By Barbette Stanley Spaeth
Curiosity in goddess worship is turning out to be in modern society, as girls search versions for female spirituality and wholeness. New cults are constructing round historic goddesses from many cultures, even supposing their smooth adherents frequently envision and interpret the goddesses very another way than their unique worshippers did. during this thematic examine of the Roman goddess Ceres, Barbette Spaeth explores the wealthy complexity of meanings and features that grew up round the goddess from the prehistoric interval to the overdue Roman Empire. particularly, she examines significant ideas, fertility and liminality, and social different types, the plebs and ladies, which have been inextricably associated with Ceres within the Roman brain. Spaeth then analyzes a picture of the goddess in a reduction of the Ara Pacis, a huge kingdom monument of the Augustan interval, displaying the way it contains these kind of diverse roles and institutions of Ceres. This interpretation represents a brand new contribution to paintings heritage. With its use of literary, epigraphical, numismatic, inventive, and archaeological facts, The Roman Goddess Ceres offers a extra encompassing view of the goddess than was once formerly to be had. it is important interpreting for all scholars of Classics, in addition to for a common viewers attracted to New Age, feminist, or pagan spirituality.
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Additional info for The Roman Goddess Ceres
TERT. (consul tertium, "consul for the third time") and DICT. ITER, (dictator iterum, "dictator for the second time" (fig. 6a); on the reverse are the priestly emblems of the augurate and pontificate (culullvs, aspergillum, lituus, and jug) and the legends AU GUR, PONT. MAX. (pontifex maximus) and either D (donatium, "donative") or M (munus, "gift") (fig. C. The reference to a donative or gift indicates that the coin was a special issue given out free in honor of a public celebration. C. Ceres then may appear on this coin as the protectress of the plebs, with whose support Caesar had founded his dictatorship.
D. 268-270). 179 Her cult, to be sure, continued for some time. 1*0 The story of the Rape and Return of Proseipina also endured; Claudian made it the subject of an epic poem, De Raptu Proserpinae, in the late fourth century. 183 According to this story, during the Flight into Egypt, the Holy Family passed by a field that a fanner had just sown with grainThe Virgin told him that if soldiers should come and ask if he had seen a mother and child pass by, he should say that he had seen them when he had first sown the seed.
109 The sources for the latter suggest that in the Augustan period the Eleusinian and Thesmophoric cults of the goddess were conflated. As I have suggested above, the Thesmophoric cult may be con nected with the Sicilian setting for the myth of Ceres and Proserpina, while the Eleusinian cu^lt should point to the site of Eleusis itself. In literary sources from this period for the myth, Eleusis is mentioned for the first time. 642647). The visit to Eleusis thus takes place outside the main narrative of the myth.