Demeter of Cnidus, sculpture, mid-4th century BC; in the British Museum.—Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum
In Greek religion, a consort of Zeus and the goddess of agricuture, especially grain. Though rarely mentioned by Homer and not an Olympian deity, she is probably an ancient goddess. She is best remembered for her role in the story of Persephone, in which her lack of attention to the harvest causes a famine. In addition to appearing as a goddess of agriculture, Demeter was sometimes worshiped as a divinity of the Underworld and as a goddess of health, birth, and marriage.