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Lecture 4


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Classical Studies
CLAS 104
Ronald Kroeker

thJUNE 5 LECTURE 4Dionysus 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 When you think of Gods who fill their worshipersApollo and Dionysus both do soThe stories about Apollo and Dionysus establishing their culttheir special templeoApollo at Delphy oDionysus at different placesThey go looking for priests or priestesses Both Apollo and Dionysus inspire music and poetryeach have different instruments that they inspireoApollo has the harpa stringed instrument which the Greeks considered a pleasant positive orderly instrument oDionysus instrument was the timberallike a tamberie III STORIESABirththe twice born godaSemele and the thigh of ZeusiSemele was the Greek princess of ThebesThebian princessiiHera found out about itshe tricked Semeleget Zeus to swear to you that he will do whatever you say and then ask him to reveal all his glory to youSemele asks to see all his gloryZeus is the lightning god and after he showed her all his glory she burned to crispshe was pregnant and thus they sewed the baby to the thigh of Zeus DionysusiiiBorn from Semele and from the thigh of Zeustwice born ivPicture of Hermes and Zeus when Dionysus is born from Zeus thigh bZagreus Zeus and PersaphanyZeus daughter and the titansgiants iAssociated with the mystery religions iiWhen Dionysus was associated with mystery religionsiiiZeus mated with Persephanyhis daughter and they had a child who was the devine ZagreusivZeus wanted to make Zagreus the prince of the universe and became Heras wrath vHera approached the Titansmore like the giants brainless powerful people of Herasent them to kill Zagreusripped him limb from limb and ate him except his heart was leftthe Titans were pulversized by Zeus by his lightning boltup from the cinders came humanshumans were formed 1Humans come from the Divine and the very crude and the worthy viAthena was sent to get his heart and bring it to ZeusviiZeus ate the heart of Zagreus and mated with Semele and Semele gave birth to Dionysus viiiBorn form Zeus and Persaphy and then born again from Semele and Zeustwice born againcThe twice born nature of Dionysus is important because not only is he the twice born god himselfhe has that effect on his worshiperswhen you die you are reborn in the underworldafterlife you will be born into a rich lifedZagreus particularly connected to the mystery religions iInvolve a ritual of cleansing iiIf you want to rise to a positive new life in the afterworld you have to cleanse yourself of the impurities of the Titans aspect of you 1The divine aspect of humansDionysus that they ate were divine2Crude and awful aspect of humansthe TitansBNurtureaInogoing back to the mainstream story where he was born from Zeus thighiGiven to Aunt Ino who was the sister of SemeleiiHermes gave Dionysus to Inotold Ino to dress the child like a girl to hide him from HeraiiiSignificant to the nature of Dionysus because Dionysus is involved in breaking down the nature of societyDionysus was the original cross dresserivIno and her husband were driven mad by Herathey killed their children bThe nymphs of Nysa iThe nymphs changed him to goat iiPeople and things dont keep their normal shape but are changed and transformed iiiEither Dionysus or people around him changing into different and often animal forms CTravelsDionysus grows up and begins to travel aroundthe god who brings madness among his followers1 MadnessaDionysus was driven mad when he was youngthe possible reasons whyiHera by her divine poweriiDionysus discovered wine which made him mad made him crazy
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