İdollerin Frig Kültüründeki Kimliğine Dair Bir AnalizRahşan Tamsü Polat
Grekçede -eidolon, Latincede -idolum kelimesinden türetilmiş olan, imge, görüntü anlamına gelen idoller, Prehistorik döneme kadar geri giden, farklı dönemlerde farklı kültürlerde kendine yer bulmuş, tanrı ya da tanrıçayı temsil ettiği düşünülen, genellikle baş ile gövdelerin, bazen de boyun, kol, yüz ve diğer uzuvların da gösterildiği, şematize edilmiş soyut tasvirlerdir. Frigya Bölgesi sınırlarında, Frig Dönemi’ne tarihlenen tabakalarda tespit edilen yuvarlak bir baş ve dörtgen gövdeden oluşan bir grup tasvir de idol olarak adlandırılmaktadır. İdol betimlerinin, Frig kült anıtları ve Eski Frigçe yazıtlar ile Frig dininde ön plana çıkan Ana Tanrıça Matar’ın soyut betimleri olduğu, pek çok araştırmacı tarafından kabul edilmektedir. Fakat belirtilen coğrafyada tekli idollerin dışında, tek gövdeyi paylaşan yan yana yapılmış iki baş ya da ayrı olarak, yan yana baş ve gövdelerden oluşan idollerin de bulunması, bu başların hangi tanrı ya da tanrıçayı tasvir ettiğine dair bir soruyu beraberinde getirmektedir. Bu makalede Frig dininde etkin bir biçimde tapınım gören ana tanrıçanın soyut betimlerinden olduğu düşünülen idollerin arkeolojik ve epigrafik buluntular yardımıyla Frig kültürünün öncülü ve ardılı olan kültürlerdeki yansımalarına değinilmiş, çift ve çoklu idollerin kimliğine dair sorulara cevaplar aranmıştır.
An Analysis of the Identity of Idols in Phrygian CultureRahşan Tamsü Polat
Derived from the Greek -eidolon and the Latin -idolum, idols, meaning image or visual, stretching back to the Prehistoric Period, are schematized abstract depictions that have found themselves a place within different cultures during different periods, are thought to depict a god or goddess, and generally show a head and body, sometimes with a neck, arms, face, and other organs. The group of portrayals with a round head and rectangular body found within the borders of Phrygia, in the strata dated to the Phrygian Period determined to be Phrygian, are known as idols. It has been accepted by many researchers that the idol depictions are abstract representations of the Mother Goddess, Matar, who takes center stage in the cultic monuments and Old Phrygian inscriptions of Phrygian religion. However, in addition to the single idols found in the aforementioned area, the presence of idols with two collateral heads on a single body or separate but collateral heads and bodies bring about the question of which god or goddess they represent. In this article, we will touch on the reflections of the idols thought to be abstract depictions of the actively worshipped Phrygian mother goddess in the cultures previous and after Phrygia with archeologic and epigraphic finds and attempt to determine the identity of double and multiple idols.
The idols thought to usually represent a god or goddess, identified as schematic and abstract depictions, and seen since the Prehistoric Period are generally schematized representations of a head and body, sometimes with a neck, arms, face, and other organs. Idol-type depictions found their place in the important powerhouse of the Iron Age, Phrygia. Phrygian idols generally consist of a round head and rectangular body. This group of idols consists of those made of stone or bone in a semi-iconic shape, those that are found on rocky outcrops, rocky surfaces, and in relief on the bedrock behind the steps of some altars, and those carved into steles.
