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The Mystery of the Mysteries

Prospective initiates in the Eleusinian Mysteries participated in a complicated set of ceremonies that culminated in the revelation of Demeter's central secret after a day of fasting. The revelation was performed in an initiation hall ( telesterion 1) constructed solely for this purpose. Under a roof fifty-five yards square supported on a forest of interior columns, the hall held three thousand people standing around its sides on tiered steps. The most eloquent proof of the sanctity attached to the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore is that, throughout the thousand years during which they were celebrated, we know of no one who ever revealed the secret. To this day, all we know is that it involved something done, something said, and something shown.

1

Eleusis, Telesterion [Building]

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