By Richard Seaford
Covering quite a lot of matters which were neglected some time past, together with secret, cult and philosophy, Richard Seaford explores Dionysos – probably the most studied figures of the traditional Greek gods.
Popularly referred to as the god of wine and frenzied abandon, and an influential determine for theatre the place drama originated as a part of the cult of Dionysos, Seaford is going past the mundane and ordinary to discover the background and impression of this god as by no means before.
As a quantity within the well known Gods and Heroes sequence, this can be an indispensible creation to the topic, and a very good reference aspect for higher-level study.
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Additional info for Dionysos (Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World)
Early) vase-painting in which Dionysos plays a central role. On the ‘François Vase’ Kleitias depicted not only the rustic Dionysos at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis (Chapter 2) but also the return of Hephaistos, in a little procession that consists of ithyphallic COMMUNALITY 31 satyrs, nymphs, and Hephaistos on an ithyphallic mule, and is led by Dionysos towards the Olympian deities. One of the satyrs carries a full wineskin on his back and another plays pipes. This seems to embody the power of Dionysos and his wine to integrate into a single group (on Olympos) vital but potentially marginalised or centrifugal people such as rustics and craftsmen: social integration is expressed in the (ritual) processional integration of space.
There is a significant difference between on the one hand unregulated and disreputable cults such as those of Sabazios and Isodaite¯s and on the other those that, whatever their aetiological myth or early history, in the historical period were ofﬁcial cults of the polis. g. by Pentheus) to seduce and corrupt women, but Dionysos is an Olympian and a central god of the polis. The centrifugal tendency of maenadism is incorporated into the polis and, by becoming a temporary and merely symbolic reversal of the structure of the polis, may even reinforce its coherence.
To be sure, given his pervasive power, his activity was not conﬁned to the vineyard. But just as the production of food is a precondition for all other human activities, so there is a sense in which Dionysos’ association with ‘nature’ is basic to the various activities to be described in this book, and so that is where we start. WINE In the thirteenth century BC economic records were written in Greek on tablets in a script known as Linear B. On three of these tablets, from Pylos in the western Peloponnese and from Chania in Crete, the name Dionysos appears for the ﬁrst time, in the Chania tablet along with the name of Zeus.