Ceres (mythology)

Goddess of agriculture, fertility, grains, the harvest, motherhood, the earth, and cultivated crops
Member of the Dii Consentes
Ceres of Mérida (cropped).jpg
Seated Ceres from Emerita Augusta, present-day Mérida, Spain (National Museum of Roman Art, 1st century AD)
Symbolsickle, torches, wheat-sheaf, crown of wheatstalks, cornucopia with fruits, cereals, poppy
FestivalsCerealia, Ambarvalia
Personal information
ParentsSaturn and Ops
SiblingsJupiter, Juno, Neptune, Vesta, Pluto
ChildrenLiber/Bacchus, Libera/Proserpina
Greek equivalentDemeter

In ancient Roman religion, Ceres (/ˈsɪərz/ SEER-eez,[1][2] Latin: [ˈkɛreːs]) was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships.[3] She was originally the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad, then was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres". Her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales (Ceres' games). She was also honoured in the May lustratio of the fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites. She is usually depicted as a mature woman.

Ceres is the only one of Rome's many agricultural deities to be listed among the Dii Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter,[4] whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.[3]

  1. ^ "Ceres". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 2014.
  2. ^ "Ceres". Oxford Dictionaries. Archived from the original on November 3, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Room, Adrian, Who's Who in Classical Mythology, p. 89-90. NTC Publishing 1990. ISBN 0-8442-5469-X.
  4. ^ Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, The Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215.

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