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My Favourite Planet > English > People > Dionysus

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Dionysus

Ancient Greek mythology, religion and art

Dionysus (Διόνυσος, Dionysos, "Born of Dios" or "Twice Born"; also known as Βάκχος, Bakkhos, and to the Romans as Bacchus), the Greek god of grape harvests, wine, revelry and religious ecstasy. His Etruscan equivalent was Fufluns (see below).

According to one version of the myths concerning Dionysus, he was the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Semele (Σεμέλη), a daughter of the Boeotian hero Cadmus and Harmonia, and was the only of the Twelve Olympian Gods to have a mortal mother. [1]

"I am loud-crying Dionysos, who Cadmus' daughter Semele bore of union with Zeus..."

Homeric Hymn 7, to Dionysus

Some time after his conception, Semele died when Zeus revealed himself to her in his true form, a sight so awesome that mortals can not survive it. Zeus took the unborn Dionysus and sewed him into his thigh, and some months later he was born on Mount Pramnos on the island of Ikaria (near Samos, in the southeastern Aegean).

The name Dionysus is thus thought to mean either Born of Dios (Zeus) or Twice Born. However, "nysus" may refer to Nysa, a mythological place in Phoenicia, Arabia, Ethiopia or Libya, which was also believed to have been where he was born or raised [2]. Because he had two "mothers", he received the epiphet Dimetor (of two mothers).

Hera, Zeus' jealous wife, attempted to kill Dionysus, so the infant was put in the care of Hermes who took him to be raised secretly either by King Athamas and his wife Ino (Dionysus' aunt), or according to another version, to the Hyades, rain Nymphs of Nysa. The subject of Hermes carrying the infant Dionysus to safety was depicted in Greek art from at least the Classical period (see photos on the Hermes page of the People section).

Dionysus' death and rebirth were important aspects of Greek and Roman mystical cults. The myths concerning his birth and relationship to other gods (for example, as a younger brother to Hermes) have led many authors, including Herodotus, to deduce that he was a relatively late introduction to the Greek pantheon, although some modern scholars believe that he may have been worshipped from at least the Mycenean period (around 1500-1100 BC) from mention of the name "di-wo-nu-so" on two tablets, written in Linear B script, discovered at Pylos. It has also been suggested that there may have been a Dionysian type cult in Minoan Crete. Mythological tales relating that he travelled through Asia, including India, and that he brought wine to the Greeks suggest that his cult was connected with the introduction of viniculture.

The cult of Dionysus included dance rituals which developed in ancient Greece into drama, and he was the patron of the Dionysia, the Athenian dramatic festival. Greek theatres were usually part of sanctuaries of the god (for example, theatres at the Athens Acropolis and Pergamon).

Dionysus had many lovers or consorts, including Ariadne (Ἀριάδνη, daughter of King Minos of Crete, see Selçuk gallery 2, page 2), Aphrodite and Circe, and his children included Priapus, Iacchus and Comus.

In Greek art Dionysus was often depicted as a mature bearded male, but from the Classical period (5th century BC) he was also portrayed as young, clean-shaven and athletic, as was his half-brother Hermes. He is also shown as androgynous and sometimes so incapably drunk that he has to be supported by Pan or a Satyr. However in many later works, particularly Archaistic works (imitating the style of the Archaic period, 8th - 5th centuries BC), he was still shown with a beard.

Among the many types of depictions of Dionysus, are several sculptures of the god unbearded, with long hair, parted in the middle and falling in wavy tresses to either side of his neck, his head leaning to one side, and with almost feminine features (for example, the head in the photo, above right). These types are very similar to representations of Apollo and Artemis, which has often led to problems of identification of the works and deities, especially in cases where only a head or part of a statue has been found without the deity's attributes.

In sculpture groups, and on reliefs, paintings, vases and mosaics, Dionysus is often shown accompanied by his retinue, the thiasos (θίασος, see photos below), including: the rustic, goat-footed god Pan and Satyrs; Silenus (Σειληνός, Seilenos) and Silens, often with horse's ears and tails; Maenads (μαινάδες), his female followers, usually dancing ectastically; Eros (Cupid) or a number of Erotes. [3]

He is also frequently shown accompanied by or riding a large cat, usually identified as a "panther", but often represented as a leopard (see photos below). The panther, one of his symbols, is also an important feature of images of Dionysus known as "triumphs" or "Indian triumphs", in which the god either rides a panther or a chariot drawn by the cats in a triumphal parade with his retinue of Satyrs, Silens and Maenads (see photos below). Triumph imagery was particularly popular during the Roman Imperial period, and many people throughout the empire chose the theme as decoration for their sarcophagi.

Other symbols of the wine god and his cult are vines, grapes and ivy, as well as "bucolic" objects associated with the countryside and agriculture, but also including musical instruments and tortoises. He carries a thyrsos, a staff of made of a fennel stalk, with a ribbon tied around it and topped by pine cone. Around his head he wears either an ivy wreath, a headdress of grapes or a ribbon, variously described as a tainia (headband) or mitra (headband of cult initiates).

In Archaic and Archaistic images, Dionysus is shown wearing elaborate costumes. However, from the Classical period he is increasingly nude or wearing only a himation (a rectangle of woollen cloth used as a cloak or wound around the body).


"So I salute you, Dionysus, god of the abundant grape clusters. Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season, and from that season onwards for many a year."

Homeric Hymn 26, to Dionysus
 
Sections on this page

Dionysus in ancient Greek,
Roman and Etruscan art
Bearded Dionysus
Beardless Dionysus
Infant Dionysus
Dionysus with a panther
Dionysus with women
Dionysus and Ariadne on Naxos
Dionysus and this thiasos
Dionysus and the theatre
The Triumph of Dionysus
 
References to Dionysus
on My Favourite Planet
 
Mosaic of Dionysus riding a panther in Pella
Archaeological Museum, Macedonia, Greece.
With photos of other examples of Dionysus
in ancient art.

Pella gallery, pages 9-11
 
Mosaic of Dionysus and Ariadne on Naxos, from
Ephesus, now in the Izmir Archaeological Museum.
With photos of other artistic depictions of this theme.

Selcuk gallery 2, page 2
 
The Theatre of Dionysos, below the Athens Acropolis.

Athens Acropolis gallery, page 36
 
Temple of Dionysus at the Hellenistic theatre
on the Pergamon Acropolis.

Pergamon gallery 2, page 7
 
Greek pottery with depictions of Dionysus
escorting Hephaistos on his return to Olympus.

Hephaistos, MFP People section
 
Depictions of Emperor Hadrian's
favourite Antinous as Dionysus.

Antinous, MFP People section

Marble head of a mature, bearded Dionysus from the Athens Acropolis at My Favourite Planet

Head of mature, bearded Dionysus.
Parian marble. Early Archaistic work,
circa 480-470 BC. Found south of
the Acropolis, Athens.

National Archaeological Museum,
Athens. Inv. No. 96.
Marble head of a statue of youthful Dionysus from Thasos at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of a statue of youthful Dionysus.
From a choragic monument in the east
monument of the sanctuary of Dionysus,
Thasos, Greece. Late 4th century BC.
Height 29 cn.

Thasos Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. 16.

See information about choragic
monuments in Thasos below.
 
Detail of a Hellenistic statue of Dionysus from Miletus at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of a statue of Dionysus.
Late 4th century BC.

Holes drilled in the right side, below
the tainia (headband) indicate that
a metal wreath was affixed to it.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
 
Detail of a Hellenistic statue of Dionysus from Miletus at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a Hellenistic statue of Dionysus.
From Miletus, 160-170 AD.

Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 1797.

See photo and details below.
 
Marble head of a statue of a singing or talking Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of a statue of a
singing or talking Dionysus,
wearing a mitra headband.

Roman period, after a Greek original
from 270-250 BC. Height 41 cm,
width 29.8 cm, depth 36.2 cm.

Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 610.
Purchased for the museum by Gustav
Friedrich Waagen in 1842 from the
Riccardi Collection, Florence.

This is one of several ancient copies, of
which the "Head from the South Slope"
of the Athenian Acropolis is considered
the most excellent. The model may have
been a famous Hellenistic statue by
Skopas in the Sanctuary of Dionysos
below the south side of the Acropolis.

The almost identical "Head from the South
Slope", of Pentelic marble and dated 325-
300 BC, is in the National Archaeological
Museum, Athens (Inv. No. 182), where it is
labelled as "either Ariadne or Dionysos".
A grave stele of a priestess of Dionysus from Thebes at My Favourite Planet

A limestone grave stele of a priestess of Dionysus, with a crowning
of regula and cymatium. In the centre are reliefs depicting the key
of a temple and and a wreath of ivy leaves. Below the epistyle is
the inscription, now barely visible, ΘΕΟΜΝΑΣΤΑ (Theomnasta).

From Thebes. Hellenistic period.

Thebes Archaeological Museum.
A votive dedication to Dionysus by the city of Thessaloniki at My Favourite Planet

A marble block inscribed with a votive dedication to Dionysus by the city of Thessaloniki.

2nd century BC. From the sanctuary of Serapis and Isis, Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.

ἡ πόλις
Διονύσωι
πολιταρχούντων
Ἀριστάνδρου τοῦ Ἀριστόνου
Ἀντιμάχου τοῦ Ἀριστοξένου

Inscription IG X,2 1 28

The city
to Dionysus
[when] politarchs [where]
Aristandros of Aristonous
[and] Antimachos of Aristoxenos
See: Charles Edson (editor), Inscriptiones Graecae, X: Inscriptiones Epiri, Macedoniae, Thraciae, Scythiae. Pars II, fasc. 1: Inscriptiones Thessalonicae et viciniae (= IG X/2,1), No. 28. De Gruyter, Berlin, 1972.

A politarch (πολιτάρχης, politarches, ruler of the citizens; plural, πολιτάρχαι, politarchai) was an elected governor (archon) of a city (polis) in Macedonia during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
 
 
Dionysus Bearded Dionysus

Dionysus was depicted as a mature, bearded god
in Archaic art and later works imitating the Archaic.

Fragments of a colossal statue of Dionysus from Ikaria, Attica at My Favourite Planet

Fragments of a colossal marble statue
of Dionysus, from the Attic deme of Ikaria
(today Dionysos). Around 520-510 BC.

The fragments were found during excavations
at Ikaria in 1888-1889, directed by Carl Darling
Buck. The head was recently associated with
the body. It is uncertain whether the right
hand with the kantharos (wine cup) belongs
to the statue. [4]

This may have been a cult statue of the god
in the Archaic Dionysion of Ikaria. According
to myth, viniculture was introduced to Attica
at Ikaria after Dionysus taught Ikarios the
art of winemaking there (see below).

National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Inv. No. 3072-3074, 3897.
 
Marble statue of a seated Dionysus found in Athens at My Favourite Planet

Marble statue of a seated Dionysus.

Pentelic marble. About 500 BC. Found in Athens.

Dionysus wears a mantle which leaves his right
shoulder bare. He and sits on a folding stool with
lion paws at the end of the legs, and covered by
a panther skin. The stool was covered with
painted motifs (meander, chequered pattern).

National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Inv. No. 3711.
Deities accompanying a bride and groom in their chariot at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Attic black-figure amphora with a depiction of deities
accompanying a bride and groom in their chariot: Apollo (with
kithara), Dionysus, Artemis, Poseidon, Aphrodite (?) and Hermes.

Made in Athens around 550-530 BC. Attributed to
the Painter of Berlin 1686. From Kamiros, Rhodes.

The other side of the amphora shows Herakles fighting
Kyknos in the presence of Zeus, Athena and Ares.

British Museum. GR 1861.4-25.50 (Vase B 197).
Herakles and Dionysus on a fragment of a black-figure amphora at My Favourite Planet

Fragment of an Attic black-figure amphora showing Herakles and Dionysus,
with Athena, wearing the aegis and holding a spear, driving a chariot.

525-500 BC. From Selinous (today Selinunte), Sicily.

Antonino Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum, Palermo, Sicily.
Dionysiac scene with a god on a mule at My Favourite Planet

A beaded god on an ithyphallic mule, holding a large rhyton (drinking horn), with a dancing
Maenad on either side. Described by the museum labelling as a "dionysiac scene with the god
[i.e. Dionysus] on a mule", the deity may be Dionysus or Hephaistos returning to Olympus.

Detail of an Attic black-figure amphora, made in Athens, end of the 6th century BC.
Found in a small ceramic sarcophagus, Tomb 13, Cemetery Lombartolo, the
Necropolis at Capo Soprano, Gela, Sicily.

Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum, Syracuse. Inv. No. 21948.
Dionysus running on a red-figure calyx-krater at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus running to the right, looking behind him.

Detail of a red-figure calyx-krater, around 510 BC. Formerly attributed to
the Pan Painter, now to the Orizia Painter. From Akragas (Agrigento), Sicily.

Dionysus, with a heavy crop of hair and long beard, wears a chiton with wide,
flowing folds. He carries a panther skin on his left arm, holds an ivy branch in his
left hand and a spear or staff in the right. On the other side of the krater (Side B)
a Satyr stands facing right, holding an animal-skin sack in his extended left hand.

Agrigento Regional Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. C. 1538.
Dionysusby the Tyszkiewicz Painter at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus walking to the right, looking behind him.

Detail of a red-figure pelike (storage jar). Around 470 BC. Attributed to
the Tyszkiewicz Painter (working around 490-480 BC) by John Beazley.
From Nola, Campania, Italy.

Dionysus, with a long beard and long hair bound by a tainia and tied up in a knot
at the back, and with a lock hanging down. He wears a himation (cloak) over a
long chiton (tunic). He carries an ivy branch in his left hand and a kantharos
(drinking cup) in the right. Side B shows a running Maenad with an oinochoe.

Studiendepot Antike, Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum, Dresden. Inv. No. Dr. 293.
A rhyton in the form of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

A special drinking vessel in the form of Dionysus,
seated on a stool and holding a rhyton (drinking horn).

Made in Athens around 500-490 BC.
From Capua, Campania, Italy.

The damaged rhyton was filed down for continued use
in antiquity. It was painted with a scene of Hermes facing
Apollo, who is followed by Artemis and their mother Leto.

British Museum. Inv. No. GR 1873.8-20.267 (Vase E 785).
Small ceramic head of Dionysus from Taranto, southern Italy at My Favourite Planet

Small ceramic head of Dionysus from Taranto, southern Italy.
5th century BC.

Barracco Museum, Rome. Inv. No. MB 221.
Formerly in the Tyskiewicz Collection.
Terracotta plaque with Dionysus from Medma, southern Italy at My Favourite Planet

Terracotta plaque with Dionysus bringing an offering of wine.

Made in Medma, southern Italy, about 460 BC.

British Museum. Inv. No. GR 1865.7-12.30 (Terracotta 1224).
Detail of the Dionysus relief from Loutses at My Favourite Planet   Neo-Attic Archaistic relief of Dionysus from Loutses, Attica at My Favourite Planet
Marble stele with a Neo-Attic Archaistic relief of Dionysus.

1st century BC. Found at Loutses, between the
districts of Chalandri and Agia Paraskevi, Attica.

Dionysus, in profile, walks to the left, holding a kantharos (wine
cup) in his right hand and his thyrsos staff in his left hand.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 3727.
Marble relief of Dionysus with his thyrsos staff, Barracco Museum, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a fragment of a marble krater (wine bowl) with an Archaistic relief
showing Dionysus carrying his thyrsos staff, topped by a pine cone.

Pentelic marble. Roman period, 1st century BC.

Barracco Museum, Rome. Inv. No. MB 169.
Archaistic relief of Dionysus, Pergamon Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet   Detail of the Dionysus relief in Berlin at My Favourite Planet
Restored fragment of an Archaistic marble relief of Dionysus.

Beginning of the 1st century AD.

Antikensammlung, State Museums Berlin (SMB).
Inv. No. Sk 940 (Skulpturen I, S. 270).
Acquired in 1869 in Rome by Wolfgang Helbig (1839-1915).

The left and lower sides and the top right corner of the relief are modern, speculatively restored with fine, crystalline marble to resemble similar extant reliefs of Dionysus, including a marble base of a candelabrum or thymiaterion (incense burner) in Dresden (Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum, Inv. No. Hm 027), a plaster cast of which was acquired by the Berlin museum around 1842 (known to have been exhibited in the Neues Museum in the 1850s, Inv. No. I.G. 1545 FW 423). The relief was cleaned in 1993.

Dionysus is shown in the Archaic style as a mature, dignified, bearded figure (comparable to Archaic depictions of Hermes). His head is shown in profile, while his body is presented in a three-quarter view. His hair is brushed forward to a point at the front, beneath a crown of ivy leaves, and is tied at the back with a knot (krobylos). Two corkscrew locks fall from behind the ear and rest on his chest. His long beard is also brushed forward to a point.

He wears a long chiton (tunic) covered by a himation (cloak) which clings tightly to his body. His left arm, completely covered by the himation, is bent behind him so that the back of the hand rests on the top of his hip; the pressure of the hand causes deep creases on the side of the himation. His slightly bent right leg is in front of the left leg which carries his weight, and he appears to be resting some of his weight on the long thyrsos held in his right hand. The restoration shows the god barefooted.

In the restoration, the thyrsos rests on the low base of a tall pedestal on which stands a tripod with animal-paw feet. Such tripods were awarded as trophies to winners of theatrical competitions during the annual Great Dionysia festival in Athens, and set up as votive offerings to Dionysus in public spaces (see, for example, the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos and the Choragic Monument of Nikias).

The left side of the relief has not survived, however, other extant reliefs show a woman (perhaps a priestess) decorating a tripod with a victor's headband (tainia).

Height 72 cm, width 34.5 cm, depth 8.5 cm.
 
Detail of a marble krater with a relief of Dionysus leading two Maenads at My Favourite Planet Marble krater with a relief of Dionysus in Naples at My Favourite Planet
A large marble krater (wine bowl) with a Neo-Attic relief showing Dionysus, holding
a kantharos and his thyrsos, leading two Maenads. Pentelic marble. 1st century AD.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6778. Farnese Collection.
An Archaistic relief of Dionysus from Corinth at My Favourite Planet

The side of a fragmentary marble base or pier with an Archaistic relief of
Dionysus in profile, walking left and holding a thyrsos in his right hand.

From the forum of ancient Corinth. Roman period, 1st century AD.

On the front of the base, as it is displayed in the museum,
is an Archaistic relief of Hera, and on the left side is Athena.

Corinth Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. S-79-6.

A similar base in the museum has reliefs of
Persephone, Zeus Chthonios and Demeter.
A drawing of a thyrsos with vines by Charles Fellows at My Favourite Planet

A thyrsos with vines, from the sketchbook of the British
traveller and archaeologist Charles Fellows (1799-1860).

Charles Fellows travelled through southwestern Anatolia in 1838, 1840, 1842 and 1843, discovering and exploring several ancient Lycian cities. During his first journey he discovered the ancient Lycian capital Xanthos (Greek, Ξάνθος; Lycian, Arnna), which he described as "my favourite city", and from where he later took artefacts, including the surviving parts of the famous Nereid Monument, for the British Museum (see Museum boom part 1 at The Cheshire Cat Blog).

