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but just as the territorial contests of Poseidon, otherwise
inexplicable,' illustrate the introduction of his cult into
fresh regions and the opposition which it encountered
there,^ so the travels of Dionysos symbolised the progress
of his worship throughout the world, until at length he
arrives in Thebai, the first of Hellenik cities of the conti-
nent reached by him ; and there finds himself unhonoured
and his cult violently opposed. Even Mr. Cox himself
admits, as we have seen,^ that * the opposition of the
Theban Pentheus to the cultus of Dionysos is among the
few indications of historical facts exhibited in Hellenic
mythology.' But while thus interpreting Euripides in an
historic sense, we are not bound to accept in all its details
his historical account of the Dionysiak cult ; to suppose,
for instance, that it was originally identical with the wor-
ship of the Phrygian Kybele, or that Lydia was the point
from whence it passed over into Hellas. So, again, when
he speaks of the cities of maritime Asia as inhabited by
a mingled population of Hellenes and Barbarians, he is
evidently thinking more of his own times than of the
mythical era of Pentheus, as the earliest Hellenik colonies
in Asia Minor were according to tradition, founded subse-
quently to the Dorik conquest of the Peloponnesos.^
Seven eastern regions are mentioned by the god as having
been visited by him, Lydia, Phrygia, Persia, Media, Bak-
tria, Arabia, and maritime Asia, and the names are not

' Vide Posetdariy xxi. » Cf. Tyrrell, The Bacchde of Hu-

^ Sup, II. i. 1. ripidesy Introduction, xxziiL note 2,



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118 THE GBEAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

uninteresting, as they appear to contain the Euripidear>
theory of the localities in which the Dionysiak cult
obtained. He refers its origin, as Bunsen observes, ' to
the fanatical physiolatries of Asia Minor,' ^ and conse-
quently Lydia, Phrygia, and Asia, are three of the places
visited by Dionysos ; and the poet apparently mentions
Persia, Media, and Baktria, the first of which was the
dominant Oriental power, chiefly to show that the worship
of the god had penetrated deep into the regions of the
extreme East. Euripides can scarcely have possessed
any definite knowledge, even traditional, of any Dionysiak
ritual in immediate connection with either of the three
last-mentioned countries. The mention of Baktria is
somewhat singular, but there seem to have been various
early Hellenik traditions of the ancient greatness of that
kingdom ; ^ and the Baktrians, who were noted for their
valour, had come in contact with the Hellenes in conse-
quence of the invasion of Khshayarsha (Xerxes). * But
the poet's list is more remarkable for its omissions than
for what it contains. As the Baktrians are mentioned,
we should naturally have expected that the Indians, most
distant of men, and who fought by their side at Plateia,
would have been also included, more especially since one
of the most famous epithets of Dionysos is Indoletes, the
Indian-slayer, while his renowned campaign against the
Indians has been celebrated by numerous writers from the
age of Euripides to that of Eabelais.^ Thus Antimachos,
whose Thebais I have already referred to,* writing a few
years earlier, related how Dionysos, after three years*
absence in India, entered Thebai in triumph on an
elephant, and from that circumstance instituted the
Trieteris, or Triennial Festival, performed in his honour,*

I God in Hist. ii. 235. * Vide inf. IX. vii. Indoletes,

' Of. Rawlinson, Het-odotus, iv. * Sup. sec. ii. 1.

166. ^ Autlmachos, apud Diod. Sik. vl

» Of. Berod, vil 64, ix. 31. 05.



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTEK TRAGEDIANS. 119

and fix)m which he is called Trieterikos.^ The mention
of Arabia is interesting, and he subsequently alludes to
Nysa,^ which, as he does not connect it with any parti-
cular locality, he may, like Antimachoe, have supposed
to be in Arabia.* But the other Semitic coimtries,
Kaldea, Assur, Aram, and Phoenicia, are unmentioned
in consequence of liis theory of a Dionysos Phrygian in
origin. He also appears to have deUberately rejected
the Kamic theory of Herodotos,* with which he must
have been femiUar. It is amusing to notice the scepticism
with which writers such as Strabo, who consider Diony-
sos to have been an individual man, naturally regard his
traditional travels and exploits.* The Mystic Eites,
Teletai, connect the Dionysiak cult with that of the
^eusinian Demeter.^

