Cybele

This collegium and forum are dedicated to the study, discussion, re-creation and application of classical Roman and Greek religion and philosophy.

Moderator: Aldus Marius

Cybele

Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:14 pm

I was wondering what some of you could tell me about the Great Goddess Cybele and Her Divine Son, Attis.
User avatar
Titus Iulius Nero
I. Auxiliary
I. Auxiliary
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:24 am
Location: NY, USA

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:36 am

Salve

Well Cybele or Kybele, is the Phrygian Mother Goddess equated with the Hellenic goddess Rhea. From what I know is that Attis was not her son, but her lover. The reason why Rhea is also called Kybele because after the Titanomachy, when she didn't get her dues of her son Zeus, she thaught she deserved, Rhea retreated to the mountain Kybele in Phrygia with her attendents; the Korybantes.
Kybele herself was a Mother Goddess who was already worshipped in Asia Minor since Neolithic times. She embodies the the fertile earth, a goddess of caverns and mountains, walls and fortresses, nature, wild animals (especially lions and bees). Her title 'Mistress of the Animals,' which is also borne by the Minoan Great Mother, reveals her ancient Paleolithic roots. The cult of Attis, her consort was introduced later. Kybele is said to have been born on Mount Ida in Asia Minor.
Cybele's most ecstatic followers were castrated males called Galli by the romans, who led the people in orgiastic ceremonies with wild music, drumming and dancing and drink. She was associated with the mystery religion concerning her son, Attis, who was castrated and resurrected. The Dactyls were part of her retinue. Other followers of Cybele, Phrygian kurbantes or Corybantes expressed her ecstatic and orgiastic cult in music especially drumming, clashing of shields and spears, dancing, singing, shouts, all at night. Atalanta and Hippomenes were turned into lions by Cybele after having sex in one of her temples.
Attis is also known as Agdistis, named after the mountain which he probably personified. He is the eunuch attendant of Kybele and drives the lion-driven chariot. He castrated himself after Kybele drove him mad.
for more information check these two pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybele
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attis
vale

Quintus
Quintus Aurelius Orcus
Rector ColRel
Rogator
Princeps gentis Aureliae
User avatar
Quintus Aurelius Orcus
Senator
Senator
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 5:05 pm
Location: Ghent, Belgica

Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:31 am

There is a temple to Cybele on the Palatine in Rome. You can see a couple of pictures of its ruins at wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/ Maecenas/black/palatine/ab741324.html. The story of how Cybele was brought to Rome can be found in abreviated form at www.aztriad.com/nrcybele.html. A much more scholarly account of the temple is available at link, which is published by one of our sodales, Bill Thayer.
Primus Aurelius Timavus
Curator, Rogator, Praetor et Patricius
Civis Romanus Sum
User avatar
Primus Aurelius Timavus
Curator
Curator
 
Posts: 524
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:14 pm
Location: America Italiaque

About Cybele?

Postby Anonymous on Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:22 am

Salvete omnes!!

This is interesting info to me. I thought I remembered reading that Cybele was brought to Rome during the Punic Wars because the Romans thought she would aid them in their struggle wit Carthege. Probably not news to many here but I thought that Cybele was basically a large black stone. This seemed odd to me because most cults represented their god or goddess with a anthropmorphic statue or icon od some type. If this is true then would the fact that Cybele is represented by a stone indicate her extreme ancientness?

Anyone got more info on this?

Icilius
Anonymous
 

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:41 am

Salve

The worship of a mother goddess is very old and can be found anywhere on Earth at any time in history. the site Sacred Texts has a section on paleolithical worship: http://www.sacred-texts.com so check it out and you might find your answer there. My guess is that the cult has survived long enough to adapt itself to the enviroment its located in. Than again, I don't know that much of the Phrygian Mother Goddess.
vale

Quintus
Quintus Aurelius Orcus
Rector ColRel
Rogator
Princeps gentis Aureliae
User avatar
Quintus Aurelius Orcus
Senator
Senator
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 5:05 pm
Location: Ghent, Belgica

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:51 pm

Salvete

It was not at all unusual for the Gods to be represented by a stone or some other natural object, especially in the time you are speaking. There were some terracotta statues in the third century. Marble statues depicting the Gods in human form was still a novelty in the Second Punic War and did not really come into fashion until after so many were brought from Greece after 167. Mars was represented by an ancient iron spear. At some shrines a plank of wood simply painted white represented the Gods. The cypress statues of Juno that were dedicated in this period were probably much like the effigies found at Valle D'Ansanto, roughly hewn poles with a head carved on them and arms barely delineated. Something like the totem poles of Amerindians in the Northwest, or like African or Polynesian fetishes. What represented a God or Goddess was not the image itself but Their presence in an object, Their numina. Vesta was represented by only a flame, no image of Her was used prior to the imperial period. In the one fanum nothing other than an oak tree filled with the numen of Jupiter represent Him. And at Aricia it was the grove itself, as with so many other Gods, that represented Diana. Varro said that before about 580 no images of any kind were used to represent the Gods. Such articles as sacred stones that were retained from an earlier period were given the greatest reverence even into much later periods, not because of their appearance, but because of what they contained as relics of the visitation of a God or Goddess.

