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ATTIS 100.00%
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.
 
HILDESHEIM, THE TREASURE OF 34.22%
A number of drinking vessels, plates, and cooking utensils of silver, most of them embossed in high relief, found at Hildesheim in 1868. These important products of Roman art, of the time of Augustus, are now among the chief attractions of the Berlin Museum. They probably belonged to the table service of some wealthy Roman, and had been hidden in the ground by Germans who had taken them as the spoils of victory. Artistically the most important pieces are a bowl shaped like a bell, and gracefully decorated externally with arabesques and figures of children (see cut), and four magnificent saucers decorated with a gilt Minerva seated on a rock, and half-length figures of the young Hercules slaying the serpents, and of Cybele and of Attis; also two cups adorned with masks and all kinds of emblems of the worship of Bacchus.
 
RHEA 31.35%
Daughter of Uranus and Gaea, wife of her brother, the Titan Cronus, by whom she gave birth to the Olympian gods, Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia, Demeter. For this reason she was generally called the Mother of the gods. One of her oldest places of worship was Crete, where in a cave, near the town of Lyctus or else on mounts Dirce or Ida, she was said to have given birth to Zeus, and to have hidden him from the wiles of Cronus. The task of watching and nursing the newborn child she had entrusted to her devoted servants the Curetes, earth-born demons, armed with weapons of bronze, who drowned the cry of the child by the noise which they made by beating their spears against their shields. The name of Curetes was accordingly given to the priests of the Cretan Rhea and of the Idaean Zeus, who executed noisy war-dances. at the festivals of those gods. In early times the Cretan Rhea was identified with the Asiatic Cyble or Cybebe," the Great Mother," a goddess of the powers of nature and the arts of cultivation, who was worshipped upon mountains in Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia. In the former character she was a symbol of the procreative power of nature; in the latter, she originated the cultivation of the vine and agriculture, together with all other forms of social progress and civilization, which depend upon these. Thus she was regarded as the founder of towns and cities, and therefore it is that art represents her as crowned with a diadem of towers. The true home of this religion was the Phrygian Pessinus, on the river Sangarius, in the district afterwards known as Galatia, where the goddess was called Agdistis. [Strabo, p. 567] or Angdistis, from a holy rock named Agdus upon Mount Dindymus above the town. Upon this mountain, after which the goddess derived her name of Dindymene, stood her earliest sanctuary, as well as her oldest effigy (a stone that had fallen from heaven), and the grave of her beloved Attis (q.v.). Her priests, the emasculated Galli, here enjoyed almost royal honour. In Lydia she was worshipped, principally on Mount Tmolus, as the mother of Zeus and the foster-mother of Dionysus. There was also a temple of Cybele at Sardis. Her mythical train was formed by the Corybantes, answering to the Curetes of the Cretan Rhea; these were said to accompany her over the wooded hills, with lighted torches and with wild dances, amid the resounding music of flutes and horns and drums and cymbals. After these the priests of Cybele were also called Corybantes, and the festivals of the goddess were celebrated with similar orgies, in the frenzy of which the participators wounded each other or, like Attis, mutilated themselves. Besides these there were begging priests, called Metragyrtoe and Cybebi, who roamed from place to place, as inspired servants and prophets of the Great Mother. On the Hellespont and on the Propontis, Rhea-Cybele was likewise the chief goddess; in particular in the Troad, where she was worshipped upon Mount Ida as the Idoean Mother, and where the Idoean Dactyli (q.v.) formed her train. From Asia this religion advanced into Greece. After the Persian Wars it reached Athens, where in the Metroum, the temple of the Great Mother, which was used as a State record-office, there stood the ideal image of the goddess fashioned by Phidias [Pausanias, i 3 § 5]. The worship of Cybele did not, however, obtain public recognition here, any more than in the rest of Greece, on account of its orgiastic excesses and the offensive habits of its begging priests. It was cultivated only by particular associations and by the lower ranks of the people. In Rome the worship of the Great Mother (Magna Mater) was introduced for political reasons in 204 B.C., at the command of a Sibylline oracle, and for the purpose of driving Hannibal out of Italy. An embassy was sent to fetch the holy stone from Pessinus; a festival was founded in honour of the goddess, to be hold on April 4-9 (the Megalesia, from the Greek megale meter= magna mater): and in 217 a temple on the Palatine was dedicated to her. The service was performed by a Phrygian priest, a Phrygian priestess, and a number of Galli (emasculated priests of Cybele), who were allowed to pass in procession through the city in accordance with their native rites. Roman citizens were forbidden to participate in this service, though the praetor on the Palatine, and private persons among the patricians, celebrated the feast by entertaining one another, the now cult being attached to that of Maia or Ops. The worship of Cybele gained by degrees an ever-wider extension, so that under the early Empire a fresh festival was instituted, from March 15-27, with the observance of mourning, followed by the most extravagant joy. In this festival associations of women and men and the religious board of the Quindecimviri (q.v.) took part. In the first half of the 2nd century A.D. the Taurobolia and Criobolia were added. In these ceremonies the person concerned went through a form of baptism with the blood of bulls and rams killed in sacrifice, with the object of cleansing him from pollutions and bringing about a new birth. The oak and pine were sacred to Rhea-Cybele, (See ATTIS), as also the lion. She was supposed to traverse the mountains riding on a lion, or in a chariot drawn by lions. In art she was usually represented enthroned between lions, with the mural crown on her head and a small drum in her hand.
 
