Attis (ăˈtĭs) [key] or Atys āˈ–, in Phrygian religion, vegetation god. When Nana ate the fruit of the almond tree, which had been generated by the blood of either Agdistis or of Cybele, she conceived Attis. Later, Agdistis or Cybele fell in love with Attis, and so that none other would have him, she caused him to castrate himself. Like Adonis, Attis came to be worshiped as a god of vegetation, responsible for the death and rebirth of plant life. Each year at the beginning of spring his resurrection was celebrated in a festival. In Roman religion he became a powerful celestial deity.

See Sir J. G. Frazer, Adonis, Attis, Osiris (1907, new ed. 1961).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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