Valete optime et vadete in pacem Deorum
M Horatius Piscinus

Sapere aude!
User avatar
Horatius Piscinus
Curialis
Curialis
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2002 7:39 am
Location: Ohio, USA

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:22 am

Salve Tiberi

Varro said that the Romans worshipped the Gods without images for 170 years, and since Varro reckoned the Founding in 751 BCE, that places it at about 580 BCE when images began to be used. That date would seem to coincide with the time that large terracotta images begin to appear. There are earlier anthropomorphic figurative art. The human figures cut from bronze sheets that were found in the Capitoline favisse and in the Forum Boarium would be an example, but then we do not really know that they were intended to represent Gods or people. Mostly likely they represented people, living or dead. That is, they may have been intended to represent Manes. What represented the Gods were their divine presence, or numen, in a place or object. Later when figurative art begins to appear it is just a simple leap to see numina in the images, but it is still the numina that really represents the Gods rather than the image itself. An image of Jupiter cut from oak would contain a numen of Jupiter because of the material, the oak, not because of the human representation of Jupiter in an anthropomorphic form. When Livy tells of the dedication of two statues of Juno made from cypress, and Ovid mentions seeing a statue of Juno made from cypress, there again it is the mention of cypress as the material that conveys a numen of Juno was in the statue, not the form of the image. Vesta was represented by a live fire, and for the longest time no other images of Her were present, because there again it was Her numen in the fire that represented Vesta, and no picture or statue of fire, irregardless of what material it was made from, could possess a numen of Vesta.
M Horatius Piscinus

Sapere aude!
User avatar
Horatius Piscinus
Curialis
Curialis
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2002 7:39 am
Location: Ohio, USA

A guess - critics get readywi

Postby Anonymous on Wed Apr 20, 2005 4:48 am

Salvete !!

Back again with a thought tht just occurred to me...

To me it seems lik the discussion suggests that the gods and goddesses gradually became anthropomorphized to the Romans. The Romans never just decided that their gods had human forms and that was that. But over time some of them began to be depicted with statues and such. But even then, it was not 100% across the field... some were made into human forms while others ere not because the Romans never exactly started with the assumption that divine beings were necessarily like human beinggs. Some were never made into human form like Vesta...

Do I have a (somewhat) reasonable conclusion? I don't know about the rest of you but this topic seems to b very profound

Numerius
Anonymous
 

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:22 pm

Salve Numeri

Have you ever read Cicero De Natura Deorum? He has his Epicurian pose the Gods in anthropomorphic form. The Stoic instead poses they are the perfect form, a sphere. While his skeptic Platonist discounts both claims.

Seneca wrote:
"If you have ever come upon a grove that is thick with ancient trees that rise far above their usual height and block out the view of the sky with their cover of intertwining branches, then the loftiness of the forest and the seclusion of the spot and your wonder at the unbroken shade in the midst of open space will create in you a feeling of the divine presence, a numen. Or, if a cave made by deep erosion of the rocks supports a mountain with its arch, a place not made by human hands but hollowed by Nature into spaciousness, then your mind will be aroused by a feeling of religious awe. We venerate the sources of mighty rivers, we build an altar where a great stream suddenly bursts forth from a hidden source, we worship hot springs, and we deem lakes sacred because of their darkness and immeasurable depth." (Letters 41.3)

For most Romans the Gods were represented by the divine presence they felt in such places of nature. Even in images, it was not the image itself that represented a deity, but the numen of the deity that could be felt present in the object. A spear could represent Mars if it had a numen of Mars in it, or fire represented Vesta because it contained Her numen, while the first sanctuary to Jupiter was an oak tree because His presence could be felt to be within the oak.

Vale optime
M Horatius Piscinus

Sapere aude!
User avatar
Horatius Piscinus
Curialis
Curialis
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2002 7:39 am
Location: Ohio, USA


Return to Collegium Religionum et Philosophiarum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron