The Cult of Dionysus in Classicl Athens Essay

The Cult of Dionysus in Classicl Athens Essay

Length: 634 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Classical Athens was a time of great superstition, participation of cult activities, and interesting ideas. From Eleusinian mysteries to the Panathenaea, classical Athens was sprouting in festivals and cultic worship. The cult of Dionysus at Athens was no exception. Dionysus was the god of wine, theater and rebirth among other things. Some people, scholars and non-scholars alike, believe him to be the last of the Olympian gods, though he is mentioned in Linear B with other Olympic deities. He received state cult, and evidence of his worship and importance to Greek society and religion was prominent throughout all of classical Athens. Dionysus was significant and the classical Greek world through his many festivals and traditions. Through festivals like the Anthesteria in the Eleusinian mysteries, and his importance with theater, in the form of the Rural (lesser) Dionysia, the City (greater) Dionysia, and the Lenaea, make him one of the most important gods in classical Athens.
One of the most central aspects of the god Dionysus was his importance in theater. He had three distinguished festivals dedicated to theater: the Lenaia and the lesser and greater Dionysia. In order to understand these festivals, one must first understand the meaning of theater and how it relates to Dionysus throughout Athenian history, and in classical Athens. Many items used in Athenian theater were, from an early origin, directly and religiously related to Dionysus, such as costumes and masks. Plays were in a way a form of worship of the god of theater, and Athenians did so through dance and music, and also through things like miracle plays. Dionysus was sometimes even thought to be present during the plays that honored him, a concept that was popular...


... middle of paper ...


..."The Journal of Hellenic Studies , 107 (1987): 58.
Ibid.
H.W. Parke, Festivals of the Athenians, (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1977), 125.
Ibid., 126.
Ibid., 127.
Scholars have noted Classical and Hellenistic differences in this procession, as the ephebes lead the procession in the latter.
H.W. Parke, Festivals of the Athenians, (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1977), 127.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid., 127-128.
Ibid., 128.
Ibid., 129.
Ibid., 128.
Martin Revermann, "The Competence of Theatre Audiences in Fifth- and Fourth-Century Athens," The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 126 (2006): 99-124.
H.W. Parke, Festivals of the Athenians, (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1977), 128.
Simon Goldhill, "The Great Dionysia and Civic Ideology,"The Journal of Hellenic Studies , 107 (1987): 60.
Ibid.
Ibid., 60-61.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Comparison between Classical Athens and Han China

- Despite the social hierarchy and acceptance of position of the population in both societies, Han China and Classical Athens had disparities proportionate to their physical sizes. The geographical isolation from each other resulted in the differences in demographics, characteristics of government structures, individual duties and roles in government, and the general view of life. The east to west length of the Han Empire dwarfs the city-state of Athens. The maps of Classical Greece and Han China display the basic geography of each area....   [tags: han empire, athens, pericles]

Better Essays
994 words (2.8 pages)

Dionysus Is Not A God Essay example

- Dionysus is not a god who Socrates could respect because his actions challenge Socrates’ beliefs. Dionysus deems gods most important and lets this fuel his revenge on the city of Thebes, which challenges the idea of piety and a pure soul being the most important things in life. Dionysus and Euthyphro represent the same character and the comparison shows how Socrates would respond to Dionysus as a god based on how he responds to Euthyphro and the jury in Euthyphro and Apology. Dionysus obsesses over being accepted as a god....   [tags: Socrates, Plato, Dionysus, Euthyphro]

Better Essays
1420 words (4.1 pages)

The Growth of Cult Essay

- Cult films, what does it mean and what makes a film cult. Cult has been around for quite some time and the term has grown throughout the years in which it has been known. Although it has been out since the 90’s, many people are unsure of what cult is and how it is defined. In her article Cult Film or Cinephilia by Any Other Name, Elena Gorfinkel, a Professor in Cinema Studies, addresses and argues how the contemporary definition of cult is defined through the merge of cult and cinephilia. In addition to Gorfinkel’s article, Dan Bentley-Baker, a literature and film studies teacher at Florida International University, provides a more detailed list of characteristics found in cult cinema in hi...   [tags: cult films, cinephilia, film analysis]

Better Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Athens And Sparta As A Polytheistic Religion Essay example

