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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Cybele||View Options:  |  |  | 

Cybele

Cybele, the Phrygian "Great Mother" earth goddess, was born a hermaphrodite, but castrated by the gods, she became female. Phrygia's only known goddess, she was probably its national deity. Greek colonists in Asia Minor adopted and adapted her Phrygian cult and spread it to mainland Greece and to the more distant western Greek colonies around the 6th century B.C.

In Greece, Cybele became partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth-goddess Gaia, of her possibly Minoan equivalent Rhea, and of the harvestĖmother goddess Demeter. Athens, evoked her as a protector, but her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-goddess who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following.

After dire prodigies, including a meteor shower and a failed harvest, seemed to warn of Rome's imminent defeat to Hannibal, the Roman senate consulted the Sibylline oracle. Heeding the oracle's advice, the senate brought worship of Cybele 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.
Cybele

Trapezopolis, Caria, c. 150 - 200 A.D.

|Other| |Caria|, |Trapezopolis,| |Caria,| |c.| |150| |-| |200| |A.D.||AE| |23|
In ancient Greece the chief magistrate in various Greek city states was called eponymous archon. Archon means "ruler" or "lord," frequently used as the title of a specific public office, while "eponymous" means that he gave his name to the year in which he held office, much like the Roman dating by consular years.
RP99558. Bronze AE 23, RPC Online IV.2 T2743.4 (this coin, 4 spec.); Kurth Demos 840; Weber 6596; Imhoof-Blumer GRMK p. 98, 1, Choice aF, nice green patina with light highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, weight 5.102 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Trapezopolis (near Boli, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 150 - 200 A.D.; obverse ΔHMOC TPAΠEZOΠO (Z retrograde), laureate youthful head of the Demos right; reverse EΠI AP AI AΠΟΛΛΩN (eponymous archon Ai. Apollonios), Cybele standing, facing, head, left, wearing kalathos, flanked on each side by a seated lion; from the M. Arslan Collection, one of four specimens in RPC Online, the first of the type handled by FORVM; very rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00







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Catalog current as of Friday, June 2, 2023.
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