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Eequor: I appreciate your efforts to make Wikipedia more sensitive to the transgendered community, and I certainly appreciate your corrections where they have forced myself and others to step back and re-evaluate what we write. In a few cases, however, I think you go past the point of sensitivity and start to impose your own agenda on ancient sources. Labelling Attis "she" is a case in point. Ancient writers are quite clear about his primarily male identity. For example "A woodland Phrygian boy, the gorgeous Attis, conquered the towered goddess with pure love. She wanted to keep him as her shrine’s guardian, and said, ‘Desire to be a boy always.’" (Ovid Fasti 4.222). Also: "When he had grown up, Attis was sent by his relatives to Pessinos, that he might wed the king's daughter." (Pausanias 7.19.9-12). See for further references. Bacchiad 03:07, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I have added a good deal of new material drawn from Burkert, Greek Religion. I have cut very little, but I've set some material, like a Greek etymology for Cybele, in new context. I have left "nature" among the realms over which Cybele held sway: "nature" is not a useful concept as a generic absolute in this way. Quotes from literature that specify her attributes would be a good addition. --Wetman 06:44, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

6th century[edit]

the link to 6th and 4th century is obviously wrong.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:28, 7 June 2006


As a Greek, a eunuch and a denier of Christianity, what i have to say about this article is this: hogwash.

So Kyveli is the goddess of transgendered persons now, eh, I do not like Trans

if the externa links are to be taken seriously? But what about the animals? Why not nominate her Goddess of Furries too? I see no point in wasting such a great opportunity at raping the past to ascert our connection to it.

Well done to all contributors here, well done. I applaud you. You are truly, honestly, ridiculus beyond compare to clowns and pink elephants. Bravo!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 26 March 2007

  • As a transsexual person who has an interest in academic integrity, I have taken the seed of skepticism you've planted and intend on watering it. I have taken the Cybele-cultists-were-transgendered narrative as fact without question in the past, and maybe I should not have been so fast. However, what I have as far as accessible to me research - that being whatever search engines will give me - has a level of academic integrity equivalent to the external links provided. This means that your bald assertion that the cultists were not transgendered, is equally useless to me as the bald assertion that they were. You, however, seem both convinced, and in a position of interest and motivation, and possible expertise. So with a good deal of respect, as I do tend to take people at their word, I would like to ask you to share the sources that convinced you this article was hogwash. Hogwash, after all, is as extraordinary a claim as the one you are attacking. Even if you cannot provide evidence satisfactory to back up that claim, at the very least both your sources and the provided ones will give a clearer picture of who exactly the people that worshipped Cybele actually were, especially if they are approaching their gender from different angles.
  • If that's not too much to ask? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:26, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Anatolian Goddess -> Turkish[edit]

Hello, Kibele or Cybele was an Anatolian goddess, as currently most of the descendants of the ancient anatolians live in Turkey and speak turkish, the turkish version of the name should be represented as well..I have made these editions..Regards,Alasian

The name comes into English from the Greek, not the Turkish, and there are no Turkish myths about her. For that matter, if the Turkish name you say is common relates to Cybele and is not of native Turkish etymology, it certainly entered that language through Greek as well and not, say, Phrygian. Including Turkish here therefore isn't terribly informative and is no more relevant than including, say, the Italian. TCC (talk) (contribs) 04:05, 13 August 2007 (UTC)


Sorry, I'm removing the two links to the "modern gallae" webpages, because they are completely irrelevant and full of misleaqding inaccuracies. They would be more relevant to an article about the "revival of the cult of Cybele", if anyone wanted to write such an article. Stassa (talk) 21:23, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

First paragraph[edit]

Something strikes me as strange the way that the end of the first paragraph is worded. It references another Wikipedia entry, and makes a point of indicating that it is a direct quote. A direct quote from another entry? I feel this paragraph could stand to be reworded, but I'm not sure exactly how to do it. Anybody want to take a stab? --Dallasallad (talk) 04:17, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I removed the odd reference, but maintained the actual sentence. If you think it's spurious, add a cn tag. Carl.bunderson (talk) 18:51, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Turkish Name of Kybele[edit]

The Turkish name of Kybele is Sibel and is a very widely used name in Turkey even after thousands of years.

As most of the direct descendants of ancient anatolians today speak Turkish, the turkish version of the name of the goddess should also be provided.--Lycianhittite (talk) 23:41, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

It is very important to provide the Turkish name of this goddess because:

-The goddess was originally Hittite and later Phrygian, for this reason the Hittite and Phyrigian versions of the name, that lead to the Greek version of the name should be provided in the article.

-Todays Anatolians are the indigenous population of the region according to scientific studies, and at this moment, have a widely used turkish language name for Kybele, which is Sibel. This should also be provided as a)It shows what today's anatolians call their ancient goddess b)It showst the cultural continuity in Anatolia

The Greek version of Kubaba is of no more importance than the Turkish one, as they were both different versions of the original ancient anatolian one, given as the Anatolians first shifted to speaking Greek from Anatolian languages, and later on shifted to Turkish. Lycianhittite (talk) 01:29, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

...and the French name for Cybele is Cybèle.--Wetman (talk) 06:35, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
... and the French have nothing to do with Anatolia and the french are not Anatolians, they are just foreigners using the name of an Anatolian goddess. How many of them are proven to be indigenous anatolians. %85-90 of Anatolians of today are indigenous, using the name of THEIR goddess after thousands of years.The current language of indigenous anatolians is turkish and they call their goddess with a name more suitable for their current language. This name should be added to show how the culture of Anatolians is continuing even after thousands of years where Sibel(Kibele) being one of the most prominent female names. A google image search with Sibel will reveal more than 350,000 results.

