Above the fountain are temples: one of them is a temple of Demeter and the
Maid (Kore), in the other there is an image of Triptolemus. I will tell the story of
Triptolemus, omitting what relates to Deiope, of all the Greeks it is the Argives
who must dispute the claim of the Athenians to antiquity and to the possession
of gifts of the gods, just as among the barbarians it is the Egyptians who dispute
the claims of the Phrygians. The story runs that when Demeter came to Argos,
Pelasgus received her in his house, and that Chrysanthis, knowing the rape of
the Maid told it to her. They say that afterwards Trochilus, a priest of the
mysteries, fled from Argos on account of the enmity of Agenor, and came to
Attica, where he married an Eleusinian wife, and there were born to him two
sons, Eubouleus and Triptolemus. This is the Argive story. But the Athenians and
those who take their side know that Triptolemus the son of Celeus was the first
who sowed cultivated grain. However, some verses of Musaeus (if his they are)
declare Triptolemus to be a child of Ocean and Earth; while other verses, which
are attributed, in my opinion, with just as little reason, to Orpheus, assert that
Eubouleus and Triptolemus were sons of Dysaules, and that, as a reward for the
information they gave her about her daughter, Demeter allowed them to sow the
grain. Choerilus the Athenian, in a drama called Alope says that Cercyon and
Triptolemus were brothers, that their mother was a daughter of Amphictyon, but
that the father of Triptolemus was Rarus, and that the father of Cercyon was
Poseidon. I purposed to pursue the subject, and describe all the objects that
admit of description in the sanctuary at Athens called the Eleusinium, but I was
prevented from so doing by a vision in a dream. I will therefore turn to what may
be lawfully told to everybody, in front of this temple, in which is the image of
Triptolemus, stands a bronze ox as in the act of being led to sacrifice; and
Epimenides the Cnosian is portrayed sitting, of whom they say that going into
the country he entered a cave and slept, and did not awake until forty years had
come and gone, and afterwards he made verses and purified cities, Athens
among the rest.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece. I, 14:1-3)

On the road from Athens to Eleusis, which the Athenians called the Sacred Way,
there is the tomb of Anthemocritus. He was the victim of a most foul crime
perpetuated by the Megarians; for when he came as a herald to forbid them to
encroach on the sacred land, they slew him.  And the wrath of the two
goddesses abides upon them for that deed to this day; for they were the only
Greek people whom even the Emperor Hadrian could not make to thrive.  
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  I, 36:3)

There is also an altar of Zephyr, and a sanctuary of Demeter and her daughter:
along with them are worshipped Athena and Poseidon. They say that in this
place Phytalus received Demeter in his house, and that for so doing the goddess
gave him the figtree. This story is attested by the inscription on the grave of
Phytalus: - Here the lordly hero Phytalus once received the august Demeter,
when she first revealed the autumnal fruit which the race of mortals names the
sacred fig; since when the race of Phytalus hath received honors that wax not
old.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  I, 37:1-2)

I cannot say with certainty whether he was the first who sowed beans (kuamoi),
or whether they made up the name of a bean-hero because the discovery of
beans cannot be attributed to Demeter. Anyone who has seen the mysteries at
Eleusis, or has read what are called the works of Orpheus, knows what I mean.  
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece. I, 37:3)

What are called the Rhiti only resemble rivers in that they flow, for their water is
salt. One might suppose that they flow underground from the Chalcidian Euripus,
falling into a lower sea.  The Rhiti are said to be sacred to the Maid And
Demeter; and the priests alone are allowed to catch the fish in them. The Rhiti
were of old, as I am apprised, the boundary between the Eleusinians and the rest
of the Athenians.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece. I, 38:1)

They say that this Eumolpus came from Thrace, and that he was a son of
Poseidon and Chione, who is said to have been a daughter of the North Wind and
Orithyia. Homer says nothing of the lineage of Eumolpus, but in his verses calls
him 'manly.' In a battle between the Eleusinians and the Athenians, there fell
Erechtheus, king of Athens, and Immaradus, son of Eumolpus; and peace was
made on these terms: the Eleusinians were to perform the mysteries by
themselves, but were in all other respects to be subject to the Athenians. The
sacred rites of the two goddesses were celebrated by Eumolpus and the
daughters of Celeus:  Pamphos and Homer agree in calling these damsels
Diogenia, Pammerope, and Saesara. On Eumolpus' death, Ceryx, the younger of
his sons, was left. But the Ceryces themselves say that Ceryx was a son of
Hermes by Aglaurus, daughter of Cecrops, and not a son of Eumolpus.  
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece. I, 38:3)

At Eleusis flows the Cephisus, a more impetuous stream than the Cephisus
mentioned before.  Beside it is a place which they call Erineus. They say that
Pluto, when he carried off the Maid, descended here.  (Pausanias Description of
Greece I, 38:5)

Another road leads from Eleusis to Megara, Following this road we come to a
well called the Flowery Well. The poet Pamphos says that Demeter sat on this
well in the likeness of an old woman after the rape of her daughter; and that
thence she was conducted, in the character of an old woman, by the daughter of
Celeus to their mother Metanira, who entrusted her with the upbringing of the
boy. A little way from the well is a sanctuary of Metanira.  (Pausanias.  
Description of Greece.  I, 39, 1-2)

The Eleusinians have a temple of Triptolemus, and another of Artemis of the
Portal and of
Father Poseidon, and a well called Callichorum, where the Eleusinian women
first danced and sang in honor of the goddess. They say that the Rarian plain
was the first to be sown and the first to bear crops, and therefore it is their
custom to take the sacrificial barley and to make the cakes for the sacrifices
out of its produce. Here is shown what is called the threshing floor of
Triptolemus and the altar. But my dream forbade me to describe what is within
the wall of the sanctuary; and surely it is clear that the uninitiated may not
lawfully hear of that from the sight of which they are debarred. The hero Eleusis,
after whom they name the city, is said by some to be a son of Hermes and of
Daira, daughter of Ocean; but others have made him the son of Ogygus.
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  I, 40:5)

Here, too, is what is called the hall (megaron) of Demeter: they say it was made
by King Car.
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  I, 40:15)

Celeae is distant just about five furlongs from the city. They celebrate the
mysteries of Demeter there every third year, not annually. The high-priest of the
mysteries is not appointed for life, but at each celebration a new priest is
elected, who may, if he chooses, take a wife. In these respects their practice
differs from that observed at Eleusis; but the actual mysteries are an imitation
of the Eleusinian mysteries, indeed the Phliasians themselves admit that they
imitate the rites of Eleusis.
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece. II, 14:1)

For instance, the Athenians professedly assign to Aesculapius a share in the
mysteries, and give to the day on which they do so the name of Epidauria; and
they date their worship of Aesculapius as a god from the time when this practice
was instituted.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece. II, 26:8)