- In the era of Ancient Greece, numerous city-states emerged throughout the country. Among the seven-hundred individual communities, two stood out the most: Athens and Sparta. Since both cities were created from the same initial idea, they had several similarities between the two from speaking the same language, to practicing the same religion. However, because each community was its own entity, there were many differences between Athens and Sparta as the two did not see eye-to-eye on most matters....   [tags: Ancient Greece, Classical Athens, Greece]

Better Essays
825 words (2.4 pages)

Differences Between Athens And Sparta Essay

- Society is defined by its culture, it is determined by its cuisines, language, political, social, and religious structures. They are a major factor in the development of a societies progress in history. While some societies could exist around the same area and the same time, this doesn 't mean that they will progress in the same direction. A societies path could vary from different goals, interests, and conflicts. In Ancient Greece, these societies were called city-states or Polis. These polis was created because Greece 's’ environment was too difficult for a single unified government to be established at the time....   [tags: Sparta, Ancient Greece, Classical Athens]

Better Essays
1651 words (4.7 pages)

Dionysus: The God of Wine and Fertility Essay

- Dionysus is the god of wine and fertility. Dionysus invented wine on Mount Nyssa. His Roman counterpart is Bacchus. Dionysus’s symbols are Thyrsos, which are ivory leaves wrapped around a wooden stick, the flute, and wine barrels. The animals that represent him are the panther and the tiger. Dionysus is the son of Zeus and Semele. Dionysus was stitched into Zeus’s thigh after his mother, Semele, asked to see Zeus's true form and was killed. Dionysus grew in Zeus's thigh. Dionysus is the only god with a mortal parent....   [tags: inmortal, god, explore, grow, wine]

Better Essays
604 words (1.7 pages)

The Between Sparta And Athens Essay

- Growing tensions among city-states and municipalities in the 5th century BCE would eventually lead to the great Peloponnesian War. At the center of the tensions were the leading city-states of Greece, Sparta and Athens; the growing Athenian empire, in Spartan eyes, threatened their leadership and posed as a potentially never-ending dilemma for the Hellenes. Athenians, on contrary, saw expansion as their natural and rightful progression as a powerhouse. They believed that their empire building was just and that any indictments made against this had no merit....   [tags: Sparta, Ancient Greece, Classical Athens, Greece]

Better Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Drug Use in Cult Films: Requiem for a Dream Essay

- Reviewing cult movies, one will notice that many films will involve scenes using drugs such as marijuana or hallucinogens. Drugs performed in films with scenes of actors or actresses smoking pot tend to draw in a wide spread of audience; those who find marijuana to be the “sin” and fun to watch, and those of the smoking-hippie era themselves. Many cult drug films are solely based around marijuana or LSD because these are two drugs that cause someone to feel relaxed, or help stimulate the way the brain thinks....   [tags: cult movies, marijuana, hallucinogens]

Better Essays
878 words (2.5 pages)

Dionysus and the Unraveling of Ideologies in The Bacchae Essay

- Dionysus and the Unraveling of Ideologies in The Bacchae   Some evaluations claim that the Dionysus appearing in The Bacchae is fairly true embodiment of the ideals of ancient Athens. He demands only worship and proper reverence for his name, two matters of honor that pervaded both the Greek tragedies and the pious society that viewed them. In other plays, Oedipus' consultations with Apollo and the many Choral appeals to Zeus reveal the Athenian respect for their gods, while Electra's need for revenge and Antigone's obligation to bury Polyneices both epitomize the themes of respect and dignity....   [tags: Bacchae Essays]

Better Essays
1916 words (5.5 pages)

Dionysus Essay

- Dionysus Dionysus, also known by his Roman name Bacchus, which he appears to have two different origins. Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture and fertility of nature, but on the other hand he also represents the mystery in religions. Scholars believe that this god came about later in pre-history, unlike other gods. Almost all barbarian nations had their own versions of Dionysus under many names such as, Bacchus, Zagreus, Sabazius, Adonis, Antheus, Zalmoxis, Pentheus, Pan, Liber Pater, or simply "the liberator." His symbol was the thyrsus, (which is a staff tipped with a pinecone, sometimes with ivy leaves) Dionysus was born of fire, he was good and gentle to those who honored him, b...   [tags: Ancient Rome Roman History]

Free Essays
580 words (1.7 pages)