The Mother of the Gods at Athens

Mark Munn

in The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520243491
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931589 | DOI:
The Mother of the Gods at Athens

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This chapter examines the circumstances under which the cult to the Mother of the Gods was formally established, and provides a perspective from which it is possible to see how the story of the Mother of the Gods and Athens was remembered more for its legendary qualities than for its place in Athenian political history. Also, this chapter shows that the recognition and acceptance of the Mother of the Gods corresponds to a measured reversal of a trend of cultural relations. As a sovereign power that claimed legitimate domination over the Greeks in Asia as well as in Europe, the Athenians were beginning to re-examine what they had in common with the cultures of barbarian Asia. In this context the Athenians finally recognized the Mother of the Gods, and accepted her as their own. The eventual establishment of the Mother at Athens is part of the story of the Athenian accommodation to the ideology of universal sovereignty.

Keywords: Athens; classical era; Greece; Asia; Athenian democracy; sovereignty; maternal deities; politics

Chapter.  16449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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