He noted the survival among the Greeks in Anatolia of the ancient custom of adding pine resin to wine to make what is today known as retsina, and related it to the pine cone on Dionysus' thyrsos, although he referred to it as a "fir-apple". An entry from his journal, written 19th April 1838 while he was in Xanthos, Lycia (at the village of Kınık, Antalya Province, southwest Turkey):

"In the houses of the Greeks only is wine to be met with, and by them it is taken far too freely. In their mode of manufacturing it another trace of antiquity is recognised. They add a flavour of turpentine, obtained from the fir-apple; this was also the custom with the ancient Greeks, and the fir-apple is found in all bacchanalian emblems surmounting the vine-wreathed thyrsus or staff of the god."

Charles Fellows, A journal written during an excursion in Asia Minor, 1838, pages 234-235. John Murray, London, 1839. At the Internet Archive.

It is thought that the pine resin was originally used by the ancient Greeks to seal containers such as amphorae to keep wine from turning sour, and that the resulting taste became popular, leading to the resin being added during firmentation. Until recently retsina (ρετσίνα, from ρετσίνι, retsini, resin; from Ancient Greek ῥητίνη, rhetine, pine resin) was one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Greece, mostly because it was cheap: in the 1980s a litre could be purchased for less than a dollar. However, it has a pretty harsh flavour, and is definitely an acquired taste not suited to delicate palates. To make it more palatable, many Greeks mix it with cola, the resulting "long drink" being popularly known as diesel. Since at least the 1980s many Greek wine growers have been attempting to improve the quality and value of their produce, and non-resinated wines have become increasingly popular, if more expensive. This and the availability of other drinks, particularly beer, have resulted in a significant reduction in retsina production.

See also a relief of a Dionysus mask from the theatre at Letoon, Lycia, below.
 
Dionysus mask on an Attic amphora at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus mask between two large eyes on an Attic black-figure neck amphora.

Made in Athens around 520 BC, Archaic period. Attributed to the Antimenes Painter.
The other side (Side B) shows a similar mask of a Satyr between two large eyes.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. F3997.
Acquired in 1884 from the Castellani Collection.
 

Colossal marble mask of Dionysus from Athens at My Favourite Planet

Colossal marble mask of Dionysus.

Pentelic Marble. Roman period, 1st century BC.
From the Athens Acropolis.

The mask was probably set high up. On vase
paintings (particularly Lenaia vases) such
masks, made of various materials, are shown
set up on trees, wooden poles or stone columns,
sometimes draped with clothing, at sanctuaries
of Dionysus, with rituals being performed
around them (see photo below right).

Acropolis Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 6461.
 
Marble head of the Greek wine god Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Head of Dionysus.
Archaistic sculpture of the Augustan period
(27 BC - 14 AD). Pentelic marble.

Barracco Museum, Rome. Inv. No. MB 86.
 

Colossal limestone mask of Dionysus from Cyprus at My Favourite Planet

Colossal limestone mask
of Dionysus from Cyprus.

100 BC - 100 AD. Found at Lefka,
probably from Soloi, Cyprus.

The Dionysus cult was introduced to Cyprus
after 300 BC, during the Hellenistic period,
perhaps because the Ptolemies of Egypt, who
ruled the island, claimed descent from the god.

British Museum. GR 1910,10-14.1.
 
Worshippers sacrificing in front of an image of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Worshippers sacrificing in front
of an image of Dionysus.

Detail of an Attic red-figure vase, 470-450 BC.

British Museum.

Photo © British Museum
 

Terracotta mask of bearded Dionysus from Corinth at My Favourite Planet

Terracotta mask of bearded Dionysus,
perhaps Dionysus-Hades.

4th century BC. Found to east of the theatre
in the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore
at Corinth. Height 18 cm.

The god wears a stephane (crown) or polos
decorated with a wreath of ivy leaves. Unusually,
he also has two curving horns (one now broken
off) in the center of his head. The facial type
has been identified as that of Dionysus-Hades.
Another, smaller, fragmented mask and a ceramic
plaque inscribed with the name Dionysus
(see below) were also found at the site.

Corinth Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. MF 73-3.

See: Nancy Bookidis and Joan E. Fisher,
Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore on Acrocorinth:
Preliminary Report V: 1971-1973
, Hesperia,
Vol. 43, No. 3, Jul. - Sep. 1974, pages 267-307
(discussion of the mask on pages 290-291,
plate 59). The American School of Classical
Studies at Athens (ASCSA). At jstor.org.
 
Ceramic alabastron with a mask of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Ceramic alabastron with
a mask of Dionysus.

Late 2nd - early 1st century BC.
Found in a late Helenistic fill in the
area of the Thessaloniki agora.

Dionysus was particularly popular
in Thessaloniki. The vessel is in the
form a phallus, a symbol of fertility,
well-being and avoidance of bad luck.

Agora Museum, Thessaloniki.
Ivory plaque with a mask of Dionysus from Saepinum at My Favourite Planet

Ivory plaque with a mask of Dionysus, an applique
probably as decoration for a chest or bed.

100 BC - 100 AD. Found at Sepino, location of
the Samnite city Saepinum, south-central Italy.

Museo Provinciale Sannitico, Campobasso. Inv. No. 1311. [5]

The Samnites, ancient Italic people who lived in Samnium in south-central Italy, adopted the cult of Dionysus from the Greeks in Magna Gracia (southern Italy). Images of the god and members of his thiasos spread through Samnium from around the 4th century BC.

See other Dionysian artefacts from Samnium below:

a gilded silver relief of Dionysus from Pietrabbondante

a terracotta antefix depicting a Maenad from Pietrabbondante
 
Two inscribed ceramic plaques from Corinth at My Favourite Planet

Two inscribed ceramic pinakes (plaques), the upper plaque
inscribed ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΥ (Donysou), the lower ΑΛΦΙΑΙΑΣ (Aphiaias).

400-250 BC. Among four similar pinakes found in 1964 during excations in the area of the theatre
of the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Corinth. They were all inscribed, with names in the
genitive case, by the same hand before firing. The other two are inscribed ΟΛΟΛΥΝΓΟΥΣ (Ololyngous)
and ΙΩΓΡ[ΑΦΟΥ] (Iographou). They are not thought to be personal names, and their purpose is not
known. It has been suggested that they may have been related to cries uttered by worshippers
during rituals. The name Alphiaias is usually associated with Artemis.

Corinth Archaeological Museum.

See: Henry S. Robinson, Excavations in Corinth, 1964, in: Αρχαιολογικόν Δελτίον
(Archaiologikon Deltion), Volume 20, Part 1, 1965 (1967), pages 144-145.
Terracotta bust of Dionysus from a household shrine in Pella, Macedonia at My Favourite Planet

Terracotta bust of Dionysus from a
household shrine in Pella, Macedonia.

Hellenistic period.

Pella Archaeological Museum.
Terracotta bust of Dionysus from Mikri Santa, Imathia at My Favourite Planet

Terracotta bust of Dionysus.

From Mikri Santa, Imathia, Macedonia. 150-100 BC.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
Fragment of a vase with a mask of Dionysus, Barracco Museum, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Fragment of a marble vase with a mask of Dionysus.

1st century BC - 1st century AD. Parian marble.

Barracco Museum, Rome. Inv. No. MB 168.
An Attic pelike with a worshipper sacrificing before four herms of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Attic black-figure pelike with a worshipper sacrificing before four herms of Dionysus.

Last decade of the 6th century BC.

National Archaeological Museum of Paestum, Campania, Italy.

See: Beazley Archive Database, Vase No. 14643
Marble Archaistic herm of bearded Dionysus at My Favourite Planet   Herm of Dionysus in Berlin at My Favourite Planet
"Bärtiger Dionysos" (Bearded Dionysos), marble Archaistic herm of Dionysus.

Roman, 1st - 2nd century AD. Height 69 cm.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. K. 207.

Acquired in 1766 from the Natali Collection in Rome by the art dealer Giovanni Ludovico Bianconi for King Friedrich II of Prussia (Frederick the Great, 1712-1786) who placed it in the Neue Palais, Sanssouci, Potsdam.

Restoration included the repair and addition of part of the left eyebrow, most of the top lip, the back of the head, the bust with most of the back and shoulders, side-locks and the end of the beard.

As the museum labelling mentions, such representations of Dionysus and his brother Hermes became so similar that they are often impossible to distinguish.

See: Alexander Conze, Beschreibung der antiken Skulpturen mit Ausschluss der pergamenischen Fundstücke (Description of the ancient sculptures with the exception of the Pergamon finds), page 53. Generalverwaltung, Königliche Museen zu Berlin. Verlag von W. Spemann, Berlin, 1891. At the Heidelberg University Digital Library.

If you can understand German, it well worth reading this illustrated catalogue of many of the ancient sculptures acquired by Berlin museums up to the end of the 19th century. Naturally, since 1891 there have been many new acquisitions, as well as reappraisals of several objects. Many of Berlin's antiquities went missing during World War II, including the famous Mycenaean jewellery discovered by Heinrich Schliemann, and a painted head of Athena (pages 39-49; see a photo of it on Athens Acropolis gallery, page 13).

See more about herms on Pergamon gallery 2, page 15.
 
Detail of Dionysos-Sardanapalos in Athens at My Favourite Planet   Marble statue of Dionysos-Sardanapalos type at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of the "Dionysos-Sardanapalos" (Διόνυσος Σαρδανάπαλος)
type, depicting the god with a long wavy beard and tresses, and wrapped
in a chiton (tunic) and a himation (cloak).

1st century AD. Restored 1918-1920 from several fragments found
separately between 1865 and after 1891 at the Theatre of Dionysos,
Athens. Pentelic marble. Height 123 cm.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 1656.

Statues of the "Dionysos-Sardanapalos" (or "Dionysus-Sardanapalus") type are believed to be Roman period copies of a Greek original of around 350-325 BC, attributed to the school of Praxiteles. The type is named after the late Roman period inscription (or perhaps added by modern restorers) "ϹΑΡΔΑΝΑΠΑΛΛΟϹ" (Sardanapallos) on the example now in the Museo Pio-Clementino of the Vatican Museums (see image right). It was found in 1761 in a vineyard near Frascati, at a village named Monte Porzio Catone after the so-called Villa di Catone Uticense, believed to have been the villa of Cato the Younger (Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, 95-46 BC). The statue was restored with a modern thyrsos of wood and iron.

The inscription led 18th century scholars such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann to believe the statue depicted the legendary king of Assyria (perhaps Ashurbanipal or Ashur-uballit II) mentioned in Persica, a lost work by the Greek writer Ctesias, later summarized by Diodorus Siculus. The statue was identified as a depiction of Dionysus by the antiquarian and art historian Ennio Quirino Visconti in the early 19th century. [6]

Other "Dionysos-Sardanapalos" type sculptures:

Statue, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome (see below).

Fragment of the head of the Terme statue. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (see below).

Bust, National Archaeological Museum, Naples (see below).

Statue, British Museum. Inv. No. GR 1878,1106.1 (Sculpture 1606). Not on display. 40-60 AD. Carved from a single block of Pentelic marble, except for the missing right arm, which was made separately. Said to have been found at Posillipo, Campania, Italy. Purchased In Rome, 1878, from the art dealer Alessandro Castellani. Height: 201.25 cm.

"Dioniso barbato", statue, Centrale Montemartini, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. No. 3035. Purchased on the art market, Rome, 1957. Height 195 cm. Head and right arm restored.

Bust, Antonino Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum, Palermo, Sicily. Inv. No. 713.

Bust, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. (Inv. No. 376 ?)
Very little information and apparently no photos of this bust have been published. It may not be on display.

Statuette, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete.
Inv. No. 315. 2nd - 3rd century AD. The figure wears a wreath of ivy and pine nuts. Traces of red colour. Found in the vineyard of the Villa Ariadne, Knossos. Height 61 cm.
 
Engraving of the Vatican Sardanapalos statue by Winckelmann at My Favourite Planet

An engraving of the Sardanapalos
statue in the Vatican, published
by Winckelmann in 1767. [7]

Thought to be a 1st century AD
copy of a 4th century BC orginal.
Pentelic marble. Height 202 cm.

Sala della Biga, Museo Pio-Clementino,
Vatican Museums, Rome. Inv. No. 2363.
Statue of the Dionysos-Sardanapalos type, Palazzo Massimo, Rome at My Favourite Planet Detail of Dionysos-Sardanapalos in the Palazzo Massimo at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of the "Dionysos-Sardanapalos" type.

1st century AD. Pentelic marble. Height 206 cm. Found in 1926 in the area
of Due Sante (probably a villa), Via Appia, Castel Gandolfo, Rome.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, National Museum of Rome. Inv. No. 108605.

Athough it is often stated that the statue was discovered in 1928, the British archaeologist and art historian Bernard Ashmole (1894-1988) reported seeing it in 1926, just after its discovery. The missing face was restored in 1942, based on the statue in the Museo Pio-Clementino (see above).

Presented by Mussolini in 1944 as a gift to Germany, it was exhibited in the Nietzsche Archiv, Weimar, as a symbol of the cult of "Dionysos-Nietzsche". After the Second World War it was moved to the Pergamon Museum, East Berlin, and in 1991, following the reunification of Germany and claims for its repatriation by the Italian government, it was returned to Italy.

Ashmole also reported that the missing part of the head turned up on the London art market in summer 1929, and it was purchased for the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (see photo right).

See: Bernard Ashmole, Sardanapalus again, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume 50, Issue 1, November 1930, page 142. At the Internet Archive.

The "again" in the title of the short report refers back to Ashmole's 1919 article on the Dionysos-Sardanapalos type, which followed Katharine A. McDowall's 1904 article.

Bernard Ashmole, The so-called 'Sardanapalus'. The Annual of the British School at Athens, Volume 24, Supplement (1919/1920 - 1920/1921), pages 78-87. At jstor.

Katharine A. McDowall, The so-called 'Sardanapalus'. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume 24, 1904, pages 255-259. At the Internet Archive.

Head of the Terme Dionysos-Sardanapalos statue in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford at My Favourite Planet

The fragment of the head of the
Terme Dionysos-Sardanapalos statue,
now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Inv. No. 1966.663. Height 26 cm.

Source: Bernard Ashmole,
Sardanapalus again, 1930.
Dionysos-Sardanapalos statue in the British Museum at My Favourite Planet

The Dionysos-Sardanapalos statue
in the British Museum.
Inv. No. GR 1878,1106.1
(Sculpture 1606).

Source: Katharine A. McDowall,
The so-called 'Sardanapalus', 1904.
Dionysos Sardanapalos head in Naples at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of the "Dionysos-Sardanapalos" type on a modern herm.

Mid 2nd century AD copy of a 4th century BC Greek original. Nose restored.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6306. Farnese Collection.
 

Marble head of Dionysus of the Athens/Kos type at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of bearded Dionysus
of the Athens/Kos type, related to
the "Dionysos-Sardanapalos" type.

1st century AD Classicistic work inspired
by 4th BC century originals. Found in
the theatre near Zea Harbour, Piraeus.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Inv. No. 3478.
 
Marble double herm of bearded Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Marble double herm bust of bearded Dionysus.

Roman Imperial period.

Sala del Fauno, Palazzo Nuovo,
Capitoline Museums, Rome.
Inv. No. MC 257. From the Albani Collection.
 

Marble bust of bearded Dionysus in Naples at My Favourite Planet

Marble bust of bearded Dionysus.

2nd century AD.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Inv. No. 6350.
 
Marble head of bearded Dionysus from Corinth at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of bearded Dionysus.

2nd century AD. From the Peribolos
of Apollo, ancient Corinth.

Corinth Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. S-987.
Bronze bust known as Dionysus-Plato, from Herculaneum at My Favourite Planet

Bronze bust known as "Dionysus-Plato", from Herculaneum.

49-25 BC. Discovered in the Villa of the Papyri (Villa dei Papiri), Herculaneum,
18 April 1759. Height 50 cm, width 28.8 - 44.5 cm, depth 22,5 cm.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 5618.

Little has been written about this bust which appears to have baffled many scholars. It depicts a mature bearded male with long hair held by a fillet (headband), wearing a chiton (tunic). He has been identified as either Dionysus or Priapus (Πρίαπος, Priapos), the son of Dionysus and Aphrodite. Following its discovery the work was attributed by some scholars to Skopas or Praxiteles.

More obscure is the identification as "Dionysus-Plato" (Διόνυσοπλάτων, Dionysoplaton), a figure mentioned as depicted on a seal of a will on papyrus from Oxyrhynchos, Egypt, written during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD), and thought to represent the Athenian philosopher Plato deified as Dionysus. Several Roman period busts which appear to depict a bearded god bear the inscription "Πλάτων" (Plato), assumed to have been added later for collectors who wanted to own a likeness of the philosopher, but which according to other theories may belong to the type "Dionysus-Plato".
 
 
Dionysus Beardless Dionysus

Dionysus was depicted as youthful and clean-shaven
from the Classical period (5th centuy BC).
A statue of Dionysus from the east pediment of the Parthenon at My Favourite Planet

A marble statue of a naked young man, thought to represent
Dionysus, reclining on a rock covered by the skin of a female animal.
From the east pediment of the Parthenon. Width 1.3 metres.

British Museum. Inv. No. 1816,0610.93 (East pediment D). Part of the "Elgin Marbles".

The pedimental sculptures of the Parthenon were made of Pentelic marble by Pheidias and his pupils 438-432 BC. According to Pausanias (Description of Greece, Book 1, chapter 24, section 5), the theme of the east pediment was the birth of Athena, and that of the west pediment the contest between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of Athens.

Each of the sculptures is actually a free-standing statue, executed in the round, rather than the type of reliefs known from the pediments of other temples (see for example the high relief of Dionysus from the Temple of Apollo in Delphi below). They are remarkably detailed and finished, particularly considering that they stood so high on the Parthenon that many parts would not be visible to the viewer on the ground. An entire pediment can be seen only when standing some distance from the building; the view of the figures from the angle shown in the photo above was not possible when they were in place.

"Figure D", the only sculpture of the pediments still with an intact head, has been identified as Dionysus, although Herakles and Theseus have also been suggested. The youthful, athletic god is shown lounging on a rock covered with a panther skin, between the horses of the chariot of the sun god Helios (left) and two seated female figures, thought to be Demeter and Persephone (right). If this is Dionysus, he may have held a wine cup in his missing right hand.
 
A cast of the statue of Dionysus from the Parthenon at My Favourite Planet

A cast of the marble statue of Dionysus from the east pediment of the
Parthenon, on permanent exhibition in the Acropolis metro station, Athens.
Ceramic vase in the form of Dionysus' head, Athens Agora at My Favourite Planet

Fragmentary ceramic vase in the form of Dionysus' head.

Circa 410 BC. Found on 15 April 1954 in a well to
the north of the Nymphaeum, on the southeast
side of the Athenian Agora. Height 14.8 cm.

Agora Museum, Athens. Inv. No. P 23822.
Marble high relief of Dionysus from the west pediment of the Temple of Apollo, Delphi at My Favourite Planet   Reconstruction drawing of the Dionysos relief from Delphi at My Favourite Planet

Reconstruction drawing of the
Dionysos relief from Delphi
(surviving parts in blue), showing
the god holding a kithara and
wearing a long chiton and himation.
Marble high relief of youthful Dionysus from the west pediment
of the Late Classical Temple of Apollo in Delphi. Circa 330 BC.

