The myth of Demetra and Triptolemos

myth of demeter and triptolemus

Triptolemos (or Triptolemus) was the son of Metanira and King Celeus of Eleusis in Attica.

While Demetra (Demeter) was searching for her daughter, having taken the form of an old woman called Doso, she received a hospitable welcome from Celeus. Celeus asked her to nurse his sons Demophon and Triptolemos. Demeter saw Triptolemos was sick and fed him her breast milk. Not only did he recover his strength but he instantly became an adult. Demeter also chose to teach Triptolemos the art of agriculture and, from him, the rest of Greece learned to plant and reap crops. Eventually Triptolemos flew across the land on a winged chariot to complete his mission of educating the whole of Greece, and the whole world, on the art of agriculture.

In the later myths Triptolemos became after his death the judge in the underworld.

According to the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (anonymous text of the 7th century BCE), Triptolemos was one of the men who had great power and honor in Eleusis and was one of the chiefs among the people, protecting the city by their wisdom and true judgements. The Hymn also gives us the information that Triptolemos together with Diocles, Eumolpos, Keleus and Polyxeinus learned the mysteries and rites of the goddess Demeter.