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Hittitology today: Studies on Hittite and Neo-Hittite Anatolia in Honor of Emmanuel Laroche’s 100th Birthday

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Alice Mouton

II. Philologie et histoire des religions

Kubaba in the Hittite Empire and the Consequences for her Expansion to Western Anatolia

Manfred Hutter

Texte intégral

  • 1 Laroche 1960: 115.

1In his famous study from 1960, Emmanuel Laroche gave a well balanced analysis of the then knowledge of the goddess Kubaba. He also summarised the main problems concerning her relationship to Kybele (known from Greek and Roman sources) and the Phrygian Matar. Due to research of further inscriptional and epigraphic material Laroche’s observation that Kubaba has been known from the 18th century until the 7th century in western Asia1 can be updated by some more sources in Oriental or Anatolian languages. Some of them date to centuries as late as the fifth century as e.g. the Aramaic inscription from Bahadırlı in Cilicia.

  • 2 Cf. Laroche 1960: 122.

2Many of the materials collected and analysed by Laroche more than half a century ago are still the basis for any reconstruction of the history of Kubaba. But his conclusion2 that Kubaba was adopted by the Phrygians and transmitted by them to the Hellenistic world has been questioned since then. My paper therefore takes up these questions. First we have to take a look at the references to Kubaba in the texts from the Hittite Empire and the Hieroglyphic inscriptions of the early first millennium before discussing the possibility of the “meeting” of Kubaba and the Phrygian Matar in Lydia and the consequences for the formation of the goddess Kybele.

Kubaba in the Traditions from the Hittite Period

  • 3 Roller 1999: 45; cf. Laroche 1960: 119.

3Judging from texts of the archives of Ḫattuša, mainly in the Hittite Empire period, it is often said that Kubaba was a “fairly minor deity, at home in southeastern Anatolia, particularly in Karkamiš”.3 But looking to the textual evidence from cuneiform sources, this conclusion is too simple, having mainly Kubaba’s position in Karkamiš in the first millenium in mind; at that time she was without doubt the most important goddess in Karkamiš. But for the second millennium this was less the case. So let us first look at Karkamiš.

  • 4 Cf. the short overview by Hawkins 1980-1983: 258, who does not mention all texts referred to in thi (...)
  • 5 See the restored text by Singer 2001: 639: dKar-[ḫu-a dK]u-pa-pa DINGIRMEŠ-aš-ša Š[A KUR URUKar-ga (...)
  • 6 Güterbock 1956: 95: [(nu)] ša-ra-a-az-zi gur-ti ŠA dKu-ba-ba(?) (Ù ŠA)] dLAMMA ma[ ... ] Ú-UL ku-in (...)
  • 7 Singer 2001: 639: [... DINGIRMEŠ KUR URUKar-g]a-miš dKu-[pa-pa dK]ar-ḫu-u-ḫi-iš.
  • 8 Cf. Groddek/Hagenbuchner/Hoffmann2002: 87.

4There are only a few references to her as goddess of Karkamiš.4 A decree of Ini-Teššub regulating the relations between Ugarit and Karkamiš mentions her as the “Lady of (the land of) Karkamiš” (PRU IV 157), and Ini-Teššub of Karkamiš entitles himself as “servant of Kubaba” in his seal. One can also restore the name of the goddess (together with Karhuha) among the gods who are witnesses of the treaty between Šuppiluliuma I. and Šarri-Kušuh of Karkamiš (KUB 19.27, left edge 4): “Karhuha, Kubaba and the gods of the land of Karkamiš”.5 Another reference referring to Šuppiluliuma is the mentioning of her temple in the citadel of Karkamiš. H. G. Güterbock has reconstructed the passage in the “Deeds of Suppiluliuma” as follows (A iii 33-35): “On the upper citadel he let no one in[to the presence (?)] of (the deity) [Kubaba(?)] and of (the deity) KAL.”6 A further fragmentary text is a treaty – according to the joining and restoration of two texts (KUB 26.33 (+) KBo 13.225) – of Šuppiluliuma II with Karkamiš; after the sequence of divine witnesses from the Hatti side, KBo 13.225, line 8 mentions Kubaba and Karhuha as gods of Karkamiš.7 Besides these short references from texts of the historiographic and diplomatic field, there are two other references to Kubaba of Karkamiš in texts of the cultic sphere. A very fragmentary festival text (VS 12.50,6f.) for various tutelary deities however mentions Kubaba of Karkamiš explicitly side by side with dLAMMA as part of a standard god-drinking rite and afterwards, 2? thick breads are broken. The context does not give further information about the location or the reason for this festival. The sequence [... d] LAMMA dKu-pa-pa ŠA URUK[ar-ga-miš]8 makes it plausible to identify this tutelary deity with Karḫuḫa. This corresponds to an offering list for various gods, where again dLAMMA dKu-pa-pa ŠA URUKar-ga-[miš] are mentioned side by side (KBo 47.127,14).