But the most remarkable object of all is a sanctuary of Demeter on Mount Pron.
The Hermionians say that the founders of this sanctuary were Clymenus, son of
Phoroneus, and his sister Chthonia. But the Argive story is this. When Demeter
came to Argolis she was hospitably received by Athera and Mysius. However,
Colontas neither opened his house to the goddess nor paid her any other mark of
respect. But this churlish behavior was not to the mind of his daughter Chthonia.
They each had their reward: the house of Colontas was burnt down and he in it;
but Chthonia was brought by Demeter to Hermion and founded the sanctuary.
However that may have been, the goddess herself is certainly called Chthonia
('subterranean'), and they celebrate a festival called Chthonia every year in
summer-time.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  II, 35:4-5)

Having returned to the direct road, you will cross the Erasinus and come to the
Chimarrhus river. Near it is an enclosure of stones: they say that when Pluto, as
the story goes, ravished Demeter's daughter, the Maid, he here descended to his
supposed subterranean realm. Lerna is, as I said before, beside the sea, and they
celebrate mysteries here in honor of Lernaean Demeter.
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  II, 36:7)

However that may be, the first who reigned in this country were Polycaon, son of
Lelex, and his wife Messene. It was to this Messene that Caucon, son of
Celaenus, son of Phylus, brought the orgies of the Great Goddesses from Eleusis.
The Athenians say that Phylus himself was a son of Earth, and they are
supported by the hymn which Musaeus composed on Demeter for Lycomids.  But
many years after the time of Caucon the mysteries of the Great Goddesses were
raised to higher honor by Lycus, son of Pandion; and the place where he purified
the initiated is still named the oak-coppice of Lycus.... And that this Lycus was
the son of Pandion is shown by the verses inscribed on the statue of Methapus.
For Methapus also made some changes in the mode of celebrating the mysteries.
Methapus was an Athenian by descent, and he was a devisor of Mysteries and all
sorts of orgies.  It was he who instituted the mysteries of the Cabiri for the
Thebans; and he also set up in the chapel of the Lycomids a statue inscribed
with an epigram, which contains a passage confirming what I have said: -And I
purified houses of Hermes ... And paths of Demeter and of the first-born Maid,
where they say that Messene instituted for the Great Goddesses a rite which
she learned from Caucon, illustrious scion of Phylus.  And I marveled how Lycus,
son of Pandion, established all the sacred rites of Attis in dear Andania.
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  IV, 1:5-8)

At the other or western end of the colonnade there is an enclosure sacred to the
Great Goddesses. The Great Goddesses are Demeter and the Maid, as I have
already shown in my account of Messenia. The Maid is called Savior by the
Arcadians.... With regard to the image of the Great Goddesses, that of Demeter
is of stone throughout, but the drapery of the Savior is of wood. The height of
each is about fifteen feet. ... And before them he made small images of girls in
tunics reaching to their ankles: each of the two girls bears on her head a basket
full of flowers: they are said to be the daughters of Damophon. But those who
put a religious interpretation on them think that they are Athena And Artemis
gathering flowers with Proserpine.
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  VIII, 31:1-2)

Arcadians, Azanians, acorn-eaters, who inhabit Phigalia, the cave where the
Horse-mother Deo lay hid, you come to learn a riddance of grievous famine, you
who alone have been nomads twice, and twice tasted the berries wild.  'Twas
Deo stopped your pasturing, and 'twas Deo caused you again to go without the
cakes of herdsmen who drag the ripe ears home, because she was robbed of
privileges that men of old bestowed on her and of her ancient honors, and soon
shall she make you to eat each other, and to feast on your children, if you
appease not her wrath with libations offered of the whole people, and if you
adorn not the nook of the tunnel with honors divine.  (Pausanias.  Description of
Greece VIII, 42:1-11)

The Pheneatians have also a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Eleusinian, and
they celebrate mysteries in her honor, alleging that rites identical with those
performed at Eleusis were instituted in their land; for Naus, they say, a grandson
of Eumolpus, came to their country in obedience to an oracle from Delphi.
Beside the sanctuary of the Eleusinian goddess is what is called the Petroma,
two great stones fitted to each other. Every second year, when they are
celebrating what they call the Greater Mysteries they open these stones, and
taking out of them certain writings which bear on the mysteries, they read them
in the hearing of the initiated, and put them back in their place that same night.
I know, too, that on the weightiest matters most of the Pheneatians swear by
the Petroma. There is a round top on it, which contains a mask of Demeter
Cidaria: this mask the priest puts on his face at the Greater Mysteries, and
smites the Underground Folk with rods. I suppose there is some legend to
account for the custom. The Pheneatians have a legend that Demeter came
hither on her wanderings even before Naus; and that to those of the Pheneatians
who welcomed her hospitably she gave all the different kinds of pulse except
beans. They have a sacred story about the bean to show why they think it an
unclean kind of pulse. The men who received the goddess, according to the
Pheneatian legend, were Trisaules And Damithales: They built a temple of
Demeter Thesmia ('goddess of laws') under Mount Cyllene, and instituted in her
honor the mysteries which they still celebrate.  (Pausanias.  Description of
Greece.  VIII, 15:1-4)

After Thelpusa the Ladon descends to the sanctuary of Demeter in Onceum. The
Thelpusians call the goddess Fury, and with them agrees Antimachus, the poet
who celebrated the expedition of the Argives against Thebes. His verse runs
thus: -They say that there is a seat of Demeter Fury in that place. Oncius,
according to common fame, was a son of Apollo, and he reigned at Onceum in
the land of Thelpusa. The goddess received the surname of Fury on this wise.
When Demeter was seeking her daughter, they say that in her wanderings she
was followed by Poseidon, who desired to gain her favors. So she turned herself
into a mare, and grazed with the mares of Oncius; but Poseidon, detecting the
deception, likewise took the form of a horse, and so enjoyed Demeter.  They say
that at first Demeter was wroth, but that in time she relented, and was fain to
bathe in the Ladon. Hence the goddess received two surnames: that of fury
(Erinus) on account of her wrath, because the Arcadians call a fit of anger
erinuein ; And that of Lusia, because she bathed (lousasthai) in the Ladon. The
images in the temple are of wood, but the faces, hands, feet, are of Parian
marble. The image of the Fury holds the so-called cista (sacred basket), and in
her right hand a torch:  the height of the image we guessed to be nine feet. The
Lusia appeared to be six feet high. Some think that the image represents
Themis, and not Demeter Lusia; but this is an idle fancy, and so I would have
them know. They say that Demeter had by Poseidon a daughter, whose name
they are not wont to divulge to uninitiated persons, and that he also gave birth
to the horse Arion; it was for this reason, they say, that they gave Poseidon the
surname of Hippius
('of horses'), and they were first of the Arcadians who did so.  (Pausanias.  
Description of Greece.  VIII, 25:4-7)

