Bronze Age Eleusis and the Origins of the Eleusinian by Michael B. Cosmopoulos

By Michael B. Cosmopoulos

For multiple thousand years, humans from each nook of the Greco-Roman global sought the wish for a blessed afterlife via initiation into the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis. In antiquity itself and in our reminiscence of antiquity, the Eleusinian Mysteries stand out because the oldest and such a lot venerable secret cult. regardless of the super acclaim for the Eleusinian Mysteries, their origins are unknown. simply because they're misplaced in an period with no written documents, they could in basic terms be reconstructed with the aid of archaeology. This booklet offers a far wanted synthesis of the archaeology of Eleusis through the Bronze Age and reconstructs the formation and early improvement of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The dialogue of the origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries is complemented with discussions of the theology of Demeter and an replace at the nation of study within the archaeology of Eleusis from the Bronze Age to the tip of antiquity.

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17 In 1809–1811, John Cam Hobhouse visited Eleusis, which he found to be “a miserable village of thirty mud cottages with flat roofs, inhabited by Albanians”, with a high square tower, where the Waiwode of the area lived. He saw the location from which a few years ago Clark had removed the Caryatid and observed ruins around the ancient site:18 The remains of the ancient Eleusis are now very insignificant; some small stones and pieces of rubbish standing upright, appear scattered about under the village, on the slope of the hill, and near the sea and on one side of an inlet on the beach are fragments of a pier.

At first there are wanderings and exhausting walks, and unfulfilled and unclear journeys. Before the end come all terrible things, terror and trembling and sweat and awe. But after this, a marvelous light appears, and pure spaces and meadows receive [the initiate], with voices and chants and the solemnity of sacred sounds and holy spectacles. 92 The reenactment would have taken place THE THEOLOGY OF DEMETER AT ELEUSIS outdoors, behind the closed gates and tall walls of the sanctuary, which secured its privacy.

8 In terms of tectonics, the Thriassion Fault, which is a west/northwest to east/southeast striking, south-west dipping normal fault, forms the northern border of the Thriassion plain on the western slope of Mt. 10 The destructive earthquake of 1999, which damaged Eleusis and 29 30 BRONZE AGE ELEUSIS AND THE ORIGINS OF THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES 2. Streams and torrents of the Thriassion Plain (Karavitis, Bosdogianni, and Vlachos 2001, fig. 2). 13 water, climate, land use The watershed for the Thriassion plain covers about 480 km2 .

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