The Phrygian language
Top: The "Three Kalas" from Yazihkaya. Bottom: The "Midas Monument," approach from the East. This is without a doubt a solar temple complex and probably the "burial site" of Attis who was reborn again at the Vernal Equinox. It is the time in March when the sun passes the equator moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere. Day and night have approximately the same length. The date is near 20 March. The niche in the "Midas Monument" seen here should align perfectly with the Vernal Equinox. Note the small ridge in front of the niche which should control the moment when the sun's rays reach the idol (of Attis) that would have been placed in the niche. The Emperor Claudius introduced a new cycle of holidays that were celebrated from March 15th to March 27th, the beginning of spring at the time of the revival of vegetation, personified in Attis. For a topographical map of Midas City click here: Midas.city.plan.jpg.
1) Burial place of Attis: Pessinus, below Agdus, the rocky outcropping of Dindymust that gave Agdistis her name. The place is also called DIDYMI, or BRANCHIDAE, the ancient sanctuary and seat of an oracle of Apollo, located south of Miletus in modern Turkey. Mt. Dindymus is the place where Zeus ejaculated on the ground while sleeping. There grew up on this spot a strange creature with both male and female organs which became the goddess Agdistis or Cybele.
2) Mount Ida, where Aeneas collected the wood for his ships from Cybele's sacred pine-trees.
3)Cybela, Phrygia, the place from which the name Cybele was derived. A Thracian royal city, Cabyle, near Edirne, Turkey – where the borders of Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey meet – claims to be that site.
4) Mount Berecyntus, of the perinneal pines, associated with Mount Ida. There is no conclusive evidence where the place was located, based upon my Google search.
What do the people of Yazihkaya
believe the place was called? What kind of myths do
they have connected with the place?
Short of having a precise answer to the origin and name the Phrygians gave to the site now called the Three Kalas, we can refer to the following:
...Like the Kizil-Bash peasants of today, the ancient inhabitants of the peninsula met on the summits of mountains covered with woods no ax had desecrated, and celebrated their festal days. 3_1 They believed that Cybele resided on the high summits of Ida and Berecyntus, and the perennial pines, in conjunction with the prolific and early maturing almond tree, were the sacred trees of Attis. Besides trees, the country people worshiped stones, rocks or meteors that had fallen from the sky like the one taken from Pessinus to Pergamum and thence to Rome. They also venerated certain animals, especially the most powerful of them all, the lion, who may at one time have been the totem of savage tribes. 3_2 In mythology as well as in art the lion remained the riding or driving animal of the Great Mother. Their conception of the divinity was indistinct and impersonal. A goddess of the earth, called Mi or Cybele, was revered as the fecund mother of all things, the "mistress of the wild beasts" 3_3 that inhabit the woods. A god Attis, or Papas, was regarded as her husband, but the first place in this divine household belonged to the woman, a reminiscence of the period of matriarchy. 3_4
When the Phrygians at a very early period came from Thrace and inserted themselves like a wedge in the old Anatolian races, they adopted the vague deities of their new country by identifying them with their own, after the habit of pagan nations. Thus Attis became one with the Dionysus-Sabazius of the conquerors, or at least assumed some of his characteristics. This Thracian Dionysus was a god of vegetation. Foucart has thus admirably pictured his savage nature: "Wooded summits, deep oak and pine forests, ivy-clad caverns were at all times his favorite haunts. Mortals who were anxious to know the powerful divinity ruling these solitudes had to observe the life of his kingdom, and to guess the god's nature from the phenomena through which he manifested his power. Seeing the creeks descend in noisy foaming cascades, or hearing the roaring of steers in the uplands and the strange sounds of the wind-beaten forests, the Thracians thought they heard the voice and the calls of the lord of that empire, and imagined a god who was fond of extravagant leaps and of wild roaming over the wooded mountains. This conception inspired their religion, for the surest way for mortals to ingratiate themselves with a divinity was to imitate him, and as far as possible to make their lives resemble his. For this reason the Thracians endeavored to attain the divine delirium that transported their Dionysus, and hoped to realize their purpose by following their invisible yet ever-present lord in his chase over the mountains." 3_5
In the Phrygian religion we find the same beliefs and rites, scarcely modified at all, with the one difference that Attis, the god of vegetation, was united to the goddess of the earth instead of living "in sullen loneliness." When the tempest was beating the forests of the Berecyntus or Ida, it was Cybele traveling about in her car drawn by roaring lions mourning her lover's death. A crowd of worshipers followed her through woods and thickets, mingling their shouts with the shrill sound of flutes, with the dull beat of tambourines, with the rattling of castanets and the dissonance of brass cymbals. Intoxicated with shouting and with uproar of the instruments, excited by their impetuous advance, breathless and panting, they surrendered to the raptures of a sacred enthusiasm. Catullus has left us a dramatic description of this divine ecstasy. 3_6
The religion of Phrygia was perhaps even more violent than that of Thrace. The climate of the Anatolian uplands is one of extremes. Its winters are rough, long and cold, the spring rains suddenly develop a vigorous vegetation that is scorched by the hot summer sun. The abrupt contrasts of a nature generous and sterile, radiant and bleak in turn, caused excesses of sadness and joy that were unknown in temperate and smiling regions, where the ground was never buried under snow nor scorched by the sun. The Phrygians mourned the long agony and death of the vegetation, but when the verdure reappeared in March they surrendered to the excitement of a tumultuous joy. In Asia savage rites that had been unknown in Thrace or practiced in milder form expressed the vehemence of those opposing feelings. In the midst of their orgies, and after wild dances, some of the worshipers voluntarily wounded themselves and, becoming intoxicated with the view of the blood, with which they besprinkled their altars, they believed they were uniting themselves with their divinity. Or else, arriving at a paroxysm of frenzy, they sacrificed their virility to the gods as certain Russian dissenters still do to-day. These men became priests of Cybele and were called Galli. Violent ecstasis was always an endemic disease in Phrygia. As late as the Antonines, montanist prophets that arose in that country attempted to introduce it into Christianity.