Also, as important as providing what the Anatolians today call their goddess(Turkish:Sibel) is equally important to provide information about what ancient anatolians were calling Cybele(Centuries before ancient greeks stepped over anatolian soil !). Thus the Hittite version and the later Phrygian version should be provided as well as the later Greek and Turkish versions. The language of Anatolians may have changed over time, first from Ancient Hittite to Phrygian or other Anatolian languages. Then into Greek with the Hellenization of Anatolia, then into Turkish with the islamization of Anatolia. Despite all these the culture is continuing as proven by the wide usage of the goddesses name even in Anatolia of today. Lycianhittite (talk) 11:58, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Turkey or the Turkish did not exist back then. All you have in common is geographical locale, and trying to establish a connection for the name has no basis. What ever Cybele is called in Turkish is just as irrlevant as adding the Chinese or Russian name of Cybele. Ancient Greek and Roman deities remain ancient deities. El Greco(talk) 15:10, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
All you are doing is typing irrelevant chauvanistic rants that do not contain single piece of information about why the anatolian names of Sibel who is an anatolian goddess should not be provided. If you do not have solid arguments against todays Anatolians not having the right to call an anatolian goddess her name in the current anatolian language, then stop vandalasing this article.How many of the chinese and russians are indigenous anatolians?Stop using this irrelevant argument again and again where you each time cant answer my simple question in return!

A) According to scientific studies more than %85 of Turkey's population is formed of indigenous anatolians

1)..In the present study, the Central Asian contribution to Anatolia was estimated as 13%..

2).. One study based on an analysis of Y-chromosomes from Turkey suggested that Central Asians have only made a 10% genetic contribution..

  • Rolf B, Röhl A, Forster P, Brinkmann B. "Genomic diversity: applications in human population genetics". 75–82 Kluwer Academic/Plenum

3)..Recent genetic research has suggested the local, Anatolian origins of the Turks and that genetic flow between Turks and Asiatic peoples might have been marginal..

B) The greek Cybele is just a derivation of the Ancient Anatolian Hittite name Kubaba for the Anatolian goddess.When Hittites were calling Sibel with the name Kubaba The Greek Language did not even exist! let alone have a version for Sibel.

Also, If you take some time to read, even in the article, Sibel is under Anatolian deities part. Greek version of the name of Sibel is just an intermediary version, which the anatolians were using as their language shifted from Ancient Anatolian languages(Hittite,Phrygian,etc.) to Ancient Greek. So the Ancient Greek name of Kubaba is of secondary importance as it was just an intermediary name between what ancient anatolians were calling THEIR goddess in their initial ancient Anatolian languages(Hittite:Kubaba) and what they are calling in their current language(Turkish:Sibel)

C) Modern day anatolians are speaking Turkish but still valuing their goddesses name by using it as the name for hundreds of thousands of women around anatolia. This name is Sibel and should be provided in the article to show how this goddess is currently named by the descendants of the people who originated her myth.

Conclusion - An informative and unbiased article should contain: A)Primary Importance 1)Original name of the goddess, as the ancient anatolians were calling. So the name in Hittite and Phrygian languages. 2)Current name of the goddess, as used by the anatolians in their current language.

B)Secondary Importance 1)Intermediary versions of Kubaba, between the initial Kubaba and the current Sibel. An example to these intermediary languages is ancient greek version Cybele. Cybele is of far less importance than say Sibel as Sibel is what the anatolians are currently calling their goddess, while Cybele is what they were calling during the period between ancient anatolian languages and their current language Turkish. Also, Cybele is of far less importance than Kubaba(Hittite) because, back then, the Greek Language did not even exist!! as the Hittite language is around 1000 years older than Greek.

You have failed to provide any evidence for today's Anatolians not having anything in common with their ancestors. I will be changing back the language section if you do not come up with solid arguments against the above facts.

Lycianhittite (talk) 02:28, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

According to the dictionary of Georgios Babiniotis (Γεώργιος Μπαμπινιώτης), professor of glossology at the University of Athens,Cybele is "the godess of fertility, the mother of gods and humans, whose worship was widely spread throughout Asia Minor and then spread to Greece and Italy. It derives from the ancient Greek name Κυβήβη, which is probably a loan from the Orient, possibly the Hittite Kubaba. So why not include all of the godess' previous names? That would be a logic thing to do. Don't omit the Greek name but add her other names too. Pel thal (talk) 09:17, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the input. I will include the godesses other names as well.Lycianhittite (talk) 21:55, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Turkish is completely irrelevant as it was not spoken in the area until 1100 AD. The others can stay.--Tsourkpk (talk) 18:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
There is no credibility in the changes you've made as you have in another talk labelled these views as ridiculous and did not provide an argument to the contrary but chose to insult others views in an arrogant manner.

The anatolians today, who by %85 are indigenous anatolians directly descendant from the ancient anatolians use the name Sibel to refer to their ancient goddess Kubaba. That means more than 50 million people using the name Sibel for Kubaba who are descendants of the people who actually created the myth of Kubaba!!!. For this reason the turkish name cannot be omitted as it is the language that the anatolians are currently using. Also, Cybele is of far less importance than Kubaba(Hittite) because, back then, the Greek Language did not even exist!! as the Hittite language is around 1000 years older than Greek.

P.S.The changes you've made are wrong, you translate Κυβέλη as Kubele to latin which should be Kiveli.

