Online Encyclopedia

AGRIONIA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 424 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AGRIONIA, an ancient Greek festival, which was celebrated annually at Orchomenus in Boeotia and elsewhere, in honour of Dionysus Agrionius, by women and priests at night. The women, after playfully pretending for some time to search for the god, desisted, saying that he had hidden himself among the Muses. The tradition is that the daughters of Minyas, king of Orchomenus, having despised the rites of the god, were seized with frenzy and ate the flesh of one of their children. At this festival it was originally the custom for the priest of the god to pursue a woman of the Minyan family with a drawn sword and kill her. (Plutarch, Quaest. Rom. 102, Quaest. Graecae 38.)
End of Article: AGRIONIA
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