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Eleusis

Eleusis

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Eleusis is a town and municipality in West Attica and it is best known for having been the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the most famous religious events of the ancient Greek religion and the birthplace of Aeschylus, one of the three great tragedians of antiquity.

The central myth of the Mysteries was Demeter's quest for her lost daughter who had been abducted by Hades. It was here that Demeter, disguised as an old lady who was abducted by pirates in Crete, came to an old well where the four daughters of the local king Keleos and his queen Metaneira (Kallidike, Kleisidike, Demo and Kallithoe) found her and took her to their palace to nurse the son of Keleos and Metaneira, Demophoon. Demeter raised Demophoon, anointing him with nectar and ambrosia, until Metaneira found out and insulted her. Demeter arose insulted, and casting off her disguise, and, in all her glory, instructed Meteneira to build a temple to her. Keleos, informed the next morning by Metaneira, ordered the citizens to build a rich shrine to Demeter, where she sat in her temple until the lot of the world prayed to Zeus to make the world provide food again.

 

Today Eleusis is a major industrial centre, with the largest oil refinery in Greece.

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