Delphi Archaeological Museum, Greece.
Head, Inv. No. 2380. Height circa 50 cm.

According to Pausanias, the pediments of the Temple of Apollo, the most important temple in Delphi which contained the oracle, were made by the Athenian sculptors Praxias and Androsthenes. The reliefs on the east pediment (above the entrance) depicted Artemis, Leto, Apollo, Muses and a setting Sun (Helios); the west pediment reliefs depicted Dionysus with the Thyiads. Praxias died during the lengthy construction of the temple, thought to have taken around twenty years, and his work was completed by Androsthenes.

"The carvings in the pediments are: Artemis, Leto, Apollo, Muses, a setting Sun, and Dionysus together with the Thyiad women. The first of them are the work of Praxias, an Athenian and a pupil of Calamis, but the temple took some time to build, during which Praxias died. So the rest of the ornament in the pediments was carved by Androsthenes, like Praxias an Athenian by birth, but a pupil of Eucadmus."

Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 10, chapter 19, section 4.

The sculptures of the east pediment have not been discovered, and may have been taken to Rome. Only a few fragments have survived of the west pediment's frieze, which show Dionysus standing in the centre of a group of dancing female figures, believed to be Thyiads (Θυιάδες, Thiades; singular, Θυία, Thyia), women in his thiasos who held dances on Mount Parnassos. [8]

Dionysus resided at Delphi in the winter when the oracle was closed and Apollo stayed among the Hyperboreans (Ὑπερβόρεοι), the mythical people who lived beyond the North Wind. The grave of Dionysus was said to be within the temple. Athens sent a delegation of women known as Thyiads to the orgia (ὄργια), ecstatic sacred rites on Mount Parnassos that took place in winter.

"The Thyiads are Attic women, who with the Delphian women go to Parnassus every other year and celebrate orgies in honour of Dionysus. It is the custom for these Thyiads to hold dances at places, including Panopeus, along the road from Athens."

Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 10, chapter 4, section 3.

"Others maintain that Castalius, an aboriginal, had a daughter Thyia, who was the first to be priestess of Dionysus and celebrate orgies in honor of the god. It is said that later on men called after her Thyiads all women who rave in honour of Dionysus. At any rate they hold that Delphus was a son of Apollo and Thyia. Others say that his mother was Melaena, daughter of Cephisus."

Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 10, chapter 6, section 4.

The figure of Dionysus wears the mitra (headband) of cult initiates, a long chiton belted at the waist, and a himation (cloak) which hangs from his shoulders. Unusually, he is thought to have originally held in his left hand a kithara [9], normally an attribute of Apollo (as "Apollo Kitharodos"). At either end of the frieze was a seated panther.
 
Detail of the statue of Dionysus from Eleusus at My Favourite Planet   Marble statue of Dionysus from Eleusus at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of a youthful, unbearded Dionysus.

Pentelic marble. Mid 4th century BC. Found in the "Ploutonion"
in the Sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone, Eleusis, Greece.

The god's hair, parted in the middle, hangs in long wavy tresses from behind his ears, down
the side of his head and on to his shoulders and chest. He wears a himation which covers
his left shoulder and arm, and is wound around the lower part of his otherwise naked
body. Some scholars believe the statue may depict Dionysus as Iakchos or Eubouleus,
gods associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries (see Demeter and Persephone).

National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 255.
Marble head of a herm of drunken Dionysus from Syracuse at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of a herm of drunken Dionysus.

3rd - 2nd century BC. Found in 1914 at
Borgata Santa Lucia, Achradine, Syracuse, Sicily.

Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum, Syracuse. Inv. No.34783.
 

Bronze statuette of Dionysos holding a kantharos at My Favourite Planet

Bronze statuette of Dionysos holding
a kantharos (wine cup). Perhaps made
in Taranto, Italy, around 200 BC.

British Museum. GR 1851.8-13.1 (Bronze 808).
Comarmond Collection. From Chessy, France.
 
Bronze statuette of Dionysos from the Ambelokipoi Hoard at My Favourite Planet

Bronze statuette of Dionysus on a
round base. Roman period, modelled
on works of the late 2nd century BC.

The figure wears a nebris (νεβρίς, panther skin)
[10] over his left shoulder and sandals. He may
have held a thyrsos in his right hand and a bowl
in the left. His left foot rests on a lying animal
which looks like a dog, but is probably a panther.

Part of the "Ambelokipoi Hoard" of Roman
period statuettes discovered in the
Ambelokipoi district of Athens in 1964.

National Archaeological Museum,
Athens. Inv. No. 16773.
 

Bronze statuette of Dionysos from Chochlia, Eurytania at My Favourite Planet

Bronze statuette of Dionysos wearing
an ivy wreath with bunches of grapes,
a fawnskin (nebris) over a chiton, and
high traveller's boots (endromides). He
probably held a thyrsos in his left hand
and a drinking cup in the right.

Mid 2nd century BC. Said to have
been found in Chochlia (Χόχλια), Aitolia
(Eurytania, Central Greece). Hollow cast:
the head, arms and body were cast
separately. Height 47 cm.

National Archaeological Museum,
Athens. Inv. No. X 15209.
Handed into the museum in 1936.
 
 

Marble statuette of Dionysus from Eleusis at My Favourite Planet

Marble statuette of Dionysus wearing
an ivy wreath and holding a kantharos
and a bunch of grapes. His himation
hangs loosely from his left arm and
hips, leaving his genitals exposed.

From Eleusis, Greece. Roman period.

Eleusis Archaeological Museum.
 
Marble statuette of Dionysus from Pompeii at My Favourite Planet

Marble statuette of Dionysus wearing a
nebris and holding a kantharos (wine cup)
with which he poured wine into the mouth
of the small panther at his feet.

From the Temple of Isis, Pompeii. Claudian age.

The statuette was originally gilded and painted.
The inscription on the base states that it was
a votive gift from Numerio Popidio Ampliato,
father of Popidio Celsino, who restored the
temple with his money. The Romans identified
Dionysus with the Egyptian god Osiris.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Inv. No. 3.7.
Marble statue of Dionysus from the Janciculum sanctuary, Rome at My Favourite Planet   Detail of the Dionysus statue from the Janciculum at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of Dionysus from the Janciculum "sanctuary", Rome.

Luni Marble. Roman Imperial period, second half of the 2nd century AD. Discovered 1908.

The pretty young god stands naked in a sensual pose, with an expression which could
be interpreted as dreamlike or drunken. An emptied kantharos (drinking cup) hangs from
his right hand, and he may have originally held a thyrsos in his left hand. Bunches of
grapes hang from his headband. Traces of gold leaf on the head and hands suggest
that the statue was gilded in the way usual for the sun god Dionysus-Helios.

Palazzo Altemps, National Museum of Rome. Inv. No. 60920.
Detail of the statue of Dionysus from Cyrene at My Favourite Planet   Marble statue of Dionysus from the temple of Dionysus in Cyrene at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of Dionysus from the Temple of Dionysus in Cyrene (Κυρήνη), Libya.

Roman Imperial period, 2nd century AD. Perhaps the cult statue of the temple. Thought
to be a Roman adaption of an existing type of statue rather than a copy of a Greek original.

The god, depicted as young and clean-shaven, wears an ivy wreath and holds a bunch of
grapes. The broad swathe of the lower part of his himation is revealing and overtly erotic.

British Museum. Inv. No. 1861,0725.2 (Sculpture 1476).
Marble statue of Dionysus in Ostia at My Favourite Planet   Detail of the Dionysus statue in Ostia at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of Dionysus from Ostia, near Rome.

2nd century AD. Discovered in 1938 near the Temple of Hercules (Tempio
di Ercole, I,XV,5), in the Republican sacred area, Ostia. Parian marble.

Ostia Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. 112.
 

Marble statue of Dionysus in Dresden at My Favourite Planet

Fragmentary marble statue of Dionysus,
wearing a nebris, with a panther.

2nd half of the 2nd century - 1st half
of the 3rd century AD. Height 165 cm,
width 68 cm, depth 40 cm.

Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum,
Dresden. Inv. No. Hm 292.
 
Marble statue of Dionysus, Baths of Diocletian, Rome at My Favourite Planet   Detail of the Dionysus statue in the Baths of Diocletian at My Favourite Planet
Black marble statue of Dionysus, wearing a diadem, ivy wreath and
a nebris, holding a wine jug in his right hand and his thyrsos in the left.

Baths of Diocletian, National Museum of Rome.
Marble head of youthful Dionysus, Pergamon Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of Dionysus, originally part of a statue. Mid 2nd century AD.

Mounted on a Classicistic marble tile, probably in the 19th century.
Height 56 cm, width 47 cm, depth 28 cm.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 121.
Marble head of Dionysus from the Horti Lamiani, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of Dionysus.

Pentelic marble. Roman eclectic work inspired by Hellenistic models.

From the Horti Lamiani, Rome; found 1882 near the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. No. MC 1129.
Marble head of Dionysus from the Temple of Octavia, Corinth at My Favourite Planet

Marble head of Dionysus.

From the peribolos of Temple E ("Temple of Octavia"),
Ancient Corinth. Roman period, 2nd century AD.

Corinth Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. S 1669.
 

Marble statue of a youthful Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Marble statue of a youthful Dionysus.

50 - 1 BC. Found near
Stazione Termini, Rome.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
 
Marble bust of a youthful Dionysus, Capitoline Museums, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Marble bust of a youthful Dionysus.

2nd century AD, after a Hellenistic original.
Perhaps from the Vatican.

Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums, Rome.
Inv. No. MC 734.
 

Marble statue of Dionysus from Thessaloniki at My Favourite Planet

Marble statue of Dionysus leaning on a tree
trunk covered with a vine. The elaborate
arrangement of the hair on the top of the
head is more usual for statues of Apollo

2nd century AD. From Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
 
Marble statuette of Dionysus wearing a nebris in Dresden at My Favourite Planet

Part of a marble statuette of
Dionysus wearing a nebris.

160-190 AD. Height 76.3 cm,
width 29.5 cm, depth 19.9 cm.

Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum,
Dresden. Inv. No. Hm 098.
 

Table support with a Dionysic group from Dokimeion, Anatolia at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a marble table support (trapezophoron)
with a Dionysian group: Dionysus, Pan and a Satyr.

170-180 AD. From Dokimeion, Anatolia (Asia Minor). Unknown provenance.

The nude Dionysus holds a rhyton (ritual drinking
horn), one end of which is shaped like the front
of a panther. On the left goat-footed Pan holds
a lagobolon (a stick for throwing at hares). He
rests his left foot (the lower left leg is missing)
on the lid of a small cylindrical basket fron which
a snake emerges. A Satyr climbs the vine behind
Pan and cuts grapes with a sickle in his left hand.
A lagobolon hangs from the vine.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Inv. No. 5706.
 
Table support with Dionysus group from Argos, Peloponnese, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Marble table support with
Dionysus and a panther.

Turn of the 2nd - 3rd century AD.
From Argos, Peloponnese, Greece.
Height 91 cm, width 26,5cm, depth 24 cm.

Dionysus stands naked, resting his left
arm on a tree trunk support around
which grows a grapevine. A small panther
sits below the trunk, next to a discarded,
empty kantharos (wine cup). His right
forearm (now missing) rests on top of his
head, a gesture also seen in depictions
of Apollo, and thought to represent a
state of rest or inner vision.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
Inv. No. Sk 91.
 

Marble bust of Dionysus from the Albani Collection at My Favourite Planet

Marble bust of Dionysus.

Roman period copy of a late
4th century BC Greek original.

Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums, Rome.
Inv. No. MC 722. From the Albani Collection.
   
A silver tetradrachm of Maroneia, Thrace with the head of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

A silver tetradrachm of Maroneia (Μαρώνεια), on the Aegean
coast of Thrace, west of modern Alexandroupoli, with the head
of Dionysus wearing a wreath of ivy leaves. Circa 146-80 BC.

The legendary or mythological founder of
Maroneia was Maron, a son of Dionysus.

Numismatic Collection, Bode Museum, Berlin.
Dionysus on a silver tetradrachm of Maroneia at My Favourite Planet

A silver tetradrachm of Maroneia, Thrace, showing Dionysus, with
the inscription "ΔΙΟΝΙΣΟΥ ΣΩΤΕΙΡΟΣ" (Dionysus Soteiros, Saviour).

Circa 189-45 BC. Diameter 31.85 mm, weight 15.63 grams.
The obverse shows the head of Dionysus similar to the coin above.

Münzkabinett, Residenzschloss, Dresden. Inv. No. AAB668.
Mosaic emblema with a bust of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

A small mosaic emblema (panel) with a bust of Dionysus
wearing a diadem with ivy leaves, a nebris (leopard skin)
and a red cloak over a red chiton.

1st - 2nd century AD. Part of a large floor mosaic found in
the Via Ardeatina, near the church of Sant' Palombo, Rome.

The large central panel of the mosaic depicts the head of Medusa.

Baths of Diocletian, National Museum of Rome.
The head of Dionysus on a mosaic from Corinth at My Favourite Planet

The central panel of a tessellated mosaic floor with the head
of Dionysus wearing fruit and ivy leaves in his hair. In each
corner of the panel is a kantharos (wine cup) with ivy branches.

From a Roman villa in ancient Corinth. 2nd - 3rd century AD.

Corinth Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. A609 / Mos 25-3.
Detail of the head mosaic from Corinth at My Favourite Planet

The head of Dionysus in the centre of the mosaic in Corinth.
 
Dionysus Infant Dionysus

See also Hermes with the infant Dionysus on the Hermes page.
Fresco of the infant Dionysus with the Nymphs of Mount Nysa at My Favourite Planet

Fresco of the infant Dionysus with the Nymphs of Mount Nysa.

A panel from a large wall painting in Bedroom B (Cubiculum B) of an ancient private
house discovered in 1879 in the grounds of the Villa Farnesina, Trastevere, Rome.
Painted around 30-20 BC, during the reign of Emperor Augustus.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, National Museum of Rome.
A Campana plaque of a dancing Maenad and Satyr with the infant Bacchus at My Favourite Planet

A terracotta relief of a dancing Maenad and Satyr with the infant Bacchus (Dionysus).

A Campana plaque. Roman, made in Italy around 20 BC - 50 AD.

The Maenad holds a torch and the Satyr a thyrsos. They carry (or swing) a liknon,
a winnowing basket (see Demeter and Persephone), in which the infant Bacchus lies.

British Museum. GR 1805.7-3.21 (Terracotta D 525). Townley collection.

See another Campana plaque with a Dionysian relief below.
Statue of a Papposilenos actor holding the infant Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Fragmentary marble statue of an actor in the costume
of Papposilenos holding the infant Dionysus.

2nd - 1st century BC. Found in the area of the
Inopos Quarter, east of the theatre of Delos.

Delos Archaeological Museum. Inv. Nos. A 4143 + A 7367.

Silenos (Σειληνός, Seilenos; Latin, Silenus), was the oldest of the Silens, the tutor of Dionysus, in whose cult Greek theatre developed, and led the thiasos. He is also referred to as Papposilenos (Παπποσειληνός, Father Silenos), particularly in the context of the theatre. Depictions of the old Silen holding the infant Dionysus are variants on those of Hermes with the infant Dionysus. This statue is thought to depict a Papposilenus actor rather than the old Silen himself.

Pausanias noticed a stone near the Propylaia of the Athens Acropolis, on which according to legend, Silenos rested when he came with Dionysus to Attica. As confused as most of us about the origin of Silens and Satyrs [see note 3], the travel writer made some enquiries into the subject:

"There is also a smallish stone, just large enough to serve as a seat to a little man. On it legend says Silenus rested when Dionysus came to the land. The oldest of the Satyrs they call Sileni.

Wishing to know better than most people who the Satyrs are I have inquired from many about this very point. Euphemus the Carian said that on a voyage to Italy he was driven out of his course by winds and was carried into the outer sea, beyond the course of seamen.

He affirmed that there were many uninhabited islands, while in others lived wild men. The sailors did not wish to put in at the latter, because, having put in before, they had some experience of the inhabitants, but on this occasion they had no choice in the matter.

The islands were called Satyrides by the sailors, and the inhabitants were red haired, and had upon their flanks tails not much smaller than those of horses. As soon as they caught sight of their visitors, they ran down to the ship without uttering a cry and assaulted the women in the ship. At last the sailors in fear cast a foreign woman on to the island. Her the Satyrs outraged not only in the usual way, but also in a most shocking manner."

Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 1, chapter 23, sections 5-6. At Perseus Digital Library.

Other depictions of Silenos holding the infant Dionysus include:

The tondo of a red-figure kylix. Pergamon Museum, Berlin.

A terracotta figurine from Tanagra, around 350-300 BC. Louvre. Inv. No. CA 463. Height 13 cm.

A marble statue found in 1832 in the Theatre of Dionysos, Athens, late 2nd century BC. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 257. Parian marble. Height 113 cm.

A fresco from Pompeii, circa 1st century AD, showing Silenos, Hermes, the infant Dionysus and Nysiad Nymphs. National Archaeological Museum, Naples.

A marble statue from Rome, Roman period. Glyptothek, Munich. Inv. No. GL 238. Height 187 cm.

A marble statuette, 1st - 2nd century AD. Hermitage, Saint Petersburg. Height 61 cm.

A marble statue, 1st - 2nd century AD. Found in the Horti Sallustiani, Rome, 16th century. Louvre. Inv. No. Ma 922 (MR 346). Height 190 cm.

A marble statue, mid 2nd century AD, perhaps a copy of a Greek original by Lysippos, around 300 BC. Braccio Nuovo, Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican Museums. Inv. No. 2292.

The infant Dionysus was also depicted being carried by a Satyr, Pan (see below), and Zeus:

An Attic black-figure kalpis (κάλπις, type of hydria) showing Zeus handing the infant Dionysus to the Nymphs. Attributed to the Syleus Painter, around 480 BC. From Agrigento, Sicily. Cabinet des Médailles, Paris. Inv. No. 440. Height 38.2 cm, width 43 cm.

See more statues of Papposilenos actors below.
 
Fragment of a statue group with an old Silen holding the infant Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Fragment of a marble statue group with Silenos holding the
infant Dionysus. Above them is the lower part of the goat-
footed Pan, and to the right the right arm of another figure.

2nd century AD. From Aphytis, Macedonia, where Dionysus
was worshipped as early as the 8th century BC.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
Mosaic emblema depicting Dionysus as a child at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a mosaic emblema (panel) depicting a bust of Dionysus as a child.

3rd century AD. From the Via Flaminia, Rome.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, National Museum of Rome.
Mosaic showing Pan carrying the infant Dionysus on his shoulders at My Favourite Planet

Part of a floor mosaic showing Pan carrying
the infant infant Dionysus on his shoulders.

In situ on the site of a peristyle courtyard of the the Byzantine Great Palace
(Palatium Magnum), of Constantinople. Late 6th or early 7th century AD.

Great Palace Mosaic Museum, Istanbul.

The fragmentary section of the enormous 170-180 square metre floor mosaic is thought to be part of a depiction of Dionysus' triumphal procession from India (see below). Unusually, the infant Dionysus is shown being carried by Pan. He holds on to the horns of the goat-footed god, who carries a lagobolon in his left hand, and perhaps a syrinx in the right. Part of an elephant ridden by a man is shown following them.  
 