In front of the temple is an altar to Demeter, and another to the Mistress, and
after it one to the Great Mother. The images of the goddesses, namely, the
mistress and Demeter, as well as the throne on which they sit and the footstool
under their feet, are all made of a single block of stone. None of the drapery or
work about the throne is made of a different stone, attached with iron clamps or
cement: all is of one block, This block was not fetched from outside: they say
that, following directions given in a dream, they found it by digging within the
enclosure. The size of each of the two images is about that of the image of the
Mother at Athens. They are also works of Damophon. Demeter carries a torch in
her right hand, the other hand is laid on the Mistress. The Mistress has a
scepter, and the basket, as it is called, on her knees: she holds the basket with
her right hand. (Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  VIII, 37:2-4)

The Arcadians bring into the sanctuary the fruits of all cultivated trees except
the pomegranate. On the right as you leave the temple there is a mirror fitted
into the wall. Anyone who looks into this mirror will see himself either very
dimly or not at all, but the images of the gods and the throne are clearly visible.
Beside the temple of the mistress a little higher up on the right is what is called
the Hall. Here the Arcadians perform mysteries, and sacrifice victims to the
Mistress in great abundance. Each man sacrifices what he has got. They do not
cut the throats of the victims as in the other sacrifices, but each man lops off a
limb of the victim, it matters not which. This Mistress is worshipped by the
Arcadians above all the gods and they say she is a daughter of Poseidon and
Demeter. Mistress is her popular surname, just as the daughter of Demeter by
Zeus is surnamed the Maid. The real name of the Maid is Proserpine, as it occurs
in the poetry of Homer and of Pamphos before him; but the true name of the
Mistress I fear to communicate to the uninitiated.  (Pausanias.  Description of
Greece.  VIII, 37:7-9)

The other mountain, Mount Elaius, is about thirty furlongs from Phigalia: There is
a cave there sacred to Demeter surnamed the Black. All that the people of
Thelpusa say touching the loves of Poseidon and Demeter is believed by the
Phigalians; but the Phigalians say that Demeter gave birth not to a horse, but to
her whom the Arcadians name the Mistress, and they say that afterwards
Demeter, wroth with Poseidon, and mourning the rape of Proserpine, put on
black raiment, and entering this grotto tarried there in seclusion a long while.
But when all the fruits of the earth were wasting away, and the race of man was
perishing still more of hunger, none of the other gods, it would seem, knew
where Demeter was hid; but Pan, roving over Arcadia, and hunting now on one
mountain, now on another, came at last to Mount Elaius, and spied Demeter, and
saw the plight she was in, and the garb she wore. So Zeus learnt of this from
Pan, and sent the Fates to Demeter, and she hearkened to the Fates, and
swallowed her wrath, and abated even from her grief.  For that reason the
Phigalians say that they accounted the grotto sacred to Demeter, and set up in it
an image of wood. The image, they say, was made thus: it was seated on a rock,
and was in the likeness of a woman, all but the head; the head and the hair were
those of a horse, and attached to the head were figures of serpents and other
wild beasts; she was clad in a tunic that reached even to her feet; on one of her
hands was a dolphin, and on the other a dove. Why they made the image thus is
plain to any man of ordinary sagacity who is versed in legendary lore. They say
they surnamed her Black, because the garb the goddess wore was black. They
do not remember who made this wooden image, nor how it caught fire. When the
old image disappeared the Phigalians did not give the goddess another in its
stead, and as to the festivals and sacrifices, why they neglected most of them,
until a dearth came upon the land; then they besought the god, and the Pythian
priestess answered them as follows: - Arcadians, Azanians, acorn-eaters, who
inhabit Phigalia, the cave where the Horse-mother Deo lay hid,
You come to learn a riddance of grievous famine, You who alone have been
nomads twice, and twice tasted the berries wild.  'Twas Deo stopped your
pasturing, And 'twas Deo caused you again to go without the cakes of herdsmen
who drag the ripe ears home, because she was robbed of privileges that men of
old bestowed on her and of her ancient honors, and soon shall she make you to
eat each other, and to feast on your children, if you appease not her wrath with
libations offered of the whole people, and if you adorn not the nook of the tunnel
with honors divine.
When the oracle was reported to them, the Phigalians held Demeter in higher
honor than before, and in particular they induced Onatas, the Aeginetan, son of
Micon, to make them an image of Demeter for so much. There is a bronze Apollo
at Pergamus by this Onatus, which is one of the greatest marvels both for size
and workmanship. So he made a bronze image for the Phigalians guided by a
painting or a copy which he discovered of the ancient wooden image; but he
relied mainly, it is said, on directions received in dreams. (Pausanias VIII, .  
Description of Greece. 42:1-7, 11)

When you have crossed the Asopus and are just ten furlongs from the city you
come to the ruins of Potniae. Amongst them is a grove of Demeter and the Maid,
the images at the river which flows past Potniae ... they name the goddesses. At
a stated time they perform certain customary ceremonies: in particular they
throw sucking pigs into what they call the hallsy and they say that at the same
time next year those pigs appear at Dodona.  (Pausanias.  Description of
Greece.  IX, 8:1)

When his fame was spread abroad from one end of Greece to the other, the
Pythian priestess set him on a still higher pinnacle of renown by bidding the
Delphians give to Pindar an equal share of all the first-fruits they offered to
Apollo. It is said, too, that in his old age there was vouchsafed to him a vision in
a dream. As he slept Proserpine stood by him and said that of all the deities she
alone had not been hymned by him, but that, nevertheless, he should make a
song on her also when he was come to her. Before ten days were out Pindar had
paid the debt of nature.  But there was in Thebes an old woman, a relation of
Pindar's, who had practiced singing, most of his songs. To her Pindar appeared
in a dream and sang to her a hymn on Proserpine; and she, as soon as she was
awake, wrote down all the song she had heard him singing in her dream. In this
song, amongst the epithets applied to Hades is that of 'goldenreined,' obviously
in reference to the rape of Proserpine.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  IX,

On the tomb of Menoeceus there grows a pomegranate-tree: if you break the
outer husk of the ripe fruit, you will find the inside like blood. This pomegranate-
tree is living. (Pausanias.  Description of Greece. IX, 25:1)

Five-and-twenty furlongs from here you come to a grove of Cabirian Demeter and
the Maid: the
initiated are allowed to enter it. About seven furlongs from this grove is the
sanctuary of the Cabiri. I must crave pardon of the curious if I preserve silence
as to who the Cabiri are, and what rites are performed in honor of them and their
mother. There is, however, nothing to prevent me disclosing the account which
the Thebans give of the origin of the rites. They say that in this place There was
once a city, the men of which were named Cabiri; and that Demeter made the
acquaintance of Prometheus, one of the Cabiri, and of his son Aetnaeus, and
entrusted something to their care; but what it was he entrusted to them and
what happened to it, I thought it wrong to set down. At all events, the mysteries
are a gift of Demeter to the Cabiri.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  IX, 25:5-

