22 March 99
Of all the gods of ancient Greece, none has proved as enigmatic and compelling as Dionysos. The god of wine, theatre and an orgiastic nature religion, he was the only Olympian god born of a mortal mother. The dynamic tension between the human and divine in Dionysos is a paradox; he is not half-man and half-god, but rather a fully divine being who conceals himself in human disguise. But as a polymorphous god, he may also appear as his favorite beasts, the bull, leopard and snake, or even as plants such as grapevine and ivy; thus he spans the realms of human, divine, and wild nature. The paradoxical combinations that he embodies bespeak an utter strangeness. A god of blissful ecstasy and savage flesh-eating terror; a god described as ‘effeminate’ and yet also the bull-horned and phallic god of male potency; an untamed god of wild mountain rites who brings pandemonium in his wake, yet also a benefactor honored for his gifts of viniculture and theatre, key elements of Greek civilization; he was a fertility god, sometimes considered the life force itself, yet in his myths he was a dark and liminal figure, frequently involved with the spirits and realms of the dead; a subversive god whose myths tell of his incitement to riot and the destruction of kings, yet he was later embraced as a model for rulers as diverse as Alexander the great and the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt (Burkert, p. 261-263).
He seems to embody in one divine figure all that was antithetical to the heroic values of Homeric Greece; yet no god is more widely represented in ancient Greek art than Dionysos, and his cult following was one of the most widespread and irresistible religious urges of the ancient world. A god who is perpetually seen as an outsider, a strange, dangerous and intrusive force, he is nevertheless far from a minor deity; although largely neglected by Homer, other sources trace his omnipresent influence on Greek religious life.
Dionysos continues to exert a compelling fascination even today; modern writers have tried diverse approaches in an effort to make a coherent whole out of the paradoxical array of aspects embodied by this strangest of gods. This is surely a daunting task, to assemble a whole and unconfusing god out of all those disparate and scattered pieces. Yet it has a mythic parallel in the Orphic story of the dismemberment of Zagreus by the Titans; he was restored and given new birth, but the new god was precisely this polymorphous and bewildering paradox known as Dionysos. Here we will look at some of the myths of Dionysos, and how they reveal the various and seemingly contradictory features of his divinity and his cult. There are significant variations on each of these myths; here, for the sake of simplicity, are those versions which seem to be most common.
II. Myths of Dionysos
From his very birth, Dionysos showed his exotic and dual nature. As the only Olympian god born of a mortal woman, he is fully divine, yet paradoxically appears fully human. His mother, Semele, a princess of Thebes, had attracted the love of Zeus, who visited her in mortal guise and impregnated her. She was tricked by Hera into asking him to reveal himself in his divine glory, whereupon she was instantly incinerated in the thundering fires. Zeus had vowed to grant her any wish, and thus could not refuse her request. But immediately from her smoldering body a clustering vine grew to shield the fetus, a bull-horned child crowned with serpents, who is said to have danced in mother’s womb. Zeus removed him and placed him into his own thigh, from where Dionysos was later born; hence he is called 'twice-born.' To this the Orphics later added a third, previous birth: Dionysos was first born as Zagreus, a child of Persephone, queen of Hades. Zeus, his father, placed the infant god on the throne to rule the universe, but the Titans attacked and ate him; whereupon Zeus blasted the Titans to ashes, from which later humans were made. The heart (or in some versions, the phallus) of Dionysos was rescued and a potion prepared, and from this the new god Dionysos was born to Semele. To protect the new infant from Hera's jealousy, Hermes carried him to Ino, Semele's sister, as a foster mother, and she put him in girl's clothing and started to raise him as a girl. But Ino and her husband were driven mad and killed their own children; Ino ran into the sea, where she was transformed into the sea goddess Leucothea. Then the divine child was changed into a young goat, and taken by Hermes to be raised by the nymphs of Mount Nysa, whose location was uncertain. He was tutored by Silenus, often shown as a drunken satyr. (Powell, p. 243-245)
From these beginnings we can already detect some of the recurring motifs in the Dionysian religion: the grapevine; the polymorphous, shape-shifting nature of the god; the madness and violence he brings with him; the wildness of nature, and the mountain nymphs and satyrs. There is also the idea of Dionysos as ultimately an indestructible and triumphant god, which is more clearly spelled out in myths of his later life. From the story of the Titans came the Orphic idea that humans have a divine spark within them, in the very ashes from which they were formed; and that divine spark is Dionysos. The Titans were completely destroyed in the process, but the divine essence of Dionysos, which they had eaten, was indestructible; it was still there in the ashes, and from there entered into humans. A god of both life and death, he was recovered from the burnt remains of the dead Titans, only later to be born again from the cinders of his dead mother. Those who came within his sphere of influence, like Ino, were often given up to madness and even death; however Ino is then transformed into a goddess, a theme which is echoes his later deliverance of Semele from Hades and her transport to Olympus.