Lycianhittite (talk) 23:49, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

good source[edit]

[1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Hello, I miss a lot of Livy in this entry, because he tells most about how the Romans adopted the cult of Magna Mater / Cybele, and that's quite important for how the Romans used cults of other peoples. I altered the date, Livy says 205-4, not 210 BCE, and I will add some new information soon, when I've read the whole book of Livy and after my college on it (which will be this week). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:29, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


I have seen it suggested that Kybele was introduced as a Hittite/Hurrian Goddess during the Hittite period from Karchemish, where she was worshipped as Keba or Kubau (Padukeba the wife of Hattusilis III was a devotee as she was a high priestess to the divinity, and probably introduced her to Hattusas). Keba/Khebat or Kubau as she was variously known was identified with the Hurrian Goddess Hannahannah (=Mother's mother or Grandmother) who was an earth divinity. She was also worshipped at Jerusalem during the Amarna Period, where the ruler of the city was known as Abdikheba (Servant of Kheba). Kubau was a goddess especially favoured by travellers, and her Galla, or Gallu (from the Sumerian Gal = Great Lu = Man), were originally special helpers of the God Enki (Akkadian Ea), see the story of Inanna's descent when Enki sends his Gallu to bring Inanna back. Kheba seems also to have been the origin of the Aramaean Hawwah, who with her snake was a Goddess of learning and instruction as well (and may well have been the origin of the story of Eve). Kubau was an interesting person who was later divinised. She seems to have originally been a tavern keeper, in the city of Kish, and inaugurated the shortlived 3rd Dynasty of that city - she was the only woman I know of in Mesopotamian history who ruled as "King" (Lugal) in her own right. Divinised after her peaceful and prosperous reign, her worship was long lived. John D. Croft (talk) 16:41, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Kubaba has a Wikipedia page, and Kheba can be found at Hebat. Assertions that these goddesses and Cybele are identical should be tied to citations, perhaps with quotes, and edited into the respective articles. For divinised humans, see Euhemerus. --Wetman (talk) 18:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Possible relationship to Homeric Greece and Trojan War? Since we are having a decent chance to make comments on this "discussion" page, I would just like to quote from the main page; "Later, Cybele's most ecstatic followers were males who ritually castrated themselves, after which they were given women's clothing and assumed female identities, who were referred to by one third-century commentator, Callimachus, in the feminine as Gallai, but to whom other contemporary commentators in ancient Greece and Rome referred to as Gallos or Galli."

Take the above quotation and compare it to the Homeric description of Achilles? You might well see this: Thus, was Achilles a follower of Cybele? At best he seemed to have been a enuch, or at worst, a "cross dresser!" Was he but one of the "feminine" Gauls / Franks, or Phrygians / Galatians? (talk) 19:18, 27 April 2010 (UTC)Ronald L. Hughes

It seems likely to me that the origin of the name is related to the origin of the words for copper and heat, is there evidence to this? And that the central theme is that of the earth-mother as provider of minerals and so on, by metaphor of milk and menstrual flow? therefor the chaps carstrating themselves in order to be more womanly? And her role as a model for later related goddesses, as well as links to male gods, contemporaneous and subsequent... I am not demanding that the page be organised to fit my own exploration, but would to know of any existing explorations. I think a certain amount of obfuscation has occured over the years. Are there particular materials frequently associated with Cybele? etc The article could certainly use some organisation in order to make such guesswork simpler :-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük[edit]

Also see:
Talk:Çatalhöyük #Discussion of the "Seated Woman" figure and animals at her Feet
Talk:Seated Goddess of Catalhuyuk

Dubious statements[edit]

Several dubious unfounded presumptions found in the paragraph in Cybele #Anatolian Cybele (as of 30 April 2010):

  1. Mother Goddess?
    1. "The current excavators at Catalhoyuk fail to speak about this figurine in any great detail—or any other of the rich figurine collection from the site. All they do is go into great detail about what the figurines are not (they are not deities)."[V3syy 1]
    2. "If this were true it would be very exciting, especially for the neopagan movement. However, if there is no reliable source that can verify this claim, it is more than likely mere Wiccan wishful thinking, as the triad of images listed seem to fit the traditional image set, established by Graves (of maiden, mother, and crone) just too well. Either it is remarkable coincidence, Wiccan providence, or simply statements repeated in ignorance. Please validate statement or remove to prevent further confusion between fact and fiction."[V3syy 2]
    3. "One of the most obvious examples of that is that Çatalhöyük is perhaps best known for the idea of the mother goddess. But our work more recently has tended to show that in fact there is very little evidence of a mother goddess and very little evidence of some sort of female-based matriarchy. That’s just one of the many myths that the modern scientific work is undermining."—Ian Hodder[V3syy 3]
    Perhaps the article Seated Goddess of Catalhuyuk should be moved to Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük, anybody?
    Done! (I degraded the "goddess" to a "woman".)
  2. Giving birth? I have traced such claim possibly to the researcher James Mellaart.[V3syy 4]
    However: "Whereas Mellaart excavated nearly two hundred buildings in four seasons, the current excavator, Ian Hodder, spent an entire season excavating one building alone. Hodder and his team, in 2004 and 2005, began to believe that the patterns suggested by Mellaart were false."[V3syy 3]
  3. How come they are lions and not leopards? I changed the description to less specific "feline" (inspired by a user comment in the other discussion page). Maybe they didn't have lions in Turkey at that time—easy to check for somebody more inclined.
    Lionesses? Somebody has gone even further in their speculations by describing the animals as lionesses in the description page for Image:Ankara Muzeum B19-36.jpg.

6birc (talk) 23:08, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Analysis of edits[edit]

I traced the paragraph back to a massive contribution by User:Wetman (11 September 2003).

Originally it also contained statements:

  • "Cybele's Anatolian origins probably predate the Bronze Age."
  • "At her shrine at Çatal Hüyük she was depicted with the mural crown, that promised she could be a protector of cities."