Once more, when Alexander after his victory gave Thebes and all the land of
Thebes to the flames, some Macedonians who entered the sanctuary of the
Cabiri because it was in the enemy's country, were destroyed by thunderbolts
and lightening from heaven. So holy has this sanctuary been from the beginning.  
(Pausanias.  Description of Greece.  IX, 25:10)

In my opinion Orpheus was a man who surpassed his predecessors in the beauty
of his poetry, and attained great power because he was believed to have
discovered mystic rites, purifications for wicked deeds, remedies for diseases,
and modes of averting the wrath of the gods.... But some say that Orpheus was
struck dead by the god with a thunderbolt on account of certain revelations
which he had made to men at the mysteries.  (Pausanias.  Description of Greece.
IX, 30:4-5)

Thou that leadest the dance of the fiery stars, watcher over the nocturnal cry,
Zeus-born child, appear, Lord, with thine attendant Thyiads, who all night long in
frenzied ecstasy dance thy dance, Iacchos our Master.  (Pausanias.  Description
of Greece 10.4.2; 32.5.)


Arriving at Pireaus about the season of the Mysteries, when Athens is more
crowded than any place in Greece, he lost no time in going up to the city from
his ship. As he went he met many of the learned making their way down to
Piraeus. Some were basking naked---the autumn is fine and sunny at Athens---
others were deep in discussions upon a text, some practicing recitations, some
disputing. None of them passed him by, but all guessing that this was
Apollonius, turned back with him and hailed him with enthusiasm. A party of ten
youths fell in with him, who stretched out their hands towards the Acropolis and
swore 'by yonder Athena, they were just setting out for Piraeus to take ship for
Ionia and find him there.' He welcomed them, and said he congratulated them on
their desire for learning.  It was the day of the Epidauria; and at the Epidauria
the Athenian usage, after the Preface and the sacrifice, is to initiate aspirants
for a second sacrifice. This tradition represents Asclepius' experience, because
he came from Epidaurus, late in the Mysteries, and they initiated him.  Heedless
of the initiation service, the multitude hung round Apollonius, more concerned
with this than to secure admission to the Elect. He said he would be with them
anon, and encouraged them to attend the service for the meanwhile, as he
himself intended to be initiated. But the hierophant refused him access to the
holy things, saying that he would never admit a charlatan, nor open Eleusis to a
man of impure theology. Apollonius was equal to himself on this occasion, and
said, 'You have not yet mentioned the greatest charge that might be brought
against me, which is that I know more than you about this rite, although I came
to you as to a man better skilled than myself.' The bystanders applauded this
vigorous and characteristic rebuke; and the hierophant, seeing that the
excommunication was unpopular, changed his tune and said, 'You shall be
admitted, for you seem to be a person of doctrine.'  Apollonius answered, 'I will
be admitted at another time; the ceremony will be performed by So-and-so'---
prophetically naming the next occupant of the hierophancy, who succeeded to
his sacred office four years later.  (Philostratus.  In Honor of Apollonius of Tyana
IV, 17-18)


Was it haply, when you did bring into being Dionysus of the flowing locks, who is
enthroned beside Demeter of the clashing cymbals?  (Pindar, Isthmian VII, 3-5)

Sow then some seed of fame athwart the isle, that Zeus, the lord of Olympus,
gave to Persephone, and shook his locks in token unto her that, as queen of the
teeming earth, the fertile island of Sicily would be raised to renown by the
wealth of her glorious cities.  (Pindar The Nemean Odes I, 14)

... And with befitting counsel, while he tends, not only the worship of Demeter
with the ruddy feet, and the festival of her daughter with her white horses,
(Pindar, Olympian Odes VI, 95)

... having, by happy fortune, culled the fruit of the rite that releases from toil.
And, while the body of all men is subject to over-mastering death, an image of
life remains alive, for it alone comes from the gods. But it sleeps, while the
limbs are active; yet, to them that sleep in many a dream it gives presage of a
decision of things delightful or doleful.  (Pindar Fragment 96)

Blessed is he who has seen these things before he goes beneath the earth; for
he understands the end of mortal life, and the beginning (of a new life) given of
god.  (Pindar, Fragment 102)

the slow rivers of dark night, the sluggish gift of sleep


Demeter is who gives food like a mother  (Plato Cratylus 404c)

I envy you, Callicles, for having been initiated into the great mysteries before
you were initiated into the lesser. I thought that this was not allowable. (Plato
Gorgias 497)

The founders of the mysteries would appear to have had a real meaning, and
were not talking nonsense when they intimated in a figure long ago that he who
passes unsanctified and uninitiated into the world below will lie in a slough, but
that he who arrives there after initiation and purification will dwell with the
gods. For 'many,' as they say in the mysteries, 'are the thyrsus-bearers, but few
are the mystics,' - meaning, as I interpret the words, 'the true philosophers.'  
(Plato Phaedo, 69)

There comes into my mind an ancient doctrine which affirms that they go from
hence into the other world, and returning here, are born again from the dead.
Now if it be true that the living come from the dead, then our souls must exist in
the other world, for if not, how could they have been born again?...Then let us
consider the whole question, not in relation to man only, but in relation to
animals generally, and to plants, and to everything of which there is generation,
and the proof will be easier.  (Plato Phaedo, 70)

That soul, I say, herself invisible, departs to the invisible world - to the divine
and immortal and rational: There arriving, she is secure of bliss and is released
from the error and folly of men, their fears and wild passions and all other
human ills, and forever dwells, as they say of the initiated, in company with the
gods.  (Plato Phaedo, 81)

There was a time when with the rest of the happy band they saw beauty shining
in brightness, - we philosophers following in the train of Zeus, others in company
with other gods; and then we beheld the beatific vision and were initiated into a
mystery which may be truly called most blessed, celebrated by us in our state of
innocence before we had any experience of evils to come, when we were
admitted to the sight of apparitions innocent and simple and calm and happy,
which we beheld shining in pure light.  (Plato, Phaedrus, 250)

But if There is an absolute necessity for their mention, a chosen few might hear
them in a mystery, and they should sacrifice not a common (Eleusinian) pig, but
some huge and unprocurable victim; and then the number of the hearers will be
very few indeed.  (Plato, Republic II, 378)


Therefore we must ascend again towards the Good, the desired of every Soul.
Anyone that has seen this, knows what I intend when I say it is beautiful. Even
the desire of it is to be desired as a Good. To attain it is for those that will take
the upward path, who will set all their forces towards it, who will divest
themselves of all that we have put on in our descent: - so, to those that
approach the Holy Celebrations of the Mysteries, there are appointed
purifications and the laying aside of the garments worn before, and the entry in
nakedness - until, passing on the upward way, all that is other than the God,
each in the solitude of himself shall see that solitary-dwelling Existence, the
Apart, the Unmingled, the Pure, that from which all things depend for which all
look and live and act and know, the Source of Life and of Intellection and of
Being.  (Plotinus First Ennead VI, 7)