All these excessive and degrading demonstrations of an extreme worship must not cause us to slight the power of the feeling that inspired it. The sacred ecstasy, the voluntary mutilations and the eagerly sought sufferings manifested an ardent longing for deliverance from subjection to carnal instincts, and a fervent desire to free the soul from the bonds of matter. The ascetic tendencies went so far as to create a kind of begging monachism--the métragyrtes. They also harmonized with some of the ideas of renunciation taught by Greek philosophy, and at an early period Hellenic theologians took an interest in this devotion that attracted and repelled them at the same time. Timotheus the Eumolpid, who was one of the founders of the Alexandrian religion of Serapis, derived the inspiration for his essays on religious reform, among other sources, from the ancient Phrygian myths. Those thinkers undoubtedly succeeded in making the priests of Pessinus themselves admit many speculations quite foreign to the old Anatolian nature worship. The votaries of Cybele began at a very remote period to practise "mysteries" 3_7 in which the initiates were made acquainted, by degrees, with a wisdom that was always considered divine, but underwent peculiar variations in the course of time.
Such is the religion which the rough Romans of the Punic wars accepted and adopted. Hidden under theological and cosmological doctrines it contained an ancient stock of very primitive and coarse religious ideas, such as the worship of trees, stones and animals. Besides this superstitious fetichism it involved ceremonies that were both sensual and ribald, including all the wild and mystic rites of the bacchanalia which the public authorities were to prohibit a few years later. [Full article>>sacred-texts.com]
The Midas Monument, facade
The Midas Monument, side view
The Midas Monument, facade top inscription
-1 ATES: ARKIA EFAIS AKENANO TAFOS: MIDAI: PAFAPa
TAEI: FANA Ki TEI: EDAES [Translation: To Attys or
father, ates, (Etr. ATES) the archon (Etr. ARCIA,
Gr. archon) he spoke out (L. effor-fari; Etr. EFA,
EFAN, EFAS, EFE) of Akenano, name : Akenanos,
another form of Cernnunos? or Ascanios of Taphos?
alternatively, of the tomb (Gk. taphi [taΦη],
burial, internment; taphos [taΦoς], grave, tomb):
Midas or alternatively, Media (L. Medi-orum, the
Medes), or the middle (L. media, subst. i.e., media
via, middle way) or, as a verb, he healed (L.
medeor-eri): he feared (L. paveo, pavere; It. paura,
fear; Fr. peur, dread; Etr. PAF, PAFA) the pine-wood
(L. taeda-a, pine-wood, a torch, esp. as used at
weddings): Taei; the holy place, temple grounds (L.
fanum-i; Etr. FANI) who, which, what, that,
wherefore, whereby (L. qui, quae, quod; It. chi; Fr.
qui; Etr. KI, Ki) of the god (L. deus, divus, di,
divi, dea, diva; It. dio, dia; Fr. dieu, dieux,
deese; Etr. TEI, TEIS, TEIFA) you will produce,
bring out (L. edo-edere-didi-ditum, fut. edes; Etr.
ETA, ETES, ETO); alternatively it could be Hades,
Hell. Hades' name in Etruscan, as seen in the Tomb
of Orcos, is ATAI.]
Note: See Phrygiank.html a comment of Strabo who lists a place called Midaeieum in a location that approximates the present Midas City. His description of Pesinnus may apply to the reality of Midas City. It is difficult to believe that the historians would have focused so much on the story of Cybele and not listed the site known now as Midas City. The suffix, AI, of MIDAI, in the "Etruscan Phrases" Grammar corresponds to the suffix of proper names, accusative singular, as in the Etruscan name of Hades: ATAI. Thus, with the accusative case corresponding to the Greek and Latin usage, the name Midas would be the direct object of the verb. He speaks to or of Midas.
EFAIS carries a suffix "IS" that suggests a noun (See "Etruscan Phrases" Grammar-4). It is possible that the word could refer to Efes, the location of the Temple of Artemis, but the position of the word calls for a verb. A question posed by Rowbotham in an email, whether the word referred to Efes (Ancient Epheseus), is pertinent, since we have associated with the verb, effor-fari, to speak out, the Greek word, Ephor, a Spartan magistrate. Efes was the place of the oracle of Artemis. We conclude this, since her brother, Apollo, had his oracle, called the Pythia, at Delphi and no doubt Efes was the site of Artemis' oracle. We can speculate as to the source of the name of Efes being related to the verb "to speak out." Also we can note that the suffix of EFAIS and MIDAI seem to follow the same declension. As will be seen in the "Etruscan Phrases" Grammar the suffix referring to proper names was IA, IE, IAS, IES. ARKIA, for instance, corresponds with the Etruscan word for archon. Compare this to the "EI" suffix of TAEI and TEI and XA-20, TIES.
Since Efes was such an important place in the world – considered by the ancients to be the location of one of the Seven Wonders of the World – a citation referring to the place would be expected in these texts, since Midas City is relatively close by. XA-4 carries the word EFIA. The suffix connotes a name of a place and we read this word to mean Efes.
The name AKENANO is interesting, since it is repeated three times on this monument. In attempting to reconcile the name it occured to me that there is a resemblance in the suffix of the names Cernunnos and Akenano (Akenanos). While Attis is known as the [grand]son and consort of Cybele, we do not know who the progeny of the couple are in the role of patriarchs of the gods. Since Cybele, as Agdistis, emerged from the seed of Zeus, we might wonder whether the name Zeus is respresented in another form in the Phrygian scripts; i.e., as seen in the shift to the Latin Jupitor and Etruscan Tinia. Cernunnos is a supreme diety among the Celts, identifiable with Pluto as a god of the Underworld and of wealth and prosperity. The Thracians worshipped a god of the Underworld named Zalmoxis. The Thracians, like the Celts, believed in the immortality of the soul. Of interest is that Cernunnos is identified with the solar bull on the Gundestrop Cauldron and may be related to other myths that celebrate a god's conquest of the solar bull. Zalmoxis is shown wielding an axe or hammer, suggesting that he is a weather god, like Thor, Indra, Jupiter and Zeus.
