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Hittite Texts and Greek ReligionContact, Interaction, and Comparison$
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Ian Rutherford

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780199593279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199593279.001.0001

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Becoming Cybele

Becoming Cybele

Phrygia as an Intermediate Culture

(p.163) 8 Becoming Cybele
Hittite Texts and Greek Religion

Ian Rutherford

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines a third major contact zone in NW Turkey around the 7th-century BC. Here Greek colonists established themselves and will have come into contact with the Phrygian population, who took over the area previously occupied by the Hittites in the early Iron Age. Links between Phrygians and Greeks could be much older, perhaps going back to a time before the Phrygians migrated into Anatolia. NW Turkey is the most likely context for the transmission to Greece of the cult of the goddess whom the Greeks knew as Phrygian Cybele, although her divine personality may in fact owe a good deal to Greek ideas of the Great Mother. The question arises whether or not Phrygian Cybele owes something to the Hittite religion of five centuries before.

Keywords:   Cybele, Phrygia, Kubaba, Mother, Istanuwa, Attis

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