The Temple Complex
What I Believe to be a Mithraic Baptismal Site?
The Well of the Fair Dances
Entrance to the Cisterns
Eleusis is built on the road between Athens and the Peloponese, and in ancient times was the site of the most important sanctuary of Demeter and her daughter Persephone.
From 1700 BCE, the Eleusinian Mysteries, based on the search for her lost daughter Persephone by the Goddess Demeter, were celebrated there at the end of a 12 mile sacred way which led from the Athenian cemetery at Kerameikos to the sanctuary. The name Eleusis means "having arrived."
The cult carried on into Roman times, and when the temple was sacked, in 170 CE, it was rebuilt by Marcus Aurelius, who became the first non Greek allowed to attain the Greater Mysteries.
During the Roman period, Mithraic rites were included in the Mysteries, and although the Romans continued to support the temple, Julian the last Pagan emperor being the last leader initiated, by the 4th century Xtianity destroyed the religion.
The Roman emperor Theodosius I had the sanctuary closed in 392 CE, and the site was totally desecrated by 396 CE.