Important Dionysian Terms

BACCHUS: an epithet of Dionysus, probably from the Greek word "to shout"

BACCHANT: an inspired female follower of Dionysus

BROMIUS: an epithet of Dionysus meaning "boisterious" or "loud-sounding"

ECSTASY: literally "the state of standing out", a state of being beyond all reason and self-control; mystic, prophetic of poetic trance.

ENTHUSIASM: literally "the state of a god in", the state of being possessed by a god.

MAENAD: another word for "bacchant".

OMOPHAGY: ritual eating of raw flesh, in honor of Dionysus.

ORGY: (adj. "orgiastic") exoteric religious ritual performed in honor of a god or a goddess, characterized by wild singing, dancing and drinking; later, wild, drunken, licentious revelry of festivity.

SPARAGMOS: ritual tearing apart of sacrificial animal (usually a goat) in honor of Dionysus.

THIASOS: A band or company marching through the streets with dance and song, of Dionysus.

THYRSUS: a staff carried in Dionysus honor, wreathed in ivy and vine-leaves with a pine-cone at the top.

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