Verses 64-177, Introductory Speech by the Chorus of
Barbarian Bakchanals. * Who is beneath the roof? Let
him be out of the way (" Procul, procul este profani ")
and let everyone use well-omened words, for I will ever
hymn Dionysos according to custom. blessed one !
whosoever being fortunate, knowing the mystic rites of
the gods, lives piously, and has his soul imbued with
Bakchik revelry, raving among the mountains with holy
purifications ; and observing the orgies of the Mighty
Mother Kybele, and shaking the thyrsos crowned wiih ivy,
serves Dionysos.'^ The natural connection between
Dionysos and the Earth-mothers, Demeter, Ehea, and

1 Orphik Hymn^ xlv. invaded Persia/ &c. (rote in v. 14,

« V. 666. p. 2\ So far as legend goes the

* Sup. sec. ii 1. youth of Dionysos is not principally

* Iftf, V. V. connected with either Lydia or rhry-

* I regret that Mr. Tyrrell in his gia ; but if it is meant to assert that
exceUent edition of the Play (Long- his cult originated there, evidence
mans, 1871) has not devoted more should be onered on the point,
attention to this passage. He con- • Of. Herod, ii 171.

tents himself with the observation: ' Vs. 69-82; cf. Horn. Hy. Eis

* BacchuS; Musmve well remarks, Bern, 486 et seq. ; Aristoph. Bat.

was reared in Lydia and Phrygia, 866 et $eq.
and when he reached man*B estate,



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120 THE GREAT DIONYRIAK MYTH.

Kybele, has already been partially noticed/ how the
Deraeter and Ehea of the West corresponded to, but
were not originalty identical with, the Kybele or Great
Goddess-Mother of the East ; and how Dionysos, as Asso-
ciate of the Aryan goddess-mother, naturally becomes the
Associate of the Semitic goddess-mother, a drcumstfuice
which, combined with the foreign nature of his worship,
caused Euripides to incorrectly impute a Phrygian origin
to the Dionysiak cult. Having related the death of
Semele, and how Zeus enclosed the infimt Dionysos in
his thigh, the Chorus continue, * And he brought him
forth when the Fates had perfected the Bull-horned
[Taurokeros] god, and crowned him with crowns of
serpents, whence the thyrsos-bearing Mainades twine
their hair aroimd their prey.' ^ We are here introduced
to Dionysos as the homed, bovine god, whose dithyramb
chanting votaries receive a bull as a prize,* and who is
identical with Zagreus Eukeraos,* the Beautifully-horned.
Thus Pentheus says to Dionysos, *You seem like a bull,
and horns seem to grow on your head. But were you
ever a wild beast ? for you look like a bull. Di. The god
accompanies us ; and now you see what you should see.'*
lu the stable Pentheus fastens up a bull, supposing he is
binding Dionysos,* and the Chorus call upon the latter to
' appear as a bull, or as a many-headed dragon,^ or a

1 Sup, III. i. 3. But Akkad is the original home of

' Vs. 100-4. the Many-headed-serpent myth, and

' Sup. in. i. 2. 80 we read in a very ancient Ak-

* Nonnos, vi. 209. kadian Hymn, * The thunderbolt of

^ Vs. 920-4. seven heads, like the huge serpent of

^ v. 618. seven heads (I bear) ; like the serpent

' This is a non- Aryan characteiift- that beats tie sea (which attacks),

tic, and reminds us of the non-Aryan the foe in the face' (Hecards of the

Indian votaries of the Naga or saored Past, iii. 128). M. Lenormant well

five- or seven-headed hooded snake, compares the Akkadian serpent with

sculptured at Sanchi and Amravati the seven-headed Indian serpent Va-

(yide Fergussoii, Tree and Serpent sonki, which was doubtless derived

Worship). The mystic Kamic snake, frrm it {Les Prem. OhilisationSf ii.

