Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: May 2011
  • First published in: 1907

CHAPTER VI - CULTS OF THE MOTHER OF THE GODS AND RHEA-CYBELE

Summary

The primitive earth-goddess has been discovered in various parts of the Hellenic world, under various forms and names; and there still remain certain worships that claim a brief consideration, consecrated to a name of some potency once on Greek soil and of abiding interest in the history of religion, ‘the Mother,’ ‘the Great Mother,’ or ‘the Mother of the Gods.’ We find her cult occurring sporadically about the Greek mainland, and of considerable importance and some antiquity in Boeotia, Athens, and Arcadia, while Akriai in South Laconia boasted to possess her oldest temple. Her divinity was prominent in the Attic state church; for besides an altar dedicated to her in the Agora, she possessed a temple in the Kerameikos near the council-hall, which came to be used as a record office of the state-archives; a festival was held in her honour, in which she received a cereal oblation called ἡ Гαλαξία, a sort of milk-porridge. We have also some traces of her cult outside the ancient limits of the city; at least we hear of a ‘Mother-temple at Agrai,’ and of ‘the Mother in Agrai,’ and her images–not apparently of the earliest period–have been found in the cave of Vari on Hymettus.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO