CERES (pronounced SAIR-eez) is the Roman Goddess of agriculture and motherly love. She is the daughter of Saturn and Ops, and sister to Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, and Vesta. She is often identified with the Greek Goddess Demeter, and her daughter Proserpina is identified with Demeter's daughter Persephone. Ceres, whose name means "create", is called on to ensure a plentiful harvest. She is usually portrayed with a basket of flowers or fruit and grain around her neck and in her hair. She is assisted by 12 minor Gods, whose roles comprise the entire process of growing and supplying grain: Vervactor who turns fallow land, Reparator who prepares fallow land, Imporcitor who plows with wide furrows, Insitor who sowed, Obarator who plowed the surface, Occator who harrowed, Sarritor who weeded, Subruncinator who thinned out, Messor who harvested, Conuector who carted, Conditor who stored, and Promitor who distributed.
Epithets for Ceres include FLAVA (golden, the color of grain), FRUGIFERA (bearer of crops), LARGA (abundant), FECUNDA (fecund), FERTILIS (fertile), GENETRIX FRUGUM (progenetress of the crops), MATER (mother), and POTENS FRUGUM (powerful in crops).
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