Ludi Megalenses 2762 AUC (Nova Roma)

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The chariot of Magna Mater


Opening of the Ludi Megalenses

Cn. Lentulus pontifex, scriba aedilicius Cn. Iuli Caesaris Quiritibus s. p. d.

The Megalesia is opened in the name of aedilis curulis Cn. Caesar! As a pontifex, I declare the Ludi Megalenses open, after I've performed the Opening Sacrifice to Magna Mater before my home altar.

Please have a thought to the hard times of Punic wars, when Magna Mater had honored the Eternal City accepting sailing to Rome, and settling on Palatine.

Let us honor our Great Mother and have fun all along the Megalesia!


Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
scriba aedilis curulis

Megalensia History Quiz

Welcome to the Ludi Megalenses, and to our "Magna Mater" Certamen Historicum!

We will be posting 50 questions between April 5th and April 9th, at the rate of 10 per day. The contest will be concluded and the Ludi Megalenses closed on April 10th. I will accept answers to all questions, previous days included, daily. I will not post answers to questions on the following day, but will announce all the results on April 10th.

Good luck to all contestants!


1. Each correct answer is worth 1 point. An extra point may be awarded for an especially detailed and excellent answer.

2. Answers are to be sent to this e-mail address before 12.01 am MT - Mountain Time (GMT -7hrs / CET -8hrs) April 10th.

3. The decision of the aedilis is final in interpreting what is and what isn't a correct answer.

Questions and Answers

Day 1 (April 5th)

Question #1. An ugly grandson of Zeus was famous for what in respect of Cybele?

  • Answer #1. The first to carve the Great Mother's image into a rock-face.

Question #2. What was the name of this grandson?

  • Answer #2. Broteas

Question #3. A carving of Cybele has been confused with a natural rock formation associated with an Anatolian princess. What was her name?

  • Answer #3. Niobe of Sipylus or Niobe

Question #4. The author of a “Description of Greece” mentioned this princess. What was the name of this author?

  • Answer #4. Pausanias

Question #5. The sculptor who carved a monumental gateway to the Acropolis in Athens had a pupil who became famous for carving an image of Cybele. What was the name of this pupil?

  • Answer #5. Agoracritus

Question #6. In the carving the pupil made what does Cybele’s hand rest on?

  • Answer #6. The neck of a perfectly still lion.

Question #7. A Roman consul with a pointed nose had a connection with Cybele. What was his full name?

  • Answer #7. P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica

Question #8. The former Greek colony of Dicaearchia saw the first advent of a practice in relation to Cybele. What was this practice?

  • Answer #8. Taurobolium

Question #9. Ardea was the capital city of a tribe that had a connection in legend to an event concerning Cybele. What was that event?

  • Answer #9. The leader of the Rutuli, Turnus, then ordered his men to burn the ships of the Trojans.

Question #10. What is the connection between the defeat of the German tribes in 102 BCE and Cybele?

  • Answer #10. Battakes, a high priest of Cybele, journeyed to Rome to announce a prediction of C. Marius's victory over the Cimbri and Teutoni. A. Pompeius, plebeian tribune, together with a band of ruffians, chased Battakes off of the Rostra. Pompeius supposedly died of a fever a few days later.

Day 2 (April 6th)

Question #11. The adopted son of the ruler of the city of Gordium is famous for his connection with Cybele and for another less noble reason. (a) What was the connection with Cybele? (b) What was the less noble reason?

  • Answer #11.(a) Adopted son Cybele & Gordias; (b) His love of gold

Question #12. An object removed to Rome in 210 BCE came from where?

  • Answer #12. Pessinos

Question #13. The mad driver of a lion chariot connected with Cybele was who?

  • Answer #13. Attis / Atys

Question #14. A defiler of a ceremony of the Good Goddess, had a sister. She had a lover who had a connection with Cybele. What is the name of that lover?

  • Answer #14. C. Valerius Catullus

Question #15. The lover is also known for his connection to Cybele by a number. What is it?

  • Answer #15. 63

Question #16. In the first and second years following the removal of Cybele to Rome, two battles were fought and won by the victor of Ilipa in Hispania. The first captured a city and the second failed to stop a march to Italia. What were the names and years of those battles?

  • Answer #16. Battle of Cartagena (209 BC) In the Battle of Baecula (208 BC)

Question #17. What is the connection to Cybele between a purchase made by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and the Pythia?

  • Answer #17. The Romans consulted both the Sibylline Books and the Oracle at Delphi concerning the removal to Rome of Cybele.

Question #18. After a fire in 288 CE what was rebuilt that had a connection to Cybele?