' Ruhak the great charmer,' is also 137 ; vide also his remarks in La

sometimes represented as trikephalic. Maffie, 207). The ' Lemaens turbft



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 121

flaming lion.' ^ Oppianos the Syrian, dr. a.d. 210, in his
Kynegetika^ or Poem-on-huntiog, says that Pentheus
himself was transformed into a bull, and the Bakchai into
panthers, who tore him to pieces. The Eleian women at
the festival of Dionysos used to chant a Hymn to the
god, which ran, * Dionysos ! come as a sea hero to the
holy shrine, with the Graces, rushing to the shrine with
bovine foot ; * * and then,' says Ploutarchos,* *they twice
ring " Worthy Bull." ' * And he asks whether they do it
because the god is addressed both as ox-sprung and as a
bull, for Dionysos, as he elsewhere tells us,^ was known
among the Argeioi as Bougenes the Ox-sprung. So
Olemens Alexandrinus, in his exposition of the Mysteries,
says, ' Pherephatta (Persephone) has a child, m the form
of a bull, as an idolatrous poet says, *'The bull the
dragon's father, and the father of the bull the dragon,
on a hill the herdsman's hidden ox-goad," alluding, as I
beheve, under the name of the herdsman's ox-goad, to
the reed wielded by the Bakchanals.' * Now we learn
from the Scholiast on the Argonautika of ApoUonios of
Ehodos, that Mnaseas the Grammarian of Alexandria, a
disciple of Eratosthenes, in his work on the Delphik
Oracles, called two of the mystic Kabeiroi of Samothrake
Axiokerse and Axiokersos, evidently male and female
divinities, whose names signify Worthy Homed Goddess
and Worthy Horned God.' Here, then, we have a short
and simple proof of the Semitic origin of Dionysos. The
* worthy-homed god ' of the Phoenician colony of Samo-
thrake is identical with the ' worthy bull ' of Elis and the

capitum anguia ' which, according to * V. 1017; cf. v. 1169; Horn,

the Natural Phenomena Theory, re- Hy, Eis Dionuson^ 44.

presents the many-headed changing ^ Qu. Or. xxxvi.

storm-clouda {Mythol. of the Aryan ' Of. Bergk. Poe<. Zy. (?r.iiL1299.

NatioM, ii. 48), and which appears * Peri Is. xxxv.

as merely a monster and unconnected ^ Protrept. ii. 10.

with divinity, m^y very probahly he • Of. Loheck, Aglaoph. III. v. ;

a purely AryMi concept Bunsen, Egyp($ Places iv. 446.



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122 THE GREAT DIONTSIAK MYTH.

ox-sprung divinity of Aigos, the hero not indigenous but
from the sea, i.e. from beyond it. But the bull of Elis
and Argos is Dionysos, who is therefore the Homed-god
from beyond the sea ; ^ the ox-horned lakchos of Sopho-
kles whose home is the mysterious Nysa, deep in the
Outer-world. But as we have also seen, this Homed
Stranger is in one of his phases a solar divinity,^ and as
such is Antauges the Sparkler, Chrysomitres the Gblden-
turbaned, Chrysokomes the Gtolden-haired, Chrysopes the
Golden -faced, Pyriphenges the Fire-blazing, Pyrisperos
the Fire-sowing, Pyropes liie Flame-faced. The god is
beginning to appear before, us as a fiery, tauriform being,'
representing a solar, astral, igneous, phallic, and kosmo-
gonic cult, eddying, flickering, vibrating, burning ; and
Euripides, however much he may at times have wandered
from old traditions, yet caught more than a ghmpse of
his hero when he wrote : —

SemirChor. — 16, 16, master, master, come now to our band.
Bromios, Bromios I Shake the ground holy earth. Quickly
will the roofs of Pentheus be shaken in ruins 1

Semi-Clwr. — Dionysos is beneath the roofs : worship him.

Semi-Chor. — We worship him. See those stone archi-
traves reeling around with the pillars I Bromios will shout
aloud in the chambers.

Di. — Kindle the thunderbolt like a fiery torch! Bium,
burn together the dwellings of Pentheus. *

The least investigation into the phase of Dionysos as
Taurokeros shows at once its Semitic origin * His fellow
divinity Poseidon, another non- Aryan member of the
Hellenik Pantheon, appears similarly as peculiarly con-

^ Of. Creuzer, Symbolik, part i. of Kamic solar-bull worship.

iii. 163. * Vs. 682-95.

