Tag Archive for 'Attis'

Sudden ordination: the Great Mother wants you!

In ancient Rome, unless you were a senator, almost anyone could “get religion” really rather suddenly.  Martial records one such instance: When a dismissed veteran, a native of Ravenna, was returning home, he joined on the way a troop of the emasculated priests of Cybele. There was in close attendance upon him a runaway slave […]

Arrian “Ars Tactica” on Cybele and Attis at Rome

N. S. Gill writes the following here: A pine tree was made to represent the dead Attis for the day of the entrance of the tree. The reference given is “The Cannophori and the March Festival of Magna Mater,” by Duncan Fishwick. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 97. (1966), pp. 193-202.  […]

The Hilaria and the resurrection of Attis

I read somewhere that the festival of the Hilaria in Rome on March 25th marked the celebration in the cult of Cybele of the resurrection of Attis. This evening I consulted a PDF of the relevant volume of the old Realencyclopadie, which stated the following: Hilaria. Ἱλάρια war der Name verschiedener in der griechischen Welt […]

Festival of Cybele today?

My attention was drawn to a post at about.com by a certain N. S. Gill here: On This Day in Ancient History: Entrance of the Tree Monday March 22, 2010 The ancient Roman festival of the Magna Mater (Great Mother Cybele) included the Arbor intrat (entrance of the tree) on March 22. An imported goddess […]

Digest of Roman Law online in English; and Hadrian on castrating your slaves

I’d like to highlight that an out-of-copyright translation of the Pandects, otherwise known as the Digest of Roman Law by Justinian, is actually online here as part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, under the  misleading title of “The Civil Law”.  Few people seem to know about this. I thought that I would look at the […]

Damascius in Photius

Volume 6 of Rene Henry’s edition of the Bibliotheca of Photius arrived this morning.  The first codex in it is a review and summary of Damascius, Life of Isidore.  This now lost work was written by the 6th century Neo-Platonist philosopher, about his predecessor as head of the school at Athens.  I obtained it, as […]

Notes on John the Lydian, De Mensibus

Looking at the downloadable PDF, I find book 4 of De Mensibus (on the months) starts on p. 127 (p.50 of the printed text).  It is devoted to discussing events in the Roman calendar, month by month, so starts with January.  February starts on p. 138;  March on p.143; April on p.153; May on p.163; June […]

Latin translation of John Lydus

I was looking at the edition of John the Lydian, here.  I had not realised that the Bonn Scriptores Historiae Byzantinae editions came with Latin translations at the bottom of the page.  This makes things much easier for those of us whose Latin is much better than our Greek. 

Attis – a useful dissertation

There is online a 1900 dissertation on Cybele and Attis by Grant Showerman, The great mother of the gods, Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin, vol. 1 (1898-1901). p. 219, online here, starting on p. 219, which is very good on ancient literary sources for its statements.  Thanks to Christopher Ecclestone for the link!  Some […]

Augustine on Attis and the Galli

Augustine, City of God, book 6, chapter 7: There are sacred rites of the mother of the gods, in which the beautiful youth Atys, loved by her, and castrated by her through a woman’s jealousy, is deplored by men who have suffered the like calamity, whom they call Galli. … What good is to be […]



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