This was removed by User:Csernica in an edit from 27 June 2007 and replaced with:

  • "Various aspects of Cybele's Anatolian attributes probably predate the Bronze Age in origin." (Safer, but at the cost of vagueness.)
  • "No direct connection with the later matar is documented, but the similarity to some of the later iconography is striking."
Çatal Hüyük Mother Goddess

I'm restoring the original statement—in the addition to the replacement—in the following form:

"At her shrine at Çatal Hüyük she was depicted with the mural crown,[citation needed] suggesting the possibility that she could be a protector of cities."

Just in case it contains grain of truth.

Such possibility is made plausible by the information found in 6th millennium BC #Inventions, discoveries, introductions: "c. 6000 BC: Brick building was taking place at Çatalhöyük, Turkey."

6birc (talk) 01:15, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I think now that the headdress at Çatal Hüyük (illustration) is perhaps an early version of the polos rather than a mural crown. I shall take the mural crown out.--Wetman (talk) 15:13, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Lost part-comment, part-contribution[edit]

In the above-mentioned edit (in section Cybele #Cybele and Attis) from 27 June 2007, User:Csernica has also removed the following, curious comment that was hidden in the source code of the page (not otherwise visible):

<!---Which legends? This needs referencing. In the Legends of Cybele we find Cybele was a bisexual monster who terrorized the land before he was castrated and became a eunuch. The Fig was sacred to Cybele, and curiously is rich in estrogens which was a necessary part of the diet of the priestesses. They also drank pregnant-mare horse urine, but the fig is favoured in the legend and is used to get a surrogate woman pregnant to give birth to Cybele's child, whom she called Attis. Cybele proceeded to dress Attis as a girl. When he ran off with a woman later in life Cybele gave pursuit but a place of fortification was barred to her (traditionally walled hills connected to worship of Diana). Finding the gate barred at this place of sanctuary, Cybele proceeded to charge the door with her head and in legend lifted the three concentric walls of the fortress up from their foundations upon her head which gave rise to the triple-crown of walled-battlements worn by Cybele (like the walled sanctuary crown of Diana). Attis was involved in a mystical death and resurrection, and Cybele nursed him until (s)he was reborn. There was an affinity of a type with the huntress Diana but also a rivalry in Aisa. Cybele is often shown seated on a throne being pulled on a chariot by two lions and was considered a sun-goddess after the line of Belit of the Mesopotamian cult of Bel.--->

This comment dates to an edit made by User:Neddyseagoon in the 5th millennium BCE on 9 January 2007. The user has also added the {{Unreferenced}} tag to the section (even though it was referenced).

I've just thought that its proper place is here on the Talk page.

6birc (talk) 16:43, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Dubious theory[edit]

I'm sorry, I have to say that the claim that Cybele is really the same as "Seated Goddess of Catalhuyuk" is not really supported as such by the text on-page, or by the quoted references. Also (as noted in the section "Origins" itself) there are no such references. It may be a valid claim or it may be not, but it is an extraordinary claim that one mythological figure (from a distinct mythology and time period) is actually equal to another figure from another mythology, another geography (albeit close), another people, and another time. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof(s). It seems the foundation for this claim is only the observed visual similarities between one specific Greek classic sculpture, and one particular version of the Catalhoyuk large-bodies. Added a lot of speculation on what could be and maybe is, sometimes backed by a single source. I think this is a dubious foundation for an extraordinary claim. One single listed source only for the claim, as far as I can tell:

  • With reference to Cybele's origins and precursors, S.A. Takács describes "A terracotta statuette of a seated (mother) goddess giving birth with each hand on the head of a leopard or panther," Cybele, Attis and related cults: essays in memory of M.J. Vermaseren 1996:376.

As you can see for yourself, the above quote does not even remotely claim any connection betwen Cybele and anything else. The "with reference to" is inserted by someone who is not the source author.

I am not opposed to this theory, and I'm not a supporter of it either. No matter if it's bogus or real, it needs strong backup, and we just don't seem to have any sources to confirm it. (PS: excuse my ignorance if I've missed something. I did not write this to offend anyone.) clsc (talk) 00:24, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