^ Sup. II. i. 6, iL 2, Sf IV. ii. 2. ^ For its more detailed examina-

» Of. Macrob. Sat. L 21. 'Tau- tion, vide inf. IX. iii. Mr. Tyrrell

rum Tero ad solem referri multiplici, apparently does not think the matter

ratione Aegyptius cultoB ostendit.' worthy of even a passing allusion.

He then mentions various instances



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HKLIOS KARNR10S.



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 123

nected with the bull.^ And so, again, even the great
Dorik and Aryan divinity ApoUon becomes not unnatu-
rally somewhat connected with Semitic solar beings, and
consequently appears in several Semitic phases, one of
the principal of which is Kameios, the Horned-Sun.
Thus Kallimachos, after noticing that Apollon had nume-
rous names, calls him Karneios, and states that at his
festival in Libye many bulls were sacrificed to him by
the Hellenik colonists,^ thus illustrating the continued
connection between the sun and the bull.^ He also tells
how Apollon constructed an altar with goats' horns ;
' with horns he laid the foundations, he built the altar
fix)m horns, and horns as walls he placed under it
around.' * No sailor, he says,* ever passed the sacred isle
of Asterie,^ afterwards called Ortygia, and finally Delos,
without stopping to be beaten before the altar of Apollon,
a penance at once recalling Oriental modes of invoking
and propitiating stem and ruthless deities ; ^ and which,
while exactly corresponding with the Diamastigesis or
severe scourging inflicted before the altar of his sister
goddess Artemis Orthia, herself another instance of a
Semitic pha^ having been fastened upon an Aryan divi-
nity,^ is peculiarly opposed to the innocent cult of the
bright Aryan sim-god. And how came this phase of
Kameios, the Horned-sun, among the Dorians of the
Pelofk^nnesos ? Observe the answer. * We have as yet,'
says K. O. Miiller in his great work, * omitted the men-
tion of two national festivals celebrated at Amyclae by
the Spartans in honour of the chief deity of this race,
viz., the Hyacinthia and the Carnea, from a belief that

* Of. Poseidon, xxiv. bovine Minotaxipos was called Aste-
^ Hynmj Eis Apol. 79. rios, the Starry, for the explanation
' Cf. Virg. Aen, iii. 110. of which occult epithet, vide in/, EX.

* Hymrij Eis Apol. 62. iii. Taurokeros,

* Mynm, Eis Dd, 316. ^ Of. Herod, ii. 61.

^ The name contains a remarkable ^ Of. Mythol, of the Ajyan No-
Phoenician connection. Thus the tions, ii. 144 ; vide inf, VI. 1. 1.



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124 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

they do not properly belong to Apollo^' that is, that they
are Semitic grafts upon an Aryan stock. * The worship of
the Carnean Apollo in which both were included, was
derived from Thebes,^ that is, the Horned Sun-god came,
as we should have anticipated, from the place which, as
our poet tells us, first among Hellenik cities received the
cult of Dionysos Taurokeros. Thus ApoUon is called
Dikeros, the Two-homed ; ^ and Kameios is a male sun-
god Ashtar Karnaim,* corresponding to the ancient Syrian
lunar goddess Ashtareth Karnaim,* Astarte the Two-
homed. Speaking of the ruins of Kenath in Argob,' the
Eev. J. L. Porter says, * A colossal head of Ashtaroth,
sadly broken, lies before a little temple, of which pro-
bably it was once the chief idol. The crescent moon
which gave the goddess the name Carnaim is on her
brow.'^ Again, the unanthropomorphic character of a
homed god is a circumstance in itself almost negativing
ah Hellenik origin,^ for, as I have remarked elsewhere,
** Greek art and Greek mythology are essentially anthropo-
morphic with respect to their divinities.^' The Greek mind
accepts' the idea of monsters, numerous and horrible, but
never forgets that they are monsters ; to the Hamitic mind
monsters are often gods.' ^ The instance of the crescent
moon, however, a phenomenon necessarily fiamiliar alike
to Semite and Aryan, might possibly have caused an
exception to this rule, and therefore the cow-homeS lo,
whose story, moreover, is illustrated with peculiar felicity
by the Natural Phenomena Theory, and who, it should
be remembered, is not a divinity, is, in the abstract, not
necessarily related toTJasi or Ashtareth. But this excep-

' Doric Racej i. 373. below, and also inf. VII. ii. His

^ Orpkik Hymny xxxiv. 25. earliest representations were probably

' Of. Moabite Stone, 17. entirely anthropomorphic.

