Myth Reading Group 8 February: Bacchae

The Myth Reading Group meets on ‘Zoom’ on Monday 8 February, 5:30-6:30 pm (UK time). The link to join will be posted in the comments for this post before the session. All are welcome.

Stylised vase painting of Pentheus' torso having been ripped from the rest of his body by some rather calm looking Maenads.

The Death of Pentheus
Attic red figure kylix, c. 480 BC
Kimball Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

This term’s topic is Dionysus, and we begin with a reading and discussion of Euripides’ tragedy, the Bacchae (405 BC). Dionysus arrives in Thebes, his place of birth, having travelled from Asia Minor. But the present king, Pentheus, rejects the god’s divinity and rites…

Primary reading

 

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5 Responses to Myth Reading Group 8 February: Bacchae

  1. ὑποκείμενον says:

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://essex-university.zoom.us/j/99375282169

    Meeting ID: 993 7528 2169

    Join by Skype for Business
    https://essex-university.zoom.us/skype/99375282169

  2. Sian Lloyd says:

    Many thanks, it’s good to be back! Couple of papers I came across in relation to this evening’s discussion which might be of further interest. See you next time!
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/classical-quarterly/article/abs/dionysus-and-the-fawnskin/9EA00FE273029C23B35AB57E81CCFD18

    Click to access Olszewski.pdf

  3. Stephanie says:

    Great discussion today, thanks for hosting! It was my first time joining. I thought of a question after the fact and thought I’d ask it here. If the Bacchantes and Maenads were followers of Dionysus, is there a term for followers of other Greek gods or rituals/traditional dress/festivals, or is this very specific to only Dionysus? I’m still new to the study of mythology so I thought I’d bring the question to the experts. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • ὑποκείμενον says:

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for joining us.

      The Maenads of Dionysus are probably the most well-known, or most discussed, group of followers of a Greek god, but there are plenty of other examples of cult or followers of specific deities.

      It’s not something I’ve researched very heavily, so I invite others to comment, but off the top of my head, I thought of the Korybantes – mythical, male followers of Cybele (mentioned in the Bacchae, line 125); and initiates in the Eleusinian Mysteries (devoted to Demeter and Persephone)… but others will know more than me. You might want to look into Orphism too. Perhaps it’s something we can explore in more detail in a future meeting!

      Ben

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