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Greek Gods» Demeter» Myths about Demeter » Triptolemus and the Cultivation of Land

Page last updated on: April 4th, 2021

Triptolemus and the Cultivation of Land

The hero Triptolemus

Triptolemus was a valiant Greek hero and a man of great power in the city of Eleusis, near Athens. Triptolemus was chosen by Demeter, the goddess of vegetation, to teach the world the craft of cultivation.

The Journey of Triptolemus

One day Demeter gave Triptolemus the best wheat she had, equipped him with a winged chariot drawn by serpents, and sent him on a long journey. The first destination was to be Scythia, in Central Asia.

On his journey Triptolemus passed through many dangers, but his heart was very brave and he was able to overcome all obstacles. When Triptolemus reached Scythia, he taught the natives how to grow crops, as well as the tools they would need for the work of sowing.

Triptolemus encounters Lyncus

Meanwhile, Lyncus, the king of Scythia, had become very jealous of Triptolemus and ordered his officials to kill Triptolemus. This way he would be able to spread the rumor that he was the only one who had brought culture to Scythia. But Triptolemus was too strong to defeat him, and Lyncus had to change his plans. So he decided to offer Triptolemus his hospitality, which Triptolemus happily accepted.

While Triptolemus lay in deep slumber, Lyncus slowly entered the room, holding a sharp knife in his hands...but at the very moment the king raised his arm to kill his rival, a large hand reached out and grasped his fist. It was none other than the goddess Demeter.

The Interference of Demeter

"Lyncus, watch out!" she spoke and all at once Lyncus turned into a lynx, quickly running away and hiding in the forest. Triptolemus was finally saved and was able to leave Scythia and teach farming to other tribes.

This myth describes how the ancient Greeks were taught agriculture, which led to the rise of their civilization.

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