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Full Access Mother of the Gods: Goddess of Power and Protector of Cities

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Mother of the Gods: Goddess of Power and Protector of Cities

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Abstract The article presents a survey of the roles and status of Meter’s cult in the western Black Sea area, her reception in the archaic period, and the subsequent development of the goddess’s characteristics. Based on new scholarship on the goddess’s roles and status in Phrygia, and taking as a starting point an analysis of a selected number of archaeological Meter objects from the Black Sea region, it will be argued that Meter in this area throughout the centuries functioned as, primarily, a goddess of power, a protector of cities, and a goddess of the elite — the very traits that also characterised her cult in Phrygia. Furthermore, it is suggested that Meter, because of these traits, was eagerly embraced by official authorities outside the Black Sea area also, and that hence they were the primary reason for her early presence in Athens and later in Rome.

Affiliations: 1: University of Aarhus, Faculty of Arts Taasingegade 3, 8000 Aarhus C Denmark BB@teo.au.dk

Abstract The article presents a survey of the roles and status of Meter’s cult in the western Black Sea area, her reception in the archaic period, and the subsequent development of the goddess’s characteristics. Based on new scholarship on the goddess’s roles and status in Phrygia, and taking as a starting point an analysis of a selected number of archaeological Meter objects from the Black Sea region, it will be argued that Meter in this area throughout the centuries functioned as, primarily, a goddess of power, a protector of cities, and a goddess of the elite — the very traits that also characterised her cult in Phrygia. Furthermore, it is suggested that Meter, because of these traits, was eagerly embraced by official authorities outside the Black Sea area also, and that hence they were the primary reason for her early presence in Athens and later in Rome.

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2012-01-01
2016-12-07

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