  • 9 KBo5.2 iii 15; cf. Strauß 2006: 161, 227. – The relationship between Kubaba and other deities is ve (...)

5Contrary to this limited evidence for Kubaba in Karkamiš, most texts found in Ḫattuša however connect the goddess with the Kizzuwatnaean area – and with Hurrian (or Hurrianised) traditions from there. So we find her – often stereotyped – in the kaluti-lists of the išuwa-festival (CTH 628), where Kubaba – together with Adamma – is mentioned (cf. e.g. KUB 20.74 i 3,6; KUB 25.42 v 9; KUB 25.43,10; KUB 60.51,4; KBo 15.37 ii 29.32. iv 38.41). Other lists in festivals connect her with Adamma and Ḫašuntarḫi. They refer either to the cult of Teššub and Hebat of Aleppo (e.g. KUB 27.13 i 19; KBo 20.113 i 23), or are lists of gods in other Hurrrian(ised) festivals (e.g. KUB 20.93 vi 6; KUB 27.8 obv. 14; KUB 32.91 rev. 11) or Hurrian offering lists (e.g. KUB 45.41 ii 11). Also the ritual of Ammiḫatna from Kizzuwatna mentions the three gods, Adamma, Kubaba and Ḫašuntarḫi, and refers to them as female deities.9

  • 10 [(Ù ŠA dLAMMA dKu-b)a-ba-aš tar-ku-wa-an-d]a IGI ḪI.A-wa, restored after Haas/Wegner 1988: 111; cf. (...)

6A few of these texts give at least some ritual contexts, as we can see from the following examples: There is an interesting passage about Kubaba in Allaituraḫḫi’s ritual, where we read this sequence (KUB 24.13 iii 1-5):10

... the angry looking eyes of Ninatta and Kulitta, the angry looking eyes of the tutelary deity and Kubaba, the angry looking eyes of the Gulš- and Kunuštalla-goddesses I wiped off.

  • 11 KBo 33.118+ obv. 13-15; Haas/Wegner 1988: 54.

7The roughly corresponding Hurrian version of this ritual11 mentions at the beginning of this list of gods Teššub, Hebat and Šaušga of Nineveh, preceeding Ninatta and Kulitta in KUB 24.13 and thus filling the lacuna. We know that Allaituraḫḫi can be located in Mukiš in northern Syria, therefore the passages referring to Kubaba in her rituals are interesting also for determining the places more exactly where Kubaba has been known and venerated.

  • 12 Cf. Groddek 2004: 125 with restoration from duplicates.

8Some Hurrian rituals also mention the goddess, e.g. KUB 47.44,6, a fragmentary MUNUSŠU.GI ritual where the fragmentary context does not allow any conclusion about Kubaba’s function in the ritual; the only other god mentioned in this text is Nupatik, who also appears in the Hurrian festivals and offering lists in contexts close to Kubaba, but usually not directly connected with her. But there is a noteworthy exception of some lists of the išuwa-festival; in KUB 20.74 i 3-7, the sixth tablet of the festival, the following rite takes place:12

Then he (the king) drinks Nupatik of Pibida, Adamma and Kubaba ([EGIR-ŠÚ-ma dNu-pa-t]ik pí-pí-it-ḫi dA-da[m-ma dKu-pa-pa e-ku-z]i). The singer sings. He breaks one white thick bread of sourdough (of 1/2 UPNU). Then he drinks Nupatik of Zalmat, Adamma and Kubaba ([EGI]R-ŠÚ-ma dNu-pa-t]ik za-al-ma-at-ḫi dA-da[m-ma dKu-p]a-pa e-ku-zi). The singer sings. He breaks one white thick bread of sourdough (of 1/2 UPNU).

  • 13 Cf. Wegner 2002: 258.

