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92 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

consisting of the daughters of Danaos the Egyptian,
exclaim, *But if not [i.e. if they did not escape from
their persecutors], a blackened sunburnt race^ to Zagreus*
the many-guest-receiving Zeus of the dead we will go.' •
The epithet Zagreus has been interpreted * Mighty
Hunter,' as if from za, intensive, and agreus the hunter,
an epithet of ApoUon, Pan, and several other divinities ;
but from the context the poet seems to have understood
it as derived from zogreo^ to take alive, He-that-makes-
numerous-captives, Le. the Dead, called euphemistically
the Majority.* We have already, in a surviving Une of
the Epigonoiy^ caught a glimpse of ' Zagreus highest of
all gods,' the chthonian Dionysos, and shall have occasion
again to refer to him when speaking of some special
phases of the god.^

In the Hepta epi Thebas the messenger tells Eteokles
that Hippomedon * raves (^ax^a) for fight like a Thyiad,' ^
i.e. a Eager, a term technically applied to a Bakchante.^
Such are the slight Dionysiak allusions in the extant Plays
of Aischylos ; and if we knew nothing further about his
writings, and placed confidence in that broken reed the
* argument from silence,' we should undoubtedly conclude
that Dionysos was a divinity about whose legendary
history Aischylos was either comparatively ignorant or
indifierent.

Subsection 11. — The Lykourgeia.

But it would have been strange if the citizen of
Eleusis, whose father, moreover, was personally connected
with the cult of Demeter, the great goddess and associate

' Vide inf. VIII. i. Aithiopais. i. Zoffreus.
' This reading has been truly * Sup. II. i. 7.

caUed * a splendid emendation/ • Ir^. IX. vi.

• Iket. 144 et seq, ; cf. Frag, ccxlii ' V. 493 ; cf. Eur. TVot. 600.
noticed inf. subsec. 3. « Cf. Vir. Aen. iv. 802.

* Cf. Ban. xii. 2; vide inf VUI.



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 93

of Dionysos, and who himself also is said to have been
initiated into the mysteries of the goddess which he was
accused of having divulged,^ had not treated the Dionysiak
Cycle more copiously than appears from his surviving
Plays; and accordingly we find that the history of
Dionysos was one of his favourite themes. For, not to
take into account the numerous Dionysiak allusions which
many of the lost Plays must have doubtless contained, both
the great opponents of the god, Lykourgos and Pentheus,
were honoured by the Poet with trilc^es. The trilogy
forming the Lyhourgeia consisted of the Edono% the
BassarideSj and the Neamskoi^ with the Lykourgos as a
satyric afterpiece, the whole forming a tetralogy. The
Edonoi appears to have contained an accoimt of the
arrival of Dionysos in Thrake, the victory of Lykourgos
over his train, and the captivity of the god. Strabo, in
his remarks on the Kouretes,^ has preserved three Frag-
ments of the Play. The first alludes to ' the revered Kotys,
who dwells among the Edonoi.' The Thrakian Kotys,
*dark-veird Cotytto, to whom the secret flame of mid-
night torches bums,'^ and whose worship was introduced
at Athenai and Korinthos in comparatively late times,
like the Attik Konisalos,* and similar concepts, represents
the life-vigour of Dionysos Dendrites, Karpios, or Phleon,
running wild in the form of personal licentiousness, a still
further development of the coarse idea of Priapos.^ The
second Fragment introduces the Bakchai with their bom-
hyhes or booming flutes, and hollow bronze-bound kettle-
drums, fit instruments for the cult of Dionysos Bromios ;
and the third graphically describes their effect : — * The
burst of music is poured forth,^ terror-striking sounds

' Cf. Aristoph. Bat. 886 ; Aristot * Of. Aristoph. Lysist. 982.

Bth, iii. * Of. Mytlu^.. of the Afyan Na-

' Strabo, x. 3. tions. ii. 318.

/ Vide m/. VIII. i. Lampter. « ^AXaXaf«. Of. VIII. i. Mdevs,
yyhelios.



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94 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

imitating the bellowing of bulls blare in concert fix)m
unseen recesses, and the echo of the drum is bome along
like terrific subterranean thunder/ In this very Aischy-
lian passage the Chorus are represented as mimicking the
bellowing of bulls, and it would seem that at times the
Bakchik votaries imitated bulls in their attire also,^ like
the Bullards or Bull-baiters of modem times.* The cult
of Dionysos Tauroker6s appears persistently throughout
the investigation.

Another Fragment alludes to the 'Edonianfeiun-skins,*
the peculiar garb of the Bakchai. It will be remembered
that an important part of the mystic Orphik dress of the
votary of the kosmogonic Dionjrsos was 'the all-vari^ated
skin of a wild faun much spotted, a representation of the
wondrously-wrought stars and of the vault of heaven/*
With this agrees the statement of Diodoros that Dionysos
is represented as clothed in a faun-skin on account of the
stars.* Strabo observes that the Orphik ceremonies had
their origin among the Thrakians, and, on the strength of
their resemblance to the Phrygian ritual, conjectures that
the Phrygians were a Thrakian colony, and adds, ' From
the song, the rhythm, and the instruments, all Thrakian
music is supposed to be Asiatic.'* TheEdonian worship,
says Niebuhr, ' is in a certain sense Thrakian, especially
in regard to women, and existed by the side of the
Phrygian.'* This common character necessitates a common
origin. Phrygians and Thrakians alike belonged to the
Aryan femily of nations ; but their cult is by no means
purely Aryan, each of them having been brought into
contact with both the Turanian and Semitic elements.
Nor can the conjecture of Strabo that the settlement of

» Of. Eur. Bak. 022, « Sup. U. iil 3.

' Vide an interestiiig aocoimt of * Diod. i. 11.

the BuUardfl of Stamford with their » Of. Eur. Bak. 1168, ' O Asi-

' uncouth and antic dresses * in Timbs' atic BakchaL'

Ahheys, CastUsy and Ancient Halls of * Lectures on Ethnography^ i. 288.
England and Wales, i. 380 et seq.



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THE DIONYSOS OP THE ATTIK TBAGEDIANS. 95

the Phrygians was the result of an emigration from West
to East be allowed ; but, on the contrary, the Bryges or
Phryges who inhabited Thrake and bordered . on Make-
donia, ' must be regarded as colonists of the Phrygians,
the stream of Indo-European colonisation having set
westward from Armenia into Phrygia, and from Phrygia
across the straits into Europe/^

The Bassarides appears to have contained an account
of the escape of Dionysos and his companions from their
bonds, the madness of Lykourgos, and his slaughter of
his son Dryas. The Bassarides themselves are the Chorus
of Bakchai, dressed in fox-skin tunics. Bassara^ a
Thrakian word, but Semitic in origin, is equivalent to the
Hellenik cUopex, fox. The Play also perhaps contained
the punishment of Lykourgps. According to Homeros,
the gods took away hisjire ;2 according to Sophokles, he
was imprisoned alive^ the rocks, where * the dreadftil
strength of madness is ever ebbing away.' He discovered
that ' in his madness he had touched a god with jeering
words, for he would have put a stop to the inspired
women and the flame of Euios, and he angered the lay-
living Muses.'* The Neaniskoi or Youths, forms the
third Play of the trilogy, and seems to have recounted
the founding of the cult of Lykourgos in connection with
that of Dionysos,* and perhaps the fate of the former.
The Neaniskoi or Chorus of Youths probably represented
the Mystics, or those initiated in the rites of the god,^ a
cyclic Dionysiak Chorus such as in early historic times
danced around the altar of Zeus to the sound of Phrygian
flutes and orgiastic music.^ Ploutarchos has preserved a
Fragment apparently chanted by the Chorus in celebration
of the joint rites of Dionysos and Lykourgos, * It is fitting

» Rawlinson, Herodotus, iv. 57, ^ Of. Eur. Bhesos, 972 ; Strabo,
note, X. 3.

* Sup. n. i. 1. 5 of^ Aristoph. Bat. 318 et seq.

» Antig, 960 «< •«?. « Of. Theatre of the Greeks, 36.



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96 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

that the mixt-soundmg dithyramb figuniliar to Dionysos
should accompany.'^

Subsection HI. — Other Dionysiak AUusiona in the
Apospasmatia.

In the Kabeiroi^ almost every line of which is lost,
and which formed one in the trilogy of the lasoneia^
the poet appears, from a passage in Athenaios, to have
recoimted the revelry of the Argonautai in Lemnos,^
where, according to the myth, they arrived on their out-
ward voyage shortly after the Lemnian women had mur-
dered the males on the island.* Orgies seem to have
been described as having been performed in honour of
Dionysos and the Kabeiroi. The same episode was
treated in the Lemniai of Sophokles, and the loss of both
Plays is much to be r^etted, as they would certainly
have afforded important illustration of the Semitic cha-
racter of Dionysos the associate of the Kabeiroi, most
mysterious personages of undoubted Semitic extraction,*
and appropriately found as the presiding daemons of
Lemnos, an isle sacred to the Semitic Hephaistos,^ and a
Phoenician colony.

The story of Pentheus was treated by the Poet in a
trilogy, consisting of the Semele^ Pentlieus^ and Xantriai
or * wool-carders.'^ Of these Plays almost every line has
perished, but in the latter^ ' the goddess Lussa was intro-
duced stimulating the Bacchae, and creating in them
spasmodic excitement from head to foot.'^ Lussa, Attik
Lutta, is a personification of phrensy.^ Another Play,
Dionysou Trophoi^ ' the nurses of Dionysos,' of which

' Ahrens, Aischylos, Frag, xxiii. * Cf. Ovid, Metam. iv. 84.

* Athen. x. 7. ' Ft-ag. i.

5 Of. Herod, iv. 145. ^ 9^^^, Hist, of Greece, i. 36,

* Inf. X. i. n4}te.

* Of. Poseidon, xiv. » Of. Eur. Herak, Mai, 823.



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THE DIONYSOS OP THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 97

some ten words have been preserved, recounted the youth
and early nurturing of the god,^ The nymphs of Dodona,
to whom he was entrusted by Zeus, were seven in
number. Ambrosia, Koronis, Eudora, Dione, Aisyle,
Polyxo, and Phyto.^ They were persecuted by Here and
the impious Lykourgos, and were placed by Zeus among
the stars, where they appear as the Hyades, or Eainy-
ones,* the seven stars in the horns of Taurus.

Ora micant Tauri septem radiantia flammis,

Navita quas Hyadas Graius ab imbre vocat,
Part Bacchum nutrisse putat/

This incidental circumstance curiously illustrates the
intimate connection between that animal and Dionysos,
who is himself called Hyes, and his mother Semele Hye,
in their phase of the Earth-life, as connected with fertilis-
ing moisture.^ Tzetzes, in his Commentary on Lykophron,®
quotes the line, * Father Theoinos, yoker of the Mainades/
fix)m some unknown play of the poet. Another passage,^
refers to him as *Bakcheios the prophet,' and another
from the Sisyphos Drapetes^ the Fugitive, speaks of
'Zagreus who receives many guests ; '^ and the foregoing
compiise all the surviving allusions of Aischylos to the
god and his cult. This is a slight residuum, but still we
may truly say, * Egregie Aeschylus Bacchi laudem deck-
ravit,' since no less than eight or nine of his Plays were
devoted to Dionysiak subjects. As the three great Attik
Tragedians give a most harmonious and closely connected
account of the god, I shall notice the combined Eikon
which they present, after having referred to the Dionysiak
allusions of Sophokles and Euripides.

' Of. Eur. Kyk. 4 ; 8up. H. i. obseired by ' ancient mariners.' Of.

^ Pherekjdes, Fraas. xlvi. Ixxiv. ; Eur. Ion, 1156.
SchoL in Horn. IL xviii. 486 ; * Ovid, Fast. v. 166-7.

ApoUod. m. iv. 3; Hygin. Poet. * Wide inf. VUI. i. 2Iije$. Phlias.

^4^on. ii. 21. • V. 1247.

» Cf. Hor. Car. I. iii. 14, ' Tristes ' Apud Macrob. Skd. i. 18.

%ada8;' Vir. Aen. i. 744, iii. 616, ® Froff. ccxliL edit. Ahrens.

* PluTias Hyades.' They were much



H



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98 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTBL



SECTION II.
THE DIONTSOS OF SOPHOKLES.

Subsection I. — Dionysos and Nysa.

