Demeter is the Olympian goddess of agriculture in ancient Greek religion and mythology. She presided over crops, grains, food, and the fertility of the earth.

Here are some key aspects of Demeter:

  • Role:
    • Grain-Mother or Earth-Mother
    • Giver of the secret rites and the giver of the laws of cereal agriculture
  • Family:
    • Daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea
    • Sister to Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus
  • Mythology:
    • Most famous myth: The abduction of her daughter Persephone by Hades, the god of the underworld, which resulted in the creation of the seasons.
    • Demeter’s search for Persephone and her grief over her loss caused the earth to become barren.
    • When Persephone is finally allowed to return to Demeter for part of the year, the earth flourishes again.
  • Depiction:
    • Often depicted as a mature woman, wearing a crown and bearing sheafs of wheat or a cornucopia (horn of plenty).
    • Sometimes shown riding in a chariot drawn by horses or dragons.
  • Roman equivalent: Ceres

Demeter’s story and the myth of Persephone are some of the most well-known and enduring tales from Greek mythology. They continue to inspire artists, writers, and storytellers today.