The Ancient Library

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'ing goats and deer skins round the loins, covering the face with large leaves of different plants ; and, lastly, in the wearing masks of wood, "bark, and other materials, and of a complete costume "belong­ing to the character.1" Drunkenness, and the boisterous music of flutes, cymbals, and drums, were likewise common to all Dionysiac festivals. In the processions called &ia(roi (from 3-e/a^w), with which they were celebrated, women also took part in the disguise of Bacchae, Lenae, Thyades, Naiades, Nymphs, &c., adorned with garlands of ivy, and bearing the thyrsus in their hands (hence the god was sometimes called ©TjAu^uopc/jos), so that the whole train represented a population in­spired, and actuated by the powerful presence of the god. The choruses sung on the occasion were called dithyrambs, and were hymns addressed to the god in the freest metres and with the boldest imagery, in which his exploits and achievements were extolled. [chorus.] The phallus, the symbol of the fertility of nature, was also carried in these processions (Plut. De Cupid. Divit. p. -527, d ; Aristoph. Acliarn. 229, with the Schol. ; Herod, ii. 49), and men disguised as women, called I6v<f>a\\ot (Hesych. 5. v. ; Athen. xiv. p. 622), followed the phallus. A woman called XiKvotydpos carried the XiitvoVj a long basket con­taining the image of the god. Maidens of noble birth (Kavr}^)6poi) used to carry figs in baskets, which were sometimes of gold, and to wear gar­lands of figs round their necks. (Aristoph. Acharn. L c. • Lysistr. 647 ; Natal. Com. v. 13.) The in­dulgence in drinking was considered by the Greeks as a duty of gratitude which they owed to the giver of the vine ; hence in some places it was thought a crime to remain sober at the Dionysia. (Lucian, De Column. 16.)

The Attic festivals of Dionysus were four in number: the Aiovvcria k«t' aypovs, or the rural Dionysia, the A.fyaia, the 'A^flea-Tijpja, and the Aiovvcria ev &ffrei. After Ruhnken (Auctar. ad Hesycli. vol. i. p. 199) and Spalding (AbJiundl. der Berl Acad. von 1804—1811, p. 70, &c.) had declared the Anthesteria and the Lenaea to be only two names for one and the same festival, it was generally taken for granted that there could be no doubt as to the real identity of the two, until in 1817, A. Bockh read a paper to the Berlin Academy ( Vbm Unterscliiede der Attischen Lenaeen^ Anthesierien und landl. Dionysien, published in 1319, in the AWiandl. d. Berl. Acad.), in which he established by the strongest arguments the difference between the Lenaea and Anthesteria. An abridgment of Bockh's essay, containing ail that is necessary to form a clear idea of the whole question, is given in the Philological Museum, vol. ii. p. 273, &c. A writer in the Classical Mu-seum, Th. Dyer (vol. iv. p. 70, &c.), has since endeavoured to support Ruhnken's view with some new arguments. The season of the year sacred to Dionysus was during the months nearest to the shortest day (Plut. De El ap. Delph. 9), and the Attic festivals were accordingly celebrated in the


Poseideon, Gamelion (the Lenaeon of the lonians), Anthesterion, and Elaphebolion.

The Aiovuffia /car1 aypovs, or /aiKpd, the rural or lesser Dionysia, a vintage festival, were celebrated in the various denies of Attica in the month of Poseideon, and were under the superintendence of the several local magistrates, the demarchs. This was doubtless the most ancient of all, and was



held with the highest degree of merriment and freedom ; even slaves enjoyed full liberty during its celebration, and their boisterous shouts on the occasion were almost intolerable. It is here that we have to seek for the origin of comedy, in the jests and the scurrilous abuse which the peasants vented upon the bystanders from a waggon in which they rode about (k&ij.os e<£J a^ia^cDy). Aristophanes (Vesp. 620 and 1479) calls the comic poets rpvycpfioi) lee-singers ; and comedy, rpvytpfiia, lee-song (Acharn. 464, 834 ; Athen. ii. p. 40) ; from the custom of smearing the face with lees of wine, in which the merry country people indulged at the vintage. The Ascolia and other amuse­ments, which were afterwards introduced into the city, seem also originally to have been peculiar to the rural Dionysia. The Dionysia in the Peiraeeus, as well as those of the other denies of Attica, be­longed to the lesser Dionysia, as is acknowledged both by Spalding and Bb'ckh. Those in the Peiraeeus were celebrated with as much splendour as those in the city ; for we read of a procession, of the performance of comedies and tragedies, which at first may have been new as well as old pieces ; but when the drama had attained a regular form, only old pieces were represented at the rural Dionysia. Their liberal and democratical character seems to have been the cause of the opposition which these festivals met with, when, in the time of Peisistratus, Thespis attempted to introduce the rural amusements of the Dionysia into the city of Athens. (Plut. Sol. c. 29, 30 ; Diog. Laert. Sol. c. ] 1.) That in other places, also, the introduc­tion of the worship of Dionysus met with great opposition, must be inferred from the legends of Orchomenos, Thebes, Argos, Ephesus, and other places. Something similar seems to be implied in the account of the restoration of tragic choruses to Dionysus at Sicyon. (Herod, v. 67.)

The second festival, the Lenaea (from Xt]v6s, the wine-press, from which also the month of Gamelion was called by the lonians Lenaeon), was celebrated in the month of Gamelion ; the place of its celebration was the ancient temple of Dionysus Limnaeus (from Afyu/??, as the district was ori­ginally a swamp, whence the god was also called Xt^vayeviis}. This temple, the Lenaeon, was situate south of the theatre of Dionysus, and close by it. (Schol. ad Aristoph. Ran. 480.) The Lenaea were celebrated with a procession and scenic contests in tragedy and comedy. (Demosth. c. Mid. p. 517.) The procession probably went to the Lenaeon, where a goat (rpdyos, hence the chorus and tragedy which arose out of it were called rpayiK^s X°P^!fi anc^ Tpay<pS£a) was sacri­ficed, and a chorus standing around the altar sang the dithyrambic ode to the god. As the dithyramb was the element out of which, by the introduction of an actor, tragedy arose [chorus], it is natural that, in the scenic contests of this festival, tragedy should have preceded comedy, as we see from the important documents in Demosthenes. (I. c.) The poet who wished his play to be brought out at the Lenaea applied to the second archon, who had the superintendence of this festival as well as the Anthesteria, and who gave him the chorus if the piece was thought to deserve it.

The third Dionysiac festival, the Antliesteria, was celebrated on the 12th of the month of Anthesterion (Thucyd. ii. 15) ; that is to say, the second day fell on the 12th, for it lasted three

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