 
 
 
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Dionysus Dionysus with a panther

Dionysus is often depicted with a large cat,
usually referred to as a "panther".
Bronze hydria with a relief of Dionysus and a panther at My Favourite Planet

An Attic bronze funerary hydria (ὑδρία, three-handled water-
carrying vessel) with a relief of Dionysus and a panther
(see detail below). The vessel had beeen used as a
funerary urn and contained the bones of a 40 year old man.

From Thasos, Greece. Late 5th century BC.

Thasos Archaeological Museum.
Dionysus and a panther on the Thasos hydria at My Favourite Planet

The relief of Dionysus and a panther on the Thasos hydria.
Dionysus tenderly strokes the head of the seated cat which
places its left forepaw on his upper arm. The head of a small
figure (Pan or a Silen?) appears from behind the god's legs.
Attic ceramic bell krater depicting Dionysus riding a panther, Pergamon Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Attic red-figure bell krater (wine mixing vessel) depicting Dionysus riding a panther.

Made in Athens, 375-350 BC, Classical period.

In his left hand Dionysus holds his thyrsos staff, and in his right
a kantharos (wine cup). He is accompanied by a dancing Maenad (left)
playing a tympanon, a Silen, a small, white Eros and a Satyr (right).

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. F 2648.
Dionysus riding a panther on a Pebble mosaic in Pella, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus riding a panther on a Pebble floor mosaic in Pella, Macedonia.

4th century BC. From the south andron (symposium or banqueting hall
for men) in the "House of Dionysos". 2.72 x 2.69 metres.

Pella Archaeological Museum, Macedonia, Greece.
A gilded silver relief of Dionysus with a panther at My Favourite Planet

A gilded silver relief made in a Greek workshop,
depicting Dionysus with a panther.

4th century BC. From a Samnite sanctuary in Pietrabbondante,
Isernia province, Molise region, south-central Italy. [see note 5]

Pietrabbondante is thought by some historians to be the location of ancient Bovianum, the meeting place of the assemblies of the confederation of the four Samnite tribes, the Caraceni, Caudini, Hirpini and Pentri. The site of the sanctuary, first excavated in the 1840s, includes a theatre and a temple.

Dionysus stands in a naiskos (small temple), wearing an ivy wreath and a himation which covers only his left shoulder and legs, leaving his torso naked. He holds his thyrsos in his right hand, and in his left hand he holds a kantharos (wine cup) upside down by its foot. A tympanon flanked by cymbals decorate the pediment of the temple.

See also a gold relief of Dionysus in a naiskos in Athens, below.

See other Dionysian artefacts from Samnium:

above, an ivory plaque with a mask of Dionysus from Sepino (ancient Saepinum)

below, a terracotta antefix depicting a Maenad from Pietrabbondante
Dionysus riding a panther on a krater from Phagres at My Favourite Planet

The neck of a red-figure calyx-krater with a depiction of Dionysus, naked
apart from an ivy wreath and a himation (cloak) draped over his arms, holding
a thyrsos and riding a panther. He is flanked by two dancing Maenads, each
playing a tympanon. A winged Eros places a tainia (headband) around his head.

Mid 4th century BC. Found in a cemetery in ancient Phagres, Thrace.

Phagres (Φάγρης) was a hilltop city east of the mouth of the River Strymon, founded
in the mid 7th century BC by the Thracian Pieres tribe, which migrated from the area
of Mount Olympus due to Macedonian expansion. The city was destroyed by Philip II
of Macedon in 346 BC, after which the area became part of Macedonia.

Kavala Archaeological Museum, Macedonia, Greece.
Mosaic depicting Dionysus riding a tiger, Delos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Central emblema (panel) of a floor mosaic depicting Dionysus as a winged daimon riding a tiger.

Around 130-88 BC. From the House of Dionysos, in the
Theatre District, Delos. Height 129 cm, width 157 cm.

Delos Archaeological Museum, Greece.

The luxurious private house, near the theatre of Delos, south of the Sanctuary of Apollo, was named "the House of Dionysos" after this mosaic, which was found in the peristyle of the large central courtyard known as "court c". Made using the opus vermiculatum technique (worm-like work), the highly detailed, multi-coloured mosaic emblema was made with tesserae of glass, faience, natural stone and terracotta, most around one millimetre square.

Dionysus is depicted as a young man with a serious expression, gazing to the right (forwards). Unusually, he is shown with outstretched wings, and the depiction has been interpreted as the god as a daimon or spirit. He wears an ivy wreath and holds a ribboned thyrsos in his right hand. The large tiger, wearing a vine with leaves and grapes around its neck, strides towards the right with its head turned back. Below its raised left forepaw a kantharos (wine cup) lies on its side on the sandy-coloured, arid-looking ground, from which a number of small individual plants are growing. The background above the flat ground level is black.
 
The head of Dionysus of the mosaic from the House of Dionysos, Delos at My Favourite Planet

The head of Dionysus of the mosaic
from the House of Dionysos, Delos.
A marble votive relief depicting Dionysus with a panther at My Favourite Planet

A marble votive relief depicting Dionysus with a panther.

Roman period, late 1st century AD. Provenance unknown.

Dionysus holds a long torch in his left hand, and in his
lowered right hand a bunch of grapes which attracts
the attention of a small panther.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
Marble Neo-Attic relief showing Dionysus seated, Naples at My Favourite Planet

Marble Neo-Attic relief showing Dionysus seated. 1st century AD.

The god is naked apart from a himation (cloak) covering his left shoulder and thighs.
On his head is a wreath of vine leaves, and he wears high-strapped sandals. In his
left arm he holds his thyrsos staff, with his extended right hand he holds a kantharos
(wine cup) into which the hand of a figure (now missing) pours wine from a jug.
A panther lies beneath his chair, the legs of which have the form of panther paws.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6728. Farnese Collection.
Relief of Dionysus riding a panther in Dresden at My Favourite Planet

A relief of Dionysus riding a panther on the front panel of a marble sarcophagus
depicting a Triumph of Dionysus (see below). The god, holding a thyrsos in his
right hand and a vine branch in the left, is surrounded by his thiasos, including
Pan (right), Satyrs and Silens, dancing and playing musical instruments.

Circa 210 AD. Anatolian marble. Height 63 cm, width 173 cm, depth 64 cm [11].

Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum, Dresden. Inv. No. Hm 271.
Acquired in 1728 from the Albani Collection.

See another sarcophagus relief of a Dionysian procession in Dresden below.
A relief of Herakles, Dionysus, Pan and a Silen, Varna at My Favourite Planet

An inscribed marble stele with a low relief
showing Herakles, Dionysus, Pan and a Silen.

Roman period, late 2nd - early 3rd century AD. From Marcianopolis (Μαρκιανούπολις),
Thrace, today Devnya, 25 km west of Varna, Bulgaria. The inscription below is a
dedication to Herkales, "Τῷ Διὸς Ἡρακλῆι πατρὴ ...". Inscription SEG 28 602.

Varna Archaeological Museum, Bulgaria.

Herkales (left) stands on the left, wearing (barely) the skin of the Nemean Lion, holding a wine cup in his left hand, and in his left his club which rests on a rock (the head of a bull?). Dionysus stands on the right, wearing a nebris, his thyrsos in his left hand, and his right arm resting on Herakles' right shoulder. A small panther sits between them, its head turned to the left. On the right Pan sits on a rock above a Silen holding a bowl containing four fruits which rests on his head. These two figures are at a much smaller scale than Herkales and Dionysus.
Mosaic depicting Dionysus with his panther from Herculaneum at My Favourite Planet

Mosaic panel depicting Dionysus with his panther.

From Herculaneum.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 9989.
A mosaic of Dionysus dancing with his panther from Halicarnassus at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus dancing with his panther. Inscribed panel from a mosaic floor.

4th century AD. One of a number of mosaic panels excavated in 1856
by Sir Charles Thomas Newton in a villa in Halicarnassus, Caria (Yazıköy,
Muğla Province, Turkey). [12]. Height 140 cm, width 136 cm.

Dionysus, naked apart from a grey-green wreath, carries a long strip
of red cloth with a thick black contour, and dances to the right. The
name ΔΙΟΝΥϹΟϹ (Dionysos) is inscribed in Greek to the right of his
head. The panther runs behind, looking back and up at him.

British Museum. GR 1857.12-20.414 (Mosaics 54c).
Statue of a female panther made of pavonazetto marble, Naples at My Favourite Planet Detail of the pavonazetto marble panther in Naples at My Favourite Planet
Statue of a sitting female panther.

Pavonazetto marble, with eyes of yellow stone. Roman Imperial period.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6223. Farnese Collection.
Statue of a female panther made of black granite, Naples at My Favourite Planet

Statue of a lying female panther.

Black granite. Roman Imperial period.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6225. Farnese Collection.
 
Dionysus Dionysus with women

Dionysus is often depicted with female figures,
such as his mother Semele or his consort Ariadne.

See also Dionysus and Ariadne on Naxos below.
Attic plate depicting Dionysus and woman sitting together at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus and a female figure sitting together.

Detail of an Attic black-figure ceramic plate, made in Athens
around 575-525 BC. Found at Marathon, Attica. Diameter 19 cm.

Dionysus, holding a rhyton (drinking horn), sits on a folding stool opposite
a woman holding a flower, who sits on a block or rocks. She may be his
mother Semele, Ariadne or one of the god's other consorts.

Antikensammlung SMB, Berlin. Inv. No. F 1809.
Etruscan kylix showing Dionysus/Fufluns with a female figure at My Favourite Planet

Tondo of an Etruscan red-figure kylix (drinking cup)
showing Dionysus/Fufluns with a female figure.

330-300 BC. From Chuisi (Italy). Height 11 cm, diameter 24 cm.

Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SMB). Inv. No. F 2943.

A bearded Fufluns stands naked apart from a cloak carelessly draped around his left forearm and wound around his right knee, holding a kantharos (drinking tankard) in his right hand and his thyrsos in the left hand. He looks downwards to his left, and appears to be gazing into a patera (libation bowl) held by a female figure (who has been referred to as an "attendant" or Maenad) in her right hand; in her left hand she holds a jug. She wears a long, transparent chiton. It has been suggested that they are practising lekanomanteia, the reading of a prophecy in a liquid. [13]

Behind the god is a tree at the foot of which an owl is perched on a stump of a branch or a rock decorated with a schematic ivy branch.
Attic black-figure amphora Dionysus and Ariadne with Satyrs at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus and Ariadne flanked by two dancing Satyrs.

Detail of an Archaic Attic black-figure amphora, made in Athens
around 520-510 BC. Attributed to the Rycroft Painter.

The other side of the amphora shows a warrior on a four-horse
chariot (quadriga) bidding farewell to family members.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Inv. No. AN.1911.256.

See also a Roman relief of Dionysus and Ariadne below.
Relief of Dionysus, Ariadne and a panther on the Derveni Krater at My Favourite Planet

Relief of Dionysus, Ariadne and a panther on the Derveni Krater.

See detail below.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
Detail of the relief of Ariadne, Dionysus and a panther on the Derveni Krater at My Favourite Planet

Detail of the relief of Ariadne, Dionysus and a panther
on the Derveni Krater (side A), 4th century BC.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. B1.

The scene is thought to represent the marriage of Dionysus and Ariadne on Naxos (see Selcuk gallery 2, page 2). Dionysus lounges drunkenly, with his right forearm on top of his head and his right leg resting on the left thigh of Ariadne, who sits to his left. A small panther sits right of him, rather like a domestic pet. Two grapevines stretch horizontally, from left and right, meeting above Dionysus' head. Maenads dance to left and right, and two more sleep on the shoulder of the vessel.

The Derveni Krater is a volute krater (wine mixing bowl), made of an alloy of bronze and tin, elaborately decorated with several figures including Dionysus, Ariadne and Maenads. Dated to the 4th century BC, it was probably made in Athens.

Height 90.5 cm, weight 40 kg.

It was discovered in 1962, carefully buried in a tomb at Derveni, the site of the ancient Mygdonian city of Lete (Λητή), near Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece. [14] It had been used as a funerary urn for a Thessalian aristocrat and contained the burnt bones of a man aged 35-50 and a younger woman. An inscription in the Thessalian variant of the Aeolian dialect, engraved on the base of the krater, names the man as Astiouneios, son of Anaxagoras, from Larissa:

Ἀστιούνειος Ἀναξαγοραίοι ἐς Λαρίσας
Attic black-figure amphora showing Dionysus and a female figure on a kline at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a small Attic black-figure amphora showing
Dionysus and a female figure on a kline (couch).

Attributed to the Painter of the Red Line, 520-510 BC. Excavated
in 1998 in the Tomb of the Micali Paiinter, Osteria necropolis, Rome.

National Etruscan Museum, Villa Giulia, Rome.
Ariadne and Dionysus at a banquet in Milan at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Apulian red-figure krater showing
Ariadne and Dionysus at a banquet.

370-360 BC.

Dionysus reclines on a kline (couch) in the form of a panther. He holds out a kantharos
(wine cup) to a Satyr, right, who arrives with a wineskin. Ariadne, sitting at the foot of
the kline with her head turned towards Dionysus, holds an aulos (double pipes) in her
left hand. On the left a handmaiden brings an alabastron (ointment bottle) and a tray
with what appear to be white cakes. Above hang a mask flanked by a tympanon
(drum) and another object, and in the background, right, ivy grows on a tree.

Greek section, Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan.
Inv. No. A 1997.01.279. From the Lagioia Collection.
Dionysus, Ariadne and Eros on a red-figure krater from Thebes at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a red-figure krater showing Dionysus with a panther and Ariadne.
To the right, behind Dionysus, flying Eros plays a lyre.

4th century BC. From Thebes.

The painting on the other side of the krater (Side A) depicts
the apotheosis of Herakles, feturing Athena and Nike.

Thebes Archaeological Museum.
Dionysus, Ariadne and a panther on a red-figure krater from Thebes at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a red-figure krater showing Dionysus, Ariadne and a panther.

4th century BC. From Thebes.

Thebes Archaeological Museum.
Relief of Dionysus and Ariadne on a sarcophagus at My Favourite Planet

The front of a marble sarcophagus with a relief depicting Dionysus and Ariadne
flanked by the thiasos, including Pan and Hermes. A theatre mask lies on the ground
below Dionysus. The couple are also shown reclining on the lid of the sarcophagus.

1st decade of the 3rd century AD.
Found in the area of the Via Labicana, Rome.

Baths of Diocletian, National Museum of Rome. Inv. No. 124682.
Statue of Dionysus and Ariadne in the Schinkel Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet

Marble statue of Dionysus and Ariadne with a panther. Roman, 4th century AD.

Restored by German academic sculptor Emil Wolff (1802-1879) [15],
who added new parts and made repairs with plaster.

Schinkel Museum, Friedrichswerdersche Kirche, Berlin.
Part of the Nationalgalerie of the State Museums Berlin (SMB).
The head of Dionysus from the statue in the Schinkel Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet   The head of Ariadne from the statue in the Schinkel Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet
The heads of Dionysus and Ariadne from the statue in the Schinkel Museum, Berlin.
 
Dionysus Dionysus and Ariadne on Naxos

For further information about Dionysus discovering
Ariadne on Naxos, see Selçuk gallery 2, page 2.
Fresco of Dionysus discovering the sleeping Ariadne on Naxos at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a fresco, in the 3rd Pompeian style, of Dionysus discovering the sleeping Ariadne on Naxos.

From Venafro (Greek, Οὐέναφρον; Latin, Venafrum), central Italy, 1st century AD.

Photo from an exhibition dedicated to Dionysus in Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, 2012.
Relief depicting Dionysus and Ariadne, Baths of Diocletian, Rome at My Favourite Planet

A sarcophagus with a relief depicting Dionysus and sleeping Ariadne on Naxos.

Luni marble. 160-180 AD. From the church of SS. Nero and Achilleo,
Via Appia, Rome. Found before 1900.

Baths of Diocletian, National Museum of Rome. Inv. No. 214.
 
Dionysus Dionysus and this thiasos

Dionysus is often depicted with his thiasos (retinue), including
Pan, Maenads, Satyrs, Silens and Silenus [see note 3].
In many cases these creatures appeared without the god.
Detail of a black-figure psykter-amphora depicting Dionysus with Satyrs and a Maenad at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Attic black-figure psykter-amphora (wine cooler) depicting Dionysus
(right of the spout, holding a rhyton) with Satyrs a Maenad and a hare.

Made in Athens about 560-540 BC. Attributed to the painter Lydos.

The vessel has double walls between which cold water was poured
to keep the wine cool. Height: 32 cm, width: 23 cm, weight: 2 kg.

The other side of the psykter shows Theseus killing the Minotaur.

British Museum. Inv. No. GR 1848,0619.5 (Vase B 148). Acquired in 1848.
Dionysus with Satyrs and Maenads at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Attic black-figure krater with a depiction of Dionysus, holding a rhyton (drinking horn),
standing between two pairs of dancing Satyrs and Maenads. The Satyr on the right plays a kithara.

Made in Athens around 520 BC. From Agia Paraksevi, Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
Dionysus standing between a Satyr and a Maenad playing krotala at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus stands between a Satyr and a Maenad dancing and playing clappers
(κρόταλα, krotala; singular, κρόταλον, krotalon), similar to castanets.

Detail of the lower part of an Attic black-figure calyx-krater,
made in Athens around 510 BC. Related to the Antimenes Painter.

The main scene above shows Athena and Herakles riding a chariot, surrounded by
other deities. On Side B of the krater, Dionysus standing between Satyrs and Maenads.

Found in Tomb 41 of the necropolis in the area of the Santuario Madonna delle Lacrime,
Syracuse, Sicily, it held the cremated ashes of an adult.

Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum, Syracuse, Sicily. Inv. No. 50960.
 

Dionysus dancing with two Satyrs in Milan at My Favourite Planet

An Attic black-figure lekythos (oinment jar)
with Dionysus dancing with two Satyrs.
On the shoulder is a cockerel between
two heart-shaped leaves.

Late 6th - early 5th century BC. Attributed
to the Cock Group (by Claudia Lambrugo).
Height 13.8 cm.

Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan.
Inv. No. A 0.9.148. Donated by A. Cantoni.
 
A black-figure oinochoe with Dionysus and two Satyrs, from Pydna, Macedonia at My Favourite Planet

A black-figure trefoil oinochoe (wine jug)
with Dionysus and two Satyrs.

5th century BC. From the extended north
cemetery of Pydna, Macedonia, Greece.

Dion Archaeological Museum.
Dionysus with dancing Maenads and Satyrs at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Attic black-figure column krater with a depiction of Dionysus,
holding a rhyton (drinking horn), flanked by dancing Maenads and Satyrs.

End of the 6th century BC. From ancient Galepsos (Γαληψός), a Thasian-Parian
colony on the northern Aegean coast of Thrace (the Thasian Peraia).

Kavala Archaeological Museum, Macedonia, Greece.
Dionysus with dancing Maenads at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus, holding a rhyton (drinking horn) and an ivy branch, with two ecstatic dancing Maenads.

An Attic red-figure stamnos by the Syleus Painter, 480-470 BC. From Tarquinia, Etruria, Italy.

