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LERNAEA

LERNAEA (λερναῖα) were mysteries celebrated at Lerna in Argolis in honour of Demeter and also to Dionysus, for both deities had shrines there. Dionysus had descended by the marsh of Lerna to the nether world to seek his mother Semele. Pausanias says that part of these rights might be revealed to the uninitiated, but that which belonged to Dionysus might not. Probably these mysteries reproduced the doctrines of Eleusis about a future life. We are told that there was a doubtful tradition to the effect that Philammon instituted these mysteries. In ancient times the Argives brought firs for them from the temple of Artemis Pyronia on Mount Crathis. (Paus. 2.36, 37, 8.15; Maury, Relig. de la Grèce, 2.370.)

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