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University of Toronto St. George
Regina Höschele

Dionysus in Early Greek Sources Homer Iliad 6. Diomedes and Glaukos Diomedes in his bloodlust during the Trojan war encounters Glaukos. Glaukos stops him, and tells him a story of his lineage in which he reveals that his and Diomedes’grandfathers were guest-friends of each other. Thus they cannot kill one another and instead swap armor as a token of friendship. Diomedes says he will not fight against any god and gives the example of Lycurgus who opposes Dionysus and is severely punished for that. Iliad 14. Zeus to Hera about his past loves Lists Semele as his past lover, who was mother to Dionysus Hera had tricked Semele to ask Zeus to show himself in his true form. She is burnt to a crisp. He sews Dionysus into his thigh and later “gives birth” to him. Odyssey 11. Odysseus recounting the women we saw in the Underworld Odysseus seesAriadne. Dionysus takesAriadne has his lover and turns her crown into a star, immortalizing her But in this version it predisposes that Dionysus andAriadne already had an affair and then she left for Theseus, and Dionysus has her killed. Odyssey 24. Agamemnon’s shade to Achilles, describing the latter’s funeral Mixing bones in a krater? Hesiod Theogony 940-49 in the catalogue of Zeus’consorts Semele bore Zeus Dionysus who was immortal Dionysus tookAriadne to be his wife and made her immortal and ageless Works and Days 609-14 Describing what the farmer must do in September Wine as the gift of Dionysus Fr.. 239 (Hesiod) Dionysus as the breaker of chains - the epithet Lyaios Does this through wine which loosens Homeric Hymns Hymns are a praise song for divinities Encomium is a praise song for mortals Typical features of a hymn are a list of epithets, the origin of the god, and how he got his honors (his deeds for which he received various time (p.timai) (honor), and is written heavily in the second-person singular (Du-Stil) Hymn 1, fragment Describes the birth of Dionysus, and mentions various versions of the story. This hymn offers the “authoritative” version. Was born on Nysa (same mountain mentioned in Lycurgus myth) Hymn 7 Dionysus is a beautiful youth (eromenos) - always presented as a young androgynous man. Dionysus is erotically attractive and that is important! Etruscan pirates kidnap him for the purpose of selling him off as a love-slave Dionysus cannot be bound - he is the loosener. One person realizes it is a bad idea to kidnap him, but the pirates do not listen to him. Dionysus caused wine and vines to overtake the ship. Then a lion attacks the sailors, who leap form the ship and are turned into dolphins. Representations of Dionysus The Birth of Dionysus. Bell Crater by Altamura Painter. Ca. 460 BC Dionysus is holding a Kantharos (identified by the ear-like handles). The vessel this is painted on is a Krater, which was used to mix wine and water White-ground Kylix Crater by Phiale Painter Ca. 440-35 BC Zeus brings Dionysus to Papposilenus. Silenus is part of Dionysus retinue.AKylix is a drinking vessel Dinos by Sophilos, 580 BC Dinos is another vessel for mixing or storing. This is the first piece of pottery that has a signed artists. Important because it is the first representation of Dionysus. The uppermost layer represents wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Dionysus is identified by holding a vine. Francois Vase by Kleitias Ca. 570 BC Represents various stories. In this one we find Dionysus carrying a wine jar on his way to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.Another very old representation of him. Another scene shows Hephaistos who was lead back to Olympus in the accompaniment of Dionysus. Hephaistos led back on a donkey with a group of Silenoi. Satyrs are portrayed with huge erect phalloi. The word for representing with erect penis is ithyphallic. Older representations tend to show satyrs with hooves, and the youngers show them more human. They are half horse! Not goat! Whaaaaaaaaaaat. Apuleius is a later RomeAuthor, writer of the Golden Ass. Aguy witnesses a witch transforming herself into an owl. He wants to the same so he steals some of her magic but he is transformed into a donkey. The narrator then is in the form of an ass. He observes the follies of men (they think he’s just a stupid donkey). His whole story revolves around trying to transform himself back - he needs to find roses. In his travels he is taken in by a bunch of actors who want him to copulate with a condemned woman, meanwhile another woman is in love with him due to his huge penis. Black figure Kylix by Exekias 540-35 BC. The scene of Dionysus and the pirates - the vines and wine overwhelming the ship and the crew as dolphins. The ship itself also has a shape of the fish. The ancients often thought the symposium as a sea-voyage - a widespread metaphor. You can have a nice journey or have a shipwreck. Basically the cups are a bit of a mystery until you drink all your wine. Surprise! Stamnos from British Museum. Ca. 450 BC Dionysus is ripping apart a large cat. There is a technical term for the ripping apart of animals or humans: sparagmos.Agave partakes in this with her son (whom she thinks is a mountain-lion). Neck Amphora by Amasis painter. Ca. 540-30 BC. Maenads presenting offerings that they hunted to Dionysus. He holds a Kantharos. Amphora - Dionysus in skins while holding Kantharos Skyphos from Chiusi Dionysus holding a thyrsos and kantharos. Krater by Gottingen painter. 490 BC. Pederastic relationship in drunken revelry Stamnos by Dinos painter. 420 BC Mise en abyme - a picture within a picture. This term was in narratology and comes from heraldic symbols. In narrative you have a larger story, and within it is another story which reflect the story. Kylix by Makron ca. 480 BC Maenads worshipping Dionysus. On his garment are dolphins, evoking the story of the pirates. Neckamphora ca. 420 Representation of a mask of Dionysus. He is the god of theatre and masks are used in drama. Dionysus as the God of Drama Athens 2 festivals in the year which feature dramatic contests. 1) City Dionysia - spri
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