* Of. Oen, xiv. 6. ® Poseidon^ xxxiv. ; vide m/l Vll.

^ Of. 1 Kingsy iv. 13. ii. I know of no real exception to

^ Oiant Cities of Bashan, 12^ 43. this principle.

^ The instance of Pan is considered



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 125



toon, even admitting it to be one, only applies to a par-
ticular lunar myth ; ^ male homed solar gods are certainly
unknown to Hellenik Aryan mythology.

The Bull-homed god, when brought forth, is ' crowned
with crowns of serpents,' which also often appear on Vases
and elsewhere in the snakebound locks of the Batchai.^
The wide field of Ophiolatry, or the 'worship of serpents
devoid of wisdom,' will be subsequently noticed ;* suffice
it to observe here that two of the principal aspects of the
Serpent in religious-mythology are (1) a deadly venomous
beast, a creatiu"e hateful and hostile to man and to good
divinities, such as the Vedic Ahi, the choking-snake ; the
Azidah^a, or biting snake of the Persians; and the
Giant Apap, or great serpent of 'Egypt; and (2) a creature

other handy an early historic inter-
course between Earn and Hellenik
regions is being revealed by modem
investigation (vide as an instance
' the brilliant red terra-cotta hippo-
potamus found at a depth of 23
feet ' by Dr. Schliemann at Hissarlik,
Troy and its Remams, 228). It is
also to be observed that in Kam we
meet witii a divinity * loh, or Pioh,
the god of the moon, figured with a
crescentonhishead* (Murray, Manual
of Mythology^ 342). Bunsen simi-
larly mentions ' a deity called after
the moon, Aah, Copt. Ooh, loh'
(Egype$ Hace, i. 407). The Eamic,
Pluygian, and Kaldean moon-divini-
ties were male, but the two former
were also androgvnous. Sex, there-
fore, j^resents little difficulty in iden-
tification. Sir Ghurdner Wilkinson
remarks that the name lo 'is evi-
dently connected with Ehe^ the
"Cow" of the Egyptians * (Rawlin-
son, Herodotus, li. 62). Apparent
exceptions to the anthropomorphic
canon respecting Hellenik religious-
mythology will, on examination, only
tend to illustrate and confirm it

« Of. V. 698.

« Wis, xi. 16.

< Inf, Vni. ii. Serpent.



^ As to 16, whose story is of hiffh
antiquity once Homeros constancy
caUs Hermes Argeiphontes, it is to
be observed that she was connected
with the Outer-world generally, and
with Kam in particuutr at a very
eariy period. Her son Epaphoe
{cL the Phoenidan Pappa, Paphos,
and the Egyptian Apepi or Apap, the
Great Serpent The Bull-homed god
18 serpent-crowned, Eur. Bdk, 100)
m mythic history is discovered by
lo in Syria, becomes king of Egypt,
and marries Memphis, daughter of
Neiloe (cf. Ais. Prom, Des,), It has
been doubted whether lo and Dicmy-
806 appeared on the Hellenik stage
•8 homed, or whether they were
merely supposed to be so, but on the
whole I think that horns were actually
represented (vide Elmsley in Bakchaiy
T. 920. Speakinff of the stage
Dionysoe he remarks, 'Qui similem
loni tribuerat Aeschylus in Prome-
theo.* lo says, * Forthwith mv form
and senses were distorted, and I be-
came homed as ye see,' ih-om, Des.
691-1), as on the Vases (British
Museum, Nos. 680, a. 1423). It is
ftenerally »aid that the connection
between lo and Kam ' seems to be
an invention of later times,* but
there is no proof of this ; and, on the



