In Search of God the Mother: The Cult of Anatolian Cybele / Edition 1

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Overview


This book examines one of the most intriguing figures in the religious life of the ancient Mediterranean world, the Phrygian Mother Goddess, known to the Greeks and Romans as Cybele or Magna Mater, the Great Mother. Her cult was particularly prominent in central Anatolia (modern Turkey), and spread from there through the Greek and Roman world. She was an enormously popular figure, attracting devotion from common people and potentates alike. This book is the first comprehensive assembly and discussion of the entire extant evidence concerning the worship of the Phrygian Mother Goddess, from her earliest appearance in the prehistoric record to the early centuries of the Roman Empire.

Lynn E. Roller presents and analyzes literary, historiographic, and archaeological data with equal acuity and flair. While previous studies have tended to emphasize the more outrageous aspects of the Mother Goddess's cult, such as her orgiastic rituals and the eunuch priests who attended her, this book places a special focus on Cybele's position in Anatolia and the ways in which the identity of the goddess changed as her cult was transmitted to Greece and Rome. Roller gives a detailed account of the growth, spread, and evolution of her cult, her ceremonies, and her meaning for her adherents.

This book will introduce students of Classical antiquity to many aspects of the Great Mother which have been previously unexamined, and will interest anyone who has ever been piqued by curiosity about the Mother Goddess of the ancient Western world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520210240
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/13/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Lynn E. Roller is Professor of Classics at the University of California, Davis. She is author of The Nonverbal Graffiti, Dipinti, and Stamps, Gordion Special Studies 1 (1987).
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Prolegomenon to a Study of the Phrygian Mother Goddess 9
Pt. 1 The Mother Goddess in Anatolia
2 The Evidence from Prehistory 27
3 The Bronze and Early Iron Ages 41
4 The Cult of the Mother Goddess in Phrygia 63
Pt. 2 The Mother Goddess in Greece
5 The Early Cult 119
6 The Classical Period 143
7 The Hellenistic Period 187
Pt. 3 From Cult to Myth
8 The Myth of Cybele and Attis 237
Pt. 4 The Roman Magna Mater
9 The Arrival of the Magna Mater in Rome 263
10 The Republic and Early Empire 287
11 The Roman Goddess in Asia Minor 327
Epilogue 345
Bibliography 347
Index 367
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