When still young, Dionysos discovered viniculture and the making of wine. He was, however, struck with madness, said to be sent by Hera. He wandered the world in his state of delirium, to Egypt, Syria, Phrygia, and even India. He met the Phrygian goddess Cybele and was initiated into her rites, which cured him of his madness. The followers of Cybele, like the later followers of Dionysos himself, were given to wild drumming, dancing and orgiastic rites. Once cured, Dionysos himself gathered bands of ecstatic worshippers, and again went roving the earth, this time asserting his divinity in no uncertain terms as he sought to establish his own rites far and wide. (Powell, p. 246-250) This evangelical zeal met with a great deal of resistance, and several stories tell of the terrible vengeance wrought by the young god on those who refuse to worship him. He generally drives them insane, and compels them to commit horrific acts of violence; this has been read by some as a metaphor for the destructive effects of wine, but it also has a broader mythic meaning. To the Greeks, Dionysos was not merely a symbol or personification of wine, but a personal and immediate divine presence. That presence was felt to be mysterious, frightening and overwhelming: he was a 'mysterium tremendens et fascinans' - a terrifying and fascinating divine mystery, a phrase coined in a different context by later Christian theologian Rudolf Otto.
Dionysos continued his wanderings, and we have descriptions of the god: young, tender and beautiful, somewhat feminine in appearance, his hair flowing in long dark curls and crowned with ivy and grape leaves; clad only in a leopard skin or a long exotic robe, he carries a thyrsus, a fennel stalk topped with a pine cone which has been interpreted as a phallic symbol. He cavorts with leopards and panthers, upon whose backs he rides, or they pull his chariot. He often carries a kantharos, or wine cup, and is sometimes shown dancing. Having aspects of both leopard and bull, he is both hunter and hunted, and is sometimes shown on Greek vase art as having torn apart a young fawn or goat, and dancing wildly with the bloody halves of the animal. His companions are satyrs, lustful and ithyphallic male figures which are part beast (goat or horse) and part human. His female followers are maenads, wild women possessed by the god who have left their homes and domestic duties to follow him through the mountains, dancing to the chaotic din of drums, cymbals and tambourines. In their state of manic possession they are filled with his divine power, and act as he does, tearing apart animals and eating them raw. Yet, paradoxically, they are also tender to the young animals, often suckling them at their own breasts.
When these wild hordes of dancing women approached a city, they were often met with resistance by the rulers, which brought a ruthless divine vengeance; on the other hand, those who welcomed the god were treated kindly and given the divine gift of wine to ease their sorrows. Lycurgus, who drove out the god and his followers with an ox-goad, was seized with a madness which caused him to mistake his own son for the ivy of Dionysos; he chopped him to pieces and was later punished by death. The daughters of King Minyas refused to follow Dionysos, so he appeared to them as a lion, a bull and a panther; he brought his maddening music, turning their room to darkness and their looms into grapevines. He drove them mad, and they tore one of their sons to pieces and ate him, then danced from the palace to join the mountain Bacchae; the god turned them into bats, chittering denizens of night which flit back and forth to Hades. Similar stories were told of the daughters of King Proetus; driven insane, they wandered into Arcadia and ate their own infants. (Powell, p. 250-252)
The ‘omophagia’ or eating of raw flesh, may or may not have taken place in the earliest actual cult rites of Dionysos; some have even suggested that ritual cannibalism occurred, citing the prevalence of stories of people driven mad who kill and eat their own children. (The charges of cannibalism, whether true or not, were later brought against the Bacchic worshippers by the Roman senate, which then outlawed the Bacchanalia around the second century BCE.) The eating of raw animals has been interpreted as a kind of Dionysian eucharist, with the divine essence of the god having filled the cult animal, it was then consumed by his worshippers so that the god himself was taken bodily into them. In any case, later cult practice did not involve much eating of raw flesh, but rather the drinking of wine, which has been seen as a symbol of his blood, and a replacement for the earlier bloody feasts.