Dionysus, with long beard and locks wears a crown of ivy leaves, and a himation over a long
chiton. He walks to the right, looking to the left, carrying an ivy branch in his left hand and
a rhyton in his right. Both dancing Maenads hold krotala in each hand (see above).

The other side (Side A) shows the Judgement of Paris: Paris seated on a rock, Hermes
and Aphrodite with a sceptre and bird; a snake, a deer and a hedgehog on rock.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. F2182.

See: Beazley Archive Database, Vase No. 202509
Dionysus and a Satyr carrying a tripod from Paestum at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus, holding a kantharos and a vine branch, followed by a Satyr carrying a tripod.

Detail of an Attic red-figure pelike, attributed to the Berlin Painter, 480-470 BC.
Found in Tomb 175, Santa Venera, Paestum.

National Archaeological Museum, Paestum, Campania, Italy. Inv. No. T175 (4908).

See: Beazley Archive Database, Vase No. 19103
Dionysus and a Satyr between two Maenads on a pelike from Syracuse, Sicily at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Attic red-figure column krater showing with a Maenad, Dionysus
holding a kantharos (wine cup), and a Satyr playing an aulos (double pipes).

Attributed to a painter near the group of the Boreas and Florence Painters, 470-450 BC.
Found in Tomb 201 in the Manicalunga Necropolis, Selinous (today Selinunte), Sicily
(in use from the early 6th century until the Carthaginian invasion in 409 BC).

Antonino Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum, Palermo, Sicily.
Dionysus and a Satyr between two Maenads on a pelike from Syracuse, Sicily at My Favourite Planet

A Dionysiac scene, with Dionysus, holding a kantharos and thyrsos, and a Satyr playing
an aulos (double pipes), between two Maenads. The maened on the left holds a long
torch and a oinochoe (wine jug). The torch suggests that the scene is occurring at night.

Detail of an Attic red-figure pelike, attributed to the Christie Painter, 450-425 BC.
Found in Tomb 597 in the Necropoli del Fusco, Syracuse, Sicily. It contained the
ashes from a cremation. The other side of the pelike shows Maenads conversing.

Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum, Syracuse. Inv. No. 35188.

A similar painting of the same scene by the Christie Painter can be seen on a red-figure
bell-krater, circa 440 BC, in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland. Inv. No. 48.74.

See: art.thewalters.org/detail/29124/red-figure-bell-krater-2/
A red-figure pelike with Dionysus and two Satyrs, from Kitros, Macedonia at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a red-figure pelike with Dionysus and two Satyrs.

5th century BC. From the cemetery at "Louloudia" of Kitros, Macedonia, Greece.

Dion Archaeological Museum.
Detail of a red-figure bell krater showing Dionysus with his thiasos at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a red-figure bell krater showing Dionysus seated among his thiasos (retinue).

From ancient Antisara (modern Kalamitsa), Macedonia, Greece.

Dionysus, holding a thyrsos, looks behind at a figure carrying a bowl.
In the centre, a white winged Eros plays an aulos (double pipes),
and on the left is a dancing Maenad holding a thyrsos.

Kavala Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. A 3832.
Dionysus with his thiasos on an Apulian skyphos at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a large Apulian red-figure skyphos showing Dionysus seated among his thiasos.

2nd half of the 4th century BC.

Dionysus holds a lyre in his left hand and his thyrsos in the right. Below him sits a fawn,
and above Eros flies with a white bird. On the left a Maenad holds a thymiaterion
(thurible, incense burner), and on the right stands a naked Satyr with a wine cup.

Greek section, Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan. Inv. No. A 1988.01.01.
Detail of an Apulian amphora showing Dionysus seated among his retinue at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Apulian red-figure amphora showing Dionysus seated among his thiasos.

From Ceglie (southern Italy). Attributed to the Dareios Painter, 350-330 BC.

The lower register shows an Amazonomachy (a battle between Greeks and Amazons).
The other side (Side A) shows Europa riding the bull (Zeus) and Nereids; the lower
register shows a Centauromachy (battle between Greeks and Centuars).
Height 96.5, diameter 45 cm.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. F 3241.
A Satyr offering a headband and a necklace to Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an Apulian red-figure trefoil oinochoe showing
a Satyr offering a headband and a necklace to Dionysus.

360-330 BC. From Poseidinia (Paestum),
Campania, Magna Graecia (southern Italy).

Greek section, Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan. Inv. No. A 0.9.261.
A Campana plaque of Bacchus and a Satyr at My Favourite Planet

A terracotta relief of Bacchus (Dionysus) and a Satyr.

A Campana plaque. Roman, made in Italy around 20 BC - 50 AD.

Bacchus, naked apart from a cloak and ivy wreath, holds his thyrsos staff.
The naked Satyr holds a torch and carries a wine amphora on his shoulder.

British Museum. GR 1843.5-31.45 (Terracotta D 530). Townley collection.

See another Campana plaque depicting the infant Bacchus above.
Mosaic showing Dionysus and two Satyrs at My Favourite Planet

Central panel of a floor mosaic showing Dionysus and two Satyrs.

2nd century AD. Found in the area of the Villa Farnesina,
near the church of S. Giacomo in Settimiana, Rome.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, National Museum of Rome.
A gold relief of drunken Dionysus with a panther and Satyr in a naiskos at My Favourite Planet

Gold relief of drunken Dionysus, supported by a Satyr, and a
small panther in a naiskos (small temple) with Ionic coulmns.

Gold, garnets and emeralds. 2nd century BC.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Helen and Antonios Stathatos Collection.
Marble statue of Dionysus, a Satyr and a panther, Palazzo Altemps, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Colossal marble statue group with Dionysus, a young Satyr and a panther.

160-180 AD, Roman period copy of a 4th century BC Greek original.
Found in the area of the Baths of Constantine (Thermae Constantinianae)
on the Quirinal Hill, Rome, it probably originally stood in a baths.

Palazzo Altemps, National Museum of Rome.
Inv. No. 8606. Boncompagni Ludovisi Collection.
 

Hellenistic statue of Dionysus and a young Satyr at My Favourite Planet

Marble statue of Dionysos and a Satyr.

160-170 AD. Found in the pool of the tepidarium
of the Faustina Baths, Miletus, Turkey.

Dionysus stands naked, his weight resting on his right
leg, his left leg bent and placed forward. His right
forearm rests on top of his head. His hair is partly held
up by a tainia (headband) with an ivy wreath and hung
with bunches of grapes. Tresses fall from either side of
his head to his chest. He rests his left forearm on the
shoulder of the Satyr, and holds a kantharos (wine
cup) in his left hand.

The young Satyr, also naked apart from an animal skin
around his shoulders, fastened by a knot beneath his
throat. In his left hand he holds a lagobolon (hunting
stick, see Pan). He looks up to Dionysus and has his
right hand behind the god's waist.

A himation lies on the tree trunk supporting Dionysus,
and in front of it sits a panther with the head of a billy
goat lying between its forepaws. A syrinx (pan pipes)
hangs from the Satyr's tree trunk support.

"Presumably under Christian influence, the genitalia
of both statues were chiselled off in late antiquity."
From the museum labelling.

Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 1797.
Acquired in 1904.
Height 235 cm, width 98 cm, depth 73 cm.
 
Statue of drunken Dionysus supported by Pan and a Satyr at My Favourite Planet

A marble table support (trapezophoron)
depicting a drunken Dionysus supported
by Pan and a young Satyr.

Roman period, mid 2nd century AD.

Acquired 1846 in Rome by Gerhard from the art
dealer Trebi. Until 1859 in Sanssouci, Potsdam.
Height 78 cm, width 47.5 cm, depth 27 cm.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 97.
A marble head of Dionysus from ancient Corinth at My Favourite Planet

A marble head of Dionysus with his right arm resting on top of it.

From the area of the Propylaia, ancient Corinth. 2nd century AD
copy of a Greek prototype by Praxiteles (4th century BC).

Corinth Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. S-194.
A marble head of Dionysus with his right arm resting on top of it at My Favourite Planet

A marble head of Dionysus with his right arm resting on top of it.

140-150 AD. Heigh 31.5 cm, width 28.0 cm, depth 23.0 cm.

Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum, Dresden. Inv. No. Hm 228.
 

Marble table support depicting a drunken Dionysus with a panther at My Favourite Planet

Marble trapezophoron (table support)
depicting Dionysus and a panther.

From the "House of Leda", Dion,
Macedonia. 2nd century AD.

Dion Archaeological Museum.
 
Drunken Dionysus supported by a Satyr at My Favourite Planet

A marble table support depicting a drunken
Dionysus supported by a young Satyr holding
a lagobolon (see Pan).

3rd century AD.
From Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece.

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
Trapezophoron depicting Dionysus from Thasos at My Favourite Planet

Fragment of a marble trapezophoron depicting
drunken Dionysus supported by a Satyr.

From Thasos. 2nd century AD.

Thasos Archaeological Museum.
A marble relief with drunken Dionysus supported by a Satyr between two Maenads at My Favourite Planet

Marble relief with drunken Dionysus supported by a Satyr between two Maenads. Late 2nd century AD.

Dionysus and the Satyr both hold thyrsos staves. Below them are an oddly diminutive Pan,
a panther and Eros. The Maenad on the left plays cymbals and the other a double flute.
Another Satyr, on the far left, carries a wine krater on his left shoulder.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6684. Farnese Collection.
Sarcophagus relief of drunken Dionysus supported by a Satyr at My Favourite Planet

Relief on the side of a marble sarcophagus with drunken Dionysus
supported by a Satyr, and a panther sitting to the left. They are
flanked by drunken infant Satyrs depicted at a larger scale.

Roman period.

In the garden of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Dionysus and a Satyr in the Thessaloniki mosaic at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus, supported by a young Satyr in a leopard skin, discovers the sleeping Ariadne on Naxos,
in the Sleeping Ariadne mosaic in Thessaloniki. 200-250 AD. Ariadne's feet can be seen, right.
Right of Dionysus and the Satyr is Pan or Silenos with a wine cup and a lagobolos (hunting stick).

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
Relief showing two Satyrs exposing a sleeping female at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a relief on a marble table support: two Satyrs expose a sleeping female (Ariadne?).

From Pergamon (perhaps from the Asclepieion). Late Hellenistic, 1st century BC.

Antikensammlung SMB, Berlin. Inv. No. AvP VII, 407.

The marble slab is decorated on both sides with Dionysiac motifs (the other side has a relief of two male goats with an amphora). The museum labelling describes this scene simply as "Satyr and Maenad". The Satyrs crouch opposite each other on the symmetrically intertwining stems of two enormous flowering vines which take up most of the height of the slab. The figure on the left uncovers a naked female who lies asleep on an acanthus leaf. She may be a Maenad, but the scene is reminiscant of the uncovering of Ariadne as Dionysus discovers her on Naxos.

Height of marble slab 71 cm, width at bottom 34.5 cm,
width at top 32 cm, maximum depth at top 12 cm.

See also a Gorgon relief from Ephesus with a similar giant plant motif.
Etruscan gold ring showing a Satyr assaulting a Maenad at My Favourite Planet

Etruscan gold finger ring with a relief
of a Satyr assaulting a Maenad.

5th century BC.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Inv. No. An. Fortnum R.702.
From the Fortnum Group, donated by the collector C. D. E. Fortnum.
Marble statue of a Satyr pouring wine from a jug into a drinking horn at My Favourite Planet   A Satyr pouring wine in Berlin at My Favourite Planet
Restored marble statue of a young Satyr pouring wine from a jug into a rhyton (drinking horn).

Around 150 AD. One of a number of Roman period statues thought to be
copies of a lost Greek original made by Praxiteles circa 370-350 BC.

Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 257.
From a villa at Monte Calvo, Sabina (Italy). Acquired in 1826.
Marble statue of a faun in Naples at My Favourite Planet   Detail of the faun statue in Naples at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of a "faun" holding up a bunch of grapes with
his right hand and a wine cup in the left. He balances delicately
on his toes, although the statue is supported by a tree trunk.

2nd century AD copy of a late 2nd - 1st century BC Greek original.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Inv. No. 6332. Farnese Collection.
Ceramic relief of drunken Dionysus riding a mule at My Favourite Planet

Ceramic relief of drunken Dionysus riding a mule, supported by a Silen.
Dionysus holds a kantharos in his right hand and his thyrsos in the left.
A small male figure leads the mule.

Clay with traces of white ground as well as red and yellow.
A "Melian" relief, allegedly found on the island of Melos. Probably
made in Athens around 480 BC. Height 16 cm, width 14.5 cm.

Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. TC 6297. Acquired in 1873.
Oinochoe in the form of the head of Silenus or Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Three-lobed oinochoe (wine jug) in the form of
the head of Silenos or Dionysus. 5th century BC.

Museo Civico, Castello Ursino, Catania, Sicily.
Inv. No. 4172. From the Biscari Collection.
Marble relief of a Nymph and a Satyr from Herculaneum at My Favourite Planet

Marble relief of a Nymph and an aged Satyr (Silenos).

From Herculaneum. 1st century AD.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6724. Secret Cabinet.
Detail of an Attic kylix depicting a Maenad holding a thyrsos at My Favourite Planet

The tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix (wine cup) by the Chairias Painter
(also known as Painter of the Agora Chairias cups), depicting
a Maenad holding Dionysus' thyrsos staff. 510-500 BC.

Agora Museum, Athens. Inv. No. P 24116.

The kylix is one of of three similar cups found in a well beneath the south end of the Stoa of Attalus in the Athenian Agora in June 1954. It was complete apart from the foot, and has been restored from several fragments. The tondo (the round painted panel in the centre of the inside of the cup) has a painting of a Maenad running to the right, with the upper part of her body twisted so that she looks behind her. She wears as sakkos (σάκκος, a soft woven cap or a piece of material wrapped around the head), a himation (cloak) over a long chiton (tunic), earrings and a necklace. Her right arm is outstretched, and in her left hand she carries a thyrsos, pointed downwards.

The inscription: to the right of her, Χαιρίας (Chairias); and left of her, καλο[ς] (kalos, good, beautiful). Diameter of tondo 10.8 cm.
A terracotta antefix depicting a Maenad between two panthers at My Favourite Planet

A fragment of a terracotta antefix (end of a roof tile) thought
to depict a Maenad between two "panthers", only one of which
has survived. The now headless figure grasps a forepaw of each
of the cats in the manner of the Mistress of Animals.

4th - 3rd century BC. From a Samnite sanctuary at Pietrabbondante,
Isernia province, Molise region, south-central Italy. [see note 5]

Pietrabbondante is thought by some historians to be the location of ancient Bovianum, the meeting place of the Samnite federal assemblies.

See other Dionysian artefacts from Samnium above:

an ivory plaque with a mask of Dionysus from Sepino (ancient Saepinum)

a gilded silver relief of Dionysus from Pietrabbondante
Bronze bust of a Maenad at My Favourite Planet

Large bronze bust of a Maenad. Around 50 BC.

She wears grapes, vine leaves and ivy leaves in her hair,
and a doe skin is tied at the right shoulder. Height 29.2 cm.
The bust may have been part of an attachment of a large
monument, such as a building or statue base.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. 1967.5.
Relief of dancing Maenads at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a Neo-Attic relief with dancing Maenads, female followers of Dionysus.
Based on models by Kallimachos (late 5th century BC). Pentelic marble.

Barracco Museum, Rome. Inv. No. MB 124. Purchased in Rome.
 

Marble relief of a dancing Maenad from Pergamon at My Favourite Planet

Marble relief of a dancing Maenad
from Pergamon.

Hellenistic, late 3rd century BC. Found in
September 1896 reused in a wall, southwest
of the Upper Agora of the Pergamon Acropolis.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
Inv. No. 764 T. Cat. Mendel 575.
 
Relief of a dancing Maenad, Capitoline Museums, Rome at My Favourite Planet

A Neo-Attic marble relief of a dancing Maenad.

Pentelic marble. Part of a circular monument.
A copy of a choragic votive offering site for
Euripides' play The Bacchantes, made by
Kallimachos in 406-405 BC. Found 1875
in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Rome.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums,
Rome. Inv. No. MC 1094.
A marble fountain in the shape of a horn with a relief of dancing Maenads at My Favourite Planet   Detail of the Marble fountain with a relief of a dancing Maenad at My Favourite Planet
A marble Neo-Attic fountain, in the shape of a horn, with a protome (front part) of a horse at the
lower end, and reliefs of dancing Maenads around the open end. The Maenad from the fountain
(photo, right) is almost identical to the one above, right and another on a sarcophagus below.

Signed by the Greek artist Pontios. 1st century AD. Thought to be derived from a metal
prototype. Found in 1874 in the area of the Auditorium, in the Horti Maecenatiani
(Gardens of Maecenas), Rome. (See also the fragments of reliefs below, here and here.)

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome.

Part of a smaller replica of this sculpture, made of Pentelic marble and dated to
the end of the 1st century AD, was found in the Via Tiburtina, Rome, and is now
in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, National Museum of Rome. Inv. No. 124132.
A Dionysiac scene on the front of the sarcophagus of the Gymnasiarch Gerostratos at My Favourite Planet

A Dionysiac scene on the front of the sarcophagus of the Gymnasiarch Gerostratos.

From Beirut, Lebanon. Roman period, 2nd century AD.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. 1417 T. Cat. Mendel 33.

Satyrs, Silens and Satyrs dance and play music during a sacrifice to Dionysus at an altar. The Maenads are shown in poses known from a number of other reliefs thought to be modelled on late 5th century BC originals by Kallimachos. See, for example other photos above: a Maenad similar to one with a tympanon, left, on a relief from Rome; figures almost identical to the Maenad to the right of the altar in three reliefs from Rome.

The inscription, in what looks like a freehand style, just to the left of the Maenad next to the altar: "Gerostratos, gymnasiarch, farewell".

The relief on the left side of the sarcophagus shows a Maenad and a Satyr (see below). The right side has a relief of a crouching sphinx.
 
The inscription on the sarcophagus of the Gymnasiarch Gerostratos at My Favourite Planet

"Gerostratos, gymnasiarch, farewell"
A sacrifice to Dionysus on the Gerostratos sarcophagus at My Favourite Planet

A sacrifice to Dionysus on the Gerostratos sarcophagus.
A Maenad and Satyr on the sarcophagus of the Gymnasiarch Gerostratos at My Favourite Planet

A Maenad with a tympanon (hand drum), a Satyr and a sitting panther on
the side of the sarcophagus of the Gymnasiarch Gerostratos (see above).

From Beirut, Lebanon. Roman period, 2nd century AD.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. 1417 T. Cat. Mendel 33.
A relief of a dancing Maenad on an altar from Cremona at My Favourite Planet   A relief of a Satyr playing double pipes on an altar from Cremona at My Favourite Planet
A marble cylindrical altar with reliefs of a dancing Maenad holding a hare, and a Satyr playing
double pipes. Another dancing Maenad with a hare is depicted on the other side of the altar.

1st half of the 1st century AD. From Cremona, Italy. Height 70 cm, diameter 38 cm.

Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan. Inv. No. A 0.9.1140.
Marble base with reliefs of dancing Maenads at My Favourite Planet

Semi-circular Neo-Attic marble base with reliefs of dancing Maenads.