9This rite is continued with several other gods from the Kizzuwatnaean area. In a similar way this rite takes place on the seventh day of the festival (KBo 15.37 ii 29-33, cf. iv 37-42):13

Then he (the king) drinks Nupatik of Pibida, Adamma and Kubaba while sitting (EGIR-ŠU-ma dNu-pa-tik pí-pí-it-ḫi dA-dam-ma dKu-pa-pa TUŠ-aš e-ku-zi). The singer sings. There is no (breaking of) thick bread(s). Then he drinks Nupatik of Zalmat, Adamma and Kubaba while sitting (EGIR-ŠU-ma dNu-pa-tik za-al-ma-at-ḫi dA-dam-ma dKu-pa-pa TUŠ-aš e-ku-zi). The singer sings. There is no (breaking of) thick bread(s).

10For the position of Kubaba in the divine hierachy it is noteworthy that this rite is close to the end of the drinking ceremony when only four more gods are left to be venerated in this way, while about twenty gods are served before.

  • 14 Cf. Laroche 1960: 116.
  • 15 Cf. AT *349; AT *268; see Klengel 1965: 35f., 76, 254f.; Klengel 1992: 74.

11Such ritual fragments show that Kubaba is well documented in the Hurrian surroundings in Kizzuwatna and parts of northern Syria. Starting from Allaituraḫḫi’s rituals (ca. 1400 BCE), we can attribute these rituals to the land of Mukiš in the Amuq plain in Syria with its capital Alalaḫ. This leads us to the references to Kubaba in the material from Alalaḫ. Already Laroche has mentioned the personal name Alli-Kubaba “Kubaba the lady” from the 17th or 16th century in Alalaḫ, and further personal names like Kubaba, Kubabatanni or Kubabaduni from the 15th century.14 Therefore he concluded that Kubaba was very popular in the 15th century in the Amuq plain; this result can be well connected with her appearance in Allaituraḫḫi’s ritual. From my point of view this leads to a first result: We should shift our attention from Karkamiš to Alalaḫ from where Kubaba spread to the northeast (to Karkamiš) and to the north and northwest – to Kizzuwatna and Kummanni. As we know, at the time of level VII at Alalaḫ (in the 17th and 16th century) there already existed exchanges of goods and messengers between Alalaḫ and Karkamiš.15

  • 16 The oldest reference to Kubaba in Karkamiš is the Akkadian seal of Matrunna, the daughter of the Ka (...)

12During the Hittite Empire period, Alalaḫ became dependent from the Hittite vice-king who ruled in Karkamiš and controlled the Hittite interest in northern Syria. Therefore we can assume that such contacts also covered the religious field, attributing to the popularity of the north Syrian goddess in Karkamiš,16 which continued and even increased after the fall of the Hittite Empire. But the sources from Karkamiš in the second millennium on the other hand make clear that from this place there was no further spreading of the goddess to the Hittite capital Ḫattuša. This happened only through the import of Kizzuwatnaean traditions – foremost the išuwa-festival – during the times of Hattušili and Puduhepa, when the goddess found her way to Ḫattuša. But she never entered the Hurrianised dynastic pantheon of the Hittite Empire, as can be seen from her being absent among the gods depicted in Yazılıkaya.

Changes in the First Millennium of Hieroglyphic Luwian

13From the texts mentioned, Kubaba can locally be connected with male gods like various tutelary deities or Nupatik, but also others. For the history of the goddess we have to keep in mind that we can see two strong lines along her veneration, one focussing on Karkamiš and the other one focussing on Kizzuwatna.

  • 17 Hawkins 2000: 466, §§ 31-33.

14I do not go into detail here regarding the tradition in Karkamiš with its many references to the “Lady of Karkamiš” also in the bulk of Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions from that centre after the fall of the Hittite Empire. But the further focus will be put on the Kizzuwatnaean tradition which is the geographical starting point to the westward spread of the goddess in the first millennium. Just to mention it shortly, there are connections between both traditions in the first millenium, for which I refer to two examples: In SULTANHAN we read the following curse against the malefactor who harms the vineyard which was set up by Sarwatiwaras:17

The Moon God of Harran shall put him on his horn, and Kubaba of Karkamiš shall attack him behind. May the gods of the ATAHA- eat him up, the gods of the sky and of the earth, the male and the female.

  • 18 Cf. Hawkins 2000: 558f.

15This inscription from Tabal shows the reminiscence of the famous local goddess, also the BEIRUT bowl originating from the region of Karkamiš is interesting, whose donor Iyas is a servant of the god Santa. The curse formula on the bowl against the person who damages it reads as follows:18

Against him [may] the gods Karhuha, Kubaba and Santa [bring harm ...]