I noticed the enthusiastic tagging... the claim is obviously speculative, but not at all extraordinary. Correction - actually, the article does not claim them as "the same" - only that one is possible precursor to the other. Almost everything to do with Cybele's possible Anatolian precursors or purported originals is scholarly guessswork - and so is most scholarship relating to such obscure and misty matters. You might care to check in more detail using such sources as are already cited (after all, that's why they're given). I have Roller's book on the topic, access to at least part of the Vermaseren essays in memoriam (various authors), and possible access to others - I'll check when I've the time. I have no idea why you claim (in one of your edit summaries) that the remainder of a paragraph or section - I forget which - is uncited or unsourced. Perhaps you'll explain further, because it seems thoroughly cited to me. Haploidavey (talk) 00:47, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks :) The main and defining characteristic of the Catalhöyük large-bodies is their extreme obesity. Afaik all discovered large-bodies from that area display these same traits, not all sit, and not all have animal companionship, or for that matter any other companionship. IIRC, in one case there are even two large-bodies on one foundation, like twins. This is from memory. There has been more than 2,000 figures excavated at that site (official photos), not all large-bodies of course. And of course, not all are in one piece. And, of course this does not prove anything, but it prompts the obvious rhetorical: Where do you find these specific characteristics as well as such diversity in Greek Cybele-sculpture? Personally I don't see it.
As for your question, I added "these six lines" to make it clear what I thought about. It was of course not the whole "Origin" section, only the specific sub-section (paragraph, really) that held the note. Sorry.
As for "thoroughly cited": questionmark! Yes, there are a few numbers in the "Origin" section as a whole, being references for various minor suggestions that do not concern the specific main suggestion of Catalhoyuk large-bodies being Cybele (or precursors thereof). Again: these links are typically descriptions of various details, which are not the main suggestion that the large-bodies be Cybele - IMHO, we still need a source stating exactly that: "The Catalhöyük large-bodies are a pre-cursor to the Greek Cybele" in order to be able to write it. If we write that, and have no source for it, it is reduced to OR, opinion, or worse. As far as I can see there is only one (1) reference to Catalhöyük large-bodies being Cybele, and that is the unclear quote mentioned above (first comment).
I hope this (above) explains my view, I've certainly been verbose. At the very least we should perhaps add your fine expression "Scholarly guesswork" to the section "Origins". Counter to anything implied by this verbosity, this is not an all-important matter for me. I just wish we could get rid of the Wikiedia rep of publishing half-baked truths, and I think one way is to be strict and somewhat critical about what sources say and what they do not say. I am not suggesting scholarly methodology here, I know Wikipedia is for anyone and boldness is promoted as virtue, but I might like to advocate a little more caution here and there, if the backing of some claim is especially thin (I'm still not saying the claim is wrong, only that the backing seems thin). clsc (talk) 02:12, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Added: I see the article also claims that the predecessor of Cybele "took the form of unshaped stone of black meteoric iron", and there's a source for that claim. Unshaped stone is not exactly what I see at Catalhöyük. With this source (and conveniently ignoring dating issues) you could actually suggest that the predecessor of Cybele is the black stone of the Grand Mosque in Mecca - and that with the same lack/level of credibility as the Catalhöyük claim! See the issue now? This section may pass a superficial reading as "interesting but speculative" but there are still many loose ends, and some are very loose, imho. Don't know what to do about it much, except delete-delete-delete due to few/none sources. I'm not going to actually do much for now. clsc (talk) 03:31, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Cybele or Kubaba? (and other confusions)[edit]

  1. Cybele or Kubaba?
    Cybele or Kubaba? All I have tried was to find examples how the Seated Goddess of Catalhuyuk resembles Cybele (there in this footnote by me). And then I found this statue from Latium, of Cybele (according to scholars)—only to find in its own inscription that it's dedicated to Cybebe! Even though, indeed, it bears all the attributes proper to the imagery of Cybele... or have scholars misattributed them all? Can't they perhaps read with understanding?
  2. Anatolian or Greek?
    Anatolian or Greek? Confusingly, one of the images I tried to use as an example—Anatolian Image:Cybele Bithynia Nicaea.jpg—is placed in section Cybele #Aegean Cybele. I tried to judge whether I shall move it in the text to the Anatolian section, but the problem is that it appears to deal with original, pre-hellenistic representations only. Although the Anatolian statue lacks dating information, to my rude uneducated eye it looks late and hellenistic. I might bet the dating is anything from 50 BCE onwards. So maybe it's been rightfully placed in the Aegean section. Yet Bithynia qualifies as Anatolia, doesn't it?

6birc (talk) 17:50, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

The only clarification that I have managed to find is this:

CYBEBE, es, f, Κυβήβη, Dea eadem, quae Cybele. Phaedr. 3, 20. Galli Cybebes circuso quaestus ducere Asinum solebant bajulantem sarcinus. Id. ib. IT. Pimus Cybebae, populus celsa Herculi. Vet. Inter., quam se primuni vidisse testatur Marquard. Gwd. ad Phaedr. с. f.20. Virius Marcarianus V. C. Deam Cybeben P. S. P Multis, satisque solidis argumentis idem Gudius ib. probare nititur, quotiescumque hujus vocis paenultima a poetia producitur, Cybebe scribendum esse, non Cybele, aut Cybelle, quud Graeci tantum vel Κυβέλη dixerint, vel Κυβήλη, unde fieri Latinum Cybèle, et Cybèbe, quorum prioris paenultimatum produci non posse, alterius omnino debere; quod utraque vox aeque apud poetas, ас prosae scriptores in usu fuerint; quod ita babeatur in optimis MSS. Phaedri, Virg. A. 10, 220a., Lucani 1, 600. etc. Eodem modo legendum esse in Sil. IT, 8. et alibi, putat Drak., et in Prudentii [...illegible...] 10, 196. Heins. et in Prop. 3, 15, 35. et alibi Brouk. etc. Horum auctoritate et rationibus explodenda est Cybele paenultirna producta tanquam sit necessitate a Graeco Κυβήλη: et Cybelle duplici ll, tanquam sit necessitate aut licentia poetica indocta [inducta]: quamquam utraque scribendi ratio suos [suus] aliquot hübet et codices MSS. et fautores.

— Totius latinitatis lexicon (1831)

It helps, doesn't it?

6birc (talk) 19:45, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Hmm. This is indeed messy; I'll see what I can find out. Vultur (talk) 23:19, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

"Dea eadem, quae Cybele." -- "the same goddess as Cybele". It doesn't help that the Latin above has OCR errors at points. The "Phaedr." is a reference to the Fables of Phaedrus. An English translation is here. It's about the Galli pushing an ass around on their begging trips and hitting it as they went. When it died, they skinned it and made a tambourine, and joked that the ass may have thought death would bring an end to its misery, but here it was, being beaten still. (Nice people) Roger Pearse (talk) 20:38, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Atalanta and Hippomenes[edit]

"As lions they then drew Cybele's chariot, which sometimes numbered to seven."

