Description:This silver denarius coin was minted in Rome by moneyer L. Cassius Caecianus in 102 BC. Ceres, depicted here with a grain ear wreath, was the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. Sister of Jupiter, Ceres is one of the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter. Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat, the yoking of oxen and plowing, the sowing and the gift of agriculture to humankind. Before this, it was said man had subsisted on acorns and wandered without settlement or laws.
Ceres also controlled the seasons and because of that she was capable of destroying all life on earth. Her daughter Proserpina became the goddess of the underworld when Pluto abducted her from the Earth and brought her into the underworld. Life came to a standstill as the depressed Ceres searched for her lost daughter, wandering the Earth night and day. Finally, Jupiter could not put up with the dying Earth and forced Pluto to return Proserpina. But before she was released, she had eaten a number of pomegranate seeds, which forced her to return for four months each year. This corresponds with the dry Mediterranean summer, during which plant life is threatened by drought.