These stories also show the close affinity that Dionysos had with the feminine; his worshippers were mostly women and he himself has been called ‘the god of women.’ Civilization was thought to be a product mostly of men; women, excluded from signification participation in the polis, were often associated with nature, and the earth itself was seen as feminine. It was the feminine which both brought men into being through birth, and accepted them at death: the womb and the tomb. Between life and death is the liminal, the boundary of the otherworld, and females were often seen as key figures in such transitions; an example is Circe in the Odyssey as the one who helps the hero in his quest to contact the spirits of the dead. Men were also seen as employing the power of reason, while women embodied the primal urges of emotion. Thus the association of Dionysos with the feminine is connected with both his role as a wild god of nature and unbridled passion, and with his role as a liminal figure straddling the boundary between life and death.
The relation of Dionysos to women is also seen in the story of his love for Ariadne, a Cretan princess. (Powell, p. 247-248) She is the one who helps the Greek hero Theseus kill the Minotaur and escape the labyrinth, on the condition that he will take her with him to Athens and marry her. But he later leaves her stranded on the isle of Naxos (perhaps at the command of Dionysos), and she is overcome with great sorrow. But in the depths of her despair she suddenly hears the wild strains of music, and the approach of Dionysos and his dancing hordes; she is claimed by the god of ecstasy, who weds her and initiates her into his rites. Upon her death he tosses her crown up into the sky to become the constellation Corona Borealis, or in some versions, turns her into an immortal goddess and carries her off to Olympus. Dionysos also descends into Hades to retrieve his mother Semele, and turns her into a goddess. In these stories, as well as the story of his foster mother Ino, we see instances of mortal women being granted divine status via the power of the god. This is echoed in the mythical stories of cult practice, where ordinary mortal women experience ‘enthusiasm’, the infilling of the divine presence of the god in ecstatic rapture; then filled with his power, they are able to perform superhuman feats such as tearing apart bulls with their hands, ripping up trees and making honey flow from rocks.
Dionysos has often been seen as the ‘god of epiphany’, the god who appears, suddenly and dramatically and bodily, not only to his followers but also to those misfortunate enough to oppose him. The Homeric hymn to Dionysos relates one such episode in the story of Dionysos and the pirates. (Powell, p. 252-253) Dionysos was wandering along the shore, a handsome youth dressed in rich robes, when a ship passed by, offering him passage. But the Tyrsenian pirates had in mind to seize him and hold him for ransom. The god at first appears helpless, pleading with them not to take him captive, but to carry him safely to his destination. They refuse, and begin to bind the god with ropes. Dionysos, smiling darkly, seems to offer no resistance, but the ropes fall away of their own accord. The helmsman quickly realizes they are dealing with a power greater than themselves, and urges them not to anger the unknown god. Still they refuse to desist, and suddenly a dark power comes upon the ship. The deck is flooded with blood-red wine; the masts and sails are swiftly engulfed in tangling ivy, and the god himself, transformed into a savage roaring lion, begins to stalk the crew with a vengeance. Terrified, they jump overboard and are transformed into dolphins. Only the helmsman is saved, and he is granted happiness by Dionysos for his help.
In the above myth we see again the power of Dionysos to transform himself and others; he is sometimes called a sorcerer, a god with the power of enchantment. A notable feature of his violence is the way in which Dionysos confronts his enemies; he generally begins with a disguise of weakness, deceptively luring them on to destruction, as they think he is powerless to stop them. When he does finally wreak vengeance, it is sudden, dramatic and terrible. However, his violence is also usually indirect; Dionysos rarely merely smites anyone with a bolt of divine power, and as the lion in this story he does not actually attack and kill anyone. Rather he often works from inside their own minds, beguiling them and tormenting them into madness, overcoming them with sheer terror until they themselves are compelled to work their own destruction. A prime example of this modus operandi of the god’s violence is seen in the tragic play ‘The Bacchae.’
