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Dinsdag 27 Juni 2017
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Archaeological highlights and mysteries, become inspired!
Not for the faint of heart: the remarkable tale of the Phrygian God Attis.

There once was a hermaphrodite demon named Agditis who was feared by the Gods. In fear, they cut off Agditis male organ, threw it away after which it grew into an almond tree….. As the goddess Nana held one of its fruits to her bosom it suddenly disappeared and she became pregnant with Attis.

Attis was raised by goats and grew up to be an extraordinarily beautiful man. His beauty even dazzled Agditis who fell in love with him. But when Attis was about to marry a princess, the jealous Agditis struck him with madness. Attis fled to a pine tree where he set down and cut of his own genital, bleeding to death. Out of his blood a conifer arose and Attis was subsequently resurrected, becoming a symbol for the everlasting cycle of life and death and the four seasons. His followers firmly believed in rebirth after death, inspiring many other future religions...

Attis was originally a God from the Phrygians, a kingdom in modern-day Anatolia in Turkey. The kingdom was conquered by the Lydians, Alexander the Great and later on the Romans who often incorporated other Gods in their own pantheon, like Attis.

To appease Attis, or any other God, the Romans gave them gifts. This happened at home, in a military camp or in special sanctuaries. In general, they placed the presents near a small statue of a specific god or on an altar. This bronze statuette of Attis was found at a Roman villa in the vicinity of Maastricht, but unfortunately we will never know the full story of why this gift was offered to the God of rebirth.

All we know is where it was found and that it depicts Attis. He is recognizable by his attributes, namely a Phrygian hat and oriental open pants which refer to his emasculation.
He is on display in our upcoming archaeological exposition Top or Topic from 15th July till 15th October.

Further reading and viewing:


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Geplaatst door Bart Linssen op 2017-06-27 16:39:15

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