The first temples and the cult of Demeter and Persephone

The Eleusinian mysteries

The Eleusinian Mysteries were a feast in the Athenian religious calendar.
They were held during the last two weeks of September in the sanctuary dedicated to Demeter and Persephone near Eleusis, a few kilometres from Athens.
The origin of these rites came from the abduction of Persephone by Hades: the myth tells that during the search for her daughter, Demeter arrived at Eleusis and instituted the Mysteries, religious rites of a secret nature.
The initiates who took part obtained two benefits: happiness in earthly life and better prospects for life after death. The Mysteries began in Athens, where the initiates took a ritual bath. Then, without eating, they marched towards Eleusis and along the Sacred Way, continuing to fast and performing rites and sacrifices. When they arrived at the sanctuary, they drank a mixture of water and barley, called kykeon, and entered a building, the Telesterion, which was prepared to host them.
Many mysteries still exist around the nocturnal ritual that was carried out inside the structure. We only know of one ritual formula that the new adepts performed during the night, which showed a reference to the ritual grinding of grain .
The Eleusinian Mysteries were mentioned for the first time in a document from the 7th century BC. Their spread to Rome and especially to Magna Graecia, where the cult of the chthonic deities was particularly felt, was recorded until the 4th century AD.

The Eleusinian mysteries

The sanctuary of the chthonic deities

The Temple of Asclepius

From pagan cults to Christian worship: the Church of St. Gregory

The Twelve Labours of Heracles

Reinforcement of natural ramparts

Empedocles, the political philosopher

The Temple of Demeter

Akragas in the beginning

Vegetation in the Gardens

The walls of Akragas in the fifth century BC

A monument for the victory over Carthage: the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Phalaris, the terrible tyrant

The Sanctuary of Asclepius: a place of welcome for the sick

The cult of Demeter and Persephone

The Akragas building sites

The Kolymbetra Garden

The Temple of Heracles

The Temple of Hera Lacinia

Theron, tyrant of the arts and victories

Sacrifices for the goddesses that made the fields fertile

The most beautiful city of mortals

The lively decorations of the temple

The Temple of Concordia