Attis was a god of vegetation, associated with death and resurrection. He was worshiped in Phrygia, an ancient country of Asia Minor *, and later throughout the Roman empire.
Many different accounts of Attis's life and death exist. According to one story, he was a young, handsome shepherd who was
[See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.
loved by Cybele (by some accounts, his mother), the Phrygian goddess of fertility. When Cybele discovered that Attis had been unfaithful to her, she killed the nymph he had been with. Driven to madness, Attis then wounded himself under a pine tree and bled to death.
resurrection coming to life again; rising from the dead
nymph minor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful
With his death, the earth's plant life ceased to grow. However, the gods agreed that Attis should be resurrected each spring. In this way, he came to be associated with the cycle of the seasons, dying in the winter and being reborn in the spring. As part of an annual spring festival, the Romans would cut down a pine tree in Attis's honor. Worshipers adorned the tree with violets, which they considered to have grown from the blood of Attis.
See also Cybele .