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ATTIS
Form: or Atys.
A mythical personage in the worship of the Phrygian goddess Cybele-Agdistis. The son of this goddess, so ran the story, had been mutilated by the gods in terror at his gigantic strength, and from his blood sprang the almond-tree. After eating its fruit, Nana, daughter of the river Sangarius, brought forth a boy, whom she exposed. He was brought up first among the wild goats of the forests, and afterwards by some shepherds, and grew up so beautiful that Agdistis fell in love with him. Wishing to wed the daughter of the king of Pessinus in Phrygia, he was driven to madness by the goddess. He then fled to the mountains, and destroyed his manhood at the foot of a pine-tree, which received his spirit, while from his blood sprang violets to garland the tree. Agdistis besought Zeus that the body of her beloved one might know no corruption. Her prayer was heard; a tomb to Attis was raised on Mount Dindymus in the sanctuary of Cybele, the priests of which had to undergo emasculation for Attis' sake. A festival of several days was held in honour of Attis and Cybele in the beginning of spring. A pine-tree, felled in the forest, was covered with violets, and carried to the shrine of Cybele, as a symbol of the departed Attis. Then, amid tumultuous music, and rites of wildest sorrow, they sought and mourned for Attis on the mountains. On the third day he was found again, the image of the goddess was purified from the contagion of death, and a feast of joy was celebrated, as wild as had been the days of sorrow.
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