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Lecture 4

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Classical Studies
CLAS 104
Ronald Kroeker

Dionysus Bacchus LiberTwo different namesBacchus and LiberLiber is Dionysus Roman nameoLiberroot of liberty and it means freeoOne of the characteristics of Dionysus is that people lost their inhibitions and they were freed upThe Romans called him Liber and BacchusDionysus is his Greek name Greek also called him BacchusGod of fertilityvegetation especially the vine god of wineAttributesoDrinking cup ivy wreathgrape vines thyrsus usually held by his associates leopardpantheroThyrsus is a staff with a pinecone at the endII CharacterA RealmsoGod of vine and thus the god of wine and intoxicationoGod of freedom the one that brings ecstasy to people allow people to feel free from themselvesoAssociated with sexual promiscuity and freedomoOften associated with the mystery religionsIn the ancient world there was a state cultreligious practices with a recognized priest sponsored by the state part of the cultural fabric of the stateB Incoming God he came in and not on the original Greek Pantheonthe original list of Gods the Greeks had Dionysus comes in the city of Thebes first among the GreeksHe goes to Thebes because his mother was a Theban Princessa native son because his Mother is a Greek princess Two interpretations1Historical interpretation aThese stories about Dionysus as an incoming god reflect a historical realityat one time the Greeks had a bunch of gods and they adopted this god Dionysus from the east and added him to their Pantheon bIn Chapter 2Linear B tablets written in a script where every symbol represented a syllable rather than a soundthey couldnt decipher themthe Mycenaen iMichael Ventries was working with a scholar and he came up with the idea that the Linear B is a Greek script by comparing with the later Greek alphabetiiDiscovered how to decipher the Linear B TabletsiiiCame in at 1600BC cBecause of the discovery of the Linear B tabletsmost people pitched the idea of the historical interpretation2Psychological aReflects the psychological makeup of the Greeksbecause they appreciated order and a rational way to life and Dionysus represented a side of life that the Greeks were not used tobGreeks like to think of their lives as rational and orderlycDionysus represents lack of inhibition dGreeks had to let loose sometimes give way to the irrational mysteries of life eDionysus is a foreigner because he represents irrationality which the Greeks were not comfortable with fMade up the myth to reflect how they see themselves and their life C Immanent God He is typically on earth and running around the fields and the city sides with people unlike the other gods on Mount OlympusHe is considered one of the other OlympiansHe is the Immanent god who is always around the peopleHe fills the worshiper and drives the person crazyiIt is much more common for him to be perceived as the God who fills the worshiper and drives them crazyApollo also does thishe fills his priestess D Compare with ApolloApollo is the god of order and rationality Dionysus is the god of going crazyecstasyAbandonmentApollo is the quintessential Greek god because the Greeks admire order and rationalityDionysus represents the opposite of Apollo
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