many other parts of Sikelia the what men call ‘wild’ grows even to this day. And, speaking generally, before the corn was discovered, if one were to raise the question, what manner of land it was of the inhabited earth where the fruits we have mentioned appeared for the first time, the meed of honour may reasonably be accorded to the richest land; and in keeping with what we have stated, it is also to be observed the goddesses who made this discovery [Demeter and Persephone] are those who receive the highest honours among the Sikeliotai (Sicilians).
Again, the fact that the Rape of Kore took place in Sikelia is, men say, proof most evident that the goddesses made this island their favourite retreat because it was cherished by them before all others. And the Rape of Kore, the myth relates, took place in the meadows of the territory of Enna. The spot lies near the city, a place of striking beauty for its violets and every other kind of flower and worthy of the goddess. And the story is told that, because of the sweet odour of the flowers growing there, trained hunting dogs are unable to hold the trail, because their natural sense of smell is balked. And the meadow we have mentioned is level in the centre and well watered throughout, but on its periphery it rises high and falls off with precipitous cliffs on every side. And it is conceived of as lying in the very centre of the island, which is the reason why certain writers call it the navel of Sikelia. Near to it also are sacred groves, surrounded by marshy flats, and a huge grotto which contains a chasm which leads down into the earth and opens to the north, and through it, the myth relates, Plouton, coming out with his chariot, effected the Rape of Kore. And the violets, we are told, and the rest of the flowers which supply the sweet odour continue to bloom, to one's amazement, throughout the entire year, and so the whole aspect of the place is one of flowers and delight . . .
Kore [Persephone], we are told, received as her portion [of Sicily] the meadows round about Enna; but a great fountain was made sacred to her in the territory of Syrakousa and given the name Kyane or ‘Azure Font’. For the myth relates that it was near Syrakousa that Plouton [Haides] effected the Rape of Kore and took her away in his chariot, and that after cleaving the earth asunder he himself descended into Haides, taking along with him the bride whom he had seized, and that he caused the fountain named Kyane to gush forth, near which the Syrakousans each year hold a notable festive gathering; and private individuals offer the lesser victims, but when the ceremony is on behalf of the community, bulls are plunged in the pool, this manner of sacrifice having been commanded by Herakles on the occasion when he made the circuit of all Sikelia, while driving off the cattle of Geryones.
After the Rape of Kore, the myth goes on to recount, Demeter, being unable to find her daughter, kindled torches in the craters of Mt Aitna and visited many parts of the inhabited world . . . The inhabitants of Sikelia, since by reason of the intimate relationship with Demeter and Kore with them they were the first to share in the corn after its discovery, instituted to each on of the goddesses sacrifices and festive gatherings, which they named after them, and by the time chosen for these made acknowledgement of the gifts which had been conferred upon them. In the case of Kore, for instance, they established the celebration of her return at about the time when the fruit of the corn was found to come to maturity, and they celebrate this sacrifice and festive gathering with such strictness of observance and such zeal as we should reasonably expect those men to show who are returning thanks for having been selected before all mankind for the greatest possible gift . . .
That the Rape of Kore took place in the manner we have described is attested by many ancient historians and poets. Karkinos the tragic poet, for instance, who often visited Syrakousa and witnessed the zeal which the inhabitants displayed in the sacrifices and festive gatherings for both Demeter and Kore, has the following verses in his writings : ‘Demeter's daughter, her whom none may name, by secret schemings Plouton [Haides], men say, stole, and then he dropped into earth's depths, whose light is darkness. Longing for the vanished girl her mother searched and visited all lands in turn. And Sikelia's land by Aitna's crags was filled with streams of fire which no man could approach, and groaned throughout its length; in grief over the maiden now the folk, beloved of Zeus, was perishing without the corn. Hence honour they these goddesses even now.’"

Aelian, Historical Miscellany 1. 27 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"It is also said that there is a temple to Adephagia (Gluttony) in Sikelia (Sicily), and a statue of Demeter Sitos (the corn goddess)." [N.B. Adephagia probably denotes, "eating ones fill," rather than indulgence.]

Ovid, Fasti 4. 417 (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Jutting into the vast ocean with its three cliffs is Trinacris [Sicily], named after its shape. It is Ceres' [Demeter's] dear home. Its many cities include fertile Henna with its well-ploughed soil. Cool-fresh Arethusa had called divine matrons [of the town of Syrakouse] to a sacred feast; the blonde goddess [Demeter] came."

