See also:term originally denoting the secret
See also:rites or ceremonies connected with the worship of certain deities, especially those of Dionysus-Bacchus . The Dionysiac orgies, which were restricted to
See also:women, were celebrated in the winter among the Thracian hills or in spots remote from city
See also:life . The women met, clad in fawn-skins, with hair dishevelled, swinging the thyrsus and beating the cymbal; they danced and worked themselves up to a state of mad excitement . The holiest rites took place at
See also:night by the
See also:light of torches . A bull, the representative of the
See also:god, was torn in pieces by them as Dionysus-Zagreus had been torn; his bellowing reproduced the cries of the suffering god . The women tore the bull with their teeth, and the eating of the raw flesh was a necessary
See also:part of the ritual . Some further rites, which varied in different districts, represented the resurrection of the god in the
See also:spring . On
See also:Parnassus the women carried back Dionysus-Licnites, the
See also:child cradled in the winnowing
See also:fan . The most famous festival of the kind was the Tpi€ropls celebrated every second winter on Parnassus by the women of
See also:Attica and
See also:Phocis . The celebrants were called Maenads or Bacchae . The ecstatic
See also:enthusiasm of the Thracian women, KXc roves or MiµaXAoues, was especially distinguished . The
See also:wild dances, songs, drinking and other " orgiastic " ceremonies which were characteristic of these rites have given rise to the use of the word "
See also:orgy " for any drunken, wild revel or festivity (see DIONYSUS and MYSTERY) .
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