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You are here: Home Ancient Places Temple of Demeter at the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros, Selinus

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Temple of Demeter at the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros, Selinus

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Lewin Ernest Staine, Erin Dooley, Tom Elliott Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Feb 02, 2017 07:46 AM History
The Temple of Demeter was used for the worship of Demeter (Malophoros), goddess of fertility, grain and agriculture. Built in the seventh century BC, the temple was used continuously until its abandonment ca. 250 BC

https://pleiades.stoa.org/places/502577471

37.586763, 12.816874
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  • Temple of Demeter at the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros, Selinus connection Selinus (unspecified date range)
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sanctuary (religious center), temple

Pleiades

The Temple of Demeter at the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros is located in Selinus, Sicily. Malophoros means “apple-bearer”, and is an epithet attached to Demeter in her capacity as the goddess of fertility, grain, and agriculture.  The early colonists of Selinus were primarily farmers and dedicated the sanctuary to the goddess in the hopes of successful harvests. The first temple was built here in the early seventh century BC, but it was replaced ca. 650 BC by the temple of megaron plan that is currently visible. This temple lacks a peripteros and reflects temple-planning of the period of Greek architecture before columns were widely used. In the late sixth through the fifth century, the sanctuary was embellished with a large altar, substantial stone temenos walls, and a propylon, which is the only building of its type in Sicily. The sanctuary was continuously used even after the capture of Selinus by Carthage in 409 BC.  In 250 BC, during the First Punic War, the Carthaginians destroyed the town's fortifications and the town and sanctuary were abandoned. In the sixth century AD, the remaining structures were completely destroyed by an earthquake. Excavation began in the late 18th century, and uncovered ceramics, bronze, iron, silver, ivory, and votive figurines, mainly statuettes of female figures. A bone flute was also found, indicating the use of music in Greek worship.


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Lewin Ernest Staine, Erin Dooley, Tom Elliott, Jeffrey Becker, and Adam Rabinowitz, 'Temple of Demeter at the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros, Selinus: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2017 <https://pleiades.stoa.org/places/502577471> [accessed: 14 December 2018]

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