I. SYRACUSE (SYRAKOUSA) City in Sicily (Sikelia) (Greek Colony)

Pindar, Olympian Ode 6 ant5 (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"[Ortygia in Sikania (Sicily)] worships the red-strewn carpet where Demeter treads, and the feast of her daughter [Kore], goddess of the white horses, and lofty power of Zeus of Aitna."

Plutarch, Lives Nisias 1. 3 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"It was fitting that [the god] Herakles should aid the Syrakousans [in an historical battle against the Athenians] for the sake of their goddess Kore [patron goddess of Sikelia (Sicily)] who delivered Kerberos into his hands."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 23. 4 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"While Herakles was making the circuit of Sikelia (Sicily) at this time he came to the city which is now called Syrakousa (Syracuse), and on learning what the myth relates about the rape of Kore he offered sacrifices to the goddesses on a magnificent scale, and after dedicating to her the fairest bull of his herd and casting it in the spring of Kyane he commanded the natives to sacrifice each year to Kore and to conduct at Kyane a festive gathering and a sacrifice in splendid fashion."

Ovid, Fasti 4. 417 (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Cool-fresh Arethusa had called divine matrons [of the town of Syrakouse] to a sacred feast; the blonde goddess [Demeter] came."

See also Diodorus Siculus in the Sicily intro above.

II. GELA Town in Sicily (Greek Colony)

Herodotus, Histories 7. 153 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"His [Telines a historical king of the Sicilian town of Gela] descendants in time became and continue to be priests of the Theai Khthoniai (Goddesses of the Underworld) [Demeter and Persephone]; this office had been won, as I will show, by Telines, one of their forefathers. There were certain Geloans who had been worsted in party strife and had been banished to the town of Maktorion, inland of Gela. These men Telines brought to Gela with no force of men but only the holy instruments of the Goddesses worship to aid him. From where he got these, and whether or not they were his own invention, I cannot say; however that may be, it was in reliance upon them that he restored the exiles, on the condition that his descendants should be ministering priests of the Goddesses."

III. ENNA-HENNA Town in Sicily (Greek Colony)

Strabo, Geography 6. 2. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"In the interior [of Sikelia (Sicily), Italia] is Enna, where is the temple of Demeter, with only a few inhabitants; it is situated on a hill, and is wholly surrounded by broad plateaus that are tillable."

Callimachus, Hymn 6 to Demeter (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"And the goddess loved the place [her holy precinct] to madness, even as Eleusis, as Triopion [in Karia], as Enna [in Sikelia]."

Ovid, Fasti 4. 417 (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Jutting into the vast ocean with its three cliffs is Trinacris [Sicily], named after its shape. It is Ceres' [Demeter's] dear home. Its many cities include fertile Henna with its well-ploughed soil."

See also Diodorus Siculus section above describing Demeter's cult in Sicily.


I. HIPPONIUM (HIPPONION) Town in Bruttium (Greek Colony)

Strabo, Geography 6. 1. 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Because the country round about Hipponion [in Southern Italia] has luxuriant meadows abounding in flowers, people have believed that Kore [Persephone] used to come hither from Sikelia (Sicily) to gather flowers; and consequently it has become the custom among the women of Hipponion to gather flowers and to weave them into garlands, so that on festival days it is disgraceful to wear bought garlands."


Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 34 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"Dionysius . . . having plundered the temple of Proserpine [Persephone or Kore] at Locri [in Italy], was sailing back to Syracusa, and as he ran before a very favourable wind, remarked with a smile, ‘See you, my friends, what a good crossing the immortal gods bestow on men guilty of sacrilege.’"


Strabo, Geography 4. 4. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Artemidoros'] story about Demeter and Kore is credible. He says that there is an island near Britain on which sacrifices are performed like those sacrifices on Samothrake that have to do with Demeter and Kore [or local Keltic goddesses associated with them]."


Suidas s.v. Abyssos (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Abyssos (abyss, pit) : There was a temple of Persephone, which guarded much gold from all ages and kept it sacred. In this temple there was a certain pit of gold, unseen by the many because hidden under ground."






A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.