Pentelic marble. Second half of the 1st century AD.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, National Museum of Rome.
Inv. No. 2001482. From the Sciarra Collection.
Relief of a dancing Maenad on the base of a marble candelabrum at My Favourite Planet

Relief of a dancing Maenad on the base of a marble candelabrum.

Pentelic marble. Neo-Attic style, early Imperial age.
From the Horti Lamiani. Found in 1874 near Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Rome.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. No. 1115.
A marble relief with a Maenad and two Satyrs at erotic play at My Favourite Planet

A Maenad and two Satyrs at erotic play and a panther.

Detail of a large marble krater with reliefs of Bacchic scenes.
Pentelic marble. Found in 1872 in the Horti Vettiani, Rome.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. No. MC 1202.
Relief of a dancing Maenad on a pillar in front of the theatre at Philippi, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Relief of a dancing Maenad on a pillar in front of the theatre at Philippi.

Copy of one of the 2nd century AD marble reliefs with Dionysian motifs
on a row of pillars in front of the skene (stage house) of the theatre. The
originals are in the Philippi Archaeological Museum at the archaeological site.

The theatre of Philippi (Φίλιπποι) was built during the reign of Philip II of Macedonia,
who conquered the Thasian colony of Krenides (Κρηνῖδες) in 356 BC and renamed
it after himself. It was restyled as a Roman theatre in the 1st - 2nd centuries AD,
and during the 2nd - 3rd centuries AD it was converted into an arena for games.

Philippi Archaeological Site, Macedonia, Greece.
Relief of a dancing Maenad on an altar, Thasos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

A small altar with a relief of a dancing Maenad carrying a bunch of grapes.

1st - 2nd century AD. Unknown provenance.

Thasos Archaeological Site, Macedonia, Greece.
Fragment of a relief depicting a dancing Maenad at My Favourite Planet

Fragment of a relief depicting a dancing Maenad, strangely left
lying on the ground at the Stoa of Attalus in the Athenian Agora.

Pentelic marble. Roman period.

Museum of the Ancient Agora, Athens.
A marble relief of a dancing Maenad and a Satyr holding a mask of Silenus at My Favourite Planet

A marble relief on a fragment of an oval sarcophagus, showing a dancing Maenad
and a Satyr holding a mask of Silenos. The severed head of a goat on a pedestal
and the hand (holding a lagogolon) and leg of Pan can be seen on the left.

Roman, 200-300 AD. Excavated in Rome by Lord Arundel, 1613-1614.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Inv. No. Michaelis 109.
The Dresden Maenad at My Favourite Planet

The "Dresden Maenad", a marble statuette of a dancing Maenad.

2nd half of the 1st century BC. Possibly based on a relief by Skopas of Paros,
around 375-300 BC. [16] White, fine-grained, translucent marble.
The arms and the legs beneath the knees are missing. Height 45.5 cm,
width 14.0 cm, depth 14.0 cm. Original height approximately 60-75 cm.

Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum, Dresden. Inv. No. Hm 133. Purchased in
1902 from Ludwig Pollak, a collector in Prague, who had acquired it in Rome.
A marble relief with two Satyrs and a Maenad in a Dionysiac procession at My Favourite Planet

A marble relief depicting Dionysus with a panther, a Satyr and a Maenad in a Dionysiac procession.

Circa 100 AD, based on Greek prototypes of the 4th century BC.
From the Villa Quintiliana on the Via Appia, south of Rome.

Dionysus (left), as a youth, wears a panther skin and carries his thyrsos staff. The Satyr (centre),
also wearing a panther skin, plays a double flute (aulis), and the Maenad plays a drum (tympanon).

According to the museum labelling, the relief depicts two Satyrs and a Maenad. However, the Satyr
in the centre clearly has a tail, whereas the figure on the left, with the attributes of Dionysus and
slightly larger than the other two figures, does not.

British Museum. Inv. No. GR 1805.7-3.126 (Sculpture 2193). Townley Collection.
A Neo-Attic marble relief of a Dionysiac scene from Herculaneum at My Favourite Planet

A Neo-Attic marble relief of a Dionysiac scene from Herculaneum.

Made in a Neo-Attic workshop, first half of the 1st century AD. Height 54 cm, width 108 cm.

Discovered in February 2009 in a luxurious residence of the north-west insula of Herculaneum.
It is one of the latest discoveries made at the site of the ancient town which was destroyed
by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. The relief had been set into a painted plaster wall of
the house, as was a similar relief found in the same room in 1997.

On the left, two female figures stand before an archaistic statue of Dionysus with a kantharos
(drinking cup). One woman places her hand on the shoulder of the other in a protective gesture.
The object held by the woman on the left has not been identified, but is thought to be connected
with a ritual. On the right are a bearded god, probably Dionysus, and a dancing Maenad.

Exhibited at the entrance to the Herculaneum archaeological site.
A marble relief representing a Dionysiac initiation scene at My Favourite Planet

A marble relief representing a Dionysiac initiation scene.

Pentelic marble. Roman period copy after a Hellenistic original of the 2nd century BC.
One of a number of Dionysiac relief fragments from the Horti Maecenatiani, Rome
(see also the relief fragment below). Found in 1876 in the area of the Auditorium.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. No. 2011.
A statue of a Satyr playing a flute at My Favourite Planet

A marble statue of a Satyr wearing a nebris (panther
skin) and playing a flute. An ox sits at his feet.

Roman Imperial period variation of a Greek 4th century BC
original attributed to Praxiteles. Parian marble. Height 129 cm.

Found in 1749 in the Vigna of the Padri del SS. Cosma e Damiano,
on the Aventine, Rome. The restorations include the head, the
right forearm, both hands and the flute, parts of the nebris,
the horns and left ear of the ox, and the edges of the plinth.

Twenty statues of this type are known, and it appears
on Roman Imperial coins of Caesarea Paneas in Syria.

Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums, Rome.
Inv. No. MC 295. Donated by Pope Benedict XIV in 1750.
The so-called Alcibiades among the hetairai relief in Naples at My Favourite Planet

The so-called "Alcibiades among the hetairai", a marble relief which may depict either drunken
Dionysus with three women (Seasons, Maenads?), or Apollo with Muses. Two of the females
kneel on a couch or bed, and one holds onto the bottom of the lyre held by the male.

"Roman period copy of a Hellenistic original". Height 45 cm, width 53 cm.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6688.
Secret Cabinet. From the Farnese Collection.
 
Dionysus Dionysus and the theatre

See also the "Ikarios reliefs" below.
Votive relief showing Dionysus with actors, from Piraeus at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus on an inscribed marble votive relief found in Piraeus. Dedicated to to the god
by actors after a theatrical performance, possibly Euripides' Bacchae. Circa 400 BC.

Dionysus sits on a kline (couch), holding a rhyton (drinking horn) and phiale (libation bowl).
A woman, Paideia, sits at the foot of the kline with her face turned towards a man holding
a theatrical mask. On the left stand two actors, one holding a tympanon (hand drum),
the other a mask and a tympanon.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 1500.
Dionysus on the Parthenopaios krater in Milan at My Favourite Planet

Detail of the B side of the "Parthenopaios krater" (see below), a fragmentary Apulian
red-figure calyx krater, showing Dionysus reclining on a kline (couch) covered with
a panther skin. He holds a thyrsos with his left arm, and a phiale (libation bowl) in
his raised right hand. A fawn stands at the foot of the kline, and parts of a Satyr
and two unidentified female figures can be seen standing around the god.

Attributed to the Lycurgus Painter, mid 4th century BC.
Provenance unknown. Height 61.5 cm, maximum diameter 56 cm.

Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan. Inv. No. A 0.9.1872 (St. 6873).
Purchased at an auction, 1963.
The main side of the Parthenopaios krater at My Favourite Planet

The main side of the "Parthenopaios krater" thought to depict a drama
based on the mythical Theban war known as the "Seven Against Thebes".

Some of the figures are identified by inscriptions. In the lower register Parthenopaios (named Παρθενοπαῖος), the handsome young hero from Argos or Arcadia who was one of the seven leaders of the ill-fated military expedition against Thebes, sits on a kline. He talks with an unnamed elderly man with a white beard and walking stick. Some scholars believe he may be Adrastos (Ἄδραστος), the king of Argos who organized the expedition, or perhaps Tiresias (Τειρεσίας), the prophet of Apollo who persuaded Parthenopaios to join it. On the right stands the heroine Atalanta (Ἀταλάντα), Parthenopaios' mother, and on the left an unnamed female figure.

Above them in the top register sit three gods (left to right): Hermes, holding a kerykeion (caduceus), wearing winged boots and with a petasos (sun hat) hanging behind his head; Apollo, holding an olive branch and a lyre, and with a swan at his feet; Ares, the god of war, bearded and holding a spear. The deities are not mere spectators but intervene in the unfolding story of the Theban war.

The tableau is thought to represent a dramatic performance based on comparison with other vase paintings of theatrical scenes, particularly the gestures and clothing of the figures. The dais on which the kline stands is thought to represent a theatre podium, and the columns at each end of the picture area parts of the stage scenery. It has been suggested that the three gods are sitting on a theatrical theologeion (raised platform) above the mortal characters.

This scene is not known from any known ancient literary source or other work of art. The story of the "Seven Against Thebes" is thought to have been first written in the Thebaid, one of the four lost epic poems known as the Theban Cycle, written around 750-500 BC. Parthenopaios' part in the Theban war is known from the plays Seven against Thebes by Aeschylus, produced in 467 BC, and The Phoenician women by Euripides, written around 408 BC.

Two 4th century BC Athenian tragic playwrights named Astydamas (Ἀστυδάμας), father and son, are said to have written plays titled Parthenopaios. The inscribed base of a seated bronze statue of the younger Astydamas (Astydamas II), erected after his tragedy Parthenopaios won first prize at the Dionysia festival in 340 BC, has been found at the western parados retaining wall Theatre of Dionysos in Athens (Inv. No. NK 302, inscription IG II (2) 3775). The victory is also known from an inscription with a list of winners, now in the Epigraphical Museum, Athens, Inv. No. 8226/7 (inscription IG II (2) 2320).
 
Ares and Atalanta on the Parthenopaios krater at My Favourite Planet

Ares above Atalanta on the right of the
main scene on the "Parthenopaios krater".
Inscribed stele with a relief depicting Dionysus and a Satyr at My Favourite Planet

Detail of an inscribed marble stele with a relief depicting Dionysus and a Satyr.

313-312 BC. Found in 1941 in Glyphada (Γλυφάδα), on the coast southwest
of central Athens. Height 96 cm, width (top-bottom) 36-40 cm.

Epigraphical Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 13262.
Inscription AM 66 (1941), 218-219, No. 1 (= SEG 36.186).

The top of the tapering stele of grey marble is in the form of a naiskos (small temple), decorated with low reliefs. On the architrave is a row of five theatrical masks. The left-most head is shown in three-quarter view, and is quite different in style from the other four frontal comedy masks of a more conventional type, as seen on other representations of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. It depicts a mature male with short hair and a long beard (a god, silen, philosopher or playwright?).

Within the naiskos, framed by the profiles of two Doric columns, Dionysus sits on a rock to the right, facing left, wreathed and wearing a himation, holding in his left hand his thyrsos, which appears to bend under the weight of the god's arm. In his outstretched right hand he holds out a kantharos (wine cup) to an adolescent Satyr who approaches him from the left, carrying an oinochoe (wine jug) in his right hand.

The 13 line inscription below is a decree of the Attic deme of Aixone (Αἰξωνή, the area of modern Glyfada) concerning Auteas, son of Autokles (Αυτέας Αυτοκλέους) and Philoxenides, son of Philppos (Φιλοξενίδης Φιλίππου), two choregoi (sponsors of theatrical performances, see Athens Acropolis gallery page 35). They are honoured for having performed their choregic duties well (καλῶς, kalos) and with a sense of love for honour (φιλοτίμως, philotimos). The citizens of the deme decided to award them each a golden crown worth 100 drachmas, to be presented in the theatre at the comedy competition during the next year's Dionysia festival. At the bottom of the stele, below the inscription, are two reliefs of crowns (wreaths).

The mention of Theophrastos (Θεόφραστος) as Athenian archon has caused some debate about the dating of the decree. Archons served for one year, and there were two of this name during the 4th century BC, in 340/339 and 313/312. The latter date has become generally accepted.

The Greek text of the inscription:

epigraphy.packhum.org/text/294170 at the Packard Humanities Institute.
Statues of Dionysus and a muse from Thasos at My Favourite Planet

Fragmentary marble statues of Dionysus (right) and
a female figure, probably a muse, wearing a peplos.

Early 3rd century BC. From a choragic monument which
stood on a semi-circular exedra in the West Monument of
the sanctuary of Dionysus, in the city of Thasos, Greece.

Thasos Archaeological Museum.

The Dionysion, the sanctuary of Dionysus in Thasos, east of the city's agora, was a small area with a triangular enclosure wall (see photo below), containing two choregic monuments. The other choragic monument (the East Monument) was built in the form of a Doric temple, inside which was a statue group on a semi-circular exedra, depicting Dionysus (see the head above) flanked by eight smaller statues of allegorical figures representing theatre genres. The names of four of the figures are preserved on an inscription on the base of the exedra: Comedy, Tragedy, Dithyramb and Nykterinos. The inscription also names the actors and musicians of the performing group which was awarded the choragic prize.

The theatre of Thasos is on the acropolis to the south of the city (see photo below).

See the Choragic Monument of Nikias and the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos in Athens for information about choragic monuments.
The site of the dionysion in Thasos at My Favourite Planet

The archaeological site of the Dionysion in Thasos.
Remains of the exedra base of the West Monument, in the Dionysion, Thasos at My Favourite Planet

The remains of the exedra base of the West Monument,
in archaeological site of the Dionysion, Thasos.
The ancient theatre on the acropolis of Thasos at My Favourite Planet

The ancient theatre on the acropolis of Thasos, overlooking the harbour of Thasos town.

See Guide to Kavala, page 5.
The temple of Dionysus, Delos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The remains of the temple of Dionysus, known as the Stoibadeion, Delos.

Delos Archaeological Site, Greece.

The small temple or shrine of Dionysus in Delos, also known as the Exedra of Dionysus, or Stoibadeion (Στοιβάδειον), is a rectangular platform which contained a statue group of enthroned Dionysus flanked by two actors dressed as Papposilenos (see photos below). The statues are now in the Delos Archaeological Museum. On either side of the exedra is a marble monument consisting of an enormous marble phallus on a rectangular base.

According to an inscription, the phallus on the right (south) was dedicated to Dionysus around 300 BC by a certain Karystios (Καρύστιος) who sponsored a prize-winning theatrical performance. Three sides of the base are decorated with Dionysian reliefs (see photo, right). The very worn relief on the left side shows Dionysus, probably drunk, supported by Pan or a Satyr carrying a lagobolon (hunting stick, see Pan). At the front of the base is a cockerel with a phallus in place of a head and neck. The exedra was built next to this monument during the 2nd century BC, and a second phallus monument was placed at its left side.

The phallus symbol is often seen in association with the cult of Dionysus, as a god of fertility and sexuality, despite the fact that he is depicted, as here, in such a state of inebriation that he is incapable of even standing without the assistance of members of his thiasos.
 
Relief at the temple of Dionysus, Delos at My Favourite Planet

Relief on the right side of the base of right-hand
phallus monument outside the temple of Dionysus,
Delos, depicting Dionysus naked (centre) with
a Maenad (right), and a small Silenos.
Statue of enthroned Dionysus, from the temple of Dionysus, Delos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Marble statue of enthroned Dionysus, from
the Stoibadeion, Delos. 150-100 BC.

Delos Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. A 4121.
Statue of a Papposilenos actor from the temple of Dionysus, Delos, Greece at My Favourite Planet   Marble statue of a Papposilenos actor from the Stoibadeion, Delos at My Favourite Planet
The two marble statues of Papposilenos actors, found
in 1904 in the Stoibadeion, Delos. 150-100 BC.

Delos Archaeological Museum. Inv. Nos. A 4122 and A 4123.

  Each of the statues depicts an actor dressed as Papposilenos, wearing a mask with a long braided beard, a "hairy" sheepskin costume covering the torso, arms and legs, over which is a himation (cloak), draped over the left shoulder and wrapped around the body. Each carries a wineskin over his left shoulder, and the figure on the left, 120 cm high, holds a tympanon (hand drum) in his right hand.

Silenos (Σειληνός, Seilenos; Latin, Silenus), was the oldest of the Silens, the tutor of Dionysus, in whose cult Greek theatre developed. He led the god's thiasos. He is also referred to as Papposilenos (Παπποσειληνός, Father Silenos), particularly in the context of the theatre.

Such statues of Papposilenos have been compared to portraits of the Athenian philosopher Socrates (Σωκρᾰ́της, circa 470-399 BC), particularly the high forehead, facial features, short, snubby nose and beard (see photo, right).

See also:

A statue of an actor as Papposilenos holding the infant Dionysus from Delos, above;

A mosaic depicting Dionysus riding a tiger from Delos, above.
 
Marble statuette of Socrates in the British Museum at My Favourite Planet

Marble statuette of Socrates
wearing a himation.

Either a Hellenistic original of the
2nd century BC or a Roman copy.
Said to be from Alexandria.
Height 27.5 cm, width 11.5 cm,
depth 8 cm.

The "Type B" statuette follows the
later idealized model of the two
types of portraits of Socrates.

British Museum.
Inv. No. GR 1925.11-18.1.
Purchased 1925 from the German
collector and dealer Jacob Hirsch.
Marble statue of a Papposilenos, Theatre of Dionysos, Athens at My Favourite Planet

One of several surviving marble statues
of Papposilenos, from the Roman period
skene (stage building) of the
Theatre of Dionysos, Athens.

1st or 2nd century AD.
Height 150 cm, width 63 cm.

Theatre of Dionysos, Athens.
Inv. No. NK 2295.
  Colossal marble statue of a naked Papposilenos from the Theatre of Dionysos, Athens at My Favourite Planet

Colossal marble statue of a naked
Papposilenos, probably in the pose of Atlas.

From the Roman period skene of
the Theatre of Dionysos, Athens.

1st or 2nd century AD.

Theatre of Dionysos, Athens.
Inv. No. NK 2302.
Marble statue of a Papposilenos actor in Berlin at My Favourite Planet   Detail of the Papposilenos statue in Berlin at My Favourite Planet
Marble statue of an actor dressed as Papposilenos.

Around 100 AD. From the Quirinal Hill, Rome. Thought to be a copy of
a 4th century BC original. Height 168 cm, width 98 cm, depth 55 cm.

Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 278. Purchased in 1866 from the Gentili Collection.

The figure wears a mask, a "hairy" sheepskin costume and a himation tied around his waist. In his raised right hand he holds part of a lagobolon, a short hunting stick, curved like a walking stick at one end, used for throwing at hares (also an attribute of Pan).

