Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Classics

First Advisor

Andrew Cain

Second Advisor

Diane Conlin

Third Advisor

Diane Sasnett-Martichuski

Abstract

Abstract:

Previous scholarship on the Roman Magna Mater concentrated on how the foreign aspects of the Metroac cult, especially the dedicated priests, the galli, were not fluid with Roman standards of culture and religion.1 This resulted from the critical nature of the surviving literary evidence that comments on Attis, Cybele’s consort, and the galli, Cybele’s priests.2 While critical attitudes about the Metroac cult and its rituals are certainly evidenced; literary, epigraphic, and archaeological evidence illustrate the Magna Mater as a celebrated Roman goddess with Attis and the galli functioning as prominent figures by her side.3 Magna Mater and her inclusion in the Roman pantheon provide an example of the paramount strategy employed during Roman expansion: Romanization.

1 Cumont, The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, 53; Vermaseren, Cybele and Attis: the Myth and the Cult, 96.

2 Catullus, Carmen 63; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities II, 19.2-4; Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 2.615; Prudentius, Peristephanon X, 1006-50.

3 Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price, Religions of Rome, Vol. 1, A History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 97; Hales, “Looking for eunuchs: the galli and Attis in Roman Art,” ed. Shaun Tougher, 87-102; Latham, “Fabulous Clap-Trap: Roman Masculinity,” 84-122; Cumont, The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, 53; Beard, “The Roman and the Foreign,” eds. Nicholas Thomas and Caroline Humphrey, 164-187; Vermaseren, Cybele and Attis: the Myth and the Cult, 96.

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