Demeter
Demeter was one of the twelve Olympian gods. Just like the other Olympian gods, Demeter was the daughter of Cornus and Rhea. “She was the earth goddess and also the goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature and the seasons. It was she who ensured that men were given bread.” “The fields of grain and the threshing-floor were under her protection. They were temples at which she could occupy at any moment.” It was believed that Demeter made the crops grow each year; thus the first loaf of bread made from the annual harvest was offered to her. She was the goddess of the earth, of agriculture, and of fertility in general. Sacred to her are livestock and agricultural products, poppy, narcissus and the crane.”
There are some myths about Demeter too, and now I’m going to tell you one.

“The Queen of the Underworld
Demeter, goddess of the harvest, had hair the color of sunset, and lips and cheeks as pink and perfect as a summer morning.
Wherever she walked on the earth, trees would burst into fruit, and corn ripen to burning gold; flowers would waft sweet scents towards her, and vegetables swell and pop with green juicy life.
She had a daughter called Kore, the most lovely child ever born, and it was Demeter’s delight to play with her all the long sunny days of summer-and where Demeter was it was always summer.
But when Kore was about sixteen years old, she was seen picking flowers in the fields and woods by Hades, the dark god of the Underworld.
Hades fell in love with her at once, but he knew that Demeter would never give permission for him to marry her-he would have to kidnap her instead.
So one bright afternoon Hades drove his chariot pulled by six black horses out of a huge crack in the ground, seized Kore in his arms, and carried her off screaming to his kingdom of Tartarus, deep in the Underworld. Only a little shepherd boy and his brother had seen what had happened and they were too scared to say anything.
For a whole year Demeter travelled in search of her daughter, calling and calling. And while she called, tears ran down her face so fast that it became all wrinkled and crinkled, and her lovely hair turned grey and lank with sadness.
Nothing grew or bloomed any more, and the earth became a frozen, dark place, where the North Wind blew snow and ice over the fields, and no birds sang. Men, women and children shivered and shook as they huddled round their fires and starved.
In the heavens, only Helios the sun god had seen what Hades had done. He told Zeus, but as usual, Zeus decided not to interfere with his dark brother’s doings.

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However, he soon noticed how cold and unhappy the mortals on earth were. There were no nice-smelling sacrifices to the gods, no prayers, only misery.
He saw at once that he would have to do something after all, and so he sent his messenger, Hermes, to comfort Demeter.
“Don’t you worry, my dear. I’ll get her back for you,” said Hermes, who had just talked to the two shepherd boys and found out where Kore was.
And down he went to visit Hades, down, down, down to Tartarus in the deepest part of the earth, where the dead souls of men and heroes wander like mist.
Now it is well known that if you eat any food from the Underworld, you can never return to the earth.
Kore knew this, and so although Hades had tempted her with delicious food and drink, she had not touched a single morsel in all the time she had been there.
All she had eaten was three seeds from a pomegranate growing in Hades’ garden, when she thought nobody was looking.
When Hermes came to demand that Kore be returned to her mother, Hades smiled a nasty smile.
“Little Kore has been very silly!” he smirked. “She thought nobody would see her. But my gardener was hiding behind a tree, and he swears he saw her spit three pomegranate pips into a bush!”
Kore burst into tears. Now she would never escape from her dreary prison, where the sun never shone, and the only birdsong was the cawing of ravens.
But Hermes was very crafty.
“If you don’t send kore back to Demeter, everyone on earth will die from cold and starvation, and you will be so busy sorting the dead souls out that you won’t have time to even think, let alone enjoy yourself. Why don’t you let her spend a month here for every seed she ate, and the rest with her mother up on the earth?”
Hades knew when he was beaten, and he agreed to Hermes’ plan. So Kore went back to her mother for nine months of the year, and the earth bloomed once more.
But for the three months that we call winter, Kore now changes her name to Persephone, and goes to live with Hades underground. And the cold winds blow, and the snow falls, and Demeter weeps tears of ice because she misses her daughter so much.”
Works Cited
Coats, Lucy. The Magic Head. Great Britain. Orion Children’s Books. 2010. p17-24. Print.
“ Demeter goddess.” GreekGods. GreekGods. Nf web Image. 11 Dec. 2014 http://www.greekgods.co/demeter.html

Demeter, GreekMythology. Nf. 11 Dec. 2014. http://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Demeter/demeter.html#top

Demeter,Nf. Theoi Project. Nf . Web. 11 Dec. 2014 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Demeter.html

http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/greek-gods/facts-about-demeter.htm


Yolanda Lin
ET5B