Recognizing that the "EI" suffix also connotes a noun, as in TEI (god, L. deus, divus, di, divi, dea-ae, diva; It. dio, dia; Fr. dieu, dieux, deese) TAEI may be goddesses (L. dea-ae). How the suffix EI works is still not entirely clear. For instance, the name of Helen of Troy, as seen on Etruscan mirrors, is spelled both as ELINAI and ELENEI (See Etruscan GlossaryA.xls) We can compare this to the name of Persephone seen in a tomb mural: PHERSIPNEI ("EI,"gen. suffix, singular?).
Keeping the Midas Monument in the context of a sanctuary of Cybele and her consort, Attis, another word comes to mind: the pine. The pine is the symbol of Attis. Thus, TAEI may be pine-wood (L. taeda-a, pine-wood, a torch, esp. as used at weddings). This would present the following translation of PAFAPa TAEI: he feared the pine-wood or torch [of the wedding].
The name AGNANO is interestingly a name of a volcanic lake in the Phlegrean Fields, near mount Vesuvius. Located on the bay of the fields - which form a volcanic caldera about 12 km in diameter - is the city of Pozzuoli, known in ancient times as Dicaearchia. Near lake Annano were volcanic caves, one of which was known as the Cave of the Dogs. Since ancient times the cave released poisonous fumes and it was believed (usually demonstrated by throwing dogs into the cave) that anything thrown into the cave, except frogs or snakes, would instantly die. But the dogs and even people could be resurrected by throwing them into the lake nearby. Jean D'Amato Thomas, nsula.edu, presents an interesting history of the place. This is the place the ancients believed to be the entrance of Hades, also called Lake Avernus. The religion of Cybele (MATER) was one of rebirth and healing which is what the Phlegrean Fields were also known for.
(Lower left inscription )
XA13-1 NISAE: ESVRM (ESYRM) : UTIN (FTIN) [Translation: Nisae or sustained, rested (L. nissus-a-um; nitor, to sustain) I went out (It. escire [uscire]; L. exeo-ire-li [ivi]-itum; exirem, 1st. pers. conj. imperf.) they employ, use, enjoy (L. utor, uti, usus); possibly a name, Utin? ] Note: See also XB-4 for UTIN.
(Inscription on right side, running
vertically on the wall) Note:
BaBA MEM EFAIS PROITA FO is a phrase repeated on
an altar, Script XE!
XA-25 BABA: MEM EFAIS: PROITA FOST TIPA NA EPOS: SKENEM AM: EL AES
[Translation: Papa (Attis, also called Papas, husband of Cybele, Mater) of the breast, mammary? (L. mamma-ae; It. mammella; Fr. mamelle);
alternatively, to the mother (It. mamma)?
or the self, same (Fr. même) he spoke out (L.
effor-fari; Etr. EFA, EFAN, EFAS, EFE): therefore,
consequently (L. proinde and proin) of the stock,
trunk, shaft (L. fossa-ae; It. fusto; Fr. fut;
Sanskrit, yasti; stick, club, L. fustis-is, Etr.
8VST) of the model, figure on a wall, type (L.
typus-i; It. tipo; Fr. type; Gr. typos, Polish,
typ; Etr. TIPE, TIPES) indeed, truly (L. ne [nae];
Etr. NA) of the epic poem (L. epos): Skenem? (re:
L. scio, scire, to know, understand; Etr. SCIS) I
love, like (L. amo-are; Etr. AM, AMA, AMaPa,
AMaPEN, AMAR, AME, AMEM, AMI, AMIE, AMO): the
olives? (Gr. elaia) or alternatively, her (L.
eius, illius; It. ella; Fr. elle, elles) bronze,
metal (L. aes, aeris)]
Note: See XE-12, E LAES in the context suggesting, "from Laius."
Altar that may be for two statues; or possibly the two-faced Janus, the Etr. / Roman god of doors and beginnings.
on a throne / altar overlooking the
Midas Monument in Midas City.)
XA-18 AKENANO: A FAN TIES [Translation: Arcanania? or Ascanios they long for (L. aveo-ere) or alternatively, they carry away, sail off (L. aveho-vehere; Etr. AFEF); or at (L. a) the temple (holy place, temple grounds (L. fanum-i)?) a day (L. dies-ei, day; diu, by day; diutiuus, longer; Welsh, dydd; Scot, di; Etr. TIE, TIES). Note: Because of the repeated use of AKENANO (See Etruscan Glossarya.xls) we conclude it is a proper name. Thus, we could have this translation: "Akenano: to the holy place of the days." In the context of a holy place of the days, the mount would be oriented to the calendar. To be such a place the many altars, idols and monuments would have to be oriented to the sunrise and sunset, the positions of the moon , particularly at the new year, and heavenly dieties (constellations).
XA-21 NOA POPLA Ki: ATANA or APA NA (1) [Translation: he renews (L. novo-are) the people? people, a nation (L. populus-i; It. popolo; Fr. populo; Etr. PVPvLV, PVPvLVM) or alternatively, the priest (L. popa-ae, jr. priest; Gr. papas, It. prete; Fr. prêtre) that of (L. qui, quae, quod; It. chi; Fr. qui; Etr. KI, Ki) of Ectabana? (Agbatana in Aeschylus, written Agámtanu by Nabonidos, and Agamatanu at Behistun) (literally: the place of gathering) is supposed to be the capital of Astyages (Istuvegü), which was taken by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in the sixth year of Nabonidos (549 BC). The Greeks supposed it to be the capital of Media..) or possibly the goddess Anahita (Gr. Anaitis). Note: ATANA appears to be a person or place, possibly the river Don. The Greek name of the river Don, which flows southward into the Sea of Azov, is the Tanaïs. Another name of the Greeks comes from the patriarch, Danaüs, who, with his brother, Aegyptus, were sons of the Egyptian king Belus. The duality of this throne / altar may point to Anahita.
