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A young Phrygian shepherd, with whom the goddess Rhea fell in love, suddenly appearing in the midst of the wedding ceremony, in which Attis was to be married to the daughter of the king of Pessinus. So affrighted was the shepherd that he ran off, escaped to the mountains, maiming himself, and died beside a pine tree, into which his soul transmigrated, while from his blood sprang violets like a wreath around the tree. Rhea implored Zeus to restore her lover, but the Father of the Gods reached a compromise with her: he granted that the body of Attis should never decay, that his hair should always grow, and that his little finger should always move.

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