Gens Claudia i rzymski kult Wielkiej Macierzy – Kybele
GensClaudia and the Roman cult
of Magna Mater (Cybele)
Eminent historian of ancient Rome, Professor Maria Jaczynowska, was a teacher of many generations of not only historians, but also classical philologists. This
article is written by classical philologist who is grateful for Professor’s research effort. The inspiration is recognized by the outstanding Scientist Jaczynowska topic of Claudii in the Roman cult of Magna Mater (Cybele). It has been described so far in only one Polish monograph “Religions of the Roman world” published in Warsaw in 1987. The purpose of this article is to make a fine complement to observations done by Professor Jaczynowska in aspect of philological research, which for obvious reasons could not be included in Her book. Analysis of extant literary sources in the context of references to the role of representatives of the family Claudii in bringing Cybele to Rome in 204, and Ludi Megalenses of 56 BC, brings us to interesting conclusions. The texts of Cicero, Livy, Ovid, Valerius Maximus, Tacitus, Statius and a minor mention in other ancient writers works, let us draw a conclusion about undeniable ties between gens Claudia and the cult of the goddess of Pesinunt. The reason is that the matron, who was delegated to welcome the Magna Mater to Rome was Claudia Quinta, the grandchild of censor Appius Claudius Caecus. Undoubtedly, the historical fact
evolved since the days of the Republic till the second century of Empire into the literary legend of the “miracle of the goddess” who gave “proof of innocence” to the dishonored patrician. Another “miracle” is associated with a standing in the temple of the goddess statue of matron. Interesting is also the evolutionof a priest position to Brogitar by Publius Clodius and the riots called by him during Ludi Megalenses in 56 BC is, as historians say, the element of rhetorical invective on the tribune hated by Cicero. of Claudia who was described in Republican texts as a matron, and in imperial times as a vestal virgin. The Legend of Claudia Quintais the strongest proof that the gens Claudia was described in the sources as closely associated with the cult of Cybele. However, references in the works of Cicero regarding the sale of a priest position to Brogitar by Publius Clodius and the riots called by him during Ludi Megalenses in 56 BC is, as historians say, the element of rhetorical invective on the tribune hated by Cicero.
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