  • 19 Cf. Polvani 2002; Hutter 2003: 228f.
  • 20 Laroche 1973.
  • 21 Cf. Haider 2006: 47.

16Such examples show that the connection between Kubaba and Karkamiš was well known, but we should not take it as an exclusive connection. Especially the BEIRUT bowl with its reference to Santa is important. As we know from second millennium sources, Santa was well established in Kizzuwatna,19 as e.g. the ritual of Zarpiya shows, but still in the first millennium Santa was famous in Cilicia; in Tarsus he was not only identified with the Greek Heracles,20 but maybe also associated with Kubaba.21 So there is no doubt about overlappings of the traditions of Kizzuwatna and Karkamiš in the first millennium, but we should not relate all references to Kubaba in the first millennium to the “lady of Karkamiš”.

  • 22 Cf. Hutter 2003: 272f.

17Otherwise, the Hieroglyphic Luwian texts from Tabal (and maybe also those from Kommagene) reflect directly 2nd millennium traditions from Kizzuwatna – without the interference of Karkamiš. The main references to Kubaba in texts from Tabal – these are the most relevant texts for the western expansion of Kubaba – are the following: KARABURUN § 8, § 10; BULGARMADEN § 4, § 17; SULTANHAN § 32; KULULU 5 § 1; ÇİFTLİK § 9; KULULU 1 § 11.22 Here again two inscriptions from which further conclusions can be drawn must be mentioned: The first reference is KAYSERI, a dedicatory inscription of a servant of Wasusarma (about 740-730). The curse formula refers to the evil-doer and

  • 23 Hawkins 2000: 473.

[him] Tarhunzas shall smite with his axe, for him may the “dark God” (maruwa-), Nika[ruhas], [...] ... [and him] Kubaba shall attack from behind.23

  • 24 As the BULGARMADEN inscription is “authored” by a servant of Warpalawa, one might assume that the S (...)
  • 25 Hawkins 2000: 488.

18In BULGARMADEN we find a curse formula similar to the one in KAYSERI, mentioning Kubaba and Nikaruhas24 side by side, but the dark deity is not mentioned in it. The dark god(s) are mentioned in KULULU 2, the funerary stele of Panuni from the middle of the 8th century; the inscription reads as follows:25

§ 1ff: I (am) Panunis the Sun-blessed prince. For me my children made her a sealed (?) document (?). On my bed(s), eating (and) drinking ... by the god Santas I died. .... § 5: (He) who shall disturb me, ... § 6 for him may Santas’s marwainzi-gods attack the memorial.

  • 26 Cf. Hutter 2003: 228f., 236.
  • 27 One can speculate if the very poorly preserved inscription KARAKUYU-TORBALI might refer to Kubaba; (...)

19This connection with Santa (cf. the BEIRUT bowl) leads us one step further: Kubaba, Santa and the Luwian “dark god(s)” are at least in Tabal (the northern part of the “Lower land” of the 2nd millennium Anatolian geography) associated together as three deities who harm the evil-doer. Looking back to them in the second millennium, one can – for religious geography – remember that the markuwaia-/marwa(i)-god(s) can be found in some rituals from Arzawa (KUB 54.65 ii 11; KUB 24.9. ii 27; maybe KUB 7.38),26 but that neither Santa nor Kubaba are – until today – attested so far in the west in the Empire period27.

  • 28 Niehr 2014: 155, 159f.
  • 29 Niehr 2014: 188f. – Cf. also fn. 24 with the reference to BULGARMADEN, thus creating some connectio (...)
  • 30 Bonatz 2014: 211f. and pl. II.
  • 31 But cf. Bonatz 2014: 212 who refers to Karhuha from Karkamiš.
  • 32 Gibson 1975: 156.

