A king of Eleusis, and husband of Metanira. When Demeter, on her wanderings in search of her daughter, came to Eleusis, she stayed in the house of Celeus. The goddess wished to make his son Demophon immortal, and, in order to destroy his mortal parts, she put him at night into the fire; but Metanira, ignorant of the object, screamed aloud on seeing her child in the fire, and Demophon was destroyed by the flames. Demeter, to make up for the loss, bestowed great favors upon Triptolemus, the other son of Celeus.

Celeus is described as the first priest of Demeter at Eleusis, and his daughters as priestesses of the goddess.1



  1. Homer. Hymn to Demeter, 101 ff.; Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 38.3; ii, 14.2.


  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 5.1.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.