It was found in 1739 together with two statues of boxers (one described as being in the Palazzo Albani, Rome and the other in the Louvre) behind the Palazzo Gentili, on the northwest slope of the Quirinal Hill, Rome. In 1866 Wolfgang Helbig (1839-1915) purchased the restored statue for the Berlin museum from the Gentili Collection for 250 scudi. It was further restored 2005-2006 prior to the special exhibitions "Deuses Gregos: Coleção do Museu Pergamon de Berlin", Sao Paulo und Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2006, and "Die Rückkehr der Götter - Berlins verborgener Olymp", Pergamon Museum, Berlin, 2008-2011. Since 2011 it has been on permanent display in the Altes Museum.
Reliefs of theatrical masks at the theatre in the Sanctuary of Leto, Letoon, Lycia at My Favourite Planet

Reliefs of theatrical masks on metopes of a marble Doric frieze above the
outside of the vaulted tunnel entrance (parados), at the north side of the
Hellenistic theatre in the Sanctuary of Leto, Letoon, Lycia. Around 100 BC.

On the left is a mask of Dionysus, on the right a tragic mask.

Letoon (Λητῶον) is the site of an ancient Lycian sanctuary, at the village of Kumluova, in the Fethiye district of Antalya Province, southwestern Turkey. It is about 3 kilometres east the present coastline, and 1 km west of the Xanthos River (Eşen Çayı). The archaeological site is just off the national highway D400, 46 km (as the crow flies; 63 km by road) south of Fethiye, around 4 km (6 km by road) south of ancient Xanthos (Ξάνθος), the capital of the Lycian League, and 14 km (18.6 km by road) northwest of ancient Patara (Πάταρα).

The broad, fertile plain around Kumluova is prone to waterlogging due to the nearby river, and in winter and early spring parts of the Letoon are submerged. Despite its proximity to Fethiye, the growing tourist resort of Kaş (see Kastellorizo), and the increasingly popular Xanthos archaeological site, Kumluova and Letoon still feel quite isolated, and visited by far fewer tourists than Xanthos or other Lycian sites. There is no public transport from Kaş or Xanthos, although infrequent dolmuş minibuses run to and from Patara, where there are connections to Kaş.

Lycia is a mountainous area dotted with plains at the southwest corner of Anatolia (Asia Minor), where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean. The Lycians were a fiercely independent people, with their own distinct culture, language and alphabet, who had resisted the aggressive expansion of other cultures such as the Hittites, Greeks and Lydians.

It was ruled by the Persians following the conquest of the Lydian empire in 547-546 BC, and the Lycian cities surrendered to Alexander the Great in 333 BC. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, the control of Lycia was contested by his successors (the Diadochi), finally coming under the rule of the Ptolemies of Egypt, then the Seleucids. In 177 BC it was occupied by Rhodes, but given its freedom by the Romans in 167 BC.

The sanctuary later known as the Letoon was the religious centre of the Lycians, and during the Archaic and Classical periods, 7th - 5th century BC, it was probably dedicated to the cult of the ancient Lycian mother goddess Eni Mahanahi. During the Hellenistic period, due to the increasing Greek influence on Lycian culture, the sanctuary was dedicated to Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus. In Greek mythology, the pregnant Leto rested here while fleeing from the vengeance of Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus. According to one interpretation of the mythical tales, Apollo and Artemis were born here, although Delos and Ephesus also claimed to be their birthplace.

Letoon was destroyed by the Romans in 42 BC, but rebuilt during the Roman Imperial period, and further buildings were added during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD), who made it a centre of the cult of emperor worship.

The Hellenistic theatre, which was used for religious performances, is at the north of the sanctuary, at the end of the road from Xanthos, and near an ancient cemetery. Temples of Leto, Artemis and Apollo stood close together, side by side at the sanctuary's centre, and to the south was a sacred spring, pool or lake, where a Hellenistic nymphaeum was extended with the addition of a semicircular pool during the Roman period. There was also a sacred grove, and the constellation of temples, grove and lake are comparable with those at the sanctuary at Delos.

A Byzantine church was built in the 5th or 6th century AD to the east of the nymphaeum, using stones from the temples. Letoon appears to have been abandoned in the 7th century, probably due to the Arab raids in the area, and gradually became a swamp, covered by mud and silt from the Xanthos River.

In the early 19th century the British traveller, antiquarian and topographer Colonel William Martin Leake (1777-1860) estimated the location of Letoon, and the archaeologist Charles Fellows (see above), who had discovered Xanthos in 1838, attempted to visit it on 17th April 1840, but was thwarted by the high water levels of the swamp. However, in March 1841 Richard Hoskyn (1811-1873), the master of the British navy ship HMS Beacon, on a cartographic mission along the Lycian coast, was able to reach the site on his way to Xanthos. He reported seeing the theatre, foundations of a temple and some sarcophagi at the silted-up sanctuary.

"I found a large theatre in very good preservation, built in the side of a low detached hill. Near it on the plain are the foundations of a temple, probably the temple of Latona [Leto]. A few sarcophagi are scattered about. The theatre is of rather unusual construction, the sides being parallel, as in the theatres of European Greece; the proscenium has quite disappeared; over the north vomitorium are some bas-reliefs of faces, representing laughter and grief in various stages."

Richard Hoskyn, Narrative of a survey of part of the south coast of Asia Minor; and of a tour into the interior of Lycia in 1840-1; accompanied by a map. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Volume 12, pages 143-161. John Murray, London, 1843. At the Internet Archive.

The theatre, built around the late 2nd to early 1st century BC, was carved out of the natural rock of a low hill, but the two ends of the retaining walls which support the 36-row cavea (audience seating area), built of ashlar masonry, are free-standing (see middle photo, right). It was restored and perhaps enlarged during the Roman Imperial period, possibly during the reign of Hadrian. During the 1990s French archaeologists uncovered the foundations of the skene (stage building). Curiously, the theatre is oriented with the cavea facing northwest and away from the centre of the sanctuary.

The frieze above the northern vomitorium (the Latin name for the entrance/exit of a theatre; Greek, parados, πάροδος), runs along the top of a lintel above the outside of the vaulted tunnel through the retaining wall on the north side (see top photo, right). The 17 triglyphs have no architectural function and are purely decorative, imitating the entablature of a Classical Doric temple. Between the triglyphs are 16 metopes with reliefs of heads and masks, with 7 motifs. The two metopes in the photo above are numbers 1 and 2, on the left (east) end of the frieze.

•   3 masks of bearded Dionysus (metopes 1, 10, 16)
•   3 tragic masks (2, 6, 11)
•   3 bearded male faces (3, 7, 13)
•   1 comic mask of an old woman (4)
•   2 faces of beardless youths (5, 12)
•   2 Satyrs heads (8, 14)
•   2 bald, bearded Silens (9, 15)

The Doric facade of the vaulted tunnel entrance to the south side of the theatre (see bottom photo, right), facing the temples in the centre of the sanctuary, is larger, better built and better preserved. It has a similar frieze but the metopes are undecorated.

Fellows was finally able to make a short visit Letoon in December 1841, on his way up to Xanthos by river. Over the next century the sanctuary was seldom visited or mentioned, although the first photographs and lengthy description of the site, particularly the theatre, were published by Otto Benndorf and George Niemann in 1884.

See: Otto Benndorf and George Niemann, Reisen im südwestlichen Kleinasien, Band I: Reisen in Lykien und Karien, pages 118-124. C. Gerold's Sohn, Vienna, 1884. At the Internet Archive.

In 1962 the French Archaeological Mission, which had begun excavations at Xanthos in 1951, extended their work to Letoon, where they continued excavating and restoring the site over the next five decades, with a number of areas, particularly to the south of the sanctuary, still to be excavated. In 1988 Xanthos and Letoon were selected jointly as a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, in 2011 a controversial government decree revoked the permission for the French archaeologists to work at Xanthos and Letoon. This is part of the much-criticized political trend by President Erdoğan's government to restrict the work of foreign archaeologists in Turkey.

Since 2011 the archaeological work at Letoon has been carried out by Başkent University. As at other sites, a condition for acceptance to the UNESCO World Heritage list was the preparation of a conservation plan, which in the case of Letoon was approved in 2006. Following closure for essential conservation work, reportedly costing 2.8 million Turkish Lira, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry announced in November 2017 that the Letoon site was about to be reopened, and that the Xanthos site would be reopened by 2018.

See: Xanthos and Letoon ready for visitors, Hurriyet Daily News, 17 November 2017.

The vaulted tunnel on the north side of the theatre, Letoon, Lycia at My Favourite Planet

The entrance to the vaulted tunnel through the retaining
wall on the north side of the theatre at Letoon. The right
side of the entablature, which was in danger of collapsing,
was held up by metal supports prior to restoration.
 
The north end of the cavea and the retaining wall of the Letoon theatre at My Favourite Planet

The north end of the cavea and the retaining wall
of the theatre at Letoon. The tunnel ends at the
level of the diazoma, the walkway separating the
upper and lower levels of seating rows.
 
The tunnel entrance to the south side of the Letoon theatre at My Favourite Planet

The facade of the vaulted tunnel entrance
to the south side of the Letoon theatre.



For information about the terms used to
describe parts of Greek theatres, see
the Theatre of Dionysos, Athens.
The theatre in the Sanctuary of Leto, Letoon, Lycia at My Favourite Planet

The north side of the theatre in the Sanctuary of Leto, Letoon, from inside
the vaulted tunnel entrance (parados) at the south side. The inner end of
the north tunnel can be seen half way up the cavea (audience seating area).
Marble relief in honour of the tragedian Euripides at My Favourite Planet

Inscribed marble relief in honour of the Athenian playwright Euripides.

From the vicinity of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey). Late Hellenistic era.
1st century BC - 1st century AD. Height 60 cm, width 68.5 cm.

The tragedian (centre), seated and holding a scroll in his left hand, hands an actor's mask
of Herakles to Skene, the young female personification of the theatre (left), while an
Archaic statue of Dionysus (right) looks on, holding a kantharos in his right hand.

Gustave Mendel suggested that the relief should be called "the Apotheosis of Euripides"
because of the similarity of subject and treatment to the "Apotheosis of Homer" relief.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. 1242 T. Cat. Mendel 574.
Purchased from the Misthos antiquities collection in Smyrna; taken to Istanbul in 1900.
A terracotta lamp from Caearea with the head of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet   The head of Dionysus on an oil lamp from Caearea at My Favourite Planet
The head of Dionysus on a terracotta volute lamp.

1st century AD. Found in the hyposkenion of the theatre in Caearea Maritima,
Judaea (near Haifa, northern Israel), during excavations directed by Antonio Frova
(1914-2007) of the Italian Archaeological Mission of Caesarea, 1959-1964.

Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan. Inv. No. A 0.9.7189.

The port city Caearea Maritima (also referred to as Caesarea Stratonis, Caesarea Palaestinae or Παράλιος Καισάρεια, Paralios Kaisareia) was built around 22–10 BC by Herod the Great (ruled 37 BC - circa 4 BC / 1 AD), on the site of a Phoenician naval base known to the Greeks as Stratonos Pyrgos (Στράτωνος Πύργος, Strato's Tower), founded by Abdashtart I (Straton I of Sidon), ruler of the Phoenician city state of Sidon 365-352 BC. Herod renamed it Caesarea in honour of Emperor Caesar Augustus. The city's theatre was built at the same time.
An Ikarios relief showing Dionysus visiting Ikarios at My Favourite Planet

A fragmentary marble relief of the "Ikarios relief" type (also known as "Ikarios' Feast"), showing
Dionysus and his thiasos (retinue) visiting the "Athenian actor Ikarios" (museum labelling).

From the Vedius Gymnasium, Ephesus. Roman period.

Izmir Archaeological Museum, Turkey.

  There are as many as seventeen extant examples of "Ikarios reliefs" (also referred to as "Ikarios' Feast" reliefs), with several variations but essentially similar in content and composition. They are thought to be copies of a Hellenistic relief or painting of the 2nd century BC. Apart from the relief above from Ephesus, the other best-known examples are:

Marble Neo-Attic (?) relief, 1st - 2nd century AD.
Height 80 cm, width 136 cm, depth 10 cm.
Louvre, Paris. Inv. No. Ma 1606 (MR 719).
The relief is complete and the image is identical to the relief in Izmir.
From the Albani Collection, Rome. Revolutionary confiscation, 1798, following to the Tolentino Treaty. Purchased by Louis XVIII, 1815.

Marble Neo-Attic relief "with Dionysus and Ikarios",
late 1st century BC - early 1st century AD.
Height 76 cm.
National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6713.
Farnese Collection, from the Museo Borgia.

Marble relief from Rome, possibly 1st century AD, with a chequered history and "many alterations and restorations".
Height 91 cm, length 152 cm.
British Museum, London. Inv. No. 1805,0703.123 (see below).
Recorded as being in the Casa Maffei around 1535, Later in the Villa Montalto, Negroni, Massimo collections.

A number of relief fragments, including those in Pergamon Museum, Berlin (see below). One of these is almost identical to a Hellenistic fragment in the Museo Civico, Castello Ursino, Catania, Sicily. Inv. No. 960. Height 45 cm.

A fragmentary relief, around 125-150 AD (Hadrianic), Gaeta Cathedral, Italy.

Another relief fragment in the Capitoline Museums, Rome (see below) is perhaps also part of an "Ikarios relief".

A terracotta Campana plaque, 0-25 AD (Late Augustan), almost square, with a reduced verion of an "Ikarios relief" scene. Traces of paint visible: a greyish-yellow layer over the undecorated surfaces, and the red hair and beard of Dionysus. Four holes for suspension.
Height 46.5 cm, width 43 cm, depth 6 cm.
British Museum, London. Inv. No. 1805,0703.324 (not on display).
From the Townley Collection; purchased by Charles Townley in Rome. Purchased by the museum in 1805 from Peregrine Edward Towneley.

A decorative marble vase ("Dionysus and his companions"), 2nd century AD.
State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg. Inv. No. A 111.

A mature Dionysus with a long beard and wrapped in a heavy himation (similar to the "Dionysos-Sardanapalos" type statues), accompanied by his thiasos of reveling Satyrs and a Maenad, visits a mortal or hero. The god, entering from the right, appears to be drunk and unsteady on his feet. His left forearm is supported by a Satyr, while another removes his sandal and a third carries his thyrsos staff. On the left, the host, sitting on a kline (dining couch) with a female companion, bids the god welcome with a gesture of his raised right arm. The base of the kline is decorated with actors' masks. To the left of the figures a small herm (of Dionysus?) stands on an elaborate base resembling a fountain.

The scene appears to be taking place outside, perhaps in the host's garden or courtyard, with a long cloth draped in an apparently improvised way over the wall which provides the backdrop. The buildings behind the figures have been interpreted as either his home, a temple or part of a theatre. The youthful host himself is named Ikarios (or Icarius) on the labelling and in the literature of various museums which describe him as an "Athenian actor" or "dramatic poet".

There is no textual evidence concerning the subject of the image, and it is not mentioned in ancient literature. The identification of the figures has been discussed since the 16th century, when there were already two copies known in Rome (those now in the British Museum and Naples). It has been suggested, for example, that the host is the mythical Attic farmer Ikarios (Ἰκάριος), the eponymous hero of the deme Ikaria, who was taught the art of winemaking by Dionysus in return for his hospitality. According to other theories, the original image may have been a votive relief dedicated by the winner of a theatrical competition, or even an illustration of a scene from a theatrical performance or the enactment of a Satyr play.

The "Ikarios reliefs" combine the iconography of other Greek votive images, particularly "funeral banquet" reliefs and "Theoxenia reliefs". The subject of a funeral banquet relief is one or more deceased mortals or heroes on a kline, attended by family members and servants. "Theoxenia reliefs" (θεοξένια, literally, god hospitality; sacred feasts) depict gods and heroes attending feasts, often laid out on special tables by mortals. The most common divine subjects of such reliefs are the Dioskouri (Castor and Pollux) and Dionysus. More generally, the scene has been described as an epiphany (ἐπιφάνεια), a term used to describe gods revealing or manifesting themselves to mortals (see, for example, the Archaic "snake goddess plaque" from the Athens Agora).
 
The arrival of Dionysus at the house of Ikarios at My Favourite Planet

The arrival of Dionysus at the house of Ikarios.
An Ikarios relief showing Dionysus visiting the house of a poet, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford at My Favourite Planet

Plaster cast of a marble "Ikarios relief" showing Dionysus visiting the house of "a dramatic poet".

Plaster cast in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Inv. No. E 11.

The original relief, in the British Museum (not on display), is from Rome, tentatively dated to the 1st century AD, "with many alterations and restorations". The scene is almost identical to the relief in Izmir (above), with the notable execption that the woman on the host's couch is missing (removed by later restorers?). The long building (a temple?) in the background is garlanded and has a Gorgoneion on the pediment. The relief on the pillar behind Dionysus shows a man on a two-horse chariot.

Original in the British Museum. Inv. No. 1805,0703.123 (Sculpture 2190).
Height 91 cm, length 152 cm.
A print of an Ikarios relief by Pietro Santi Bartoli at My Favourite Planet

Etching of an "Ikarios relief" from a book published in Rome in 1693 by Pietro Santi Bartoli (1635-1700),
containing prints by Bartoli and other artists of ancient artworks at that time in the city. Some of the
illustrations had appeared in other books published as early as 1645. Like other illustrations in the
book, the etching is a mirror-image of the relief, which here has been corrected.

The relief appears to be that now in the British Museum, before restoration and the removal of the female figure on the kline. This is the only relief in which so many details have survived, including the small chariot relief behind the head of Dionysus, and the figure in the background, standing before a palm tree on the raised area in front of the building with the Gorgon pediment. The male and female couple on the extreme right in the print are missing from the British Museum relief.

Image source: Pietro Santi Bartoli, Admiranda Romanarum antiquitatum ac veteris sculpturae vestigia: anaglyphico opere elaborata ex marmoreis exemplaribus quae Romae adhuc extant in Capitolio, aedibus hortisque virorum principum ad antiquam elegantiam, plate 43. Rome, 1693. At the Internet Archive.
A fragment of an Ikarios relief showing Dionysus with Satyrs at My Favourite Planet

Fragment of a marble "Ikarios relief" showing Dionysus with two Satyrs.
Early 1st century AD. Height 56.5 cm, width, 43.7 cm, depth 5 - 5.9 cm.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 919.
Purchased for the Berlin museums by Eduard Gerhard in Rome, 1841.
  An Ikarios relief fragment showing Dionysus' thiasos at My Favourite Planet

Fragment of a marble "Ikarios relief" showing
members of Dionysus' thiasos.

1st century AD. Provenance unknown. Recorded as being in the
Prussian Royal Collection in 1891 (Inventar der Skulpturen I, S. 265;
Conze 1891). Height 45.1 cm, width 36 cm, depth 4.6 cm.

The restored fragment shows the group of four figures known from
the lower right side of other "Ikarios reliefs": a Silen playing an aulos
(double pipes), followed by a Satyr raised right arm turning back to a
Maenad holding a lyre, who is supported by a bearded Satyr.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 920.

It is almost identical in size and composition to the fragment in the
Museo Civico, Castello Ursino, Catania, Sicily. Inv. No. 960. Height 45 cm.
Fragment of an Ikarios relief at My Favourite Planet

The top left corner of a marble relief, described as "relief representing a sacred landscape".
It shows the top of a temple with a Gorgoneion on the pediment (as in the relief above),
part of a wall from which a cloth sheet is hung, a column topped by a relief and a tree (left).
It could well be a fragment of an "Ikarios relief", with the head of "Ikarios", bottom, centre.

