Frazer's latest view is that he is the old cult associate of Diana of Aricia (to whom he is related as Attis to Cybele or Adonis to Venus), the mythical predecessor or archetype of the kings of the grove.
Frazer, Adonis, Attis and Osiris (2nd ed.), pp. 428-435.
Like Aphrodite and Adonis in Syria, Baal and Astarte at Sidon, and Isis and Osiris in Egypt, the Great Mother and Attis formed a duality which symbolized the relations between Mother Earth and her fruitage.
His resemblance to Adonis has led to the theory that the names of the two are identical, and that Attis is only the Semitic companion of Syrian Aphrodite grafted on to the Phrygian Great Mother worship (Haakh, Stuttgarter-Philolog.- Vers., 18J7, 176 ff.).
The taurobolium was probably a sacred drama symbolizing the relations of the Mother and Attis (q.v.).
By the side of Attis stood Manes or Men, identified later with the Moon-god.
Sabazius was identified with Adonis or Attis (Atys), Cybele with the Syrian goddess; and many of the coarsest rites of the Phrygian worship, the mutilation of the priests, the prostitution at the shrine, 5 came from the countries of the south-east.
They may have been represented or impersonated by priests in her rites as Attis was, but they were also, like him, not actual priests in the first instance, but objects of worship in which a frenzied dance, with accompaniment of flute music, the beating of tambourines, the clashing of cymbals and castanets, wild cries and self-infliction of wounds - the whole culminating in a state of ecstasy and exhaustion - were the most prominent features.
Heracles is here the sun-god Attis in a new form; his Lydian name is unknown, since E.