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Vienne: The theater and sanctuary of Cybele


The Shrine of Cybele in Vienne was devoted to the Near Eastern mother goddess widely worshipped in Gaul during the 1st-3rd centuries AD. The sanctuary contained a theater whose outer walls are seen at rear left in the picture, where cult mystery plays were performed.

In the foreground are remnants of the temple of Cybele. Excavations between the 1940s and '70s showed the temple complex contained an underground room divided into a nave and side aisles. Pre-Roman, Late Iron Age pottery from the mid-2nd century BC was found in the lowest levels.

[Fig.1: Sanctuary of Cybele in Vienne (photo: Athena Review).]

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