CATULLUS 17.43%
Perhaps the greatest of Roman lyric poets. He was born at Verona B.C. 87, and died about 54. He came to Rome while still young, and found himself in very good society there, being admitted to the circle of such men as Cicero, Hortensius, and Cornelius Nepos, and the poets Cinna and Calvus. He had an estate on the Lacus Larius (Lake of Como), and another at Tibur (Tivoli); but, if we may believe what he says about his debts and poverty, his pecuniary affairs must have been in bad order. In consequence of this he attached himself to the propraetor Gaius Memmius, on his going to Bithynia in the year 57. He gained nothing by doing so, and in the following spring returned home alone, visiting on the way the tomb of his brother, who was buried near Troy. Some of his most beautiful poems are inspired by his love for a lady whom he addresses as Lesbia, a passion which seems to have been the ruin of his life. She has been, with great probability, identified with the beautiful and gifted but unprincipled sister of the notorious Clodius, and wife of Metellus Celer. Catullus was, in his eighteenth year, so over mastered by his passion for her, that he was unable even after he had broken off all relations with her, and come to despise her, to disentangle himself. In his intercourse with his numerous friends Catullus was bright and amiable, but unsparing in the ridicule he poured upon his enemies. He held aloof from public life, and from any active participation in politics, but none the less bitterly did he hate those whom he thought responsible for the internal decline of the Republic--themselves and all their creatures. On Caesar, though his own father's guest, and on his dissolute favourite Mamurra, he makes violent attacks. But he is said to have apologized to Caesar, who magnanimously forgave him. Catullus' poems have not all survived. We still possess 116, which, with the exception of three, are included in a collection dedicated to Cornelius Nepos. The first half is taken up with minor pieces of various contents, and written in different lyric metres, especially the iambic. Then follows a series of longer poems, amongst them the wonderful lament of Attis, wonderful in spite of the repulsiveness of its subject; the epic narrative of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, and a paraphrase of Callimachus' best elegy, "The Lock of Berenice." These are all in the Alexandrian manner. The remaining poems are short, and of different contents, but all written in elegiacs. Catullus takes his place in the history of literature as the earliest classical metrist among the Romans. He is a complete master of all varieties of verse. More than this, he has the art of expressing every phase of feeling in the most natural and beautiful style; love, fortunate and unfortunate, sorrow for a departed brother, wanton sensuality, the tenderest friendship, the bitterest contempt, and the most burning hatred. Even his imitations of the Greek are not without an original stamp of their own.
 
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