Prayers to Ceres

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[[Category:Roman religion]]
==Apuleius Metamorphoses 6.2==
Then Psyche fell down upon Ceres' feet, sweeping the hard earth with
her hair and greatly weeping at Her footsteps, mingled her prayers
for forgiveness with claims of her innocence, O merciful Mother, I
pray You avert my sorrow, by Your generous and temperate right hand,
by the joyful harvest festival, by Your mysteries kept in silent
secrecy, by Your winged servants, the dragons who serve Your chariot
as You go about, and by the furrows in Sicilian clods of earth, and
the plow-wheels that churn them from firm soil, by the marriage of
Proserpina that You discovered through diligently seeking after Your
daughter, and by the mysteries held in silent secrecy within the
Attic temple of Eleusis, halt the misery of Your servant Psyche.
Among this piled wheat let me be concealed, if only for a few days,
until the ire of so great a Goddess passes, or at least give me a
quiet interval that I might rest from my great labour and travail.
==Apuleius Metamorphoses 11.2==
O blessed Queen of Heaven, whether you are the Lady Ceres who is the
original and motherly source of all fruitful things in earth, who
after finding Your daughter Proserpina, through the great joy which
You did presently conceive, made barren and unfruitful ground to be
plowed and sown, and now You inhabit in the land of Eleusis; or
whether You are … Proserpina, by reason of the deadly howling to
which You yield, that has power to stop and put away the invasion of
the hags and Ghosts which appear unto men, and to keep them down in
the closures of the earth; You who is worshipped in divers manners,
and does illuminate all the borders of the earth by Your feminine
shape, You which nourishes all the fruits of the world by Your vigor
and force; with whatsoever name or fashion it is lawful to call upon
You, I pray You end my great travail and misery, and deliver me from
the wretched fortune, which has for so long a time pursued me. Grant
peace and rest if it please You to reply to my entreaties, for I have
endured too much labor and peril. Remove from me this misshapen form
from me, and return me to my pristine form, and if I have offended in
any way the divine Majesty, let me rather die then live, for I am
fully weary of my life.
==Caesius Bassius Hymn to Ceres and Libera by Philicus==
Fertile Goddesses, wives of Jove, may the mystic rite that You
cherish not be defiled.
==Cato De Agricultura 134==
It is fitting to offer the porca praecidanea (to Ceres) prior to the
time of reaping. For Ceres offer a sow as Her porca praecidanea
before you store these fruits of the earth: spelt, wheat, barley,
beans, and the seeds of field mustard. With wine and frankincense
pray to Janus, Jupiter and Juno before sacrificing the sow. Offer
piled cakes to (Ceres) while saying, "(Ceres Mater), to You I pray
with good prayers, offering You this pile of cakes, so that You might
willing be favorable to me and my children, to my home and
household." ... Afterwards give an offering of wine to
(Ceres), "(Ceres Mater), for the same reasons given in the good
prayers I prayed while offering You piled cakes, may You accept and
be honor by this portion of wine I pour."
==Cicero In C. Verrem IV.72. 187-8==
O Ceres and Libera, whose sacred worship, as the opinions and
religious belief of all men agree, is contained in the most important
and most abstruse mysteries; You, by whom the principles of life and
food, the examples of laws, customs, humanity, and refinement are
said to have been given and distributed to nations and to cities;
You, whose sacred rites the Roman people has received from the Greeks
and adopted, and now preserves with such religious awe, both publicly
and privately, that they seem not to have been introduced from other
nations, but rather to have been transmitted from hence to other
nations. You, again and again I implore and appeal to, most holy
Goddesses, who dwell around those lakes and groves of Enna, and who
preside over all Sicily,… You whose invention and gift of corn, which
You have distributed over the whole earth, inspires all nations and
all races of men with reverence for Your divine power;--And all the
other Gods, and all the Goddesses, do I implore and entreat.
==Livius Andronicus Equos Troianos==
Grant me the strength, Goddess, to whom I ask, to whom I pray; extend
your assistance to me.
Da mihi hasce opes, quas peto, quas precor porrige opitula
==Livy 24.38.8==
Mother Ceres and Proserpina and all You Gods above and below who
inhabit the city, these hallowed lakes and groves, I pray that You
attend us with Your favor and support, if it should be that we are
taking this initial step for the purpose of guarding against
treacherous falsehood, not practicing it.
Vos, Ceres Mater ac Proserpina, precor, ceteri superi infernique Di,
qui hanc urbem, hoc sacratos lacus locosque colitis, ut ita nobis
volentes propitii adsitis, si vitandae, non inferendae fraudis causa
hoc consilii capimu.
==Ovid Fasti I.671-704: Paganalia Prayer to Ceres and Tellus==
O Mothers of Fruitfulness, Earth and Ceres, please,
With salted spelt cakes offered for Your mother's woe,