The season of the year also gives us a suspicion that this gloominess is brought
about because of the disappearance from our sight of the crops and fruits that
people in days of old did not regard as gods, but as necessary and important
contributions of the gods toward the avoidance of a savage and a bestial life. At
the time of year when they saw some of the fruit vanishing and disappearing
completely from the tree, while they themselves were sowing others in a mean
and poverty-stricken fashion still, scraping away the earth with their hands and
again replacing it, committing the seed to the ground with uncertain expectation
of their ever appearing again or coming to fruition they did many things like
persons at a funeral in mourning for their dead.
(Plutarch, Isis And Osiris 70)

"Thessalus, the son of Cimon, of the township of Lacia, lays information that
Alcibiades, the son of Clinias of the township of the Scambonidae, has
committed a crime against the goddess Demeter and Persephone, by
representing in derision the holy mysteries, and showing them to his companions
in his own house. Where, being habited in such robes as are used by the chief
priest, Polytion the torch-bearer, and Theodorus, of the township of Phegaea, the
herald; and saluted the rest of his company as Initiates And Novices, all which
was done contrary to the laws and institutions of the Eulmolpidae, and the
heralds and priests of the temple at Eleusis." He was condemned as
contumacious upon his not appearing, his property confiscated, and it was
decreed that all the priests and priestesses should solemnly curse him. But one
of them, Theano, the daughter of Menon, of the township of Agraule, is said to
have opposed that part of the decree, saying that her holy office obliged her to
make prayers, but not execrations.  (Plutarch,  Life of Alcibiades 34)

The resentment felt upon it was heightened by the time it happened in, for the
garrison was brought in on the twentieth of the month of Boedromion just at the
time of the great festival, when they carry forth Iacchus with solemn pomp from
the city to Eleusis; so that the solemnity being disturbed, many began to call to
mind instances, both ancient and modern, of divine interventions and
intimations. For in old time, upon the occasions of their happiest successes, the
presence of the shapes and voices of the mystic ceremonies had been
vouchsafed to them, striking terror and amazement into their enemies; but now,
at the very season of their celebration, the gods themselves stood witnesses of
the saddest oppressions of Greece, the most holy time being profaned, and their
greatest jubilee made the unlucky date of their most extreme calamity....
While a candidate for initiation was washing a young pig in the haven of
Cantharus, a shark seized him, bit off all his lower parts up to the belly and
devoured them, by which the god gave them manifestly to understand, that
having lost the lower town and seacoast, they should keep only the upper city.
(Plutarch, Life of Phocion 28)

It is reported that, in the middle of the fight, a great flame rose into the air
above the city of Eleusis, and that sounds and voices were heard through all the
Thriasian plain, as far as the sea, sounding like a number of men accompanying
and escorting the mystic Iacchus, and that a mist seemed to form and rise from
the place from whence the sounds came, and, passing forward, fell upon the
galleys. Others believed that they saw apparitions, in the shape of armed men,
reaching out their hands from the island of Aegina before Grecian galleys; and
supposed they were the Aeacidae, whom they had invoked to their aid before the
battle. The first man that took a ship was Lycomedes the Athenian, captain of
the galley, who cut down its ensign, and dedicated it to Apollo the Laurel-
crowned. and as the Persians fought in a narrow arm of the sea, and could bring
but part of their fleet to fight, and fell foul of one another, the Greeks thus
equaled them in strength and fought with them till the evening forced them
back, and obtained, as says Simonides, that noble and famous victory, than
which neither amongst the Greek nor barbarians was ever known more glorious
exploit on the seas; by the joint valor, indeed, and zeal of all who fought, but by
the wisdom and sagacity of Themistocles.  (Plutarch. Life of Themistocles 15)

Yet it is more credible, as others write, that there were, before, frequent
interviews between them, and that it was by the means of Theseus that
Hercules was initiated at Eleusis, and purified before initiation, upon account of
several rash actions of his former life.  (Plutarch, Life of Theseus 30)

What glory remains to Eleusis, if we are to be ashamed of Eumolpus, who, a
migrant from Thrace, initiated and still initiates the Greeks into the mysteries?  
(Plutarch, On Exile 607b)

It is no such thing, however; but just as our earth contains gulfs that are deep
and extensive, one here pouring in towards us through the Pillars of Heracles
and outside the Caspian and the Red Sea with its gulfs, so those features are
depths and hollows of the moon. The largest of them is called "Hecate’s
Recess," where the souls suffer and exact penalties for whatever they have
endured or committed after having already become Spirits; and the two long
ones are called "the Gates", for through them pass the souls now to the side of
the moon that faces heaven and now back to the side that faces earth.  The side
of the moon towards heaven is named "Elysian plain," the hither side "House of
counter-terrestrial Phersephone."   (Plutarch.  On the Face in the Moon.  Chapter
Just as persons who are being initiated into the Mysteries throng together at the
outset amid tumult and shouting, and jostle against one another but when the
holy rites are being performed and disclosed the people are immediately
attentive in awe and silence, so too at the beginning of philosophy: about its
portals also you will see great tumult and talking and boldness, as some
boorishly and violently try to jostle their way towards the repute it bestows; but
he who has succeeded in getting inside, and has seen a great light, as though a
shrine were opened, adopts another bearing of silence and amazement, and
"humble and orderly attends upon" reason as upon a god.  (Plutarch, Progress in
Virtue 81e)

The result of soul and body commingled is the irrational or the affective factor,
whereas of mind and soul the conjunction produces reason; and of these the
former is source of pleasure and pain, the latter of virtue and vice. In the
composition of these three factors earth furnishes the body, the moon the soul,
and the sun furnishes mind to man for the purpose of his generation even as it
furnishes light to the moon herself. As to the death we die, one death reduces
man from three factors to two and another reduces him from two to one; and the
former takes place in the earth that belongs to Demeter (wherefore "to make an
end" is called "to render one's life to her" and Athenians used in olden times to
call the dead "Demetrians"), the latter in the moon that belongs to Persephone,
and associated with the former is Hermes the terrestrial, with the latter Hermes
the celestial. While the goddess here dissociates the soul from the body swiftly
and violently, Persephone gently and by slow degrees detaches the mind from
the soul and has therefore been called "single-born" because the best part of
man is "born single" when separated off by her. Each of the two separations
naturally occurs in this fashion: All soul, whether without mind or with it, when
it has issued from the body is destined to wander in the region between earth
and moon but not for an equal time. Unjust and licentious souls pay penalties for
their offenses; but the good soul must in the gentlest part of the air, which they
call "the meads of Hades," pass a certain set time sufficient to purge and blow
away the pollution contracted from the body as from an evil odor. Then, as if
brought home from banishment abroad, they savor joy most like that of initiates,
which attended by glad expectation is mingled with confusion and excitement.
For many, even as they are in the act of clinging to the moon, she thrusts off and
sweeps away; and some of those souls too that are on the moon they see turning
upside down as if sinking again into the deep. Those that have got up, however,
and have found a firm footing first go about like victors crowned with
wreaths of feathers called wreathes of steadfastness, because in life they had
made the irrational or affective element of the soul orderly and tolerably
tractable to reason; secondly, in appearance resembling a ray of light but in
respect of their nature, which in the upper region is buoyant as it is here in ours,
resembling the ether about the moon, they get from it both tension and strength
as edged instruments get a temper, for what laxness and diffuseness they still
have is strengthened and becomes firm and translucent. In consequence they
are nourished by any exhalation that reaches them, and Heraclitus was right in
saying: "Souls employ the sense of smell in Hades."  (Plutarch.  On the Face of
the Moon 28)

