Megalesia

The cult of the Phrygian goddess Cybele (also known as Magna Mater) was established in Rome on this day in 204 BCE, and April 4 continued to be set aside as a commemoration of the foreign goddess’ arrival in Rome. In the beginning, no Roman citizens were allowed to take part in it. But over time it spread to the streets of Rome, where Cybele’s image was carried in a chariot drawn by lions with her castrated priests leaping and gashing themselves in a frenzy of devotion. The procession went from the Palatine to the Circus, where …read more

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