Ceres is the roman name for the Greek goddess Demeter. The introduction of the cult to Ceres in Rome dates back to the year 496 BC and seems to follow from the siege of the city by the Etruscans, while Rome was threatened with famine.
For the Greeks Ceres was the Mother Goddess of the Earth. Seduced by Zeus she had a daughter from him, Persephone. Persephone happily grew up among the other daughters of Zeus, but being extremely sweet and beautiful her uncle Hades fell in love with her. One day while Persephone was picking flowers (the legend has it, it was a narcissus) the ground opened and Hades appeared and dragged her down into the Underworld. Persephone cried out as she disappeared but, while hearing her cry, when Ceres arrived to the place there was no sign of Persephone anymore. For nine days and nine nights Ceres wandered around the world with a lighted torch on either hand, looking for her beloved daughter. Only in the tenth day she met Helios, who sees everything, and he was able to tell her what had really happened. Ceres decided to abandon her divine role until her daughter was returned to her.
Ceres' self imposed exile from the divinities made the Earth sterile, so Zeus ordered Hades to return Persephone. But that was no longer possible. During her stay in the Underworld Persephone had eaten a pomegranate seed which linked her forever to Hades. A compromise was reached by which Ceres would return to Mount Olympus and Persephone would divide the year: half with her mother and the other half in the Underworld. This is why when Persephone leaves the Underworld to be with her mother the Earth blossoms, bringing Spring and Summer to the mortals as a sign of the joy of both deities. When time comes for Persephone to leave her mother for the Underworld, autumn and winter cover the Earth in sign of grieve.
Carlos P. de los Heros (
Last update: 6 Oct. 1994.
|Ceres Argentine||Southern||29.52' S||61.56' W|
|Ceres California, USA||Northern||37.35'.42 N||120.57'.24 W|
|Ceres Cuba||Northern||22.53' N||81.12' W|
|Ceres France||Northern||48.9' N||4.10' E|
|Ceres Goias, Brazil||Southern||15.16' S||49.35' W|
|Ceres Iowa, USA||Northern||42.49'.14 N||91.11'.10 W|
|Ceres Italy||Northern||45.18' N||7.22 E|
|Ceres New York||Northern||41.59'.58 N||78.16'.09 W|
|Ceres Oklahoma, USA||Northern||36.28'.38 N||97.16'.56 W|
|Ceres Pennsylvania, USA||Northern||41.57'.00 N||78.14'.00 W|
|Ceres Scotland, UK||Northern||56.17' N||2.58' W|
|Ceres Sonora, Mexico||Northern||28.35' N||111.28' W|
|Ceres South Africa||Southern||33.21' S||19.18' E|
|Ceres Victoria, Australia||Southern||38.9' S||144.16' E|
|Ceres Virginia, USA||Northern||37.01'.04 N||81.20'.35 W|
|Ceres Washington, USA||Northern||46.36'.29 N||123.09'.08 W|
|Ceres West Virginia, USA||Northern||37.18'.28 N||81.08'.53|
Asteroid, one of the many small or minor planets that are members of the solar system and that move in elliptical orbits primarily between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
One of the largest asteroids in our solar system is Ceres, with a diameter of about 1030 km (about 640 mi) About 200 asteroids have diameters of more than 97 km (more than 60 mi), and thousands of smaller ones exist. The total mass of all asteroids in the solar system is much less than the mass of the Moon. The larger bodies are roughly spherical, but elongated and irregular shapes are common for those with diameters of less than 160 km (less than 100 mi). Most asteroids, regardless of size, rotate on their axes every 5 to 20 hours. Certain asteroids may be binary, or have satellites of their own.
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