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The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of AsiaA Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion$
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Mark Munn and Michael Rose

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243491

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243491.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

The Mother of the Gods and the Ideals of Lydian Tyranny

The Mother of the Gods and the Ideals of Lydian Tyranny

Chapter:
(p.96) Chapter 3 The Mother of the Gods and the Ideals of Lydian Tyranny
Source:
The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia
Author(s):

Mark Munn

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520243491.003.0004

This chapter examines the characteristics that made the Phrygian Mother of the Gods an appropriate manifestation of Lydian sovereignty. Like the figure of Midas, a real person whose memory generated an ahistorical archetype, this chapter shows that the divine Mother in Lydia was, paradoxically, both a mortal woman and mother of a king-to-be, and a divinity whose communion with tyrants assured their supremacy. As in the case of Midas, this paradox was achieved through the perspective of time. Real individuals of the past were enshrined through rituals and monuments to become the idealized foundations of present conditions. In this process, the mothers of kings tended to lose their individual identities and become assimilated to the ideal of the divine Mother.

Keywords:   Lydia, tyranny, maternal deities, Midas, mythology, Greece, sovereignty

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