Cybele had seven chariots? Atalanta and Hippomenes turned into seven lions? This is very unclear. Vultur (talk) 23:19, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


Is it useful to have the article on a modern city square named after an ancient divinity on top of the article on the divinity in question; Plaza de Cibeles coming before Cybele herself here. Are we prepared to place Allahabad on top of Allah, Christchurch on top of Christ. See, as an example, St. Peter (disambiguation). Cretanforever (talk) 06:57, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Article is full of misinformation[edit]

This deity was greatly feared by christians and they made a major effort to spread misinformation during the dark ages, when they re-wrote or destroyed a lot of records. In addition, many modern authors have done a terrible job of research, tending to repeat the same old misinformation. I have spent thousands of hours[citation needed] researching Cybele and my personal opinion about this article is that it is really awful. I wish I could help, but someone keeps reversing my edits. Priestess Jean 12:37, 27 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Priestess Jean (talkcontribs)

You mean the link you added in 2008? To this website? Haploidavey (talk) 14:16, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Glad to see substantial improvements have been recently made... the problem of editing by the general public, many of whom are biased or quote common misinformation, still remains... but for now the article looks pretty good. Now if only I could add a link to our modern temple ! Priestess Jean 19:32, 10 March 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Priestess Jean (talkcontribs)

Previously uncategorized image[edit]

Symmachi-Nicomachi diptych 2.JPG

Here is a Commons image that was previously not categorized as pertaining to Cybele. It's half of an ivory diptych (the other half is held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London), around 400 AD, and came from Langres. The description, presumably that of the museum, describes it as a priestess of Ceres carrying out a rite in honor of Cybele. I'm not sure what the French means when it says it's "un diptyque des Nicomaques et des Symmaques". Cynwolfe (talk) 15:50, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Symmachi–Nicomachi diptych, I presume. It's such a beautiful object - I've seen this in the V&A, and the fire-damage is such a sad loss. I see possible Magna Mater connection with pine tree and cones evident in background... ?... or are they?. According to a source I'm using, Symacchus (the Symmachus) celebrated a taurobolium. But then, he seems to have celebrated pretty much everything. Surely the two torches are Cerean. But I can't see a direct connection to Magna Mater. Doesn't the Cybele connection seem a little flimsy? Still.... death, rebirth, resurrection, Great Mothers and all that.... I s'pose this might fall under the general category of late Imperial synthesis? Haploidavey (talk) 16:25, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Dumb me. It seemed stray at Commons I didn't try to look it up here. I didn't see why they thought Cybele either, so thought you might know. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Western Empire[edit]

Hey, Haploidavey, looks as if you're taking a break, but I wondered whether you were interested in adding a section here on the dissemination of the cult to Gaul, the Spains, and possibly Britain (I say "possibly" because I don't know). You mention a taurobolium at Lugdunum and I was vaguely recalling a temple maybe there, as well as a good bit of other Cybele/Magna Mater evidence in Gaul, though not necessarily Belgic Gaul? I don't know. You've done such a fabulous job I thought you might know. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:54, 10 March 2013 (UTC)