In kind service have Earth and Ceres nurtured wheat,
She who gave grain life, She who gave us room to grow.
Pray then before the sheep are shorn their winter's fleece.
Consorts in labour who antiquity reformed,
Oaken acorn have You replaced by useful meal,
With boundless crops satisfy those who fields farmed,
O that they may by their tillage their reward seal.
May You grant tender seed abundant increase.
Let not icy cold enwrap our new shoots with snow,
While we sow let cloudless skies and fair winds blow.
When the seed lies sprouting, sprinkle with gentle rains,
May You ward off the feasting by birds from our grains.
You also, little ants, spare the grain we have sown,
More abundant will be your harvest when 'tis grown.
Meanwhile may our grain not blight by rough mildew,
Nor foul weather our seed blanch to a sickly hue.
Never may our grain be shriveled nor may it swell,
Without eye-stinging cockle, not by wild oats held.
Crops of wheat, of barley, of spelt grow on the farm,
Look now, Good Mothers, guard well the field,
The seasons change, the earth by Your breath grows warm,
With Your gentle touch may You increase our yield.
By Peace Ceres nursed, Her foster-child live in peace.
==Ovid Amores III 10. 3-14; 43-8==
Flaxen haired Ceres, Your fine tresses wreathed with ears of wheat,
why must your sacred rites inhibit our pleasures? Goddess, people
everywhere praise for your munificence. No other goddess so lavishes
men and women with everything good. In earlier times the uncouth
peasant never roasted grains of wheat, never knew a threshing floor,
but oak trees, those first oracles, provided them with gruel.
Acorns, tender roots and herbs made their meal then. Ceres first
taught seeds to ripen in the fields, taught how to follow Her with
scythe against their golden hair, first broke the oxen to yoke and
reveal the fertile earth beneath its curved blade.
O golden haired Ceres, just because lying apart was so sad for You.
must I now, too, suffer so on Your holy day? Why must I be sad when
You rejoice at the return of Your daughter whose realm is the lesser
only to Juno's? A festival calls for singing and drinking and
lovemaking. These are fit gifts to carry to the temples and please
the gods.
==Ovid, Ibis 419-20==
May the son of Ceres be forever sought by you in vain; and may you
always remain destitute, your prayers for wealth and fortune
frustrated by Him.
==Seneca, Hercules Furens 229==
For you, Goddess of the Fruits of the Earth, your secret rites I will
fund; in your shrine at Eleusius shall burn the sacred flame in
celebration of your mysteries.
==Servius Honoratus, On the Georgics 1.21==
Fabius Pictor enumerates these lesser gods, who the flamen Cerealis
invokes when offering sacrifice to Tellus and Ceres: Vervactor,
Reparator, Imporcitor, Insitor, Obarator, Occator, Sarritor,
Subruncinator, Messor, Convector, Conditor, and Promitor.
==Harvest Prayer to Ceres (modern reconstruction by M Moravius Piscinus)==
O most holy Ceres, nurturing Mother, whose sacred womb gave birth to
both Gods and men; You, Vervactor, who first yoked the oxen and
placed the ploughshare to virgin soil; You, Reparator, who first
prepared furrows in fallow land; You, Imporcitor, who first made wide
our furrows; You, Insitor, who first cast Your bounty on the earth
and taught the seed to grow; Obarator, Sarritor, Subruncinator, and
You, Sterculinia, who first cared for crops; You, Flora, who make the
grain to bear fruit; You, Messitor, who first set scythe to grain
stalks; You, Convector, who first spread grain on the sacred harvest
floor; You, Noduterentor, who first showed us how to thresh, and You,
most holy Ceres, whose very breath separates the white chaff from the
golden grain; You, Conditor and Tutilina, who guard the grain in
storage; You, Promitor, who first milled the grain and distributed
its flour for our daily bread; You, eternal savior, Ceres, lavishing
Your bounty upon me and mine, to You, flaxen-haired Ceres, gladly I
give thanks and praise, and, from the little I have, to You I
willingly make an offering. Accept these, the first fruits of my
fields. May my offering incline You more towards me. May You ever
nourish me and mine with Your bounty, O most holy and nurturing
Mother, gentle Ceres.
==Tibullus I.1.15-6==
Golden-haired Ceres, bless this our farm; a crown of wheat I shall
hang before your altar.
==Tibullus II.1.3-4; 17-20==
Come to us, Bacchus, with clusters of grapes dangling from your
horns, and you, too, Ceres, a wreath of newly ripened wheat for your
temples, come!
Gods of our fathers, we purify our farmers and our fruitful fields;
we ask that you drive away harm from our borders. Let not the now
sprouting plants succumb before harvest, let not the timid lambs be
outrun by swift wolves.
==Virgil Georgics I.7-12: ==
Liber and gentle Ceres, if by your gifts the earth once changed,
exchanging Chaonian acorns for rich heads of grain, and receiving
your invention of wine from Acheloian cups, and you Fauns, your
divine presence an aid for rustics, bring dancing feet, as when Dryad
girls frolic with Fauns, of your gifts I sing.

Revision as of 20:49, 13 March 2011

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