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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ CybeleView Options:  |  |  | 

Cybele

Cybele was the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother.


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Cybele, called mother of the gods, was originally Anatolian mother goddess. In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater ("Great Mother"). Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. With Rome's eventual hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanised forms of Cybele's cults spread throughout the Roman Empire.
RS85214. Silver denarius, RIC IV C382 (S); BMCRE V p. 432, 14; RSC III 137; SRCV II 7401, Choice gVF, bold well centered strike, light toning, weight 3.517 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, reign of Caracalla, 211 - 215 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, flat coil at back of head, looped plait from ear and on neck; reverse MATRI DEVM, Cybele standing facing, legs crossed, leaning with left arm resting on a column, head left, towered and veiled, drum in right hand, long scepter resting against left arm, lion left at feet half visible from behind legs to left; scarce; $140.00 (Ä119.00)


Plakia, Mysia, c. 4th Century B.C.

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Plakia, called Cilician Thebe in Homer's Iliad, was near the Troad, at the foot of Mount Placus, in a small region once called Cilicia (not the Cilicia in southern Anatolia). According to myth, it was founded by Heracles after his sack of Troy and named after his birthplace, Thebes in Boeotia. At the time of the Trojan War, people were known as the Cilicians, and ruled by King Eetion. Eetion's daughter Andromache was given in marriage to Hector, son of King Priam of Troy. The Achaians, led by Achilleus, sacked the city during the latter part of the war, killed King Eetion, his wife and his sons. They also carried off several women, including Chryseis, who became the concubine of Agamemnon. Chryseis' father attempted to ransom his to ransom his daughter, initiating the plot of the Iliad.
GB72008. Bronze AE 14, SNG BnF 2378; SNG Cop 545; SNGvA 1432; BMC Mysia p. 174, 5, VF, nice dark green patina, weight 1.538 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 180o, Plakia mint, c. 4th century B.C.; obverse turreted head of Cybele right; reverse ΠΛAKIA, lion right devouring prey, grain-ear right below; rare city; $45.00 (Ä38.25)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Cybele, the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother, was born a hermaphrodite but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle, the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval, they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.
SH57714. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV S859, Cohen IV 124, VF, nice portrait, grainy, weight 22.191 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 196 - 211 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse MATER DEVM (mother of the gods) S C, Cybele enthroned left between two crouching lions, turreted, branch in right hand, resting left forearm on drum, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Thursday, September 20, 2018.
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Cybele