20For the western expansion of the goddess in the first millennium some inscriptions in Aramaic are also to be referred to: The inscription from Ördekburnu south of Sam’al mentions the goddess along with the dynastic god Rakkab’el of Sam’al, the Moon-god Arma and Šarruma;28 these names can be read in this difficult inscription, but it cannot be assured how these gods have been related to each other. Also the Kuttamuwa inscription29 mentions Kubaba, who – side by side with Hadad of Qrpdl, Nikarawa, Šamaš, and Hadad of the vineyard – was offered a ram (or a bull in the case of Hadad of Qrpdl, who is mentioned first in this god-list). That Kubaba was known in the kingdom of Sam’al at that time is beyond question as reliefs on orthostats show a goddess holding a mirror – who is interpreted as Kubaba;30 left to her there is a Storm- god with an axe and a lightning fork, and on the right side there is another god carrying a lance, a sword and a shield – therefore most suitable for a warrior god, so one might speculate if this god could vaguely resemble to Santa31 who by some is taken as a god with traits of a warrior. The other Aramaic reference to Kubaba comes from the 5th century inscription found at Bahadırlı, referring to the place of Kastabalay; the text reads:32

This is the boundary of the cities of Kar-bila and Kar-šaya, which belong to Kubaba of Piwasura, which is in Kastabalay. Any person who effaces this boundary stone before Kubaba of Piwasura, ...

21The cities mentioned in the inscription – except Kastabalay in Cilicia – cannot be identified but the contents of the text is obvious: As in the Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions mentioned above and the Lydian texts below, here again Kubaba is a goddess addressed in the curse formula to punish the evil-doer. But as the text shows, she is mentioned alone in this inscription.

  • 33 Cf. also Collins 2004: 89.

22If we sum up this evidence for Kubaba in the first millennium we reach the conclusion for her history: We find her mainly in the curse formula associated with a relatively wide range of various gods but she is never connected with a fixed partner or parhedros.33 Her westward spread – according to Hieroglyphic documents in the first millennium – led to her association with the “dark deities” in Tabal who are attested in the western parts of the Hittite Empire already in the 2nd millennium. And the sources also show her independence from Karkamiš.

Kubaba in Lydia and her Relation to the Phrygian Matar and Kybele

  • 34 Melchert 2008: 153; cf. Yakubovich 2010: 97; Gusmani 1964: 201. Carruba 2000: 65 draws a connection (...)

23It is again a curse formula which hints to the position of Kubaba, namely the Lydian tomb inscription 4a with a curse against the potential violator of the tomb:34

fak=mλ śãntaś kufav=k marivda=k ẽnsλibb[i]d

Santa and Kubaba and the (dark) marivda-gods shall do harm to him.

  • 35 Gusmani 1969: 159 as Lydian text no. 72; cf. with an improved reading Gusmani 1986: 68f.

24This short inscription from the 6th century has great relevance in several aspects as it mentions three Anatolian gods in the “far west” which are well attested both in Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions and in Anatolian Cuneiform texts from the second millennium BCE, as we have seen before. The Lydian Santa is also reflected in personal names, and Herodotus refers to a famous Lydian with the theophoric name Sandanis who advises Croesus in Sardis (Hdt. 1.71). The marivda-gods in the inscriptions are the corresponding Lydian word for the marwainzi-gods in Luwian mentioned above. Kubaba is further mentioned on a fragmentary potsherd;35 the graffito reads probably kuvav[λ] – a dative referring to the goddess. Before the divine name in the dative there is also an /s/ visible which might be the ending of the donor’s or dedicator’s name (or his patronym).

  • 36 Contra Oreshko 2013: 412f.
  • 37 One – unsolved – question until now is the case of Lycia. While there might be a reference to Santa (...)

25As we have two attestations of Kubaba’s name one should remove the scepticism about the goddess’s name in Lydian36 and give full credibility to Herodotus’s “Kubebe” (Hdt. 5.102) as a “native goddess in Sardis” whose temple was burnt down by the Persians. These – although scanty – documentations prove that Kubaba was known and venerated in Lydia, most probably transmitted from traditions, which can be seen in Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions in Tabal.37 But this makes her independent from the Phrygian Matar or the Greek Kybele. But how can we – from a historical point of view – describe their mutual relationship?

  • 38 Brixhe 1979: 42f.; cf. Roller 1999: 65-68. – Despite recent doubts by Hawkins 2013: 125f. about Bri (...)
  • 39 Munn 2008: 160f.
  • 40 Hawkins 2013: 124f.
  • 41 Munn 2008: 161.
  • 42 Thus correctly Bøgh 2007: 315. – Therefore Haas 1994: 406, giving the heading “Die Muttergöttin Kub (...)

