From Cybele to Artemis: Motherhood and Great Mothers of Ancient Anatolia



Since antiquity, Anatolian women’s relationship with religion and religious beliefs reveals characteristics of a multi-cultural, multi-civilizational outlook whose varying norms and traditions clearly manifest a multiplicity of perspectives. Before the adoption of Islam, Anatolian women’s lives were influenced and shaped by the cultural and political ideology of the times from Greeks to Ionians, Phrygians, Romans, and the Byzantine. Following the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453 A.D. socio-political climate in Asia Minor was relatively changed under the Islamic law, however, non-Muslims were allowed to practice their traditions and religion as long as they paid taxes to the state. Regardless of socio-cultural and political differences from one region to another, women who lived in Anatolia left their stamp on numerous concepts. Their historic legacy of motherhood, impact of goddesses, their worship and rituals, as well as the circuitous ways Anatolian female identity were shaped over the centuries, constitute the central focus of the author's analysis in this work.


Royal Road Stylish Marble Monotheistic Religion Aegean Coast Clay Tablet 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Anadolu-Okur, Nilgün. 2005, fall. The Demise of the Great Mother: Islam, Reform and Women’s Emancipation in Turkey. Gender Issues 22(4): 6–29.Google Scholar
  2. ———, ed. 2009. Women, Islam and Globalization in the Twenty-First Century. London, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Anthon, Charles. 1855. A Classical Dictionary, Containing an Account of the Principal Proper Names Mentioned in Ancient Authors. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
  4. Ekrem, Akurgal. 1987. Anadolu Uygarlıkları. İstanbul: Net Turistik Yayinlar.Google Scholar
  5. Finegan, Jack. 1989. Myth and Mystery: An Introduction to the Pagan Religions of the Biblical World. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.Google Scholar
  6. Güvenҫ, Bozkurt. 1995. Türk Kimliği. Istanbul: Remzi Kitabevi.Google Scholar
  7. Neils, Jenifer. 2011. Women in the Ancient World. Los Angeles, CA: The J. Paul Getty Museum.Google Scholar
  8. Neumann, Erich. 1963. The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype. Trans. Ralph Manheim. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Pomeray, Sarah B. 1975. Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. New York: Shocken Books.Google Scholar
  10. Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture. 1993. Women in Anatolia, 9000 Years of the History of the Anatolian Woman. İstanbul: Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations