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Cybele(sĭb`əlē), in ancient Asian religion, the Great Mother GoddessGreat Mother Goddess,
in ancient Middle Eastern religions, mother goddess, the great symbol of the earth's fertility. She was worshiped under many names and attributes. Similar figures have been known in every part of the world.
..... Click the link for more information. . The chief centers of her early worship were Phrygia and Lydia. In the 5th cent. B.C. her cult was introduced into Greece, where she was associated with Demeter and Rhea. The spread of her cult to Rome late in the 3d cent. B.C. was marked chiefly by her Palatine temple. Cybele was primarily a nature goddess, responsible for maintaining and reproducing the wild things of the earth. As guardian of cities and nations, however, she was also entrusted with the general welfare of the people. She was attended by the Corybantes and Dactyls, who honored her with wild music and dancing. At her annual spring festival, the death and resurrection of her beloved AttisAttis
, in Phrygian religion, vegetation god. When Nana ate the fruit of the almond tree, which had been generated by the blood of either Agdistis or of Cybele, she conceived Attis.
..... Click the link for more information. were celebrated. She frequented mountains and woodland areas and was usually represented either riding a chariot drawn by lions or seated on a throne flanked by two lions. Cybele is frequently identified with various other mother goddesses, notably Agdistis.
a Phrygian goddess, the embodiment of the productive forces of nature; also known as the Great Mother or Mother of the Gods. The cult of Cybele, along with the cults of Mithra and Isis, was widespread in Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy, and, later, throughout the Roman Empire. In 204 B.C. the cult was officially recognized in Rome. To honor Cybele, the priests of the cult conducted ritualistic mysteries, in which self-inflicted tortures, ablution in sacrificial blood, and self-castration played an important role. The orgiastic character of this Asia Minor cult was toned down considerably in the Roman Republic.