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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: 27 September 2021

The Mother of the Gods at Athens

The Mother of the Gods at Athens

(p.317) Chapter 9 The Mother of the Gods at Athens
The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia

Mark Munn

University of California Press

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

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