Why My Cult Is Better Than Yours: Cybele
Cybele was the mother goddess during the Roman Republic dating back to the 204BC era. Within this religion there are many parallels and contrast to other religious cults of the same era. The Great Mother also known as Cybele, was one of chaste perfection and ominous powers. As critical as this religion was for the people of Roman, there was another that would surpass its great hold over the people. Christianity and the cult of Cybele are two religions that would have their hold over the Romans, but with vast numbers and a charitable God only one could withstand time.
Before there was Christianity the Roman people believed in the Gods and their holy control over their fates. The Great Mother also known as Cybele was called by another name as well, Rhea. “The wife of Cronus and hence the mother of the Olympian gods. “ She alone was one of the most powerful gods and thus the protector of the people. Cybele and her counterpart Rhea both were depicted as “sitting crowned upon a throne or riding a chariot pulled by lions.” The story of Cybele “came originally from Phrygia ( in modern Turkey) and the Greeks are believed to have brought her cult with them after the Trojan War.” Cybele’s original temple was said to have been based on Palatine Hill in Rome. The cult spread from Asia Minor due to the war with Hannibal and the Carthaginians. The Roman Empire was seeking a win against these invaders and “consulted a local oracle, which gave a strange response: “The mother is absent: seek the mother. When she comes, she must be received by chaste hands.’” Because of this prophecy the Romans were afraid that when they brought her back to Rome, they might not be able to receive her for the lack of chaste hands. Fortunately there was one still pure in nature by the name of Claudia Quinta. Even though she was accused of being unholy and defiled, she still swore her innocence. She prayed to Cybele to help prove this, so...
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