god of vegetation whom ever-repeating cycle of self-consumption, death and resurrection represented the cycle of the fruits of the earth

In Greek mythology, Attis was the consort of the goddess Cybele. Originally a deity in the region of Phrygia, the cult of Attis and Cybele eventually spread to Greece. According to the cult, the origins of Attis were linked to the figure Agdistis. Agdistis was a daemon that possessed both male and female reproductive organs, which instilled fear in the Olympian gods.

So, they plotted to kill the daemon; after Agdistis was brought to sleep with a sleeping potion given by Dionysus, the god tied Agdistis' foot to his own male genitalia with a rope. When Agdistis woke up and stood, he castrated himself; the blood from his genitals fell onto the earth, which was fertilised, and an almond tree grew.

At some later point, Nana, daughter of the river god Sangarius, picked up almonds from the tree and kept them in her bosom. The almonds disappeared and Nana became pregnant with Attis.

Attis was beautiful and when he grew up, Agdistis fell in love with him. However, Attis was to marry the daughter of the king of Pessinus. During the wedding, Agditis appeared in front of the guests and drove everyone mad.

Both Attis and the king castrated themselves, while the bride cut off her breasts. Agditis quickly repented, and asked Zeus to keep Attis' body intact, so that it would not decompose at all.



[1] "Greek Mythology"

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