I think this article as it stands is too much of an understatement. Luckily readers can read the linked Agdistis. What about saying something more? Obviously worship of rocks, androgyny, self fertilisation and castration are themes that should be mentioned and presented clearly. M. Eliade in his history of religious thought cites H. Baumann "Das Doppelte Geshlecht" Berlin 1955 as very informative, but I suppose there should be something in English too.Aldrasto11 (talk) 03:48, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. This is perhaps the deepest and widest of several yawning gaps in the article's coverage - and one I've found just too much to attempt. The scholarship's mostly speculative, some of it's outright contradictory, and the material's murky in the first place. I find it all rather perverse; Agdistis is an easier topic in some ways, because so much less is written about him/her, and by fewer sources; and they're all pretty dramatic. Cybele's huge, dark, and horribly extended behind the scenes, Anything like a firm grasp and clear presentation of her theology and philosophy has escaped me. So far. Haploidavey (talk) 09:11, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, I think this is a difference between doing scholarship and compiling an encyclopedia article. If you look at a lot of our articles on Christianity (as I have recently), they've become completely unreadable because they're collections of interpretations. A high level of abstract speculation when no scholarly consensus exists simply doesn't belong in a general encyclopedia. We're not really here to tell readers what things "mean". An article on King Lear, for example, can describe the plot and structure, the tradition of the text, performance traditions and staging, Shakespeare's sources, what works have been influenced by it, and the article can summarize themes or what kinds of questions are brought to the play. It can't attempt to explore or answer those questions. An encyclopedia article can describe what questions are brought to the figure of Cybele, but like any other article on religion or literature, the article will self-destruct into unreadability if it attempts to explore competing arguments and provide answers. You can't summarize all the interpretations in a way that does justice to them, and many of our articles on ancient religion suffer from imbalance because the editors have a scholar or two they favor and have structured the article as if that's the way to understand the "true" meaning of the figure. This impulse is an understandable yearning to explore interesting aspects of the topic, but it's completely contrary to WIkipedia's neutrality policy. Whatever the perceived deficiencies of the current article, Haploidavey's position is sane. It should not become an esoteric, personalized exploration of scholars' efforts to explain the "meaning" of Cybele's cult and imagery. Again, this is a difference between an encyclopedia aimed at general readers with no background, and a dissertation. Citations and sections for Further Reading and External links can direct readers who want a more in-depth, advanced exploration. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:06, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
I like Davey's answer who is as always very balanced, but I utterly disagree with Cynwolf's, who as usual cannot avoid being presuming, self deceiving and, last but not least, likes laying down the law.
Never mind what the scholarship may say it is quite certain that Cybele is Agdistis and Agdistis is the father of Attis. It is also certain that Cybele-Agdistis is the son of a uranic god and a rock named Agdis. The themes I mentioned are not speculative: it is certain that Cybele is Agdisitis after castration and that Attis was generated by this god/goddess. But I do not need to retell their story here. It is certain that this religious complex is typical of many primitive religions, but it has also numerous similarities or reflexes in more developed ones, as the Greek and the Roman. It is correlative to the starting point of the Minoan religion of the god-goddess of the hearth, father-mother-son-brother-sister, bull and tree, in Rome Vulcan-Vesta, is related to the Arcadian Lykaia through Pan, in Rome Lupercus, Faunus-Fauna-Bona Dea. It is enough to read without prejudice Macrobius I 12, 16-29. We can add the stories of Caeculus, Servius T., R&R, the Lupercalia etc. etc. So I just would like to say that our article here should say something on the issues I mentioned above: value of the cult of rocks in primitive religion, sexual ambivalence of the rock gods, confusion-interchange of identities, coition and generation amounting to castration or dismembering and death, resurrection in a new (or renewed self). On the other hand these are all the themes which are central to ancient religion and recur in the mysteries of Dionysos, Demeter, Artemis, Pan Lykaios, Faunus/ Fauna Bona Dea. I do not agree that Wikipedia should not inform readers of these (well known) themes just because they may be to some extent controversial and the scholarship "murky".Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:17, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
And as usual, Aldrasto, you launch into a personal attack. Instead of responding to my comments about how to present material within community guidelines, you present a content argument based on your own tailored interpretation of primary sources. You want this material included, but you don't recommend secondary sources that would help editors incorporate it—an indication that it reflects your own synthesis.
(BTW, it is not at all certain that Cybele is Agdistis after castration: you continually make these absolutist assertions that don't reflect either the primary sources or the consensus of scholars. Arnobius's account, which he explicitly says reflects cult practice as it had developed by the 4th century, treats the Mater Deorum and Agdistis as two distinct entities. What might be true of some hypothetical primordial time of "pure" myth may not reflect beliefs and practices at all times and places. Current scholarship doesn't seek to resolve everything about a deity into some kind of lost primeval archetype untouched by time.) Cynwolfe (talk) 21:16, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I have to say this; I've spent most of the day trying not to. I find it deeply embarrassing to be praised for my balance, then read an attack on an editor I know to be so much better informed, insightful and productive than myself. Cynwolfe just doesn't deserve that. Haploidavey (talk) 22:10, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, not only are you certifiably a nicer person than I am, but as you know, I frequently solicit your opinion. As I have Aldrasto's on more than one occasion. I do pontificate, but on this occasion it's because I think you've produced a massive amount of readable, useful work on a fiendishly difficult topic. I often quote Cate Blanchett (on preparing to play Katherine Hepburn) to myself when I feel I'm becoming abstruse: nobody wants to see your homework. They want to see the product, rendered clear and accessible. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:39, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if I answered in a way that was too rush and may have sounded as a personal attack. It gets on my nerve nonetheless that every time I have something to say on an article edited mainly by Davey, Cynwolfe should barge in and come up always with the same arguments, that are in fact a persoanl attack on me. What I suggest here is simply to say something more on this important figure and try to highlight/explain its theology. Cynwolfe's post implies I wish to contribute something that is not suitable or acceptable for Wikipedia. She always assumes that I wish to do OR/OS and every time I have to show that it is not so. Perhaps she thinks I am too intelligent or learned: I am not, all that I contribute is based on serious scholarship. Always. If she or other people do not know it. On Cybele and Attis I suppose Frazer, Cook, Crooke and others who wrote in English are serious scholars: why not using them? I cannot because I have no access to their works except through citations I find in other books. Cynwolfe should also refrain from this attitude towards me as I never criticise what she contributes, even though she sometimes uses my edits without crediting their content correctly (not to me, but to their authors as cited in my original) or when her secondary source is mistaken. At most I leave a note on the talk page. Back to Cybele, I am not giving a tailored interpretation here above, what I wrote just was just meant to say that these religious complex is far-reaching in ancient religion and that readers should be informed correctly on this goddess. I know we have to cite reliable, scholarly secondary sources: as a matter of fact I always spend much effort looking for them. I suppose the names I made here above are, from Eliade-Baumann to Crooke, but I will try to add other names later, if I can. BTW I read that the University of Pennsylvania has been conducting excavations at the Lykaion, a crystal with the engraving of the Minoan bull was found there in the fire pit: may be someone could ask them for more info.Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:12, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

My fault here, I found a long bibliography in volume II of Eliade's history of religious thought (I had just looked a t vol. I): Eisler, Laroche, Vermaresen, Cosi are the authors cited as having researched the figure of ancient Cybele/Kubaba. That is all. I hope nobody will feel offended if an editor leaves a note saying that this article does not develop sufficiently the theology of this complex and prototypical figure and tries to contribute to improve it. In fact Davey' s answer was very prudent and forebearing. I do hope we may have a constructive dialogue and avoid needless conflicts. I think it is not certainly in the spirit of spreading knowledge to put barriers and say: "This is not a topic Wikipedia should broach" regardless of its real or supposed "difficulty".Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:33, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't know where in any of my comments ever made on Wikipedia talk pages you would find me saying that a topic should be prohibited. Quite the contrary. But the presentation has to be appropriate to the genre (an encyclopedia article for general readers without background), and the material has to be shaped according to community guidelines. Davey and I are saying pretty much the same thing. Davey is saying that he's aware that he hasn't been able to incorporate every idea on the subject because he's striving to achieve a balanced, clear, and neutral presentation. I'm supporting his cautious, patient approach by saying articles aren't improved by transcribing disorderly, poorly digested notes from sources without consideration of due weight. The subject matter is difficult, but it should not produce an article that's difficult to read and comprehend. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:18, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

I will write here what is relevant in the books I have, Eliade and Geza Roheim. Everybody may use it as he likes or comment therupon. It will take some days of work. E. does not need a presentation. Roheim (born and educated in Hungary and Austria) was an anthropologist with a psychoanalithic formation (analysed by Sandor Ferenczi) and practised psychoanalysis till his death in New York in 1953. His work "Animism, magic and the divine king" was published postumous in London in 1972. The book is very interesting, even though one can disagree with the psychological reductionism which is proper to his kind of approach: in my view what he says is correct, but the leaves without or sees as a reflex what in fact may be fundamental. Nonetheless the presentation of the material and the comparisons are neutral, scholarly and extremely learned.