But as for us, let us not listen to any who say that there are some oracles not
divinely inspired, or religious ceremonies and mystic rites which are disregarded
by the gods; and on the other hand let us not imagine that the god goes in and
out and is present at these ceremonies and helps in conducting them; but let us
commit these matters to those ministers of the gods to whom it is right to
commit them, as to servants and clerks, and let us believe that demigods are
guardians of sacred rites of the gods and prompters in the Mysteries, while
others go about as avengers of arrogant and grievous cases of injustice.
(Plutarch.  On the Obsolescence of Oracles, 416, 13.)

Regarding the rites of the Mysteries, in which it is possible to gain the clearest
reflections and adumbrations of the truth about the demigods, Alet my lips be
piously sealed," as Herodotus says; but as for festivals and sacrifices, which
may be compared with ill-omened and gloomy days, in which occur the eating of
raw flesh, rending of victims, fasting, and beating of breasts, and again in many
places scurrilous language at the shrines and
frenzy and shouting of throngs in excitement with tumultuous tossing of heads in
the air. I should say that these acts are not performed for any god, but are
soothing and appeasing rites for the averting of evil spirits.  (Plutarch.  On the
Obsolescence of Oracles, 417, 14.)


Next the hierophant performs the initiation and he takes the things from the
chamber and distributes them to all the ones who will carry the kernos
around…Then, raising his kernos aloft like the person who carries the liknon or
winnowing basket, he tastes those things.  (Cited Athenaeus 11, 478d.)

Moreover Polemon, in the treatise, says: "After these preliminaries (the priest)
proceeds to the celebration of the mystic rites; he takes out the contents of the
shrine and distributes them to all who have brought round their tray (kernos ).
The latter is an earthenware vessel, holding within it a large number of small
cups cemented together, and in them are sage, white poppy-seeds, grains of
wheat and barley, peas, vetches, okra-seeds, lentils, beans, rice-wheat, oats,
compressed fruit, honey, oil, wine, milk, and sheep's wool unwashed.  The man
who carries it, resembling the bearer of the sacred winnowing-fan, tastes these
(from On the Sacred Fleece, cited Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists. XI, 478d.


In regard to the dance in which kerna were carried, I know that they carried
lights or small hearths on their heads.  (Pollux IV, 103)


But most theologians say that the name of Persephone is derived from
nourishing a ringdove; for the ringdove is sacred to this Goddess. Hence, also
the priests of Maia dedicate to her a ringdove. And Maia is the same with
Persephone, as being obstetric, and a nurse. For this Goddess is terrestrial, and
so likewise is Demeter. To this Goddess, also a cock is consecrated; and on this
account those that are initiated in her mysteries abstain from domestic birds. In
the Eleusinian mysteries, likewise, the initiated are ordered to abstain from
domestic birds, from fishes, and beans, pomegranates, and apples, which fruits
are as equally defiling to the touch, as a woman recently delivered, and a dead
body. But whoever is acquainted with the nature of divinely-luminous
appearances knows also on what account it is requisite to abstain from all birds,
and especially for him who hastens to be liberated from terrestrial concerns, and
to be established with the celestial Gods.  (Porphyry On Abstinence From Animal
Food IV, 16)

For, in your mysteries, what the boy who attends the altar accomplishes, by
performing accurately what he is commanded to do, in order to render the gods
propitious to all those who have been initiated, as far as to muesis, that, in
nations and cities, priests are able to effect, by sacrificing for all the people,
and through piety inducing the Gods to be attentive to the welfare of those that
belong to them.  (Porphyry, On Abstinence from Animal Food)


to those entering the temenos (sacred precinct) of Eleusis the program was
stated, not to advance inside the adytum.  (Proclus, cited in Mylonas Eleusis and
the Eleusinian Mysteries, p. 261)

In the most sacred Mysteries before the scene of the mystic visions, there is
terror infused over the minds of the initiated. (Proclus, cited in Casavis The
Greek Origins of Freemasonry. 111)

In Proclus' commentary on the Timaios 293c, he offers another recitation.  In the
Eleusinian rites they gazed up to the heaven and cried aloud "rain," they gazed
down upon the earth and cried "conceive."  On the edge of a well by the Dipylon
gate of Athens where the procession to Eleusis began, an inscription reads:  O
Pan, O Men, be of good cheer, beautiful Nymphs, rain, conceive, overflow.  
(Cited in Mylonas Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries p. 270)

Cross the bridge, O Kore, before it is time to begin the threefold plowing.  
(Fragment XXIII)

So too, there are men who are possessed and who receive a Divine Spirit. Some
receive it spontaneously, like those who are said to be ‘seized by God’, either at
particular times, or intermittently and on occasion. There are others who work
themselves up into a state of inspiration by deliberate actions. When divine
inspiration comes there are some cases where the possessed become
completely besides themselves and unconscious of themselves.  However, there
are others where, in some remarkable manner, they maintain
consciousness…However, when the loss of consciousness (ekstaseôs) is total, it
is essential that someone in full command of his faculties assists the
possessed.  (Proclus Diadochus.  On the Signs of Divine Possession.)

The oracles concerning the orders exhibits it prior to Heaven as ineffable, and
add— It has mystic silence. ( Proc. in Crat.)

It becomes you not to behold them before your body is initiated, Since by always
alluring, they seduce the souls of the initiated.   (Proc. in. Alcib.)


