"Cult of the "Great Mother""

pp. 171-173 festival days of Magna Mater from 15th to 27th of March

p. 171

p. 173

March _th




Canna intrat (the reed enters)

canno-phoroi (‘reed-bearers’)


Arbor intrat (the tree enters)

dendro-phoroi (‘[pine]tree-bearers’)


Sanguem (blood)

doru-phoroi (‘spear-bearers’)


Hilaria (joy)

balladores Cybelae (‘dancers of Cybele’)


Requietio (repose)



Lavatio (bathing)


p. 172 March 27th : "On the day of washing, the cult statue of the goddess (the famous black meteorite, now set into a silver anthropomorphic image) was taken in procession to the stream of the Almo [/alma/ ‘soul’], a small tributary to the Tiber."

p. 175, citing :- Martial : Epigrams 3:81, addressed to a gallus named Baeticus [from Baetica province of Hispania?]

"What, licking women down inside there, Gallus? ... Cunt-lover".

p. 179 installation of the idol of Mater Magnus in Rome, according to Livius (Histories 29:10:4-11; 29:14:5-14)

"When the goddess’s ship drew near to the city, ... went to the port to meet her ... all the married women of Rome, who passed her cult image (the black meteorite) from hand to hand until it reached the temple of Victory in the city".

Nicholas Thomas & Caroline Humphrey (eds.) : Shamanism, History, and the State. Ann Arbor : U of MI Pr, 1994. pp. 164-190 Mary Beard : "The Cult of the "Great Mother" in Imperial Rome".