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Headword: Kubêbê
Adler number: kappa,2594
Translated headword: Kubebe, Kybebe, Cybebe, Cybele, Great Mother
Vetting Status: high
The mother of [the] gods. Aalso [sc. attesteed is the verb] 'to tumble' [kubistan] properly to throw oneself on one's head. Homer [says]: "headfirst in the dust."[1] For madmen when they suffer in their heads become like this. Whence they also call the mother of the gods Kubebe from divine frenzy (enthusiasm); for being initiated is a cause of divine frenzy. There is also in Phrygia a shrine of the mother of the gods.[2]
Greek Original:
Kubêbê: hê theôn mêtêr. kai Kubistan kuriôs to epi kephalên rhiptein. Homêros: kumbachos en koniêisin. epei hoi maniôdeis peri tên kephalên pathous ginomenou toioutoi ginontai. hothen kai tên mêtera tôn theôn apo tou enthousiasmou Kubêbên legousin: aitia gar enthousiasmou to mueisthai ginetai. esti de kai en Phrugiai hieron mêtros theôn.
The name in the headword is closer to the goddess's name in other Anatolian cultures, e.g. Hittite, than is Greek Kubele (kappa 2586) or Cybele and may be the Phrygian name. The etymology from Greek kubista=n (kappa 2598) 'to tumble, turn cartwheels' is highly implausible (cf. kappa 2602 and note [5] there). The Greek word from which we derive 'enthusiasm' refers to the presence of a god in the human body, as in the mystery rites of Cybele, Dionysus and other gods, perhaps caused by alcohol or other stimulants.
[1] Homer, Iliad 5.586, another implausible etymology from Greek ku/mbaxos.
[2] An understatement for a country in which the rites of Cybele and Attis were widespread. The best known site was that at Pessinus (pi 1381), from which the Romans received the sacred black stone (perhaps cubic, cf. the outdated but still useful attempt of R. Eisler to link these words with a pre-Semitic root surviving in the sacred Ka'aba at Mecca: Philologus 68, 1909, 118-151,169-204) installed in the temple of the Magna Deum Mater ('Great Mother of the Gods') on the Palatine, to which they attributed the victory over Hannibal.
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; geography; medicine; religion
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 12 December 2000@11:20:43.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; restorative and other cosmetics) on 11 September 2002@09:54:44.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 19 March 2013@10:06:46.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation following a suggestion from Brady Kiesling) on 28 December 2016@23:13:45.


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