26Lydia – most probably Sardis – was a meeting point of the Phrygian Matar and Kubaba, so a few notes on Matar are necessary. As it is known from the convincing analysis of the “name” Kybele by Cl. Brixhe this “name” has its origin in the Old Phrygian adjective kubileya / kubeleya38 which is attested together with Matar in Old Phrygian inscriptions, simply meaning the “mountainous mother”. The recent attempt39 by M. Munn to derive the “name” Kybele via Phrygian from the name “Kubaba” is – despite some recent acceptance40 – not convincing. Munn takes a development from an (unattested) Lydian adjective *kuvavli- which was changed to *kuvabli-/*kubabli- and simplified by Phrygians, saying: “Among speakers of Phrygian, the consonant cluster at the end of *Kubabli- was probably simplified to *Kuballi-, and through an attested shift of vowels, *Kuballi- became *Kubelli-”.41 As this derivation of the name “Kybele” cannot be accepted, it does not lead to any connection between the Phrygian Matar and Kubaba, who – which must be mentioned explicitly – never was seen as a mother goddess42 in the Hittite, Hurrian and Hieroglyphic Luwian sources.

  • 43 Hutter 2006: 82, 84.
  • 44 This was shown by Roller 1999: 44-53. Although there are some superficial iconographic similarities (...)
  • 45 Berndt-Ersöz 2004: 50f.; cf. Hutter 2006: 85f.
  • 46 Berndt-Ersöz 2004: 51 with footnote 9; Bøgh 2007: 321 does not rule out the connection between Ata (...)

27As a “mountainous goddess” the Phrygian Matar can be related to (central) Anatolian mountain gods or goddesses,43 but has little or nothing in common with Kubaba’s character44 who does not show an affiliation with mountains in the Hittite, Hurrian or Luwian texts – maybe due to her prominence in the plains surrounding Alalaḫ and in northern Syria. But there is another main difference between Kubaba and Matar, regarding her consorts. For Kubaba we do not find a single partner, but there is a wide range of various local partners to her. On the other hand, searching for Matar’s consort in Phrygia, we can accept the suggestion by S. Berndt-Ersöz.45 She has shown that a relief from Gordion which shows Matar together with a bull can be interpreted as symbolising the two main Phrygian deities – the bull representing the male god at the head of the pantheon; his image as bull suggests that he takes the function of a Weather-god which fits well with the “mountainous Matar”. Most probably this male god was simply called “Ata” (“father”) in Phrygia as the consort of the “mother”, but one must keep the Phrygian Ata apart from the later Attis in the Greek mythology of Kybele and Attis, though some secondary confusion between the two words may have occurred in Greek and Hellenistic tradition.46 Despite the scarcity of sources, the connecting of “mother” with the main god as “father” makes a difference between the Phrygian Matar and Kubaba obvious, as the latter is not firmly connected to any male deity. When both goddesses met in Lydia, two widely different goddesses came into contact – with different names, different characters and different consorts.

  • 47 Berndt-Ersöz 2006: 22f. – Cf. also Collins 2004: 92; Roller 1999: 93.
  • 48 Berndt-Ersöz 2006: 29f.; see further Bøgh 2007: 319f.
  • 49 In this way Roller 1999: 131 is not quite exact when she mentions the Lydian king’s “support he enj (...)

28What is then the use of referring to these two deities? The political expansion of Lydia brought the Phrygian area at the end of the 7th century under political dominance of Lydia, therefore it is no wonder that the Phrygian Matar became known in Lydia, too, also to strengthen the royal power. We can also assume that members of the Lydian royal family exercised not only “secular” power over Lydia, but they also held political-religious positions, which were “important ideological and political tools. In other words the religious offices were important both to establish and manifest the power of the ruling family. Thus, the Lydian royal family most probably took control of the high Phrygian religious offices”.47 With this background S. Berndt-Ersöz assumes that Atys, the son of the Lydian ruler Croesus in the first half of the 6th century, can be seen as one of these Lydians who hold prestigious religious positions in Phrygia for Matar. This religious position of the Lydian Atys in the cult of the Phrygian Matar was not only later transformed to the myth of Attis and Kybele in the Greek and Hellenistic mythology.48 But in my opinion this political setting of connections between the Lydian royal family and high ranking religious services in Phrygian had one lasting consequence: it also led to the decline of the north Syrian Goddess Kubaba in Lydia. Although she had – according to Herodotus (5.102) – a temple in Sardis, she had no high-ranking position in the royal family there.49 And when the Persians burnt down her temple soon after the middle of the 6th century, Kubaba could not recover in the history of religion of Lydia. Therefore she disappeared from history, while Matar kubileya (> Kybele) lived on, maybe by some of the ancients confused with Kubaba for the sake of the similarity at the beginning of the names.