There are holy things that are not communicated all at once: Eleusis always
keeps something back to show those who come again.  (Seneca, Quaestiones
Naturalis VII, 30:6)


O you of many names, glory of the Cadmeian bride, offspring of loud-thundering
Zeus! You who watches over famed Italia, and reigns, where all guests are
welcomed, in the sheltered plain of Eleusinian Deo! O Bacchus.  (Sophocles.  
Antigone 1115-1120)

Haply by the shores loved of Apollo, haply by that torch-lit strand where the
Great Goddess
cherish dread rites for mortals, on whose lips the ministrant Eumolpidae have
laid the precious seal of silence; (Sophocles.  Oedipus at Colonus 1048-1053)

But for your mysteries which speech may not profane, you shall mark them for
yourself, when you come to that place alone; and when you are coming to the
end of life, disclose them to your heir alone; let him teach his heir; and so
thenceforth.  (Sophocles.  Oedipus at Colonus  1526-1534)

And then he called his daughters, and bade them fetch water from some fount,
that he should wash, and make a drink-offering. And they went to the hill which
was in view, Demeter's hill who guards the tender plants, and in short space
brought that which their father had enjoined; then they ministered to him with
washing, and dressed him, as use ordains.  (Sophocles.  Oedipus at Colonus  

Weep no more maidens; for where the kindness of the Dark Powers is an abiding
grace to the quick and to the dead, there is no room for mourning; divine anger
would follow.  (Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus  1750-1753)

This way - hither, this way! - for this way does Guiding Hermes lead me, and the
goddess of the dead.  (Sophocles.  Oedipus at Colonus  2556-1558)

Thrice happy are those of mortals, who having seen those rites depart for Hades;
for to them alone is it granted to have true life there; to the rest all there is evil.  
(Sophocles Fragment 719)


a rude and fearful march through night and darkness.  (Stobaeus, cited in
Casavis The Greek Origins of Freemasonry p. 111)

Thus death and initiation closely correspond; even the words (teleutan and
teleisthai) correspond, And so do the things. At first there are wanderings, and
toilsome running about in circles and journeys through the dark over uncertain
roads and culs de sac; then, just before the end, there are all kinds of terrors,
with shivering, trembling, sweating, and utter amazement. After this, a strange
and wonderful light meets the wanderer; he is admitted into clean and verdant
meadows, where he discerns gentle voices, and choric dances, and the majesty
of holy sounds and sacred visions. Here the now fully initiated is free, and walks
at liberty like a crowned and dedicated victim, joining in the revelry; he is the
companion of pure and holy men, and looks down upon the uninitiated and
unpurified crowd here below in the mud and fog, trampling itself down and
crowded together, though of death remaining still sunk in its evils, unable to
believe in the blessings that lie beyond. That the wedding and close union of the
soul with the body is a thing really contrary to nature may clearly be seen from
all this.  (The following passage from Plutarch's essay On the Soul survives
today only because it was quoted by Stobaeus (Florigelium 120).


Now most of the Greeks assigned to Dionysus, Apollo, Hecate, the Muses, and
above all to Demeter, everything of an orgiastic or Bacchic or choral nature, as
well as the mystic element in initiations; and they give the name "Iacchus" not
only to Dionysus but also to the leader-in-chief of the mysteries, who is the
genius of Demeter. And branch-bearing, choral dancing, and initiations are
common elements in the worship of these gods. As for the Muses and Apollo, the
Muses preside over the choruses, whereas Apollo presides both over these and
the rites of divination. But all educated men, and especially the musician, are
ministers of the Muses; and both these and those who have to do with divination
are ministers of Apollo; and the initiated and torch-bearers and hierophants, of
Demeter; and the Sileni and Satyri and Bacchae, and also the Lenae and Thyiae
and Mimallones and Naides and Nymphae and the beings called
Tityri, of Dionysus.  (Strabo Geography X, 3:10)

But now I must investigate how it comes about that so many names have been
used of one and the same thing, and the theological element contained in their
history.  Now this is common both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, to
perform their sacred rites in connection with the relaxation of a festival, these
rites being performed sometimes with religious frenzy, sometimes without it;
sometimes with music, sometimes not; and sometimes in secret, sometimes
openly.  And it is in accordance with the dictates of nature that this should be
so, for, in the first place, the relaxation draws the mind away from human
occupations and turns the real mind towards that which is divine; and secondly,
the religious frenzy seems to afford a kind of divine inspiration and to be very
like that of the soothsayer; and thirdly, the secrecy with which the sacred rites
are concealed induces reverence for the divine, since it imitates the nature of
the divine, which is to avoid being perceived by our human senses; and, fourthly,
music, which includes dancing as well as rhythm and melody, at the same time,
by the delight it affords and by its artistic beauty, brings us in touch with the
divine, and for this for the following reason; for although it has been well said
that human beings then act most like the gods when they are doing food to
others, yet one might better say, when they are happy; and such happiness
consists of rejoicing, celebrating festivals, pursuing philosophy and engaging in
music; for, if music is perverted when musicians turn their art to sensual
delights at symposiums and in orchestric and scenic performances and the like,
we would not lay the blame upon music itself, but should rather examine the
nature of our system of education, since this is based on music.  (Strabo.  
Geography 10.3.9-10.)

I turn to what is remote from my theme, but has been brought into connection
with it by historians owing to the identity of name, being known as Kuretic or
concerned with the Kuretes as if it had to do with the former inhabitants of
Aetolia and Acarnaia.  In fact these Kuretes are different, and what is known
about them suggests rather the Satyrs and Sileni and Bacchi and Tityri.  For
according to writer on Cretan and Phrygian lore, the Kuretes are similar
daemons or attendants upon gods, and are mixed up with certain sacred rites,
both mystic and other, concerned with the rearing of the child Zeus in Crete and
the orgiastic worship of the Mother of the Gods in Phyrgia and around Mount Ida
in the Troad.  There is much confusion in these accounts.  Some declare that the
Korybantes and Kabiri and Idaen Daktyls and Telchines are the same as the
Kuretes, others pronounce them related and distinguish certain small
differences between them, but agree that in general terms, and to name their
prevailing characteristics, all alike are enthusiastic and Bacchic types, who in
the guise of acolytes, but dances in arms with tumult, noise, cymbals, tympana
and weapons, also with the music of flutes an shouting, arouse the passions in
the course of religious ceremonies.  Thus the rites also become common
property, both those of the Kuretes and those performed in Samothrace and in
Lemnos and many others, because the attendant daemons were identified.  
(Strabo, quoted in W.K.C. Guthrie.  The Greeks and their Gods.  Boston: Beacon
Press, 1955, p. 43.)