If the word is APANA it may be APA, priest (Italian, abate; Fr. Abbé) indeed, truly (L. ne [nae])
ATANA may be the Avestan / Persian Anahita, a two phased goddess combining the traits of Ishtar and Artemis. Phoenicia.org describes her as a form of the Phonecian Anat, Egyptian Sekhmet, Assyrian Ishtar and Anatolian Cybele: "Artemis: The virgin goddess Artemis, who is probably identifiable from Linear B, has stronger Anatolian connections than Levantine. Her cults,72 especially that of Taurian Artemis, display certain traits that are also seen in the worship of Phoenician gods. Primarily she is associated with human sacrifice, making her a mistress of cruel and bloody rites. She is sometimes identified with the Phoenician warrior goddess Anat, though her major associations are with the goddess Kybele, mistress of animals. Anat, the goddess daughter of Baal, was likewise a virgin. She revelled in battle, paralleling the Egyptian lioness goddess Sekhmet, and was a female Ares rather than an Athena. The Sekhmet connection is further enhanced by depictions of Artemis with Eastern lions in her train. In the Iliad Artemis, like Aphrodite, retains Eastern warrior goddess origins, but Homer reduces this aspect of her and when she is beaten by Hera, she flees to father Zeus. There is a connection between Artemis and Aphrodite that can be seen in the cult of the Ephesian Artemis, who was a motherly Eastern fertility goddess."
Altar # 46 to Rhea / Cybele
XC-1 RIFUN (RIFYN) AFIA PITE EL [ Translation: Rivun (Rhea?) grandmother (L. avia-ae) the pious, piety (L. pietas-atis; It. pieta; Fr. pitié) to her (L. eius, illius; It. ella; Fr. elle, elles)
XC-5 LUIT (LFIT) TIMAM [Translation: she expiates, atones for (L. luo, luere; luit) the timid, fearful (L. timens-entis; Etr. 4th – accusative case "am")]
Note: Rhea or Rheia was a Titaness who married her brother Cronos. He overthrew their father Uranus and reigned over the other Titans, but was warned by his parents that he was destined to be overthrown in turn by one of his children. In order to prevent this Cronos ate his children one by one as they were born to Rhea. Rhea, or her mother Ge, hid her youngest baby, Zeus, in Crete and gave Cronos in his place a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. When Zeus grew to manhood his first wife, Metis, gave Cronos an emetic so that he vomited up his children. They joined Zeus in deposing Cronos and certain of his fellow Titans. Rhea was often identified by the Greeks with the Phrygian goddess Cybele, the Mother of the Gods. In this role she is said to have taught Dionysus many of his rites. The Curetes who helped protect the infant Zeus in Crete are confused with the Phrygian Corybntes, who were companions of Cybele.
XD, Midas Monument, altar (Image: "Phrygie Exploration
Archéologique," Tome II and IV, by Albert Gabriel,
Institute Francais D'archéologie de Stanboul, Pars E.
de Boccard, 1952)
XD-1 BIRI PARMI [Translation: man (L. vir, viri; It. verile, Fr. veril, veril; Welsh, gwr; Persian, viro, Sanskrit, vira) of small shields (L. parma-ae)
XE Midas Monument, altar at the base of the plateau
(Image: "Phrygie Exploration Archéologique," Tome II
and IV, by Albert Gabriel, Institute Francais
D'archéologie de Stanboul, Pars E. de Boccard, 1952).
This is identified in "Midasstadt in Phrigien" as Inscription # 71.
EFAIS TROITAE [Translation: Bratei (name
Bra + tei, L. god) he spoke out (L. effor-fari;
Etr. EFA, EFAN, EFAS, EFE) of the Trojans? (L.
Troes, Troia, Troiades, Tropicus; Tros, Trois, a
king of Phrygia, after whom Troy was named;
Troia-ae, the town of Troy beseiged and finally
captured by the Greeks; adj. Trous, Troius,
Troicus, Troianus-a-um, Trojan; subst. Tros,
Trois, m., a Trojan; adj. and subst. Troas-ados,
Trojan, a Trojan woman] This text
has been corrected based on the "Midasstadt in
Phrigien" reading. If we use it the phrase would
be a repetion of Script
BaBA: MEM EFAIS: PROITA FO [Translation: Papa
(Attis, also called Papas, husband of Cybele, Mater)
of the breast, mammary? (L. mamma-ae; It. mammella;
Fr. mamelle); alternatively, to the mother (It.
mamma)? or the self, same (Fr. même) he spoke out
(L. effor-fari; Etr. EFA, EFAN, EFAS, EFE):
therefore, consequently (L. proinde and proin) I
speak, speak of (L. for, fari, fatus; 1st pers.
XE-6 EFIA NAFE IOS (or YOS) :
AY ARA PATYR [Translation: Efia, name,
possibly Ephesus, modern Efes, Turkey; the ship,
boat (L. navis-is; It. nave; Fr. navire) Eos,
goddess of the dawn (L. Eos; adj. Eous &
Eous-a-um, belonging to morning, eastern)
– oh! (L. au!) the altar (L. ara-ae) of the father (L. pater-tris)] Note: EFIA appears to be a name (See Grammar, 2nd Declension); the "Midasstadt in Phrigien" reading would be: CH (K)IANA FESOS: AKARA PASUN or PASIN
XE-12 E LAES [Translation: from (L. e, ex) Laius, name (L. Laius-i, father of Oedipus)] Note: the last word at XA-25 is EL AES which could be "the olives"? (Gr. elaia) or alternatively, her (L. eius, illius; It. ella; Fr. elle, elles) bronze, metal (L. aes, aeris)
Script XG, Midas Monument, altar (Image: "Phrygie Exploration Archéologique," Tome II and IV, by Albert Gabriel, Institute Francais D'archéologie de Stanboul, Pars E. de Boccard, 1952)
PICUTO (PICYTO) [Translation: the pious, piety (L.
pius-a-um; pietas-atis; It. pio, pious; Fr. pieux,
pious) beast, animal, esp. a sheep (L.
pecus-udis)] Note: picuto would follow a gen.
sing. declension, as "us" in Latin shifts to
Etruscan and Italian "o." (See Grammar). This
would make piata singular, shifting from L. pietas
to Etruscan piata.
