Tuesday, 27 May 2014


"La Cibeles" by Alicia Valero Arean

Origin: Phrygian
Meaning: "mountain mother"
Gender: feminine
Ponunciation: SIB-ə-lee

The meaning of Cybele comes from the Phrygian Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya meaning "Kubeleyan mother" or "mountain mother". Altough one source says it could come from Phrygian roots meaning either "stone" or "hair".

Originally, Cybele was an Anatolian mother goddess, but was later adapted by the Greeks when they took Anatolia as a colony. She was partially assimilated to aspects of Gaia, Rhea, and Demeter. She was a foreign goddess, and her rites and processions depicted her arriving in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following. Uniquely in Greek religion, she had a eunuch consort named Attis, who was probably a Greek invention.

In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater, which is Latin for "Great Mother". The Romans adopted her cult during Rome's second war against Carthage, after the Sibylline oracle recommended her conscription as a key religious component in the war. Her most important festival was Hilaria which commemorated the death of Attis and Cybele's rebirth.

In the city of Madrid in Spain, there is the Cibeles Fountain, located in Plaza de Cibeles, which was named after Cybele, and is seen as one of Madrid's most important symbols.

   Related names:

Cibele - Spanish
Kyveli - Greek

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