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Lecture: Dionysus and His Maenads—Myth and Cult

November 12, 2015
Morton Auditorium

The popular conception of Dionysos (also known as Bacchus) is that he is a god of wine and revelry, and thus in art we often see him under the influence of his drink and in the company of bacchanalian nymphs and satyrs. This stereotype misses the deeper significance of Bacchus as a god of nature intimately connected with the mysteries of life and death. These mysteries celebrated by his female followers known as maenads were an important element of Greek religion. In this lecture, John Makowski, associate professor, Loyola University Chicago, examines the god, the cult, and its meaning—especially for his female followers.

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Trefoil Oinochoe (Pitcher), 530–520 B.C. Greek, Athens. Lent by Walter and Karen Alexander.