The Fountain of Cybele designed by Ventura Rodriguez between 1777 and 1782. Statue of Cybele and her chariot by Francisco Gutiérrez. Lions by Roberto Michel. Madrid, Spain.

During Hannibal’s invasion of Italy in the Second Punic War, a Sybilline prophecy foretold victory for Rome if the cult of the Magna Mater were to be brought to the city. The statue of Cybele was brought from Mount Ida, and installed in the Temple of Victoria in 402 BCE. Hannibal was defeated, and, by the end of the Empire, worship of the Magna Mater had become one of the most important cults in the Roman world.

The Romans syncretized Cybele with Rhea, Maia, Ops, Tellus, and Ceres. She was regarded as the mother of the gods, humans, and all animals.

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