Triptolemus  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Triptolemos Painter

Triptolemus (Greek: Τριπτόλεμος, lit. "threefold warrior"; also known as Buzyges), in Greek mythology always connected with Demeter of the Eleusinian Mysteries, might be accounted the son of King Celeus of Eleusis in Attica, or, according to the Pseudo-Apollodorus (Bibliotheca I.V.2), the son of Gaia and Okeanos—another way of saying he was "primordial man".

While Demeter was searching for her daughter, having taken the form of an old woman called Doso, she received a hospitable welcome from Celeus. He asked her to nurse Demophon—"killer of men", a counterpart to Triptolemus— and Triptolemus, his sons by Metanira. As a gift to Celeus, because of his hospitality, Demeter planned to make Demophon immortal by burning away his mortal spirit in the family hearth every night. She was unable to complete the ritual because Metanira walked in on her one night. Instead, Demeter chose to teach Triptolemus the art of agriculture and, from him, the rest of Greece learned to plant and reap crops. He flew across the land on a winged chariot while Demeter and Persephone cared for him, and helped him complete his mission of educating the whole of Greece in the art of agriculture.

When Triptolemus taught Lyncus, King of the Scythians, the arts of agriculture, Lyncus refused to teach it to his people and then tried to kill Triptolemus. Demeter turned him into a lynx. Triptolemus was equally associated with the bestowal of hope for the afterlife associated with the expansion of the Eleusinian Mysteries (Kerenyi 1967 p 123).



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Triptolemus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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