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126 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

friendly to man, connected with life, love and heat, such
as the ,E^ptian serpent of good, the divine serpent of
Phoenicia, the healing serpent of Moses, symbol of the
All-healer, the serpent of the Hellenik goddess Hygieia,
the personification of health, the twining serpents of the
kerukeion (caduceus) of Hermes, and the harmless
denizens of the Epidaurian temple of Asklepios, 'the
blameless physician,' and son of ApoUon, whose staff is
serpent-twined, as are those of the Boiotik Trophonios
and Herkyna.^ * The sun-god, as the giver of life, was
represented under the type of a serpent,'* and serpents
were prominent features in the Dionysiak processions,* and
in the cult of the horned Sabazios, the Phrygian phase of
Dionysos. * Tree and serpent worship,' again, so widely
spread, and so much discussed, is undoubtedly, to a great
extent, phallic in nature.* The sun, the bull, and the
serpent in his friendly aspect, are all vivifying and Kfe-
producing, and therefore the serpent of life is fitly twined
around the horns of the lauriform sun-god, whose very
solar phase even is but an expression of his deeper and
wider life-power and vital heat, as the spirit of the
breathing and animated universe. *It is not, perhaps,
altogether clear,' remarks Canon Eawlinson, * why the
serpent has been so frequently regarded as an emblem of
life. Some say, because serpents are long-lived ; others,
because the animal readily forms a circle, and a. circle
was the emblem of eternity. But, whatever the reason,
the fact cannot be doubted.' * * The Zulus,' says Dr.
Tylor, * work out in the fullest way the idea of the dead
becoming snakes, a creature whose change of skin has so
often been associated with the thought of resurrection and
immortality.'* And similarly, we read in a curious passage

' Paus. X. 39. * Inf. Vni. ii. Serpent,

» Theatre of the Oreeks, 18. * Ancimt Moru, i. 122, note,

' Inf, VI. 1. 1. « Primitive Culture, ii. 7.



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 127

of Sanchouniatlion, ^ Taautos, and in common with him
the Phoenicians and Egyptians, attributed divinity to the
nature of the dragon and of snakes ; for he esteemed the
animal the most spiritual of all Uving things, and of a
fiery nature, because it shows an unsurpassed quickness
of motion through its spirit, without feet and hands, or
any other external members, by means of which other
living things effect their movements. And it is also
exceedingly long-lived, and not only retains its youth by
putting off old age, but also it is wont to receive a great
increase of strength, and when it has fulfilled its appor-
tioned span of life it is dissolved into itself, as in the
sacred books likewise Taautos himself has recorded.'^
* And be ye crowned, as ye rave with wreaths of oak or
pine, and adorn your garments of spotted faunnskins with
fleeces of white haired curls [or 'sheep,' according to
another reading], and purify yourselves with the insulting
wands ; immediately the whole earth will join the choric
dance.' ^ As the infant Dionysos was snake-crowned, so
the Bakchai are to be wreath-crowned. Dionysos is said
to have invented buying and selling, the diadem or royal
crown, and the triumph.* All three inventions point to
the East; buying and selling reminds us of the com-
mercial Phoenicians ; while the diadem and the trimnph
speak of the ancient monarchies of the Nile and
Euphrates, and of those oriental nations who * put beau-
tiful crowns upon their heads.' ^ There must have been
some reason why Dionysos was traditionally credited with
such inventions, and if, as the combined force of the
evidence shows was the case, his cult was imported from
localities where they were in use, the solution is at once
obtained. The connection between the pine and Dionysos

* Sanch. ii. 12 ; vide mf, VHI. ii. ' Plinius, vii. 67.

Dragon, Serpent. * Ezek, xxiii. 42.

« Vs. 109-14



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128 THE GREAT WONYSIAK MYTH.

has been already noticed.^ The spotted faun-skins are to
be still fiirther variegated by being ornamented with little
tufts of wool, a favourite style of adornment among the
ancients, and which has been well compared with the
spots of ermine now similarly used.^ The fleece of wool,
pokoSy according to Clemens Alexandrinus, was one of the
symbols in the Dionysiak Mysteries.^ The 'insulting
wands' are the narthex stalks,* and the purification which
they afford is one apparently connected with fire, since,
as before noticed, Prometheus was said to have stolen
the sacred fire from heaven in a narthex stem ; they are
styled insulting probably with a double reference (1) to



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