In a fragment of the Triptolemos quoted by Strabo,
we read — ^'I beheld the famed Nysa, the abode of
Bakchik fiiry, which the ox-homed lakchos inhabits as
his best beloved retreat ; where no bird screams.'^ The
speaker in this passage is probably Triptolemos himself,
who, according to the myth, was carried over the earth in
a winged chariot, the gift of his patroness Demeter, and
from which he distributed seeds of wheat to mankind.*
Prom this it is probable that the Nysa referred to in the
passage was not one of the places of that name within
Hellenik or neighbouring r^ons,® as the Euboian Nysa
alluded to in the invocation to the god in the Andgone^
or the Thrakian Nysa of Lykourgos.* Later writers, such
as IHodoros, give foil accounts of Nysas in India, Arabia,
and elsewhere; but this passage is peculiarly important as
showing that Dionysos Bouker6s, the Ox-homed lakchos,
had in early tradition a distant and favourite abode,
the renowned Nysa, evidently his original home and the
trae starting-point of his cult, deep in the Outer- world
and as un-Hellenik as the ox-homed god himself.

Among the numerous writers who treated of Dionysos
and the legendary history of Thebai, was the celebrated
Antimachos, an epic and elegiac poet of Elaros,^ a place
already noticed as possessing a celebrated temple and
oracle of Apollon/ Antimachos, who lived at the time
of the Peloponnesian war, was the author of the Thebais^

> strabo, XIV. i. 7. * //. vi. 133.

« Of. ib. I. u. 20. ^ Of. Ovid, Trist. I. vi. 1.

* Of. Ear. Bak. 666. ^ g^j,^ n. iii. 2.

* Vide subaec. ii.



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 99

a great epic poem which we may presume was of high
merit, as the Alexandrian grammarians assigned to him
the second place among epic writers. He, together with
some other of the poets, held that Lykourgos was not
king of any part of Thrake, but of Arabia, and that
Nysa accordingly was in Arabia.^ His opinion about
Lycouigos is untenable, but as r^ards Nysa he is in
p^ect agreement with Sophokles. Where Dionysos is
there is always a Nysa,^ and hence, if he came into Hellas
from the Outer-world, the original Nysa was there also.'

Subsection IL — Dionysos and Tliebat.

In the Oidipous Tyrannos the Chorus invoke the god
aa follows : — ' Chrysomitres [the Golden-mitred], too, I
call, sumamed of this our land, the wine-faced Bakchos
Euios, companion of the Mainades,* flaming with beaming
fir-torcL'* There is a double Oriental reference in the
epithet Chrysomitres : (1), an allusion to the Eastern
head-dress, the turban ;* and (2), as being a solar epithet,
like Chrysokomes,^ and Chrysopes,® and referring to the
golden- haired, faced, or crowned Sun or Mithra.* It will
next be observed that the poet represents the Theban
Chorus, supposed to be speaking in the time of Oidipous,
that is, in the fourth generation from Kadmos, as asserting
that the god had already received the name of Bakchos
Euios atThebai. It has been said that the epithet Bakchos
' does not occur till after the time of Herodotos,' whose
death has been placed as late as about B.C. 407. It
appears, however, more probable that the historian died
about B.C. 423,^^ and he himself, as well as Aischylos,^^

' Of. IXod. Sik. iii 65. « Of. Herod, i. 195.

* Of. Bwp. n. i. 1, 5. ' Heeiod, Theog. 947.
» Vide n^. Vin. i. i^«o». « g^r. Bdk. 563.

* Of. %>. sec, i. 3, ' Yoker-of-tlie- » Inf. XII. iv.

Mwnadee.' ^^ Of. Rawlinson, Herodotus, i. 26.

* Oid. Tyr, 209-14. " Frag, ccccii.

H 2



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100 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

speaks of Dionysos as Bakcheios,^ the Exciter-tophrensy,*
while the name Baccheus occurs in the Antigone^ which
was brought out at least as early as B.C. 440, andBakchos
in the passage before us. The obvious inference is that
this whole class of epithets originated at a much earlier
date.^ The god is further addressed as * flaming with
beaming fir-torch.' ^ Here we have an igneous cult, which
also includes the solar and astral phases. The kosmogonic,
igneous divinity is lord equally of day and night, at once
Pyropos the Fiery-faced, and Chrysokomes the Golden-
tressed, T^ampter the Torch-bearer, and Nyktelios the
Nightly-one. The flaming resinous fir-torches, moreover,
symbolise the bright lights of heaven, and so in the
Antigone Ihe god is addressed by a double reference, as
* chorus-leader of the fire-breathing stars.' ^ The torch-
bearing, faun-skin-girt worshipper thus represented the
starry vault by a two-fold symbolism, and Dionysos
bommes a fit companion for Kotytto.