The small number of Old Phrygian cultic inscriptions regarding the culture and cultic practices of Phrygia that survived to today through Greek literary texts from a limited source of information. In this case, our primary source of evidence of their culture is the archeologic artefacts found in cultic centers. Interpretations of these finds show that the Phrygians, who probably believed in many gods both male and female, adopted a deeply rooted, millennia-old, Anatolian belief in the Mother Goddess in their new home-centered in Central Anatolia and that they worshipped the goddess that they named “Matar” by building cultic monuments consisting of altars, niches, and facades in the rocky areas of valleys. The fact that the goddess, her name found in the Old Phrygian inscriptions on a group of rock facades, was the focus of worship in the Phrygian religion is evidenced in the anthropomorphic reliefs found on the steles. In addition to the anthropomorphic depictions of the goddess, a group of figures known as idols with round heads and rectangular bodies found within the borders of the Phrygian Region is worthy of note. In addition to these generally single idols, double idols are seen in the rocky outcroppings of the region, behind the steps of a group of altars, and on steles, and newly discovered triple idols are found in Midas Fortress, on a rock in Köhnüş Valley, and within the borders of Nakoleia (Seyitgazi). While the single idols are accepted by a group of researchers as “abstract depictions” of the goddess Matar, whose name is mentioned in Old Phrygian inscriptions, if we also accept that one of the heads on the samples with more than one collateral head again represents the goddess Matar, we are left with the important question of who the other head or heads depict. Some researchers note that in the double idols, one of the heads represents the goddess, the other a now unknown one of Matar’s paredros. Many experts on the subject lean towards the idea that the figure next to the Mother Goddess is a “Father God”, based on the religious iconography of earlier and contemporary cultures, and have made some inferences and suggestions as to the identity of this Father God. It is known that in Greek mythology, Attis is the goddess’s lover. Using this information and the fact that the word -ata or -atas, seen on a few monuments, could be the basis of the -Attis found in sources from the Greek and Roman Periods, they interpret the figure as the goddess’s lover in Greek mythology, Attis. However, no epigraphic or archeologic proof of the connection between the Phrygian -ata and the God Attis has yet been found.
One of the figures accompanying the goddess is thought to be the Phrygian King Midas, a part of the cult of Cybele. The foundation of this idea is the monumental-sized Midas Monument found in Yazılıkaya/Midas which features the name “Midai” together with the words lavagetas, -vanaks, thusly interpreted as an offering to Midas. The inclusion of the name “Midai” on the monument, is believed to allude to the fact that this person played a role like Attis in the goddess’s cult.
The epigraphic research carried out in the Phrygian Region shows that many local gods and cults came about after the Hellenization of Anatolia’s very old, local cults in addition to the fact that although the names of Greek gods are frequently used in inscriptions, the epithets seen alongside these names usually allude to local gods. In addition, epigraphic and iconographic materials in the region show many offerings with different epithets to Zeus during the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. The people in the rural areas of northwestern Phrygia in particular, presented many offerings to the god of weather and fertility, Zeus, but with different ancillary names. In Ancient Greek sources, we see that the epithet “Papas (Παπας), (Παπιας)” was used for Zeus in Bithynia and Papas or Zeus Papas was featured in the Greek inscriptions in Phrygian Highlands. Meaning “Father Zeus”, this epithet is known to have also been used for Attis. In addition, the word “Baba” appears in a few Old Phrygian inscriptions and the meaning of this word, just like the way “Matar” was used to mean “mother”, is noted as meaning ‘father’. Another word found on these inscriptions is -ata. While the word “ata” is an Anatolian or Hittite term and the word -atta denoted Father or Father God, Brixhe and Drew Bear suggest that it is related to the Papas referred to in epigraphic and literary sources and that it is the name of a god. Therefore, they indicate that the superior Phrygian male god -ata, is “Father”. After the Hellenization of the Phrygian Region, -ata generally became synchronized with Zeus, but in some regions, the Greek word “Papas (father)” was used. Such a large amount of documentation of Zeus can be explained by the presence of a belief in a strong, patriarchal father god of the land whose roots date back to very early periods in Phrygia. Lastly, based on epigraphic data and analyses of that data, it should not be incorrect to think that the double idols seen under the steps of altars or on steles represent the goddess and her paredros, or the Father God that accompanies her.