Thursday, April 19, 2012

Megalensia: The third day…

This third day of Megalensia, I'd like to talk about Attis, as I did last year. I shall be continuing my "Thracian exegesis" of the Graeco-Roman cultus of Magna Mater, as I did on the past two days with the beginnings/Cybele and Agdistis, picking up on a theme I began in particular with the latter.

I've always loved this particular statue of Attis, leaning languidly on the head of the Sangarios river's god. For having been through the horrific madness and self-castration that he has been, he looks remarkably serene and calm here, and not at all upset with his situation. Now, of course, we can just say "Well, that's just the sculptor's doing," but because I'm of the Keats-esque school of interpretation, that there is truth in beauty and beauty in truth, there must be something therefore about this particularly beautiful representation that is in some way "truthful" about the figure it portrays. (Or, at least that's my reading of it…!) So, what could it be? I hope to make some suggestions in that regard toward the end of the present entry.