Conclusion

  • 50 Contra Haas 1994: 408.

29As it became obvious in this short study, the idea that Kubaba contributed to the formation of the Phrygian Matar kubileya must be discarded as both goddesses do not share substantial aspects. Especially one has to stress that Kubaba – according to the texts referring to her in the 2nd and 1st millennium BCE – is no “mother goddess” as it is the case with the Phrygian Matar. Kubaba also does not show connections to mountains, again contrary to the Phrygian goddess. Although there are some superficial iconographic influences from the northern Syrian representation of Kubaba to the iconography of Matar, they do not change the substantial character of the Phrygian goddess. Besides this, as a third main difference between the two goddesses, we have to keep in mind that the Phrygian Matar – without doubt – is rooted in Central Anatolian religious traditions, while Kubaba is no Anatolian, but an autochthon goddess originating in northern Syria, although she had already become locally known in different parts of Anatolia in the first half of the 2nd millennium. She never reached the Phrygian core area, however. Therefore one definitely has to give up the idea of the two goddesses being identical.50 But also the Greek Kybele – leaving her name aside which is a maybe even misunderstood rendering of the Phrygian epithet of Matar – has nothing in common with Kubaba, but is a goddess with her own history.

Bibliographie

Berndt-Ersöz, S., “In Search of a Phrygian Male Superior God”, in: Offizielle Religion, lokale Kulte und individuelle Religiosität. Akten des religionsgeschichtlichen Symposiums “Kleinasien und angrenzende Gebiete vom Beginn des 2. bis zur Mitte des 1. Jahrtausends v. Chr.” (Alter Orient und Altes Testament 318), Hutter, M. / Hutter-Braunsar, S. (éds.). Ugarit- Verlag, Münster, 2004, 47-56.

Berndt-Ersöz, S., “The Anatolian Origin of Attis”, in: Pluralismus und Wandel in den Religionen im vorhellenistischen Anatolien (Alter Orient und Altes Testament 337), Hutter, M. / Hutter-Braunsar, S. (éds.). Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2006, 9-39.

Bøgh, B., “The Phrygian Background of Kybele”, Numen 54, 2007, 304-339.

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Notes

1 Laroche 1960: 115.

2 Cf. Laroche 1960: 122.

3 Roller 1999: 45; cf. Laroche 1960: 119.

4 Cf. the short overview by Hawkins 1980-1983: 258, who does not mention all texts referred to in this paragraph.

5 See the restored text by Singer 2001: 639: dKar-[ḫu-a dK]u-pa-pa DINGIRMEŠ-aš-ša Š[A KUR URUKar-ga-miš].

6 Güterbock 1956: 95: [(nu)] ša-ra-a-az-zi gur-ti ŠA dKu-ba-ba(?) (Ù ŠA)] dLAMMA ma[ ... ] Ú-UL ku-in-ki tar-na-aš. – cf. del Monte 2008: 89, 117.

7 Singer 2001: 639: [... DINGIRMEŠ KUR URUKar-g]a-miš dKu-[pa-pa dK]ar-ḫu-u-ḫi-iš.

8 Cf. Groddek/Hagenbuchner/Hoffmann 2002: 87.

9 KBo 5.2 iii 15; cf. Strauß 2006: 161, 227. – The relationship between Kubaba and other deities is very complex and in my opinion there are various traditions which always get locally combined and should not be harmonised; for a short overview on various gods associated with Kubaba in different texts cf. Haas 1994: 406f.

10 [(Ù ŠA dLAMMA dKu-b)a-ba-aš tar-ku-wa-an-d]a IGI ḪI.A-wa, restored after Haas/Wegner 1988: 111; cf. KBo 35.95,3-6.

11 KBo 33.118+ obv. 13-15; Haas/Wegner 1988: 54.

12 Cf. Groddek 2004: 125 with restoration from duplicates.

13 Cf. Wegner 2002: 258.

14 Cf. Laroche 1960: 116.

15 Cf. AT *349; AT *268; see Klengel 1965: 35f., 76, 254f.; Klengel 1992: 74.

16 The oldest reference to Kubaba in Karkamiš is the Akkadian seal of Matrunna, the daughter of the Karkamišean king Aplahanda, who entitles herself as a female servant of Kubaba (amat dKubaba), cf. Klengel 1965: 23; Klengel 1992: 71. All other references to Kubaba of Karkamiš quoted above are younger and thus do not contradict the influence from the south to the rising popularity of the goddess there.

17 Hawkins 2000: 466, §§ 31-33.

18 Cf. Hawkins 2000: 558f.

19 Cf. Polvani 2002; Hutter 2003: 228f.

20 Laroche 1973.

21 Cf. Haider 2006: 47.

22 Cf. Hutter 2003: 272f.

23 Hawkins 2000: 473.

24 As the BULGARMADEN inscription is “authored” by a servant of Warpalawa, one might assume that the Storm-god Tarhunt mentioned in it is the “Tarhunt of the Vineyard” (Hutter 2003: 234), who is venerated by Warpalawa. If this is correct, all three gods mentioned in BULGARMADEN also appear in the Aramaic Kuttamuwa inscription from the vicinity of Sam’al, cf. below.

25 Hawkins 2000: 488.

26 Cf. Hutter 2003: 228f., 236.

27 One can speculate if the very poorly preserved inscription KARAKUYU-TORBALI might refer to Kubaba; the readable traces in line 1 give [(DEUS)]Ku-[ ] MAGNUS.DOMINA-h[a], cf. Oreshko 2013: 375, 383, who however argues that we have no evidence that Kubaba was known so far in the west in the 11th century. His own guess (Oreshko 2013: 410f.) that the inscription might mention an otherwise not attested goddess Kubanta (postulated only from the onomastic element Kubanta-) must also remain open to critical discussion.

28 Niehr 2014: 155, 159f.

29 Niehr 2014: 188f. – Cf. also fn. 24 with the reference to BULGARMADEN, thus creating some connection between the Sam’al area and Tabal; but one also has to keep in mind, that Nikarawa (corresponding to Nikaruha) also is mentioned once in KARKAMIS A6 § 31 in the curse formula. KARKAMIS A6 § 20f. also mentions Kubaba twice.

30 Bonatz 2014: 211f. and pl. II.

31 But cf. Bonatz 2014: 212 who refers to Karhuha from Karkamiš.

32 Gibson 1975: 156.

33 Cf. also Collins 2004: 89.

34 Melchert 2008: 153; cf. Yakubovich 2010: 97; Gusmani 1964: 201. Carruba 2000: 65 draws a connection between the marivda-gods and the Indian Maruts which cannot be upheld, however. Mastrocinque’s (2007: 203) rendering of the text is hopelessly out of date.

35 Gusmani 1969: 159 as Lydian text no. 72; cf. with an improved reading Gusmani 1986: 68f.

36 Contra Oreshko 2013: 412f.

37 One – unsolved – question until now is the case of Lycia. While there might be a reference to Santa in Lycia (Melchert 2002), any – even slight – evidence of Kubaba is missing in Lycia.

38 Brixhe 1979: 42f.; cf. Roller 1999: 65-68. – Despite recent doubts by Hawkins 2013: 125f. about Brixhe’s arguments I think his derivation of the “name” Kybele is sound.

39 Munn 2008: 160f.

40 Hawkins 2013: 124f.

41 Munn 2008: 161.

42 Thus correctly Bøgh 2007: 315. – Therefore Haas 1994: 406, giving the heading “Die Muttergöttin Kubaba” for the chapter presenting the materials for Kubaba or Roller 1999, whose book has the title “In Search of God the Mother” do not present a suitable typology of Kubaba.

43 Hutter 2006: 82, 84.

44 This was shown by Roller 1999: 44-53. Although there are some superficial iconographic similarities between Kubaba and Matar (cf. Hutter 2003: 273; Bøgh 2007: 315f.; Collins 2004: 90f.), they do not constitute a continuity from Kubaba to Matar.

45 Berndt-Ersöz 2004: 50f.; cf. Hutter 2006: 85f.

46 Berndt-Ersöz 2004: 51 with footnote 9; Bøgh 2007: 321 does not rule out the connection between Ata and Attis totally.

47 Berndt-Ersöz 2006: 22f. – Cf. also Collins 2004: 92; Roller 1999: 93.

48 Berndt-Ersöz 2006: 29f.; see further Bøgh 2007: 319f.

49 In this way Roller 1999: 131 is not quite exact when she mentions the Lydian king’s “support he enjoys from Kubaba / Meter”. This support only came from the Phrygian Matar.

50 Contra Haas 1994: 408.

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