|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.