  • Answer #18. The temple of Cybele and Attis in Setif

Question #19.A festival commemorating the death and rebirth into a pine tree was called what in the Augustan History?

  • Answer #19. The Hilaria Matris Deûm

Question #20. What did Theodore the Recruit do instead of reflecting?

  • Answer #20. He burnt the Temple of Cybele in Amasea

Day 3 (April 7th)

Question #21. A track between the Aventine and Palatine hills has a connection to Cybele. What is it?

  • Answer #21. An image of Cybele was carried to the race track known as the Circus Maximus.

Question #22. The correct answer to Q21 has a date associated with it. What is the date?

  • Answer #22. April 10th

Question #23. Julia Augusta had a visual connection with Cybele. What was it and whose wife was she?

  • Answer #23. Julia Augusta otherwise known as Livia, wife of the Emperor Augustus had her visage carved into the Malibu statue of Cybele.

Question #24. Six years before the removal to Rome of Cybele, a battle was fought near the Aufidus River. What was the name and date of the battle?

  • Answer #24. Battle of Cannae, August 2nd, 216 BCE.

Question #25. The patron of Carchemish was indentified in a paper published by Mark Munn in 2004 as having an important home in Lydia. (a) Who was the patron of Carchmish? (b) What the home in Lydia?

  • Answer #25. (a) Kubaba; (b) Sardis

Question #26. In Archaic Phrygian images of Cybele she is portrayed as wearing a sertain type of hat. What was its shape and what is its name?

  • Answer #26. High cylindrical hat called a polos

Question #27. What is the connection between the actress Polly Walker and Cybele?

  • Answer #27. In HBO’s “Rome” she played Atia of the Julii. In one scene she takes part in the taurobolium.

Question #28. What is the connection between the actress Kerry Condon and Cybele?

  • Answer #28. In episode 10 (Triumph) of HBO’s “Rome” she, as Octavia of the Julii, is in hiding at The Temple of Cybele, mutilating herself.

Question #29.' What was a cheaper rite of Magna Mater involving a ram called?'

  • Answer #29. Criobolium

Question #30. The cult of the Magna Mater was fully accepted into Roman life and customs by the time of a successor to Augustus' family cognomen. Who was this person giving his full Roman name?

  • Answer #30. Ti. Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus

Day 4 (April 8th)

Question #31. What name is the rock associated with Niobe known by on Mount Sipylus?

  • Answer #31.

Question #32. Two plants were sacred to Attis, ivy and the evergreen pine. What was the significance of the Evergreen Pine?

  • Answer #32.

Question #33. Priests of Cybele who mutilated themselves were known in Rome as what?

  • Answer #33.

Question #34. What was the other name for these priests?

  • Answer #34.

Question #35. In the year 2000, a temple of Isis and Magna Mater was discovered, along with 300 oil lamps. Where was this?

  • Answer #45.

Question #36. The Temple of the Magna Mater in Rome was built between which years?

  • Answer #36.

Question #37. How many senators were in the embassy sent to Pessinus to secure the Magna Mater?

  • Answer #37.

Question #38. What was the name of the Praetor who inaugurated and dedicated the temple of the Magna Mater?

  • Answer #38.

Question #39. What was the ancient Greek title for Cybele?

  • Answer #39.

Question #40. What did the "moretum" offering consist of?

  • Answer #40.

Day 5 (April 9th)

Question #41. What was the name of the battle that was fought in the spring of 215 BCE between Hasdrubal Barca and Cn. Cornelius Scipio Calvus and P. Cornelius Scipio?

  • Answer #41.

Question #42.' On a piece of famous armour the tympanon of Cybele lies at the feet of the goddess Tellus. What is that armour?'

  • Answer #42.

Question #43. A Vestal Virgin welcomed the arrival of Cybele, along with the Consul. What was her name?

  • Answer #43.

Question #44. What could the chief priest of Magna Mater be, if he was not something? What was that something?

  • Answer #44.

Question #45. What was the name of the Roman poet who lived 99 BCE- ca. 55 BCE who used Cybele as a metaphor?

  • Answer #45.

Question #46. The ship carrying the black stone from Pessinus got stuck in the mud of the Tiber. The Vestal sent to welcome it, used an item to free it. What was it?

  • Answer #46.

Question #47. In the Hilaria what occurred on the 24th March?

  • Answer #47.

Question #48. Who was the head of the embassy sent to Pessinus to secure the Magna Mater?

  • Answer #48.

Question #49. Which philosopher was put to death by his countrymen for trying to introduce the cult of Cybele?

  • Answer #49.

Question #50. What was the nature of this philosopher' s society that made it antagonistic to Cybele?

  • Answer #50.

Final Results

The scores and final positions are:

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