Connected with the fir- or pine-torch of Dionysos is
the mystic pine-cone which, according to a passage in
the Orphik Poems,^ was among the symbols used in the
Bakchik mysteries. It was also carried at the end of the
Thyrsos or budding-rod,^ itself the emblem of vitality,
as a symbol of fruitfulness and productive power ; ^^ and,
according to Porphyrios,^^ was an emblem of the Sun, Hhe
great vivifying and procreative power in nature ; ' ^^ and
thus is most appropriately connected with Dionysos in his
phase a^ Dendrites and Karpios, and also in his solar
aspects, as it is with the cone-shaped, sacred stx)nes of

1 Herod, iv. 79. Protrept. ii.

* Of. ib. 108. ^ Of. Eur. Bak. 146.

» V. 1122. » Vide inf. VIU. iL Wand,

* Vide inf. IX. i. *° Of. Bunsen, Sfft^s Hace, iv.
» Of. Eur. ArcheladBj Frag. iii. ; 233.

Arifltoph. Bat. 340 et seq. " Euseb. Euan. Apod. iii. 7.

* Antig. 1146. " PoseidoUj xxxvi.
^ Frag. XTii.; apud Olem. Alex.



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. 101

Phoenicia, and the cone in the hand of the hierakephalic
Assyrian Genius and other figures at Nimrfld and Khors-
abad.^ There is also a connection between the fir-cone
and Dionysos Theoinos, as the turpentine yielded by the
fir was one of the seasonings mixed by the ancients with
wine, a practice which still prevails in the interior of
Hellas. In the Trachiniai we meet with the expression,
'Bakchik Thebai.'* The ' Bakchik vine ' is also alluded
to,* and the exciting ivy, which ' hurries one along like
a Bakchik contest.'* Again, in the (Hdipoiis Tyrannos
reference is made to the * Bakcheian god dwelUng on the
mountain heights,' and to * the Helikonian nymphs with
whom he chiefly sports,'^ in his phase as Dionysos Poly-
parthenos,* a passage which connects one of his favourite
abodes with the vicinity of Thebai But the most remark-
able Dionysiak allusion in Sophokles is the beautiful
invocation of the Chorus in the Antigone^ which I venture
to translate : —

O Thou of many-a-name, who aye hast been
The glory of the fidr Kadmeian Queen,

Son of loud- thundering Zeus, whose sway
Renowned Italia ®

And Eleosinian vales Demeter's shrine obey !
O Bakcheus, who at Thebes dost dwell,
Thebes, mother-city of each Bakchanal :
Where the Ismenos flows with gentle tone.
Where once the savage dragon's teeth were sown •

Above the double-crested mount *
The smoke and flame beheld thee as they rose,*®

Where the Korykian Nymphs at the Kastalian fount
Thy votaries repose.

1 Of. Rawlinflon, Ancient Mans, ' Vs. 1115-54.

ii. 9, 29 ; Lenormant, Ancient Hist, * Of. ffom. Hymn, Eis Dionuson,

€ff the East, ii. 229 et sej, * Of. * The two-topt mount divine/

* V. 510. Milton. From An Epitaph, an un-

* V. 706. published poem discovered by Pro-

* V. 218. lessor Morley.

* Oid. Tyr, 1105 et seq. *o Of. Eur. Ion, 1125.

* Vide inf, VIU. L Ounaitnanfi^,



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102 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

The Nysian hills,* with ivy covered o'er,
The many-clustering vines on the green shore.
Behold thy progress to thy Theban shrine,
Amid immortal words of Evoe divine 1
For Thebes thou honourest
Of cities most and best,
With thy mother who, mid lightning and mid thunders
passed to rest.*
And now, since 'neath the plague thy seat
Is perishing, with healing feet

Swift to our succour flee,'
From the Pamassan slopes * or o'er the sounding sea.*
leader of the stars that breathe and bum,*
Lord of the voices of the night,^ return ;
OflFspring of Zeus 1 reveal again
Thy glory with thy Naxian train,*
Who all night long with phrensied spirit sing
And dance in honour of their Bakchik king.*

This passage contains in itself almost all the principal
features in the character of the god. His cult has long
been estabUshed in the isles of the Aigaion ; and speeding
westward like the beacon-light that revealed the fall of
Troia to the watchman at Mykenai, it has leaped the
narrow stiaight of the Euripos, and fixed its seat at

^ Nysa in Eubma ; cf. Thy en Sik. echo in the celebrated Seven Ghttes

Frag. yii. of Thebaic each dedicated to aplanet.

