Quotation by Walter Pater

The myth of Demeter and Persephone, then, illustrates the power of the Greek religion as a religion of pure ideas—of conceptions, which having no link on historical fact, yet, because they arose naturally out of the spirit of man, and embodied, in adequate symbols, his deepest thoughts concerning the conditions of his physical and spiritual life, maintained their hold through many changes, and are still not without a solemnising power even for the modern mind, which has once admitted them as recognised and habitual inhabitants; and, abiding thus for the elevation and purifying of our sentiments, long after the earlier and simpler races of their worshippers have passed away, they may be a pledge to us of the place in our culture, at once legitimate and possible, of the associations, the conceptions, the imagery, of Greek religious poetry in general, of the poetry of all religions.
Walter Pater (1839–1894), British writer, educator. originally published in Fortnightly Review (Feb. 1876). "The Myth of Demeter and Persephone," pt. II, p. 155, repr. In Greek Studies: A Series of Essays, Macmillan (1895).

Posthumously prepared for the press by Charles L. Shadwell.
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