El. vol. I: # 34: ..."since human life is similar to that of cereals, strength and everlasting become accessible through death. The daed go back to Mother Earth with the hope of sharing the fate of seeds; moreover they are mystically associated to stone crags and consequently they become powerful and undetructible as rocks."

  1. 46 Kumarbi and sovereignity: "Exceptional interest has the so called Hittito-Hurrite theogony, i.e. the series of myths which have as a protagonsit Kumarbi, the "Father of the Gods". The initial episode "the sovereignity of Heaven" narrates the succession of the first gods. At the beginning reigned Alalu, and Anu, the most important of the gods bowed to him and served him. But after 9 years Anu revolted and won him. Alulu took refuge in the nether world, and Kumarbi became the servant of the new sovereign. After 9 years Kumarbi revolted against Anu. Anu made a flight by flying to the sky, but Kumarbi pursued him, held him by the feet and threw him onto the ground after biting his kidneys. Anu though told him he had been impregnated. He was impregnated of three gods. The rest of the text is mutile, but one can surmise that the sons of Anu, with Teshub as their head make war to Kumarbi and dethrone him.

The following episode narrates the attempt made by Kumarbi to regain sovereignity from Teshub. In order to create a rival able to win Teshub, he impregnated a rock with his sperm. The product of this union was Ullikummi, an anthropomorphous of stone. Set on the shoulder of Upelluri, who supports the sky and earth standing out of the sea with half of his bust, Ullikummi grows so fast as to reach the sky soon. Teshub tried to confront him but was defeated.

Cybele a favourite Goddess of the Roman Legionaries[edit]

There is no mention of the fact that Cybele, because of her association of the defeat of Hannibal, became a favourite of Roman legionaries, and in both temporary and permanent encampments a shrine with an altar for Cybele was often incorporated. Legionaries I have seen called her effectionately the mother of the gods and "Nostros Damos", titles later taken by Mary. I cannot find the reference to this but I have seen it and I will keep looking.John D. Croft (talk) 21:25, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Opening paragraph Vis a Vis demeter[edit]

if my memory serves Corn, Zea Mays, is a new world crop, and as such would not be able to prove the 'corn-mother' description of Demeter that has been provided. This really grinds my gears, though I am probably just being pedantic. I am changing it and will use this comment to give my reasoning. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 27 November 2013 (UTC) (talk) 23:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)Амэриканский Анонимюс

Matar Kubileya in Phrygian[edit]

In many sources Phrygian 'Matar kubileya' is translated as 'Mother of the mountain'.

What comes to my interest is in hieroglyphic Hittite alphabet, 'mountain' sign (which is put above the subject) means 'great, grand' and widely known name for Cybele is also 'Great Mother'.

Though I'm quite a novice of these subjects, I'm curious if this resemblance might have a significance indeed.

Cagil Duman (talk) 01:02, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

goddess of the mountain top, or makidonia, or venus, or isis, inanna, anahita, was the deity that helped humanity spread east-west. by it's morning aspect guide phosphorus to east. and evening aspect guide vesperus to west. that's why the old civilization has spread horizontal. the first compass od men. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Eunuch = Transgender ?[edit]

Opening Section. The fanciful imaginings of SJW's and their cult priests of orthology (gender studies academics) ought to keep within the bounds of their own discipline where revisionist 'her-story' is celebrated. The terms "eunuch" and "transgender" are not synonymous. If what the article's author is trying to say is that there were both categories of priests, this too is erroneous. Transgenderism is a recent construct and not used as a term in early original source material.Bjhodge8 (talk) 12:57, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

No, they're not synonymous, and the article doesn't claim that they are; nor does it describe two different categories of priest. The wording derives from Roller, a specialist on Cybele and Attis; she does not (afaik) specialise in "gender studies". Some ancient sources describe Attis and the Galli as male; Catullus describes Attis as male prior to emasculation and as female after it; nothing to do with "transgenderism", nothing to do with "sex change"; just a change of gender; some ancient sources describe the Galli as a "third sex". And it's not even clear that all ordinary Galli were emasculated. Btw, what's "SJW"? Assuming your "SJW" refers to Social justice warrior, I'm not at all sure why you brought that up. Try as I might, I can find no trace of that in the sources used, nor in the article itself. Haploidavey (talk) 13:18, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't see where Roller uses the term "transgender" in reference to the Galli. Paul August 14:24, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Nor do I. It would seem that she doesn't; my bad. So I guess the question remains; is "transgender" an appropriate term? I'd still say it is. Or to put it another way, why wouldn't it be? Haploidavey (talk) 14:44, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
To me "transgender" seems like an anachronism in this context. And in any case "eunuch" seems sufficient, and more importantly, its the the word the cited source uses. Paul August 14:58, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Ah well. Two objections (and its absence in cited sources) seem good enough reason for removal. Haploidavey (talk) 15:06, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

"Mixed reception"[edit]

"In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception."
.. this honestly sounds it's about a movie titled Cybele (516BC). I know it's technically correct but it sounds awkward. You wouldn't say God met with "mixed reception" in Vietnam. Bataaf van Oranje (Prinsgezinde) (talk) 13:44, 25 September 2017 (UTC)