III. ‘The Bacchae’ by Euripedes
As the largest extant piece of Greek literature dealing with Dionysos, Euripedes’ play, dating from the Athens of the fifth century BCE, has been an invaluable source of information on how Dionysos and his cult were perceived by classical Greece. It opens with the young god, disguised as a human Bacchic priest, telling his story; after much wandering with his throngs of maenads, he has just returned to the Thebes, the place of his mother’s death and his own birth. There King Pentheus, who is the god’s own cousin, has denied his rites and mocked the story of his divine birth; he has intimated that Semele, rather than being loved by Zeus, was merely a dissolute woman whom Zeus punished for the blasphemy of claiming to be his lover. By the still-smoldering remains of Semele’s tomb, Dionysos begins to plot his revenge. He has driven the women of Thebes mad, including the king’s own mother Agave, who is Semele’s sister. They have left their homes and fled to the mountains, to feast on raw wild beasts, to thump the drums and dance madly. Pentheus’ grandfather Cadmus, the old king, is urged by the blind prophet Tiresias to join the rites and give honor to the new god. Cadmus agrees, more out of self-serving purposes than any genuine religious feeling; he thinks it will add prestige to the family to be associated with a god. But young Pentheus is a strict upholder of law and order and his puritanical nature is greatly offended by the orgiastic elements of bacchic rites. He is enraged by the seeming madness which has gripped his kingdom and orders his soldiers to seize the wandering priest and jail the women. (Euripedes, p. 167-182)
Dionysos offers no resistance to being captured and tied up, and goes to meet with the king willingly, who does not recognize that he is a god. The king is strangely drawn to the beauty of this mysterious priest, but mocks him for his effeminacy and taunts him with the power he holds over him; he threatens to cut off the long curling hair which is sacred to the god. Dionysos tries at first to gently persuade his cousin to allow the new religion, which brings such joy, but Pentheus grows ever more proud and stubborn. Sure of his own power, the king behaves with rude arrogance toward Dionysos, who begins to warn him, although still in subtle terms. He says that the god is ‘very near’ and will not stand for interference with his rites. He also tells Pentheus ‘You do not know what you are doing. You do not know who you are.’ This could be seen as a warning for what is to come, as the god will slowly and eerily drive Pentheus out of his mind. Pentheus orders Dionysos thrown into the dungeon. From there the god’s fury is suddenly unleashed; he pours raging thunder down upon the tomb of Semele and a terrible earthquake shatters the palace. As Pentheus is faced with this new crisis, Dionysos appears beside him again, freed from bondage. Pentheus is angry yet curious about his escape, and is still not persuaded of his divinity. (Euripedes, p. 183- 190)
At this point a herdsman comes to tell the king of the awesome terror wrought by the bacchae. They had been freed from prison by the god, and the shepherds encountered them in the mountains. The herdsman tells strange and miraculous tales of the ‘holy Bacchae.’ Contrary to the king’s expectations, they were chaste and modest. They delighted in the mountain wildness, wreathing themselves with ivy and flowers, and cradled and suckled the wild animals, fawns and wolf cubs. The ivy-bound thyrsus dripped with honey, and when they struck the earth, water and wine and milk gushed up and poured forth. But when they began to whirl in dance and call to their god, they were filled with ecstasy and became as one. The whole mountain became enchanted and alive, and everything danced with them. They became mad when they saw the men spying on them, and they pursued them with fury, tearing cattle apart with their bare hands, due to the power of the god within them. The villagers took up arms to fight them, but the sharp metal drew no blood; yet the fennel-stalk thyrsus they hurled broke men’s flesh. The men barely escaped with their lives. Then the god caused fountains to spring up and the women washed the blood from themselves and let serpents lick them clean. The herdsman concludes by urging the king not to try to fight the god, who ‘gave us the grape, and cure of sorrow.’ (Euripedes, p. 191-195)
This only angers Pentheus further, and he is ripe for the god’s creeping madness. He begins to see double, and Dionysos appears to him as a bull. Dionysos first draws out the prurient side of the king’s hidden nature, tempting him to spy on the women. He offers to lead him there, but tells Pentheus that he must dress as a woman. The king, falling further into madness, agrees to this effacement, which is a complete abrogation of all the values he held dear. Dionysos dresses him up as woman; the king fusses about his curls and asks just how he is to dance. He follows Dionysos to the mountain, and the god bends down a great pine tree and places Pentheus in its branches; then he calls to his maenads, who now include the king’s mother Agave, to attack and avenge Pentheus’ blasphemy. The king is ripped to pieces by the women, despite his piteous pleas to his own mother to spare his life; maddened by trance, she does not recognize him. (Euripedes, p. 195 - 206)