The "o" suffix in PICUTO appears to designate a name. It may be Pittakos a king of Mitylene capital of the island of Lesbos, who lived about 650 B.C. and was criticized by the poet Alcaeus:
[mkatz.web.wesleyan.edu]5. (Fr. 70)
This present anger may we put from our minds,
and let us relax from this factional strife that eats our hearts,
this civil warfare which some one of the Olympians
stirred up among us, bringing the people into ruin,
but to Pittakos giving
18. (Fr. 348)
. . . that base-born
Pittakos they have set up as tyrant of that spiritless
and ill-fated city, praising him loudly all together....
The time of Pittakos is consistent with the time of the Phrygians. Alcaeus refers to the Trojans in his poem as "Phrygians." Also we note in Alcaeus' poem a reference to a person whose name is similar to ONOMAN:
7. (Fr. 130b) an exile on the very edge of things, and like Onomakles
I have settled here alone amid
Script XF Broken Monument, facade No. 33, Midas City (Image: "Phrygian Rock Cut Shrines," Susanne Berndt-Ersöz, after Gabriel)
XF-1 APE PAN
NEKAS TE FAN [Translation: you drink, water (L.
beo-bere; It. bere; PIE *ap, hap, water) of Pan?
(L. Pan, Panos, the god of flocks, woods and
shepherds; Phrygian Pan was called Marsyus.) you
deny, deny a request, refuse (L. nego-are) or
alternatively, kill, slay, put to death (L.
neco-are) yourself (L. te) of the temple precinct?
Note: Marsyas invented the double flute and was challenged one day to a contest with Apollo, as to who could play better upside down. Apollo tricked Pan / Marsyas, turning his lyre upside down, but Marsyas could not play the flute upside down. The winner was given the right to do anything he wished with the loser. Apollo flayed Marsyus and hung his hide on a tree at Celaenae, Phrygia, and gave the flayed corpse to Marsyas' pupil, Olympus. The satyr's blood, or else the tears of his many friends among the woodland deities, formed the river Marsyas.
Areyastis Monument, Midas City, Yazikaya, Turkey
(Drawing from Alexander Lubotsky, Areyastis.pdf; See original
drawings "Phrygie Exploration Archéologique," Tome
The Brixhe and Lejeune transription on this monument. (2)
KE LOKES: FENA UTYN (FTYN): AFTAS (or possibly A UTAS
[FTAS]): MATER ES [Translation: to us (It. ce)
location, place (L. locus-i): he/ she comes, to arrive
(L. venio, venita, veni, ventum; It. venire) they
employ, use, enjoy (L. utor, uti, usus); possibly a
name, Utin?: ancestral, of a grandfather (L.
avitus-a-um)? possibly to (L. a) you use, enjoy (L.
utor, uti, usus); mother (L. mater, matris) you are
(L. sum, esse, fui, futurus; 2nd pers., es)] Note:
Several words in the Phrygian texts on this page have
an uncanny resemblance to Norse gods: UTYN = Odin?
LOKES = Loki?; FREKYN (XB-27) = Frigg? See crystalinks.com. A possible
connection to these gods could be through the
Tectosages, a Celtic people from the Pyrenees who
stock settled in Phrygia, according to Strabo 4.13: [penelope.uchicago.edu] "...The people who
are called Tectosages closely approach the Pyrenees,
though they also reach over small parts of the
northern side of the Cemmenus; p205and
the land they occupy is rich in gold. It appears that at one time they
were so powerful and had so large a stock of strong
men that, when a sedition broke out in their midst,
they drove a considerable number of their own people
out of the homeland; again, that other persons from
other tribes made common lot with these exiles; and
that among these are also those people who have taken
possession of that part of Phrygia which has a common
boundary with Cappadocia and the Paphlagonians.59
Now as proof of this we have the
people who are still, even at the present time, called
Tectosages; for, since there are three tribes, one of
them — the one that lives about the city of Ancyra —
is called "the tribe of the Tectosages," while the
remaining two are the Trocmi and the Tolistobogii. As for these latter peoples,
although the fact of their racial kinship with the
Tectosages indicates that they emigrated from Celtica,
I am unable to tell from what districts they set
forth; for I have not learned of any Trocmi or
Tolistobogii who now live beyond the Alps, or within
them, or this side of them. But
it is reasonable to suppose that nothing has been left
of them in Celtica on account of their thoroughgoing
migrations — just as is the case with several other
peoples. For example, some say
that the second Brennus60
who made an invasion against Delphi was a Prausan, but
I am unable to say where on earth the Prausans
formerly lived, either. And it
is further said that the Tectosages shared in the
expedition to Delphi; and even the treasures that were
found among them in the city of Tolosa by p207 Caepio, a general of the
Romans, were, it is said, a part of the valuables that
were taken from Delphi, although the people, in trying
to consecrate them and propitiate the god, added
thereto out of their personal properties, and it was
on account of having laid hands on them that Caepio
ended his life in misfortunes — for he was cast out by
his native land as a temple-robber, and he left behind
as his heirs female children only, who, as it turned
out, became prostitutes, as Timagenes has said, and
therefore perished in disgrace. However,
the account of Poseidonius is more plausible:.."
XB-9 SOS ES AIT: MATER ES: EFE TEK SETIS: OFE FIN: ONOMAN: LACHET (LAET): PA [Translation: the double? (L. duplex; It. sosia, suisare, to alter; Fr. double) you are (L. sum, esse, fui, futurus; 2nd pers., es) the summer (L. aestas-atis; It. estate; Fr. été )?: mother (L. mater, matris) you are (L. sum, esse, fui, futurus; 2nd pers., es); you speak out, expound (L. effor-fari) I cover, bury (L. tego, tegere) the seats, chairs, thrones (L. sedes-is): to the pellet, swelling (L. offa-ae; It. enfiare, Fr.enfier, to swell) I bind, limit, enclose, apppoint, end, finish by speaking, or die (L. finio-ire); they honor, respect (L. honore-are; It. onorare; Fr. honorer; Polish, honor); Lachet (unknown word) possibly, he relaxes, loosens, widens (L. laxo-are; 3rd pers. conj. laxet): throughout (L. per)] Note: See theoi.com for extracts relating to ancient reports of Cybele. Here we see a interesting quote from the Argonautica 1.1076, by Apollonius Rhodius : "Titias and Kyllenos. For these two are singled out as dispensers of doom and assessors to the Meter Idaia (Mother of Mt Ida)." Here the phrase SOS ES AIT may say, "the double you are of [Mt.] Ida." Another site with ancient descriptions of Cybele, from the Dacian perspective, is pelasgians.bigpondhosting.com. One of her names is "Baba Dochia" and this site says that the first days of March (1-12) are called by the Romanian people “the days of Baba Dochia” or “the days of Babe” (Marianu, Ornitologia,
While at north of the Lower Danube Caloian was the pampered son of “Deciana," or the Great Mother, he appears in Phrygian legends as a young shepherd extraordinarily handsome, called Attis, whose love was sought by the Great Mother, called by them Cybele. This Attis was, according to the legends of
Asia Minor, the son of a Phrygian called Calaus (Pausanias, lib. VII. 17.9), and his mother’s name was Nana (Arnobius, adv. G. IX. 5.4).
