ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kubaba: Mother Goddess Endures Through the Ages

Updated on November 2, 2017
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He wrote for IHPVA magazines and raced these vehicles with his father (who builds them).

from the Museum of Anatolian Civilization, Turkey
from the Museum of Anatolian Civilization, Turkey

Kubaba is a survivor among ancient deities. Once a part of the earliest known civilization in the world, the goddess dubbed “mother goddess” had been worshipped by several cultures for more than millennia. And, after all those years, her image has managed to survive the test of time.

The British Museum has a freestanding basalt monument of the goddess that dates back to the Neo-Hittite era of 9th century BC. It survives fairly intact and shows the goddess holding a mirror and a pomegranate (symbols of magic and fertility, according the British Museum’s website).

However, there’s more to this goddess. There are speculations among scholars that this goddess was possibly the inspiration for other deities from other cultures and eras. And if that was significant enough, Kubaba may have been based on an actual “queen”.

Later, after the fall of the Hurrians, the Hittites Empire (in present-day Turkey and Syria) adopted the goddess and gave her the name Kubaba. This happened around 1200 BC.

When She Went by the Name of Hepat

Kubaba’s history can be traced back to the days of the Hurrian culture of Northeast section of the Mesopotamian region (now present-day Northern Iraq and Southeast Turkey). Back then she was a goddess from the ancient city of Carchemish and was represented in the same fashion as the basalt monument. However, she went by the name of Hepat.

Later, after the fall of the Hurrians, the Hittites Empire (in present-day Turkey and Syria) adopted the goddess and gave her the name Kubaba. This happened around 1200 BC.

expanse of the Hittite Empire
expanse of the Hittite Empire | Source

Not Your Average Queen

The source of the name has been contested and debated by scholars over the year. Some believe the name and legend of Kubaba is directly related to Queen Kubaba of the city-state kingdom of Ur (Some sources claimed that it was the city-state of Kish in the Sumer Kingdom of Mesopotamian region). Historically, this queen – who was not a queen by birth or marriage – ruled as an absolute ruler.

Queen Kubaba’s ascension to power was unconventional. She didn’t come from a royal or aristocratic family. Instead, she was a tavern owner before taking power. While much of her past has been obscured and are extremely sketchy, many sources claimed she known as a "warrior queen," which indicates that at one point she may have led armies into battle.

On top of all the scant information known about her, it is believed her reign of power became the stuff of legends.So much so that she was rumored to have ruled her kingdom for 100 years.

Queen Kubaba
Queen Kubaba | Source

The Greco-Roman civilization also adopted Kubaba as a mother goddess. Here, she received several names including Artemis Perasia and eventually Cybele -- as the Romans knew her...

The Various Aliases

Still, the connection between the historical Kubaba and the goddess is inconclusive. What is known is that the Mother Goddess was found in later cultures under different names. Eventually, the kingdom of Phrygia in central Anatolia (modern Turkey) adopted her as their mother goddess. She was known as Cybebe.

The Greco-Roman civilization also adopted Kubaba as a mother goddess. Here, she received several names including Artemis Perasia and eventually Cybele (as the Romans knew her. Her image was moved to the Palatium in Rome in 204 BC).

Kubaba also represents something unique to Mesopotamian culture. She was woman, but she was powerful. In many respects, the kingdoms that emerged in this area had prayed to powerful goddess – in some cases, such as Kubaba, they were the most powerful of all gods.

Cybele in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson&Brian Clark
Cybele in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson&Brian Clark | Source

Kubaba as Cybele

Although the myth surrounding Kubaba is sketchy, incomplete or often confused with the historical Kubaba, her other incarnation, Cybele, ended up becoming a part of Greek and Roman mythology’s pantheon of goddess.

Today, statues, busts and relics that bear her image or name are being unearthed. Most are either dedicated to the real Kubaba, while others are representations of the goddess.

Still, Kubaba represents something unique in ancient history and mythology. She is a goddess that managed to survive the test of time as a viable deity for several cultures, despite all the name changes. A good mother will always be a mother to her child. This mother goddess was a mother to a lot of children of ancient history.

Full Basalt Relief of Kubaba
Full Basalt Relief of Kubaba | Source

© 2017 Dean Traylor

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)