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Eleusinian mysteries

plural noun
the mysteries, celebrated annually at Eleusis and Athens in ancient times, in memory of the abduction and return of Persephone and in honor of Demeter and Bacchus.
Origin of Eleusinian mysteries
First recorded in 1635-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Eleusinian mysteries
Historical Examples
  • To her is attributed the institution of the Eleusinian mysteries in Greece, the most popular of all the ancient initiations.

    The Symbolism of Freemasonry Albert G. Mackey
  • Thus (i. 232) controversy, it seems, still rages among scholars as to ‘the object of the Eleusinian mysteries.’

    Modern Mythology Andrew Lang
  • So might the priests of old have regarded a Cook's tourist, asking to be personally conducted through the Eleusinian mysteries.

    In Vanity Fair Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd
  • Among rites of the backward races, none, perhaps, so closely resembles the Eleusinian mysteries as the tradition of the Pawnees.

    The Homeric Hymns Andrew Lang
  • This fact is sometimes used as an argument in favour of the Egyptian origin of the Eleusinian mysteries.

  • Pausanias is the authority for a statement by the Phliasians that they imitated the Eleusinian mysteries.

  • At length a rising genius demonstrated how Virgil could not have described the Eleusinian mysteries in the sixth book of the neid.

  • Julian strived in vain to infuse new life into the vanishing cult, but it was too late—the Eleusinian mysteries were dead.

  • Nero sought admission into the Eleusinian mysteries, but was rejected because of the many slaughters connected with his name.

British Dictionary definitions for Eleusinian mysteries

Eleusinian mysteries

plural noun
a mystical religious festival, held in September at Eleusis in classical times, in which initiates celebrated Persephone, Demeter, and Dionysus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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