The goddess of nature who was worshiped in Anatolia and Phrygia. A variation of her was introduced into Rome in the form of a statue in 204 B.C. during the war with Hannibal (during the latter part of the Second Punic War as another source puts it). But worship of Cybele was forbidden until the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54). Her cult was spread through Europe and Britain through the fifth century. Cybele was the consort of Atys (Attis) with whom her worship is often mixed. To the ancient Greeks, Cybele was often called "Rhea" and "the mother of the gods." In Greek mythology, she was believed to have purified Dionysus when Hera sent him mad for discovering the meaning of the vine (wine). Cybele's worship, like that of Dionysus, was orgiastic and often found expression in violence, and was, therefore, vaguely connected with the cult of Dionysus. She is also known as Ops, Agdistis (her Pessinian name), Balaat, and Aschera

[The Rats in the Walls - H.P.L.]

See also: Atys