Later a messenger brings news of the king’s death, and Cadmus orders the soldiers to try to find the scattered pieces of his grandson’s corpse so that he may be given a proper burial, or at least one as proper as possible under the circumstances. Agave returns to the palace triumphantly, carrying her own son’s head impaled on a thyrsus staff, thinking she has killed a young lion. Cadmus slowly talks her out of her trance, and when she realizes what she has done, she is filled with horror and remorse. At the end of the play Dionysos triumphantly appears as a god, no longer in human guise; he proclaims his divine power and his divine right for the terror he has wrought upon the family of Pentheus for their blasphemy. He also pronounces further punishment upon them; Cadmus and Agave are to be banished forever from Thebes, taking with the pollution they have created by the killing of Pentheus. Cadmus and Agave protest that the he is too harsh, but that humans are powerless against the wrath of a god. (Euripedes, p. 206 - 224)
We can see in ‘The Bacchae’ many of the themes already encountered: the divine nature and human guise of Dionysos; his seeming weakness suddenly turning to fearful might; his association with women and with the wildness of nature; and his dual nature as god of joy and terror. In the beginning of the play one’s sympathies tend to be with the god against the arrogance of Pentheus; but by the end the balance of power has reversed completely, and one may sympathize for the plight of a helpless man caught in the grip of a god’s fury. This reversal of roles occurs between two otherwise somewhat parallel figures. Dionysos is a figure of divine power, Pentheus is a figure of power in the human world. They are both young, newly come to power, proud and determined; they are also cousins. By the end of the play Pentheus has been completely recast in the image of the god; his hair is long and wreathed in ivy, and he wears women’s clothing. It has been speculated that Pentheus, to become a sacrificial victim of the bacchic cult, had to assume the identity of the god, and that this same sort of thing was enacted in cult ritual where a man would assume the identity of the god and then be sacrificed and eaten; hard evidence for this is lacking, however.
The myth does echo the recurring theme of a king’s resistance to the god, who wreaks savage vengeance and ultimately triumphs. Some historians have read this as evidence for actual historical resistance to the cult of Dionysos, which ultimately did, however, become widely popular. Until recently it was thought that Dionysos was a latecomer to the Greek pantheon, due to the myths which have him originating in some exotic far-off land and then coming to conquer the kingdoms of Greece. But clay tablets from early Mycenae, written in an early version of Greek known as Linear B, contain his name among other Greek deities; there are also gold funereal tablets in Linear B which show the early existence of the mystery cult of Dionysos.(Evans, p. 41; Burkert, p. 259) This is evidence that his cult arose early in Greece, but it may have died out there for a while and spread to other parts of the Mediterranean, only to return to Greece again later. However, there is a deeper meaning to this theme of the strange god who comes and conquers his foes. It is part of the very nature of Dionysos that he is a stranger, exotic and enigmatic. He stands in opposition to standard Greek heroic values, and the religious power he holds over his devotees stemmed in large part from the psychic shock experienced at encountering him.
The strange and wildly disparate aspects of the god Dionysos have been pieced together in different ways by different modern interpreters. Friedrich Nietzsche, emphasizing the opposition between Dionysos and Apollo, saw him as the emotional-intuitive force of creativity, as opposed to cool rationality. But others would say that even, without Apollo there is opposition, for Dionysos carries his own internal paradoxes. Barry Powell sees him primarily as a god of fertility, but one whose domain also borders on death. Walter Otto is among those who see him as a god of epiphany, the god who appears, and who brings an immediate and forceful sense of his own shocking presence to his worshippers, and possesses them with divine madness. He also regards him as a god of paradox; Albert Henrichs also emphasizes the quality of paradox, seeing it in the essential tension between the human and divine in Dionysos. (Henrichs, p. 18 - 20) Walter Burkert regards him as a god of mysteries and bacchic mania (Burkert, p. 268 -270). Carl Kerenyi equated Dionysos to ‘zoe,’ life itself; he was ‘the archetypal image of indestructible life,’ and this is why his cult was eventually to take on such a cosmic aspect. (Kerenyi, p. 124 and p. 388) Arthur Evans and Alain Danielou have emphasized his role as the god of ecstasy.
