Mythology and Cult of Cybele

The Cult of Cybele refers to a deity of Phrygian origin, first adopted by the Greeks then by the Romans, personifying wild nature. She is introduced as " Magna Mater », Great Goddess, Mother Goddess or even Mother of the Gods. She is one of the greatest goddesses of Antiquity in the Near East.

In the mythology Greek, we call her Damia. Under Theodosius, the Christian religion became the only accepted religion, the cult of Cybele was particularly targeted at ve century apr. J.-C. For many historians, because of the religious fervor that it engendered, it would be at the origin of the worship given by Christians to the Virgin Mary in Western and Southern Europe in particular. Cybele was also very popular in Phoenician North Africa, then Greco-Romanized, in particular in Cyrenaica.

According to Greek mythology, she initiated Dionysus into its mysteries. Attis was the young lover of the Phrygian goddess Cybele. When Attis wished to marry the nymph Sangaride, Cybele, who loved him and was jealous of her, drove him mad so much that he castrated himself and killed himself. This legend offers many variations which aim to explain in particular that the priests of Cybele, the Wales, are eunuchs (they practiced self-castration rituals, every March 24, on the occasion of the sanguinaria).

The Cult of Cybele

Mythology and Cult of Cybele (texts)