Cybele


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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.
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. 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
or Atys
, 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.
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 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.

Cybele

 

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.

Cybele

[′sib·ə·lē]
(astronomy)
An asteroid with a diameter of about 167 miles (269 kilometers), mean distance from the sun of 3.423 astronomical units, and C-type surface composition.

Cybele

hermaphroditic goddess honored orgiastically, usually by emasculation. [Phrygian Myth.: Parrinder, 68]

Cybele

nature’s fruitfulness assured by orgiastic rites honoring her. [Phrygian Myth.: Parrinder, 68; Jobes, 400]

Cybele

protector of cities and mother-goddess. [Phrygian Myth.: Avery, 345]

Cybele

Great Mother; goddess of nature and reproduction. [Phrygian Myth.: Parrinder, 68; Jobes, 400]
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The temple was originally founded in the seventh century BC as a shrine to the Anatolian goddess, Cybele.
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Now celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent (this year it falls on March 14), the day is thought to have emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece, which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of Greek gods.
350), Cybele (like Mary) is also paradoxically both "a mother" and "a maiden" (l.
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