The ‘taurobole’ stone

This stone, on the west face of the Cathedral, recalls the cult of Cybele, mother Idaea, the great mother of Mount Ida in Asia Minor.

The translation of the text tells us that ‘Valeria Marciana, Valeria Carmosyne and the priest Cassius Paternus celebrated a ‘taurobole’ in honour of mother Idaea.

The bull was offered by two ladies of Vence as a devotion or expression of a wish ; the ceremony took place in a nearby temple, perhaps the temple on the ruins of which the Cathedral was built.

In honour of the goddess, the priest cut the throat of the animal on a plank of wood or a stone across a ditch in which the faithful waited to be soaked with the blood of the sacrifice.

The mention of the taurobole dates this inscription after the year 160, the time when this practice became a part of the cult of Cybele.

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