Attis, the son of Calaus of the Phrygians, is identical with young Caloian from the religious legends and customs of the Romanian people, and the name Nana of his mother appears in Romanian carols as Nina Dochiana. As Attis is the son of Calaus in the neo-Phrygian legends, similarly the Great Mother or Cybele appears in Greek inscriptions with the epithet of Koilana, meaning Caloiana (Goehler, p.69 - C. I. G. 3886, D. 270).
The tradition is the same. The difference is only that, while the Romanian legend has preserved its primitive character, moral-religious, in the traditions of Asia Minor, influenced by the Greek erotic spirit, young Attis, the son of Calaus, appears as the favorite of Cybele or the Great Mother. And similarly, there existed in
Asia Minortoo, until the Roman epoch, the custom of celebrating the burial of Attis, the son of Calaus, when the earth suffered from drought.
Diodorus Siculus writes regarding this (III. 59.7): “In
Phrygia, happening once an epidemic, and on another hand, the earth suffering of drought, the people consulted the oracle regarding the means by which to repel these calamities. The oracle told them to bury the body of Attis and to worship Cybele as a divinity. But because of the passing of time from the body of Attis nothing had remained, the Phrygians made the image of the youth, which they then buried with lamentations and funerary honors, and this custom they practice constantly to our days”.
This is an important document for the origin of the cult of Cybele or the Great Mother in
Asia Minor. According to Diodorus, the oracle had ordered the Phrygians to bury the body of Attis and to worship the Great Mother, or Cybele, in order to be protected from epidemics and drought.
Or, in other words, the cult of Cybele was imported on the
from other Pelasgian lands, especially from the region of the territoryof Asia Minor Lower Danube, connected to Asia Minorthrough many ethnic, economic and religious ties.
Of interest is the fact that all of the ancients agree that the worship of Cybele originated in Phrygia (Some reports attribute the cult beginning in Samothrace and then moving to Phrygia) and her worship involved frenzied dances accompanied by noisy tamborines and kettledrums, self-castration and the slashing of the arms with knives. Her worship was in mountainous, natural rock structures, groomed with pine forests, with a cave nearby and springs. She is described as a terrible goddess that must be appeased and envisioned driving a chariot pulled by lions or seated on a rock holding grain, a poppy and a cornocopia, sybolizing abundance. She is also depicted as a water bearer. Within the natural rock niches were placed, along with her carved, stone image, wooden images of other gods. One of the original images made of her, by the Argonauts, was that carved from a large vine growing on a tree on Mt. Didymus. Her worship is described relative to her sacred places, where she was conceived by the sleeping Zeus, where her consort, Attis was conceived, and where Attis was buried. For instance [see thoi.com]:
"But the Skepsian again states, in opposition to the words of Euripides, that the rites of Rhea were not sanctioned or in vogue in Krete, but only in Phrygia and Troia." - Strabo, Geography 10.3.9
"As for the Berekyntes, a tribe of Phrygians, and the Phrygians in general, and those of the Trojans who live round Ida, they too hold Rhea in honor and worship her with Orgia (Orgies), calling her Meter Theon (Mother of the Gods) and Agdistis and Thea Megala Phrygia (Great Goddess of Phrygia), and also, from the places where she is worshipped, Idaia [of Mt Ida in Troia] and Dindymene [of Mt Dindymenos in Phrygia] and Sipylene [of Mt Sipylos in Lydia] and Pessinountis [of Pessinos city in Phrygia] and Kybele and Kybebe [of Mt Kybela in Phrygia]." - Strabo, Geography 10.3.12
“In one place the Phrygians, first-born of men, call me Pessinuntine Mother of the Gods." - Apuleius, The Golden Ass 11.5
The most famous of the Orgia of the Meter Theon was held on Mt Dindymenos (which was named the throne and residence of the goddess).
