Eleusis has ratings and 6 reviews. Barnaby said: The only other book I’ve spent any time with by Kerényi is his Greek Gods, which I found encyclope. : Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter: pages. Dimensions: in. x in. x Sanctuary of Eleusis, near Athens, was. Get this from a library! Eleusis: archetypal image of mother and daughter. [Karl Kerényi].

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The Sanctuary of Eleusis, near Athens, was the center of a religious cult that endured for nearly two thousand years and whose initiates came from all parts of the civilized world. Looking at the tendency to immage visions,” C. Kerenyi examines the Mysteries of Eleusis from the standpoint not only of Greek myth but also of human nature. Kerenyi holds that the yearly autumnal “mysteries” were mohher on the ancient myth of Demeter’s search for her ravished daughter Persephone–a search that he equates not only with woman’s quest for completion but also with every person’s pursuit of identity.

As he explores what the content of the mysteries may have been for those who experienced them, he draws on the study of archaeology, objects of art, and religious history, and suggests rich parallels from other mythologies. Mylonas’s magisterial work, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Read more Read less. Add both to Cart Add both to List. Buy the selected items together E,eusis item: Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life. Archetypal Image of Human Existence. The Gods of the Greeks.

Essays on a Science of Mythology. Amor and Psyche Mythos Books. Review “This book is fascinating reading and serves as a meaningful complement to George E.

English translation Original Language: Bollingen Series General Archetypak Paperback: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 9 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.

Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter – Karl Kerényi – Google Books

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. This book is a sincere attempt to piece together the secret of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Pouring over the Greek myths, history and the social institutions, Kerenyi tries to ferret out the truth behind the mystery. He works hard, and gets very close but in the end it is all conjecture.

That said this was a marvelous book. It is clear the Kerenyi knows his Greek mythology and history, and his conclusions are logical enough to be possible. I have been obsessed about the secret of the Mysteries since I first learned about them and Kerenyi’s book gets you as close as one can get to an extinct secret ancient religion.


One person found this helpful. The Mysteries, if you aren’t familiar with them, were an initiatory ritual dedicated to the grain mother, Demeter, and her daughter Persephone, who married the lord of death and agreed to split her time between the upper world and the lower.

Thousands of Greeks lined up to receive initiation year after year, and afterward they raved of a beatific vision that completely dispelled their fear of death. But they were sworn to secrecy about the things they saw in the Goddesses’ temple, and so there are no records explicitly saying what happened there.

Many scholars have studied the Mysteries, and at the end of their essays thrown up their hands, figuratively, and saying there is no way we will ever know what the revelation was.

Kerenyi does a wonderful job, in this imafe book, of trying to put his finger on the nature of the vision. He starts by ruling out things that it could not have been. There were no secrets there. Thus, the Mysteries must not have centered around either of these events. He then uses archaeological and literary evidence to piece together a surmise about mothher the Mysteries really were. So many little things, in Kerenyi’s hands, add up to become significant.

Why won’t Demeter drink wine during her mourning period? What is the meaning behind the scene where she puts the boy in the fire to make him immortal?

What about tantalizing poetic hints that Demeter, like earlier mother goddesses, might have descended to the underworld herself in search of her daughter? In the end, Kerenyi’s theory works quite well. The Mysteries could very well have been much like what he describes.

Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter

And yet, even if he’s right, there is still something mysterious about the whole production. We might have finally figured out what the priests and priestesses of Eleusis showed to the initiates.

But we have to use our imaginations to recreate the feeling it must have given them, the meaning it must have held, in a less cynical age than our own. I recommend this book as a formidable try to unravel one of the most important ancient pagan mysteries, that survived for more than a thousand years in the Ancient world.

For Kerenyi, the core of the mysteries was the message that ‘a birth in death was possible’, also for human beings. This message was ‘shown’ through the ancient myth of the search of Demeter for her ravished daughter Persephone. She finds Persephone under the earth, where she gives birth to Dionysos. The hope of life in death was symbolized through Demeter’s offering of the grain, that will grow again. We can see this important hapenning on a stele in the Ancient museum of Athens.


The initiated had to fast and were given a drug the kykeon just before the procession. Nearly all Roman emperors were initiated with a special place for Marcus Aurelius. One of the initiated was Plato, who speaks about it in his work ‘Phaidoon’. The influence on Christianity by the mysteries cannot be underestimated, for Plato’s theory of the soul was adopted by the Church.

Perhaps it is the translation into english keeping this a very fresh read on a beautiful and little understood subject.

Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter by Karl Kerényi

Reflecting the many slightly altered dieties in present day pantheist religions he jusxtaposes the various tidbits that have filtered through time into a beautiful kaleidoscopic inquiry.

He uses multiple sources, art as well as writings. This enlarged scope of view enables many possibilities. Pluton the child offering the cornucopia from the earth goddess beneath to the earth goddess above and variation by example. Without the restrictions of a mono theist mindset more interesting possibilities are delicately explored and the natural arhetypal of this religion over many generations is given breathing room.

Agile astute mind, he grasps the needs religion fulfills and proceeds from there unhurriedly, carefully looking for clues across cultures, language, places, rites, herbs, plants, elements, pottery and chants or music.

He doesn’t dismiss vital details in favor of hard ideas. See all 9 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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