Cibeles, Madrid

History of Cibeles

Cybele (in ancient Greek Κυβέλη Kybélê) was the Greek, originally Phrygian, goddess of Mother Earth who was worshipped in Anatolia since the Neolithic period. She was also considered the personification of the fertile land, a goddess of caves and mountains, walls and fortresses, of Nature and animals (especially lions and bees).

In Greek mythology, since her figure was already represented by other divinities, this goddess had to be readjusted to integrate into existing myths, to the point that many authors considered her to be the same character as Rhea, the mother of the gods. The best known myth in which she appears is that of Atalanta and Hippomena. According to Greek mythology, it was Cybele/Rhea who initiated Dionysus in his mysterious cult.

Its Roman equivalent was Magna Mater, the Great Mother or Idæa mater (“Mother of Ida”). Her title “Lady of the Animals”, which was also held by the Minoan Mother Goddess, reveals her archaic Palaeolithic roots. She is a deity of life, death and resurrection. Her consort, whose cult was later introduced, was Atis. She is one of the main goddesses of the ancient cultures of the Near East. In Greek mythology she is also known as Δαμία (Damia).

Gallery of Cibeles

Location of Cibeles

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