"Pessinos [in Phrygia] is the greatest of the emporiums in that part of the world, containing a temple of the Meter Theon (Mother of the Gods), which is an object of great veneration. They call her Agdistis. The priests were in ancient times potentates, I might call them, who reaped the fruits of a great priesthood, but at present the prerogatives of these have been much reduced, although the emporium still endures. The sacred precinct has been built up by the Attalic kings in a manner befitting a holy place, with a sanctuary and also with porticos of white marble. The Romans made the temple famous when, in accordance with oracles of the Sibylla, they sent for the statue of the goddess there, just as they did in the case of that of Asklepios at Epidauros. There is also a mountain situated above the city, Dindymon, after which the country Dindymene was named, just as Kybele was named after Kybela. Near by, also, flows the Sangarios River; and on this river are the ancient habitations of the Phrygians, of Midas, and of Gordios." - Strabo, Geography 12.5.3
"[The river] Hermos flows from the mountain sacred to the Meter Dindymene (Mother of Mt Dindymenos) and empties into the sea near the city of Phokaia." - Herodotus, Histories 1.80.1
"The Mother always loved Dindymus and Cybele [mountains in Phrygia]." - Ovid, Fasti 4.181
"There is also a mountain [in Phrygia] ... [the Meter Theon] Kybele was named after, Mt Kybela." - Strabo, Geography 12.5.3
"The Great Mother, the patron of Cybele, the cymbals of the Corybantes." - Virgil, Aeneid 3.111
“The Mother always loved Dindymus and Cybele [mountains in Phrygia]." - Ovid, Fasti 4.181
"Kybele: Rhea. [So named] from the Kybela mountains; for she is a mountain goddess; that is why she rides in a chariot drawn by a team of lions ... effeminates are present in the mysteries of Rhea." - Suidas "Kybele"
...‘But why do we call the self-castrated ‘Galli’, when the Gallic land is far from Phrygia?’ ‘Between,’ she says, ‘green Cybele and high Celaenae runs a stream of bad water named Gallus. Its taste causes madness. Keep away, if you want a healthy mind. Its taste causes madness.’ ‘Aren’t they ashamed,’ I said, ‘to place a herb salad before the Mistress? Or is there some cause?’ ‘The ancients are said to have dieted on pure milk and on herbs produced by the earth itself, White cheeses,’ she says, ‘are mingled with pounded herbs, so the primal goddess sees primal food." - Ovid, Fasti 4.181
Accounts of Cybele refer say that the name Cybele comes from the region from which she derived, variously called Cybela and Cybebe. In the texts of Midas City is the word BABA. Could the original name of the mount of Midas City have been Cybebe? We know that of all the locations from which Cybele's worship is attributed, the river Gallus and the Cybele mountains are associated together and yet not apparently identified, as to their current location. There is an interesting reference to the Gallus running through the city of Philomelium (modern Aksehir) :
[snible.org] Philomelium (Ak-Sheher), in the plain of Phrygia Paroreios, separated from central Phrygia by the lofty range of the Sultan Dagh, was probably a Pergamenian outpost on the high road to Iconium. A stream called the Gallus (?) flowed through the town northwards towards the Lake of the Forty Martyrs, some eight miles north. Philomelium struck auto- nomous coins  in the second century B.C., or perhaps rather later. Inscr., ΦΙΛΟΜΗΛΕΩΝ, obv. Bust of Mên with crescent at shoulders, rev. Zeus enthroned. The obv. of these coins bears a striking resemblance to that of some coins of Antioch, η προς τη Πισιδια (Strab. 577), about fifteen miles west of Philomelium, but cut off from easy communication with it by the long range of the Sultan Dagh. The influence of the great sanctuary of Mên ‘Ακραιος or ‘Ασκαηνος at Antioch would seem therefore to have extended across the mountains...
Aeneid of Virgil offers the argument that the Romans
descended from Troy, via Teucer. It says that the
Trojans and their Mater Cybele originated in Crete.
for these and other sources referring to Trojan
ancestry.) The references in this text to Lemnos, Utin
and Frekyn (XB-27) may also be a Phrygian statement on
their origins. UTIN (FTIN) may be the Teutonic god
Odin. Teutonic tradition credits the origin of Odin
from Troy. Of interest here is the Teutonic tradition
that Odin gave his eye for wisdom and gave to the
Teutonic peoples the runes. The runes repesent a writing system
that is patterned after the Etruscan alphabet and the
earliest runes date from 150 A.D. Another writing
system that is similar to the runes is that of the Serbs,
a Slavic people. We have seen that the Phrygian and
Lydian alphabets are similar to the Etruscan, and in
(Sennacherib) stele the Phrygian writing has
been mistaken for Aramaic. In truth these writing
systems had their origin in Phoenician and Aramaic.
Phoenician script , and to an extent, Aramaic, differ
from Etruscan / Phrygian in the representation of the
letter "A" and letters that flow well below the line.
The Phoenician character, "A," is
written sideways, resembling a "K."
XB-19 NATERAN: ARES ASTIN [Translation: they were born (L. nascor-i): to Ares, Greek god of war (L. Ares-is); they stand by (L. adsto-stare)]
XB-22 BONO Ki: AKENANO PAUS Se (PAFS Se) [Translation: the good, good of its kind (L. bonus-a-um) who, which, what, that, wherefore, whereby (L. qui, quae, quod; It. chi; Fr. qui); Akenano, name, Akenanus? Arcanania? Pharoah Ankhkaenre Psamtik III (526-525 B.C)? ended (L. pausa-ae, cessation, end) iteself, herself, himself (L. se, sese)]
XB-27 FREKYN : TELATOS: SOS TUTU (TYTY) Te LEMNOS: AKENANO PAFOS AES [Translation: frequent (L. frequens-entis)? or, alternatively, they are cold (L. frigeo-ere): alternatively, Phrygian; Telatos, name? (Gr. Telieotis, finisher): the double (L. duplex; It. sosia, suisare, to alter; Fr. double) total, entire (L. tutus-a-um; totius, toti; It. totale, tutto; Fr. tout; Welsh, tuath) you, yours (L. te) of Lemnos, Lemnian (L. Lemnos [us]-i; adj. Lemnius-a-um, Lemnian): Akenano, name, Akenanus? Arcanania? Pharoah Ankhkaenre Psamtik III (526-525 B.C)? Pavos, Paphos, name (Grammar, 3rd. Decl. Nom.) Paphos, Cyriote city – Aphrodite's sanctuary; the bronze, metal (L. aes, aeris)] Note: the suffix "os" designates a name; as a noun it should have an "or" suffix, such as Latin pavor-oris, fear, panic, trembling, quaking. The word LEMNOS is interesting since [wikipedia.com] "The name 'of Lemnos' is said by Hecataeus to have been a title of Cybele among the Thracians, and the earliest inhabitants are said to have been a Thracian tribe, whom the Greeks called Sintians, 'the robbers.' " Of interest is a script found in Lemnos, believed to be Etruscan, that uses the three-dot colon as punctuation. The presence of the Lemnos script in relationship to the Phrygian scripts provides more interest in a Phrygian-Etruscan linguistic affinity. Ancient historians and poets, including Virgil, also referred to the Troad and the sea off its coast as "Phrygian." (See Phrygian1k.html) The story of the Aeneid presents the argument that the ancestors of the ancient Romans were from the Troad. The Aeneid refers to Latin tribes being in the area of Rome at the time of the arrival of Aeneas's [Trojan] ships. If the newly arrived settlers were "Trojans" or "Phrygians" and spoke a language now known as Latin, we can only wonder what language the indigenous population of Latins spoke. Dominating the region were the Etruscans and beside other Italic tribes was a colony among the Etruscans (north of Rome?) that was Greek. The Greeks had settled Sicily and southern Italy by the 8th century B.C., (see wikipedia.org) with its region being called Magna Graecia (Latin, “Greater Greece”).