^ Of. Pindar, Olymp. il 38 ; Eur. Of. NonnoB, y, &d et $eq.\ Biinsen,

Hippd. 558. Egypes Fiace^ iv. 252 ; Gladstone,

' As ^giates the Healer, and Juv, M%m, 123, 315.

Soter the SaTiour. ^ As Nyktelios the Nightly-one,

^ Of. Eur. Iph, m 7Vm. 1243; and Nvktipolos the Nisht-wander-

lan, 716 ; Aristoph. Neph, 603. ing ; cl Eur. Ian, 718, 1049 ; Kr«ite$j

* * The wild Euiipus ; * cf. Ais, ^rag, ii.

Ag, 283. « Of. wf. II. i. 3. The neigh-

^ The fieiy kosmogonic Dion^nsos bouring islands of Keos, Seriphos,
\iy day gleaming horn the solar eye as Oliaros, Thera, Anaphe, and Amor-
Pyropos or Ohryeopes, by night be- gos, were all known Phoenician
comes the Ohoragos of the ' starry colonies. Vide Dr. W. Smith's Anr
quire,' mysticdly symbolised by the cient Atlas, map iz.
torches, though these had also • Lit. — ' their lord lakchos.' The
other significations. Thb astral cult cult of the tauriform Dionysos or ' Ox-
breathes the true spirit of the Semitic horned lakchoe ' (sup. subsec. i.), is
East, and finds a remarkable Western thus positively connected with Naxos.



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THE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS. lOS

Thebai, his best beloved abode, the ' metropolis ' of the
Bakchai. But it has also made wide progress thence in
other parts of continental Hellas. He sports with the
Nymphs of Hehkon and Kastalia, rules at Delphoi en-
throned by the side of ApoUon, and, passing southward,
surmounts the rugged range of Kithairon, and descends
into the Thriasian plain to become the associate of
Demeter in the vale of Eleusis ; thence eastward into
Attika, and westward to Korinthos and Sikyon, and so to
the r^ons of Magna Graeda beyond.

The jolly god in triumph comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums.

In the Antigone, the Chorus propose to approach the
temples of the gods with dances that shall last all night
long, and exclaim, ' Let Bakcheios, shaker of Thebai,
lead off'^ the dance. These are the nightly Naxian
dances ; ani I shall next refer to the connection between
Dionysos and rnotion.*



SECTION III.
THE DIONYSOS OP EUBIPIDBS.

Subsection 7. — Dionysos and the Dance.

In speaking of Dionysos and the Dance, I shall notice
(1) the dance of Bakchik votaries, either simply joyous,
or furious and orgiastic ; and (2) the universal mystic
nature-dance, as connected with the kosmogonic divinity.
The dance of the Eumenides is spoken of as being ' joy-
less,'* literally without-Bakchik-fire ;* but the dances of
Dionysos are either joyous, such as that in which the

' V. 153. » OreBt. 819.

» Inf. sea iii. I. * Cf. Berak, Mm, 891.



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104 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

Theban maidens are represented as celebrating the birth
of the god,^ or furiously orgiastic, as those of the Mainades
or Eavers.^ Speaking merely of the joyous dance, the
poet says : — ' His mother wedded to Zeus bore Bromios,
whom the twisted ivy instantly twining round whilst yet
an infant, blessed and covered with verdant shading
branches, a subject of Bakchik choral dance for Theban
virgins and inspired women.'* And, again, 'Why, O
Ar6s, art thou hostile to the festivals of Bromios? Thou
dost not in the beautiful circhng dance of youthful maids,
with flowing locks, on the breath of the flute, sing the
song in which are dance-stimulating delights.'* But mere
mirth easily becomes fast and fmious, and then the joyous
dance deepens into the orgiastic or raving dance, such as
is constantly referred to in the Bakchaiy the wild, circular
whirling of the thyrsos-maddened and faun-skin-clad
votary,*^ the phrensied Naxian cult, in which the god is
the 'leader of the revel. '^ Dionysos, hke Poseidon
Ennosigaios, is EleUchth6n, the Earth-shaker,^ and the
epithet appears to include among its meanings the idea
of the ground being shaken by, or moving in concert
with, the oi^astic dancers.® And the further this dancing



Online LibraryRobert BrownThe great Dionysiak myth → online text (page 9 of 38)