Demeter is the Greek goddess of the harvest and presides over grains and the fertility of the earth. Although she was most often referred to as the goddess of the harvest, she was also goddess of sacred law and the cycle of life and death.

She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a religious tradition that predated the Olympian pantheon. She is often considered to be the same figure as the Anatolian goddess Cybele, her roman counterpart is Ceres.

Demeter was frequently associated with images of the harvest, including flowers, fruit, and grain. She was also sometimes pictured with her daughter Persephone.

Demeter's epithets show her many religious functions. She was the "Corn-Mother" who blesses the harvesters. Some cults interpreted her as "Mother-Earth".
Her other epithets include:
  • Aganippe ("the Mare who destroys mercifully", "Night-Mare")
  • Potnia ("mistress") in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.
  • Despoina ("mistress of the house"), a Greek word similar to the Mycenean potnia.
  • Thesmophoros ("giver of customs" or even "legislator"), derived from thesmos, the unwritten law. This title was connected with the Thesmophoria, a festival of secret women-only rituals in Athens connected with marriage customs.
  • Erinys ("implacable"), goddess of moral justice
  • Chloe ("the green shoot"), that invokes her powers of ever-returning fertility.
  • Europa ("broad face or eyes") at Livadeia of Boeotia.