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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Gods,Non-Olympian>Cybele

Cybele

Cybele was the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother.


Claudius and Agrippina Junior, 50 - 13 October 54 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia
Click for a larger photo Agrippina Jr. was daughter of Agrippina Sr. and Germanicus, sister of Caligula, and mother of Nero. She seduced and married her uncle Claudius, murdering him after she secured the thrown for Nero. A soothsayer prophesied if Nero became emperor, he would kill his mother, Agrippina replied "Let him kill me, only let him rule!" Nero executed her in 59 A.D.
RP70082. Bronze AE 21, Klose XXX; RPC I 2475; SNG Cop 1348; BMC Ionia p. 270, 281; Lindgren I A561A, VF, nice near black dark patina, small areas of light corrosion and encrustation, strike weak upper reverse, weight 5.197 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, 51 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse jugate laureate head of Claudius and draped bust of Agrippina Junior right, ΣMYP below; reverse EΠI ΦIΛIΣTOY EIKA∆IOΣ (stephanephoros Philistos and strategos Eikadios), Cybele seated left, patera in right, left arm resting on tympanum on seat beside her, small lion right under seat on exergue line; rare; $300.00 (225.00)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Deultum, Thrace
Click for a larger photo Cybele, the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother, was born a hermaphrodite but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle, the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.
RP63225. Bronze AE 25, Draganov Deultum 958 (O102/R420), Jurukova Deultum 271, Varbanov II 2543 corr. (obv leg, R4), VF, weight 6.915 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 180o, Deultum mint, obverse IMP C GORDIANVS PIVS FE AVG (sic, AV ligate), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL FL PA-C DEVLT, Cybele seated left, kalathos on head, patera in right, transverse scepter in left, left arm resting on a tympanum, throne flanked by two lions reclining left; very rare; $135.00 (101.25)

Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Cybele, the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother, was born a hermaphrodite but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle, the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.
RS59584. Silver denarius, RIC IV (Caracalla) 382, BMCRE V 16, RSC III 137, VF, flan crack, weight 3.136 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 211 - 215 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right; reverse MATRI DEVM, Cybele standing facing, leaning with left arm resting on a column, head left, towered and veiled, legs crossed, drum in right, long scepter resting against left arm, lion at feet left; $115.00 (86.25)


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Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
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Cybele