The Eleusinian Mysteries: Occult Secrets of the Ancient Greeks -ONLINE CLASS

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Taught by Andrew Coletti

Andrew Coletti is an educator, food writer and history nerd who has been known to throw historical dinner parties just for fun. He makes videos about food history on TikTok and Instagram @passtheflamingo, and writes about food for Tasting Table and other publications.

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* This class will meet via Zoom! Download the web client at in advance; link will be sent before the talk.  A recording of the talk with closed captions can be made available after the talk to enrolled students.*

Every year in the Ancient Greek city of Eleusis, people gathered from far and wide to worship the power of nature with a series of religious rituals called the Eleusinian Mysteries. Although it was kept secret from all but the initiated, the cult of the Mysteries survived for centuries, with a tremendous impact that can still be felt today. More than a celebration of the power of nature, the Mysteries were the original “secret society”, the prototype of something that has captured human imagination ever since.

But what kind of beliefs and rituals made up these Mysteries? What was the true secret that worshippers kept from outsiders for so long: psychedelic drugs? Wild partying? Or something more sinister?

We’ll find out the answers to these questions and more in this class, which will trace the Mysteries from their primordial origins to their official shutdown in the 4th century. We’ll also learn how the Mysteries are reflected in religious practices of the past and present alike, and sample a (non-psychedelic) beverage that was part of the rites.

No prior knowledge of Ancient Greece required!

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