It is not too difficult to see that all these roles are as intertwined as the ivy itself. Ecstasy and terror are two sides of the same deep abyss; these qualities are also infused into life itself. One may see the life force which animates creatures as deriving from the primal urge to ecstasy. One may consider Dionysos of the theatre, the god hidden behind the mask, as a symbol for the hidden divine nature of things, as the Orphics saw his divine spark hidden in the ashes of human flesh. One may recall the Hindu idea of the world as illusion, Lila, the divine play, and see in Dionysos the figure of the god who acts all the parts of the cosmic drama at once. And yet all these ways of seeing the god continue to shift and merge, and one is ultimately still left with a mystery.
It may have been Joseph Campbell who first observed that there are ‘really only two myths’: ‘The Hero Makes a Journey’ and ‘A Stranger Comes to Town.’ We can see elements of both of these in the myths of Dionysos, or rather we see the story from both sides -- the god wanders the earth, arriving in one town after another, bringing his strange ways with him. A major difference from heroic myth is that the hero is transformed by his journey, whereas the god Dionysos transforms those he comes into contact with. The heroic journey has sometimes been compared to ideas of shamanic initiation; in both cases the person makes a journey to a strange realm, often the underworld or land of the dead, encounters various obstacles and challenges, acquires helping spirits and guides, and returns bearing the objects or information needed to accomplish his destined earthly task. For the shaman this may involve healing a person or a tribe; for the hero this often involves the establishment of order in a situation which has become chaotic.
Dionysos, in marked contrast to the hero, brings not sanity and well-established order, but rather a sort of organic, divine chaos. Some may be threatened by this challenge to established order and try to fight it; but others recognize it as a kind of divine liberation of the spirit. This antithesis can be seen in cultures other than the Greek, for example in the contrasting traditions of orderly Confucianism and free-spirited Taoism in China, or in the divergence of practices between Indian followers of Vishnu, god of preservation, and those of Shiva, god of destruction and regeneration.
Not much comment has been made on the relation of Dionysos to shamanic religion. Ecstatic trance, drumming and dance are common features of both shamanism and Dionysian religion. One difference is that the shaman is thought to be able to move between the worlds of matter and spirit, or, sky, earth and underworld. He undertakes these journey to consult with spirits and to bring back specific information or other help needed to perform healing for an individual or a tribe. The Dionysian cult shows little of these aspects, so it could not be considered shamanism in the usual sense. However, if shamanism is seen as the entry of a person into the Otherworld, Dionysian religion might be seen as the forceful entry of the Otherwold into the human being. Eliade saw yoga as a further evolution of shamanism; where shamanism involved ecstasis, the shaman going out of the body into the spirit realms, yogic discipline was aimed at enstasis, the bringing of the cosmos into the individual being. Dionysian religion may then be seen as a third type of mysticism, that by which the mysterious and shocking presence of the divine enters human awareness of its own accord, an experience which the devotee may invite, but in no way controls. We can see the stories of Dionysos arrival into a new town a metaphor for the arrival of the god into a new devotee: if he is welcomed and honored, all is well, but if he is resisted, madness may ensue. In this way the instinctual, emotional and passionate makes itself master of the otherwise rational and orderly psyche.
1. Burkert, Walter. Bacchic Teletai in the Hellenistic Age. In Masks of Dionysus, edited by Thomas H. Carpenter and Christopher A. Faraone. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1993.
2. Carpenter, Thomas H. and Faraone, Christopher A.., editors. Masks of Dionysus. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1993.
3. Danielou, Alain. Gods of Love and Ecstasy. Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1992. (originally published as Shiva et Dionysos in 1979).
5. Euripedes. The Bacchae. Translation by Minos Volanakis; in Euripedes, ed. by Robert W. Corrigan. Dell Publishing, New York, NY, 1965.
6. Evans, Arthur. The God of Ecstasy. St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 1988.
7. Henrichs, Albert. 'He Has a God in Him': Human and Divine in the Modern Perception of Dionysus. In Masks of Dionysus, edited by Thomas H. Carpenter and Christopher A. Faraone. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1993.
8. Kerenyi, Carl. Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1976. (originally published before 1973)
9. Otto, Walter F. Dionysus, Myth and Cult. Indiana University Press, 1991. (originally published 1933).
10. Powell, Barry B. Myths of Fertility: Dionysus, chapter 10 in Classical Myth. Prentice-Hall, NJ, 1998.