When he was in Greece, he did not attend the celebration of the Eleusinian
Mysteries, at the initiation of which, impious and wicked persons are warned by
the voice of the herald from approaching the rites.  (Suetonius Nero XXXIV)


But their procedure is like Bacchic frenzy - like the leap of a man mad, or
possessed – the attainment of a goal without running the race, a passing beyond
reason without the previous exercise of reasoning. For the sacred matter
(contemplation) is not like attention belonging to
knowledge, or an outlet of mind, nor is it like one thing in one place and another
in another. On the contrary - to compare small and greater - it is like Aristotle's
view that men being initiated have not a lesson to learn, but an experience to
undergo and a condition into which they must be brought, while they are
becoming fit (for revelation).  (Synesius Dio 1133)


Now, in the case of those Eleusinian mysteries, which are the very heresy of
Athenian superstition, it is their secrecy that is their disgrace. Accordingly, they
previously beset all access to their body with tormenting conditions; and they
require a long initiation before they enroll (their members), even instruction
during five years for their perfect disciples, in order
that they may mold their opinions by this suspension of full knowledge, and
apparently raise the dignity of their mysteries in proportion to the craving for
them which they have previously created. Then follow the duty of silence.
Carefully is that guarded, which is so long in finding.  All the divinity, however,
lies in their secret recesses: There are revealed at last all the aspirations of the
fully initiated, the entire mystery of the sealed tongue, the symbol of virility.  
But this allegorical representation, under the pretext of nature's reverend name,
obscures a real sacrilege by help of an arbitrary symbol and by empty images
obviates the reproach of falsehood!
(Tertullian.  Against the Valentinians I)

Why is the priestess of Demeter carried off, unless Demeter herself had suffered
the same sort of thing?  (Tertullian, To the Nations 30)


Entering now into the secret dome, he is filled with horror and astonishment. He
is seized with loneliness and total perplexity; he is unable to move a step
forward, and at a loss to find the entrance to the way that leads to where he
aspires to, till the prophet or conductor lays open the anteroom of the Temple.  
(Themistius. Orat. in Patrem. 50)


There are five stages in Initiation.  First of all purification, for participation in
the Mysteries is not possible for all those who wish it, some being excluded
beforehand by proclamation, such as those whose hands are impure and whose
speech is unintelligible, while it is required of those not excluded that they
previously undergo purification, after the purification, the second step is
communication of the rite, the third is what is called Epopteia.  The fourth act,
closing the Epopteia is the binding and decking with garlands, qualifying the
initiate to communicate to others the rite delivered to him either as torch-
bearer, hierophant, or in any other sacred capacity; the firth arriving from the
preceding, is Blessedness according to the faith and fellowship to the Deity.


And Cleocritus, the herald of the initiated, a man with a very fine voice, obtained
silence and said:
(Xenophon, Hellenica II, iv, 20)

The right course, indeed, would have been for us not to take up arms against one
another in the beginning, since the tradition is that the first strangers to whom
Triptolemus, our ancestor, revealed the mystic rites of Demeter and Kore were
Heracles, your state's founder, and the Dioscuri, your citizens; and further, that
it was upon Peloponnesus that he first bestowed the seed of Demeter's fruit.  
(Xenophon, Hellenica VI, 3)


Kerenyi translates the fragments on a papyrus from an oration of the time of
Hadrian.  "I was initiated long ago (or: elsewhere). Lock up Eleusis,
(Hierophant,) and put the fire out, Dadouchos. Deny me the holy night! I have
already been initiated into more authentic mysteries.... (I have beheld) the fire,
whence (...And) I have seen the Kore.  (Cited in Kerenyi Eleusis p. 83-84)

The Council and the People have decreed: Democrates, son of Sunieus of
Colonus, proposed the motion: Whereas, the chosen stewards of the mysteries
for the year of the archon Diocles have offered to Demeter and Kore and the
other gods, as is customary, for the Council and the People and the children and
wives, all the offerings which are appropriately to be made during the year, and
also the preliminary offering...; and have further provided, at their own cost, the
conveyance for the use of the sanctuaries, and have voluntarily turned over to
the Council the amount set aside for their use as the expense of the
conveyances, and have also provided for the procession to the sea and for the
reception of Iacchos in Eleusis, and similarly for the mysteries before Agra,
which took place twice in this year, during the celebration of the Eleusinian
games; and have moreover sent a steer as sacrifice for the Eleusinian games,
giving the six hundred and fifty members of the Council their share of the flesh;
and beyond all this have delivered the accounts to the office of the treasury and
the metroion (the Athenian state archives in the temple of Cybele), and have
rendered their account before the court, in accordance with the laws; and out of
their own funds have provided for everything else connected with the sacrifice,
in order to show themselves agreeably disposed toward the Council and the
People, thus setting an example for those who are ready to sacrifice themselves
for the public welfare and showing that they can count upon the proper
gratitude, by good fortune.  Let the Council decree that the presiding officers
who are to preside at the next assembly of the people shall place this matter on
the agenda and present the decree of the Council to the People, that the Council
has agreed to honor the stewards of the mysteries in the year of the archon
Diocles, Thrasykles (son of ...) of Auridae, and Nicetes, son of Nicetes of
Pergase, and to crown them both with myrtle because of their piety toward the
gods and their unselfishness toward the council and the People; and to set
before them other popular honors in the future, if they show themselves to be
worthy of them; finally, that the secretary for the Prytany is to have this decree
inscribed upon two columns of stone and set them up, one in the court of the
sanctuary at Eleusis, the other on the Acropolis. For the (cost of) inscribing ...
(Cited in Grant, F. C. Hellenistic Religions p. 15-16)

Beautiful indeed is the Mystery given us by the blessed gods: death is for
mortals no longer an evil, but a blessing.  (Inscription at Eleusis, cited in S.
Angus.  The Mystery Religions And Christianity, p. 140)

I am parched with thirst and I perish.  Give me to drink of the ever-flowing
spring on the right, where the cypress is, for I am the child of Earth and starry
Heaven.  (From Eleuthernai in Crete, second century B.C., now in the National
Museum in Athens.)

“It was as though I were a stranger to myself.”  (Sopater?.  Michael B.
Cosmopoulos.  Greek Mysteries:  The Archaeology and Ritual of Ancient Greek
Secret Cults.  New York:  Routledge, 2003, p. 178.)


If you often invoke me you shall see all things darkening, For neither does the
convex bulk of heaven then appear, Nor do the stars shine, the light of the moon
is hidden, The earth stands not still, but all things appear in thunders.  
(Zoroaster. Psel. 10.—Plet. 22.)

But these things I revolve in the recluse temples of my mind. Extending the like
fire sparklingly into the spacious air, Or fire unfigured whence a voice issuing
forth. Or light abundant; whizzing and winding about the earth.  But also to see a
horse more glittering than light, Or a boy on thy shoulders riding on a horse.
Fiery or adorned with gold, or divested, Or shooting, or standing on thy
shoulders, If thou speakest often to me thou shalt see absolutely that which is
spoken, For then neither appears the celestial concave bulk. Nor do the stars
shine, the light of the moon is covered, The Earth stands not still, but all things
appear in thunders.  Invoke not the self-conspicuous image of Nature, For thou
must not behold these before thy body is initiated: When soothing souls they
always seduce them from these mysteries. Certainly out of the cavities of the
Earth spring terrestrial dogs. Which show no true sign to mortal man. Labour
about the Hecatick Strophalus. Never change barbarous names, For there are
names in every nation given from God, Which have an unspeakable power in
Rites. When thou seest a sacred fire without form, Shining flashingly through the
depths of the World, Hear the voice of fire.  (Zoroaster. Psel. 14.—Plet. 25.)