Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Visiting Elevsis

If you go to Greece, studying their ancient religious traditions, Elevsis (Elefsina), ca. 30 km outside Athens, is surely a place you ought to see.
Being one of the most famous sites of the ancient mystery cults, it has a history going back to ca 700 BCE. But to have a good understanding of the site, you need to know the story behind it, that is, the story of Demeter and Kore. You can read about the legend here:


The view when you enter the Site of Eleusis. The many stones laying around gives you a small but strong impression that the entrance must have been marvelous.

Entrance gate detail

This detail from the entrance gate at Eleusis made me almost hear the sound of the doors getting opened and then being closed. I surely would not have been taken inside….


The place were according to the story Hades came up from the underworld and captured Kore.

A bouquet to Demeter?

It was somewhat strange to see that at the innermost of the Hades cave, someone had placed a bouquet of some flowers and some ears of corn. Still someone worshipping Demeter?

Elevsis overview

An overview of ancient Eleusis; compare it to the model below.

A model of ancient Eleuvsis

This model of ancient Eleuvsis is located in the Eleuvsis museum, on site.