In this paper I shall describe several iconographic documents attesting the resounding success of a few Dionysiac themes and, more generally, the vitality of Dionysism in the Augustan Age. These materials confirm that in the years of the triumph of Augustus no dichotomy between Dionysus and Apollo was perceived. Amidst the late civil war of the Roman Republic what was fearful was Antony regardless of his identification to Dionysus. Indeed, Dionysus, as Liber, civilizing god, benefactor of Mankind and winner of every enemy and threat, represented an ideal model for young Octavianus, in the same way as Romulus, Hercules and the Dioscouri had proven. In particular, the iconographies highlight that even the particular Dionysiac cult practised by Antony, influenced as it was by Hellenistic beliefs, continued to enjoy great status during the years of the new Augustan era. Indeed, in the first years of his government Augustus might well have taken advantage of the semantic of the Hellenistic royalty, implied by the symbolism inherent within the Alexandrine Dionysus triumphant.
In the Greek world, the celebrations of Dionysus were different: the Rural Dionysia and the City Dionysia, the Lenee, the Antestèrie, the Oscofòrie, the Ascalia and the Bacchanalia. During the Bacchanalia, women ran, danced and screamed in the woods, and fell prey to Dionysian inebriation. In 186 BC, the Roman Senate issued a decree that limited the cult of Bacchus Dionysus in Rome and in Italy, because of sexual abuses (see Livy, Ab Urbe condita 39. 8 – 39. 18). The diffusion of Bacchanalia was a risk for people and for the dignitas of Rome. In 1640 in Tiriolo, Calabria, during the excavation for the foundations of the so-called Palazzo Cicala, a bronze inscription and fragments of columns were found; the inscription had the original text of Senatus Consultum de Bacchanalibus with which, in 186 BC, the Roman Senate forbade the Bacchanalia. In Latium, during the excavation of the so-called Domus delle Pitture in Bolsena, directed by the École Française de Rome, between 1964 and 1982, a fragment of a throne's base and a cherub's leg were found in a layer of ashes in an underground room. Another 150 pieces of the throne, including ribbons and fragments of a panther head, were recovered in a specific spot of the room. Fragments, carefully restored and reassembled, compose an object called Trono delle Pantere of Bolsena, datable between the end of the 3rd century BC and the early years of the 2nd century BC. The left and rear sides are better preserved. The first represents a panther sitting on a throne with a cherub on his knees while it grabs at the ears of beast; the rear side represents a pattern with wings blocked by ribbons. The front side is completely destroyed. The throne has different sets of problems on its religious meaning and its decoration, where the Dionysiac theme is clear. The panther, the cherubs and the ribbons recall the Dionysus sphere, during which he was hidden inside a cave. Indeed, the underground room of Bolsena was appropriated to Bacchanalia. This paper intends to link Tiriolo and Bolsena, through the specific cases of two cities; in the first we have a proof of the enforcement of the law in 186 BC, and in the second we have an evidence of its application, with the destruction of a throne and of a Bacchic shrine.
Pausanias művének hetedik könyvében, Patrai városának ismertetése során két helyi történetről is tudósít. Az egyik egy kevéssé összetett cselekményű szerelmi novella, amely azonban meglepő fordulatokat tartalmaz. Pausanias maga, bár a történetben egy istennek, Dionysosnak is központi szerepe van, a történetet a szerelem erejéről szóló meseként értelmezi. A másik egy összetettebb, két részből álló mitikus történet, melyhez egy évenként megismételt helyi rítus is kapcsolódik. E második történet első felében szintén fontos szerepe van a szerelemnek és egy istennek, ezúttal Artemisnek, a történet folytatása azonban Artemis helyett Dionysost, s a szerelem helyett az őrületet helyezi a középpontba.Elemzésemben a két történet kapcsán Pausanias hellenisztikus kori nézőpontja és értelmezései, a történetek mitikus tartalma és a rítus közti összefüggéseket vizsgálom — elszakadva egyrészt attól a Pausanias-képtől, amelyet még a tizenkilencedik századból örököltünk, s amely szerint a pausaniasi elbeszélések hátterében mindig valamilyen más forrásszöveg, ez esetben hellenisztikus szerelmi történetek állnak, másfelől attól a valamivel későbbi tradíciótól, mely a rítusokat előszeretettel s gyakran túlságosan is egyoldalúan olvassa rite de passage-ként, kizárólag a beavatási funkció, egyfajta „primitív” örökség felől.
