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Kerykes

The Kerykes were one of the sacred Eleusinian families of priests that ran the Eleusinian mysteries during the Hellenic era. They popularized the cult and allowed many more to be initiated into the great secrets of Demeter and Persephone.

Starting about 300 BCE, the state took over control of the Mysteries, specifically controlled by two familes: the Eumolpidae and the Kerykes. This led to a vast increase in the number of initiates. The only requirements for membership were a lack of "blood guilt", meaning having never committed murder, and not being a barbarian (able to speak Greek). Men, women and even slaves were allowed to be initiated.



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