Eleusis was a deme of Athens and most famous for its annual festival of the Mysteries in honour of Demeter and Persephone. The site was also an important fortress protecting Attica and held several other important festivals, notably the Thesmophoria, the subject and title of a comedy play by Aristophanes. The site continued to be an important religious centre through Hellenistic and Roman times, when the site was significantly expanded with monumental architecture being added by several Roman emperors.

More about: Eleusis


  • c. 1900 BCE
    First recorded settlement at Eleusis.
  • c. 1500 BCE
    First temple to Demeter & Persephone is built at Eleusis.
  • c. 600 BCE
    The Eleusinian Mysteries become part of the official Athenian religious calendar.
  • c. 479 BCE
    Eleusis is destroyed by the Persians.
  • c. 450 BCE
    Pericles oversees a significant rebuilding programme at Eleusis.
  • c. 360 BCE
    Eleusis is again expanded and new fortifications added.
  • 170 CE
    Eleusis is destroyed by the Costobocs.
  • 170 CE - 180 CE
    Marcus Aurelius oversees a rebuilding programme at Eleusis which includes a new propylaea.
  • 379 CE
    Theodosius I orders the closure of all Greek pagan sites.
  • 395 CE
    Eleusis is detroyed in the Visigoth invasion.