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Demeter (Attic – Δημήτηρ) is the ancient Greek goddess of the harvest, grain, and agriculture who, in Greek mythology, presides over the fertility of the earth and the cycles of life and death. She is also referred to as Sito (Σιτώ), ‘she of the Grain’, or ‘giver of food or grain’, and Thesmophoros (θεσμός, thesmos – divine order, unwritten law; φόρος – phoros: bringer, bearer – ‘Law-Bringer’ in reference to the order that exists in civilized agricultural societies.
Demeter and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a religious tradition that predated the Olympian pantheon, and possibly dating back to the Mycenaean period c. 1400–1200 BCE. She is generally thought to be analogous to the Anatolian goddess Cybele, while the equivalent Roman goddess was Ceres.
The hair of Demeter is presented in various styles and the symbols appearing with the ear of corn or barley include a plough, ant, locust,bee, cicada, cornucopia, amphora, vine-branch, star, Nike, satyr, tongs, griffin, rake, Artemis, club and fulmen, bucranium, leaf, caduceus, tripod, mouse, krater
Lucania (Greek: Λευκανία, Leukania) was an ancient district of southern Italy, extending from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Gulf of Taranto. To the north it adjoined Campania, Samnium and Apulia, and to the south it was separated by a narrow isthmus from the district of Bruttium. It thus comprised almost all the modern region of the Basilicata, with the greater part of the province of Salerno (the so-called Cilento) and a portion of that of Cosenza. The precise limits were the river Silarus on the north-west, which separated it from Campania, and the Bradanus, which flows into the Gulf of Tarentum, on the north-east; while the two little rivers Laus and Crathis, flowing from the ridge of the Apennines to the sea on the west and east, marked the limits of the district on the side of the Bruttii.[1]
The coinage of the district which takes its name from the Lucanians, a people of Samnite race who migrated southwards in around 400 BCE comprises:
(i) Of the money of the ancient Achaean and other Greek towns, Sybaris, Siris, and Metapontum on the east side, and Laüs and Pyxus on the west, together with that of Velia and Poseidonia.
(ii) Of that of the later Greek colonies Thurium and Heraclea.
(iii) Of that of the Lucanians after they had made themselves masters of Poseidonia, Laüs, and Metapontum, and had become partially Hellenized.
(iv) Of that of Paestum (Poseidonia), and Copia (Thurium), under the Romans.
Lucani. The coinage of the Lucanians, like that of the Bruttians, with which it is contemporary, did not commence before the beginning of the third century BBCE at the earliest, and it did not continue beyond the conclusion of the Second Punic War, when, after Hannibal ‘s departure, Lucania was finally subdued by Rome.[1]
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