Although the 20th-century Slavic literary criticism provided several variants of methods, the most specific and clear-cut principles were established in Vyach. Ivanov’s dissertation
Dionysus and Pre-Dionysianism
. Ivanov’s four-dimensional hermeneutics developed the traditions of Schleiermacher’s and Boeck’s philological hermeneutics, complemented by the results of phenomenology and the study of mythological and ritual roots of text. It found its followers in Mikhail Bakhtin and to some extent in the school he generated. It was also promoted by Toporov’s influential methodology, which was close to it in principles and reflected both in Russia and outside its borders.
The facts of Gogol's appeal to the models of classical forms of myth and ritual are interesting not only by themselves but also in the aspect of their relationship with the arsenal of Christian mythology. The fundamental point here is that in light of the historical interpretation of the myth and the Revelation by F. W. J. Schelling, the mythology since its initial stage organically developed to Christianity, to the truths of Revelation (as the historical movement “flowed” into them).
The symbolic complex of the story Vij, interlacing with Eros and Thanatos, allows parallels to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice since in the case of the story Vij and in the case of myth, the motive of prohibition on sight also holds. The philosopher (i.e. the poet in the archaic and romantic notion) Homa Brut comes into contact with the world of death not of his own free will, besides, the panicle Eurydice died because of him. Orpheus partakes of the Dionysian sacraments. A visit to Orpheus of hell equated him, in Christian understanding, with Christ. In Gogol's story Vij, Dionysus and Christ have implicitly come together.
The motive of the story Vij for blindness is related to Oedipus's self-blindness motive. Mythological Erinnes, persecuted by Oedipus, are old women, which correlates with one of the chthonic incarnations of the plaque, thereby drawing closer to the goddesses of revenge, punishment, and remorse of conscience. The fact of the final recognition of Oedipus as “holy” is reflected in the potential Christian semantics of the image of Homa as a martyr and passion-bearer.
As the winner of the witch, the deliverer of people from her misfortunes and the passion bearer Homa is a Christian ascetic. Against the background of Christian parallels, the second stay of Homa on the farm becomes as if his “second coming”, symbolically comparable to the expected second coming of Christ, who is coming all the time.
The terrible glance of Vij and pannochka certainly reminds of the slaying glance of Medusa Gorgon, which forced all living things to petrify.
There is pathos of fighting tyranny in ridding the farm from the witch by Homa. Although Homa defends himself first of all in the beating scene, the general social meaning of his action is obvious. The power of the pannochka (she is the daughter of a wealthy sotnik), who for some reason considers himself pious, is not only socio-political but, in the main, existential-anthropological, this domination over man as a species, over man as such.
The motives of ancient Greek and in general pagan mythology are closely intertwined in Gogol's story with Christian motives, which formed the unique spiritual and aesthetic synthesis of the story Vij.
song. In the earliest reference to the word dithyramb , Archilochus claims, “I know how to take the lead in the dithyramb, the lovely song of Lord Dionysus, my wits thunderstruck with wine” ( ὡς Διωνύσοι’ ἄνακτος καλὸν ἐξάρχαι μέλος / οἶδα διθύ
P. GC inv. 105, frs. 1–4, Leiden–Boston, pp. 148 – 164 .
Brown , Ch. 1982 : Dionysus and the Women of Elis: PMG 871 . Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 23 , pp. 305 – 314 .
Buchholz , H. G. 1975 : Methymna. Archäologische Beiträge
Charites, Poseidon, Silenus, Dionysus, Hermes, Heracles and Romulus are present (307B–309B, 318C).
Romulus is the host, Hermes is the questioner, whose seriousness is counterpointed by Silenus, who, along with Dionysus, further