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To many Ceres was the Roman Mother Goddess, or "great mother," whose predecessors included Inanna, Ishtar, Artemis, Kybele, and Demeter of whom she closely resembled. She was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and one of the more important consorts of Jupiter. Her daughter Kore, in the upper world, is Persephone, goddess of the underworld. She became foster mother to Triptolemus, an ill-fated king in the mold of the Mesopotamian Dumuzi, as depicted in the classical Greek Eleusinian Mysteries. As an embodiment of vegetation, Ceres neglects the natural world during the time Persephone is confined in the underworld, but restores the earth's vegetation annually when her daughter returns to her.
Ceres was worshipped at the festivals of Thesmophoria and Ceralia in sanctuaries throughout the Greco-Roman empires. A.G.H.
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 52