XB-37 ATANIS EN: KURSAN E SON: TA NEPERTOS [Translation: Atana, name, Ectabana? behold! (L. en) they run hither and thither (L. curso-are) from, out of, after (L. e, ex) the sound (L. sonus-i): you (L. tuus, Fr. ta) name, Nepertos?]
Note: Compare the physical shape of this monument with that of the monument identified by Brixhe and Lejeune as W-03.
1) ATANA may be Anahiti, the Persian goddess. The Mittani, southeast of Anatolia, worshipped three gods common to the Aryan, Vedic, gods: Mithra, Varuna and Indra. In our work, "Banquet of the Gods," we record the following:
A treaty concluded about 1380 B.C. between the Hittite emperor and the king of the Mitanni, invokes a list of gods that recalls those addressed in the Rig Veda, namely: Mitra and Varuna, Indra and the two Nasatyas (2). Of these gods, only Mitra (Mithra) is invoked in the Avesta, "except that Indra and Nanhaithya appear in the Avesta as demons. Varuna may have survived under another name. Important changes, then, must have taken place on the Iranian side, not all of which can be attributed to the prophet.
"The Indo-Iranians appear to have distinguished, from among their gods, the daiva (Indo-Iranian and Old Persian equivalent of Avestan daeva and Sanskrit deva, related to the Latin deus), meaning 'heavenly,' and the asura , a special class with occult powers. This situation was reflected in Vedic India; later on, asura came to signify, in Sanskrit, a kind of demon, because of the baleful aspect of the asura's invisible power. In Iran the evolution must have been different: the ahuras were extolled, to the exclusion of the daevas, who were reduced to the rank of demons."
Principal Iranian Deities:
Beside Ahura Mazda, Mithra is the most important deity of the ancient Iranian pantheon and may have even occupied a position of near equality with him. In the Achaemenian inscriptions Mithra, together with Anahita, is the only other deity specifically mentioned. Although the ancient pantheon contained an individual sun god, Hvar Khshaita, in the eastern Iranian traditions reflected in the Avesta, Mithra has a hint of connection with the sun, more specifically with the first rays of dawn as he drives forth in his chariot. In western Iran the identification was complete, and the name Mithra became a common word for 'sun.' In spite of his connection with the sun, Mithra functioned preeminently in the ethical sphere. The word mithra was a common noun that meant 'covenant, contract, treaty' and, as such, Mithra was the god Covenant, the celestial deity who oversaw all solemn agreements that people made among themselves and who severely punished anyone who broke the terms of a covenant, whether it was between individuals or between countries or other sociopolitical entities. In his capacity to find out the covenant breaker, he is described as sleepless, ever-waking, having 1,000 ears, 10,000 eyes, and a wide outlook. He is portrayed as a great warrior brandishing his mace while driving in his chariot to battle, where he intervenes on behalf of those faithful to treaties by throwing the treaty-breakers (mithra-drug) into panic and defeat. As a sovereign deity, Mithra bore the standing epithet varu-gavyuti, meaning 'one who (presides over) wide pasture lands' — i.e., one who keeps under his protection (another of his epithets was payu, 'protector') the territories of those who worship him and abide by their covenants. It should be mentioned that Mithra gave his name to a mystery religion, Mithraism, which was popular throughout the Roman Empire, but whose Iranian origins are difficult to trace.
One of the longest Avestan Yashts is to the powerful goddess whose full name is given as Ardvi Sura Anahita, literally "the damp, strong, untainted." In fact, the long name seems to combine two originally separate names and, hence, two deities. First, Ardvi Sura is the Iranian name of the heavenly river goddess who in the Rigveda is called Sarasvati. In this role, she brings fresh water to the earth, filling streams, rivers, and seas as she flows from Mount Hukarya to the Varu-Karta sea. Second, Anahiti is a separate goddess of uncertain origin whose cult seems to have been popular originally in northeastern Iran. The name probably meant "untaintedness, purity (both moral and physical)." It is interesting that the Greek Anaitis preserves the Old Iranian form of the name, while Anahit(a), of the Avestan and Old Persian, shows a more recent linguistic form. Unlike any other Iranian deity, she is described in great detail in the Yashts, especially in respect to her clothing and ornamentation, to such an extent that one assumes a dressed cult image must be the source of the description. This is confirmed by thefact that Artaxerxes II mentions her. Then, too, the Babylonian historian Berosus reports that this king had many images of her made and distributed. Since the Iranians did not traditionally make images, it may be assumed that Anahiti's cult borrowed heavily from Mesopotamian models. The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar probably provided the clearest model, though the details of Anahiti's dress, her beaver coat, for example—show significant differences. There were other striking similarities: Ishtar was the goddess of war and patroness of the palace, while the greater part of Anahiti's Yasht is devoted to her martial traits and her patronage of Iranian heroes and legendary rulers (in post-Achaemenian Iran Anahiti was intimately connected with kingship and the shah). In addition, both goddesses were important for fertility. (1)
2) "Corpus des Inscriptions Paléo-Phrygienne, Editions Recherche sur les Civilizations," by Claude Brixhe and Michel Lejeune, Institute Français D'etudes Anatoliennes, Paris 1984, Memoire # 45. See Phrygian1.html for more of their images of Phrygien inscriptions.
Updated: 4.18.07; 4.19.07; 4.20.07; 4.21.07; 4.23.07; 4.24.07; 4.29.07 ; 5.10.07; 5.14.07; 5.26.07; 5.27.07; 5.31.07; 6.02.07; 6.16.07; 6.21.07; 6.26.07; 6.29.07; 7.10.07; 7.28.09; 7.29.07; 8.01.07; 8.16.07; 8.21.07; 8.26.07; 9.02.07; 11.07.07; 1.03.08; 1.15.09; 2.16.10, 9.01.18
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