Pentelic marble. 1st century BC - 1st century AD. One of a number of Dionysiac relief
fragments from the Horti Maecenatiani, Rome (see also the relief fragment above).
Found in 1876 in the area of the Auditorium.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. No. MC 1426.
 
Dionysus The Triumph of Dionysus

During the Roman period Dionysus was often depicted with his
thiasos in a procession, known as a "triumph" or "Indian triumph".
Relief of a procession with Dionysus and Ariadne in a panther chariot at My Favourite Planet

A procession with Dionysus and Ariadne (left) on a wagon pulled by two panthers
("a panther chariot"), led by Pan, Satyrs and Maenads playing music and dancing.
Eros, riding one of the panthers, plays a lyre.

Relief on a marble closure slab of a sarcophagus-like wall grave. 110-130 AD.
Found near the Tomb of Caecilia Metella, Via Appia, Rome.
Height: 74.5 cm, width 205 cm, depth 9.5 cm.

Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Sk 850.
 
Detail of the Dionysus procession relief from the Via Appia at My Favourite Planet

Detail of the Dionysus procession relief above.

Such reliefs with Dionysian motifs were common on
sarchophagi from the city of Rome until around 300 AD.
A fragment of a marble statue of Dionysus reclining at My Favourite Planet

A fragment of a marble statue of Dionysus reclining. Thought to be from
a sculpture group, perhaps of the god in a chariot as part of a triumph.

Luni marble. Antonine period (160-200 AD).

Found December 1874 in an underground chamber beneath the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele,
the ancient Horti Lamiani, Rome, among several other well-preserved ancient sculptures,
thought to have been made in the same workshop.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. No. 1113.
Relief of a Dionysian procession in Dresden at My Favourite Planet

Relief of a Dionysian procession on the front of a marble sarcophagus,

Around 180 AD. Anatolian marble. Height 56 cm,
width 212.5 cm, depth 62 cm [see note 11].

Skulpturensammlung, Albertinum, Dresden. Inv. No. Hm 293.
Relief of an Indian triumph, Palazzo Altemps, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Relief of an Indian Triumph of Dionysus on the front of a marble sarcophagus.

Around 190-220 AD. The sarcophagus was later reused as a basin for
a fountain and the surface of the marble has been extremely eroded.

On the left, Dionysus rides on a chariot drawn by two elephants, exotic animals
which are rare in Triumph depictions. One of the elephants treads on a panther.
Immediately behind the chariot Victoria (Nike) holds a victor's palm branch. Satyrs
and Maenads play music and dance around a flaming altar in the centre. At the far
right stands a hip herm, with a sculpted figure shown down to the hips. On the left
side of the sarcophagus is a relief of an ecstatically dancing Satyr. On the right side,
a Satyr with an aulos (double pipes) and Dionysus with a thyrsos and kantharos.
Sarcophagus height 62 cm, length 211 cm, depth 69 cm.

Palazzo Altemps, National Museum of Rome. Inv. No. 8566.
Ludovisi Collection, from the Carpi Collection.

The Renaissance painter Il Garofalo featured elephants
in his 1540 painting The Triumph of Bacchus, see below.
Relief of a triumph of Dionysus on a sarcophagus, Capitoline Museums, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Relief of a triumph of Dionysus on the front of a marble sarcophagus. Roman Imperial period.

On the left, Dionysus, holding his thyrsos staff, sits in a chariot drawn by two centaurs.
Winged Eros stands on the back of one of the centaurs, and a lion and a panther run
alongside them. In the centre Pan dances in front of a Satyr playing pipes and a Maenad
playing a tympanon. Right, a couple (the deceased?) sit in a chariot driven by a figure
who looks like Pan, pulled by an exhausted donkey and surrounded by Satyrs.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Rome (not labelled).
Relief of a triumph of Dionysus on a sarcophagus in Naples at My Favourite Planet

Relief of a triumph of Dionysus on the front of a marble sarcophagus. Circa 160-170 AD.

On the left, a drunken Dionysus, holding a kantharos (wine cup), stands in a chariot drawn
by two centaurs, one of which plays a lyre. Winged Eros stands on the back of one of the
centaurs. In the centre Pan dances on the cista mystica between two Maenads, one playing
a pipe and the other a tympanon. To the right Silenus lies drunk on a four-wheeled wagon
pulled by an exhausted donkey and surrounded by Satyrs, one of whom carries a calf on his
shoulder. Another, smaller figure who also looks like Pan can be seen stepping from Silenos'
wagon onto the back of the donkey. Sarcophagus height 58 cm, length 228 cm, depth 71 cm.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6693.
Relief of drunken Hercules in a triumph of Dionysus in Naples at My Favourite Planet

Relief of drunken Hercules in a triumph of Dionysus on the front of a marble sarcophagus.

Circa 200 AD, early Severan period.

The relief was made around the same time as the one above and depicts a similar scene,
with the notable exception of the appearance of the large figure of a drunken Hercules,
supported by two Satyrs, in the centre. On the left, Dionysus supported by a Satyr. On the
right, in the place of Silenus' wagon, a winged Eros sits on a lion led on a leash by Pan.
Each end of the sarcophagus has a relief of a griffin with a paw resting on a ram’s head.
A snake emerging from a round, lidded basket, interpreted as the cista mystica (sacred
kiste), appears twice in the relief. Sarcophagus height 87 cm, length 218 cm, depth 97 cm.

National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6776.
Relief of a triumph of Dionysus on a sarcophagus in Naples Cathedral at My Favourite Planet

Relief of a triumph of Dionysus on the front of a Roman marble sarcophagus,
3rd century AD, reused as a tomb for a member of the noble Piscicelli family.

Basilica di Santa Restituta, Naples Cathedral.

On the left, Dionysus lounges in a familiar pose, with his right forearm over his head, and in his left hand is a thyrsos which looks more like a military sceptre. His four-wheeled wagon is pulled by two panthers; the cat in front is clearly female. Below the panthers is the head of an ox in profile. To the left of the god is a vine, and to the right a Maenad, probably playing a flute.

On the right of the relief, Silenos lies in a similar wagon pulled by two donkeys, below which is the head of a male in profile. To his right is Pan, who appears to have extra-long horns and to be holding a lagobolon. To the left stands a Maenad playing cymbals, and a garlanded circular altar on which there is a ram's head.

In the centre two Satyrs, with shouldered lagobolons and wearing animal skins, hold a clipeus (round shield device) bearing the coat of arms of the Piscicelli family. Below it are two small seated figures, one clothed and the other naked (a Maenad and Satyr?).

An old description of the sarcophagus (A. Sorrentino, La Basilica costantiniana a Napoli e notizia di due suoi sarcofagi. Napoli, 1908) mentions "A row of comic and tragic masks shaped like a pedestal to the Bacchic scene". However, these masks are now not to be seen. They may be covered by the cement used to seal the lid.

Each of the short sides has a relief of a mask between festoons of foliage and fruit. The sarcophagus rests on two marble blocks decorated with reliefs of oak leaves. According to one source, it was the tomb of Alfonso Piscicelli (14th century), although so far I have found no confirmation of this.

Height 54 cm, length 2 metres, depth 60 cm.
Silver tray handle with the Indian Triumph of Dionysus at My Favourite Planet

Silver and gilt handle for a ceramic tray, showing the Indian Triumph of Dionysus.

Severan period, early 3rd century AD. Found between Hamadan and Kirmanshah,
Iran. Length 22.7 cm, thickness 0.47 cm, weight 672.7 grams.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Inv. No. 54.11.8.
Purchased through the Rogers Fund, 1954.
 
Dionysus, standing in a triumphal pose and holding his thyrsos staff like a weapon in the manner of a triumphal Roman emperor or general (a pose which can be seen on several imperial statues), rides in a chariot/ship pulled by two large cats (lionesses, female panthers or tigers?). From his waist hangs a metal insignia with the head of a large cat, and the folds of his cloak, billowing in the wind, appear to take on the form of lotus flowers.

Pan and three Satyrs accompany him, and one Satyr (left) carries two elephant tusks as booty. Another Satyr (second from right) holds a long-stemmed plant with three large flowers. At the centre of the work, below the triumphal group, is a pair of cymbals, symbolic of Dionysian rites.

The martial significance of the work is underlined by the weapons and armour - trophies captured from defeated enemies - at the bottom (lower register) and sides of the object. The seated figure on the left has been interpreted as a prisoner of war with his hands tied behind his back. Another figure on the right, presumably another prisoner, is now missing.

The missing parts of the prisoners and the visible outlines around the other figures reveal how the pictorial elements on the handle were cast separately as plaques in a different alloy and inlaid in the silver plate.

See: Christine Alexander, A Roman Silver Relief: The Indian Triumph of Dionysos. Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 14(3), 1955, pages 64-7.

See also a mosaic showing Pan carrying Dionysus, thought to be part of an Indian Triumph of Dionysus.
 
Dionysus returns from India on a cat-powered ship at My Favourite Planet

Dionysus returns from India on a panther-powered ship.
Mosaic emblema depicting Dionysus fighting the Indians at My Favourite Planet

Mosaic emblema depicting Dionysus fighting the Indians.

First half of the 4th century AD. Probably found in the area of the Villa Ruffinella, Tuscolo.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, National Museum of Rome. From the Kircherian Museum.
Roman mosaic depicting Dionysus in Dresden at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a large Roman mosaic floor with 33 emblemata (panels) depicting
Dionysian motifs. The largest emblema in the centre shows Dionysus driving
a chariot drawn by a tiger, a dog (or wolf) and a panther, and accompanied
by a centaur. A scorpion appears above the head of Dionysus.

Found in 1843 in Civitavecchia, Italy. Extensively restored and reworked.

Mosaiksaal, Albertinum, Dresden. Inv. No. Zv 26.
Purchased in 1877 by Giovanni Valeriani.
The Triumph of Bacchus, oil painting by Garofalo at My Favourite Planet

The Triumph of Bacchus by the Mannerist painter Benvenuto Tisi, named Il Garofalo (1476/1481 - 1559).

Painted in Ferrara in 1540, "after a drawing by Raphael". Oil on canvas. Height 218 cm, width 313 cm.

Old Masters Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister), Semperbau, Dresden. Inv. No. 138.

Ariadne and the naked Dionysus enter the theatrical scene from the left in a golden chariot drawn by two leopards and surrounded by the god's thiasos, some riding elephants and camels, symbols of the god's victory in Asia, others dancing and playing pipes, cymbals and a tambourine (figure, far right). A winged Nike flies down to bring the couple a pair of victory wreaths. A young female in a dark green robe carries a basket of grapes on her head, and other figures, including one of the elephants, also hold grapes and drinking vessels. At the centre Satyrs or Silens try to help the drunken, obese Silenos mount a patiently crouching lion. To the right Pan cavorts with his companions. The goat-footed god drinks from a wineskin carried on the shoulders of a horned youth. Zeus, with his eagle, and Hera, with her peacock, recline in a cloud above to watch the progress of the procession. In the background, to the far left and right, rises an idealized mountainous landscape with groups of buildings and a round tower, perhaps meant to represent an imaginary Greece, or as an allusion to the history of the Este family or Ferrara.

The composition is punctuated by areas of rich colour - blues, greens, reds and orange - mainly on garments, but dominated by expanses of naked flesh (that of most of the males is darker than the porcelain-like skin of the females), and the surface is generally lively. However, all textures have been smoothed out, and the movements of the figures are decidely restrained, rather than orgiastically abandoned. All but Silenos are solemnly sober; only Pan and the horned youth to his right are smiling, while another horned figure, behind and to the left of them, appears to be shouting or singing.

Painted for Ercole II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, the work was exhibited in the Camerino gallery of the ducal palace in Ferrara. By the time Garofalo completed the work he was almost blind, haing lost the sight of his right eye when he was about 49 (Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists Part III [17]).

Ercole's father Alfonso I d'Este (his mother was Lucrezia Borgia) had originally commissioned a painting of the subject from Raphael, who sent Alfonso a sketch in 1517 but never began the work. The drawing is thought to be lost, although the Der Triumphzug des Bacchus in Indien, in the Albertina, Vienna (Inv. No. 444), traditionally attributed to a number of other artists (Perino del Vaga, Giovanni Francesco Penni), may be the original or a copy of Raphael's sketch [18]. If this is true it bears little resemblance to Garofalo's finished work, as is the case of the relationship between Sodoma's The Wedding of Alexander the Great and Roxana and the earlier sketch of the subject by Raphael.

Following the death of the last Este duke in 1597, the family lost control of Ferrara and the works from the palace were dispersed. The painting was taken to the gallery of the ducal palace in Modena. It was purchased, along with other works from Modena, by Elector Friedrich August II of Saxony (King August III of Poland), and entered the Royal Collection in Dresden in 1746.
 
Bacchus and Ariadne by Garofalo at My Favourite Planet

Bacchus and Ariadne by Garofalo
 
Dionysus Notes, references and links

1. The Twelve Olympian Gods

All the other Twelve Great Gods of Olympus, known as the Dodekatheon (Δωδεκάθεον), were children of gods or other divine beings.

Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaistos, Athena, Apollo, Artemis and Hermes were considered the original twelve. Hestia, goddess of the hearth, domestic order and the family, was among the first generation of Olympians, the sister of the first four in the list, as well as of Hades, and the niece of Aphrodite. However, her place appears to have been taken later by Dionysus.

The earliest known dedication to the twelve was the Altar of the Twelve Gods (or the Sanctuary of the Twelve Gods) at the northwest of the Athens Agora, established in 522/521 BC by the archon Peisistratos, grandson of the tyrant Peisistratos (Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, Book 6, chapter 54, sections 6-7). A small number of depictions of the twelve as a group are known from ancient literature and inscriptions, and a few have survived, including the relief on the Ostia Dodekatheon.

2. Dionysus raised in Nysa

"I begin to sing of ivy-crowned Dionysus, the loud-crying god, splendid son of Zeus and glorious Semele. The rich-haired Nymphs received him in their bosoms from the lord his father and fostered and nurtured him carefully in the dells of Nysa, where by the will of his father he grew up in a sweet-smelling cave, being reckoned among the immortals. But when the goddesses had brought him up, a god oft hymned, then began he to wander continually through the woody coombes, thickly wreathed with ivy and laurel. And the Nymphs followed in his train with him for their leader; and the boundless forest was filled with their outcry.

So I salute you, Dionysus, god of the abundant grape clusters. Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season, and from that season onwards for many a year."

Homeric Hymn 26, to Dionysus

Hugh G. Evelyn-White (translator), The Homeric Hymns and Homerica. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. and William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1914. At Perseus Digital Library.

3. The thiasos

In ancient depictions of Dionysus with his retinue, he is shown with male figures, mostly young, with tails and other attributes, often referred to as Satyrs, Silens and fauns. In some works a figure may be identified as a specific character, such as the Satyr Ampelos (Ἀμπελος). Although there are differences between the types of mythical beings known from Greek and Roman literature, they are not always easy to distinguish in artworks, and many modern descriptions refer to the figures generically as Satyrs. Where a mature, bearded figure appears, he is decribed as an elderly Silen or as Silenos, the oldest of the Silens and the mentor and teacher of Dionysus (see above).

„Faune Satyrn Silene Pane – wie kreuzen und vermischen sich die Vorstellungen von dieser lustigen Schaar, nicht nur bei uns, sondern theilweise schon bei den Alten!“

"Fawns, Satyrs, Silens, Pans – how the perceptions of this merry throng have become mixed up, not only by us but even sometimes by the ancients!"

Adolf Furtwängler, Der Satyr aus Pergamon, page 3. Programm zum Winckelmannsfeste der Archäologischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin, Band 40. Georg Reimer, Berlin, 1880. At the University of Heidelberg Digital Library.

Likewise, the god is often shown with one or more female figures, including Semele, Ariadne, Maenads, Thyiads, Nymphs, Muses and the Seasons (Horai). In several cases the identification of the figures remains a subject of scholarly debate (see for example, discussion of the Thyiads in the note below).

For the moment, when describing such images, I have mostly followed the labelling and literature of the respective museums, particularly since this page is primarily concerned with Dionysus himself. Where possible I will attempt to add more details concerning secondary figures.

4. The statue of Dionysus from Ikaria

The Attic deme Ikaria (Ικαρία, also referred to as Ikarion), today the municipality Dionysos (Διόνυσος), on the north slope of Mount Penteli, northeast of Athens (between Kifissia and Marathon). The fragments were found during the only excavations so far undertaken there, directed by Carl Darling Buck (1866-1955) of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in 1888-1889. The site consists of the remains of a theatre and a number of buildings, all of which have been connected by inscriptions and other finds (including choragic monuments) with the worship of Dionysus and Apollo, including a temple of Pythian Apollo.

Some of the fragments were discovered below the walls of a Byzantine church and others at "Building D", which may have been the "Dionysion", an Archaic temple of Dionysus. If this was the cult statue of the temple, it may have been one of the earliest stone cult statues in Attica.

See:

Carl D. Buck, Discoveries in the Attic Deme of Ikaria, 1888. Sculptures (Plates VII, VIII). Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Volume V, 1886-1890, pages 109-125 and figs. 1-4. Archaeological Institute of America. Damrell and Upham, Boston MA, 1892. At Heidelberg University Library.

The volume includes all Buck's papers on his Discoveries in the Attic Deme of Ikaria, 1888, including a chronological record of the excavations (with topographical description and map), inscriptions and sculptures, as well as The Choregia in Athens and Ikaria. They have been collected as a separate PDF (except the plates): ascsapapers1886_1890__p0056-0149.pdf. Also at Heidelberg University Library.

Irene Bald Romana, The Archaic statue of Dionysos from Ikarion. Hesperia, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1982), pages 398-409, plates 93-95. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. PDF at www.ascsa.edu.gr.

William R. Biers and Thomas D. Boyd, Ikarion in Attica: 1888-1981. Hesperia, Vol. 51, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1982), pages 1-18. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. PDF at www.ascsa.edu.gr.

Elizabeth King Filioti, Dionysos / Ikarion. At filiotis.net.

Robert Horne, The Ikarion Sanctuary of Dionysos. At athens123.com.

John M. Camp, The archaeology of Athens, pages 289-291. Yale University Press, 2004.

5. Ivory plaque of Dionysus from Sepino

The plaque was exhibited as part of the temporary exhibition The gift of Dionysos in the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, 13 July 2011 - 30 September 2012. So far I have been unable to discover further details of the exhibits on loan from the Molise region of south-central Italy.

The exhibition was the result of cooperation between the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, the Italian Cultural Institute of Thessaloniki and the Soprintendenza Archeologia del Molise.

The exhibition catalogue, in Greek, Italian and English: Polyxeni Adam-Veleni, Eurydice Kefalidou, Evangelia Stefani (editors), Το δώρο του Διονύσου. Μυθολογία του κρασιού στην κεντρική Ιταλία (Molise) και τη βόρεια Ελλάδα (Μακεδονία), The gift of Dionysos: Mythology of wine in central Italy (Molise) and northern Greece (Macedonia). Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. ΖΗΤΗ publications, Thessaloniki, 2011.
 

6. Dionysus Sardanapalos

Ctesias (Κτησίας, Ktesias; also known as Ctesias of Cnidus), a Greek physician and historian from Knidos in Caria, who lived in the 5th century BC. He was a physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, and accompanied him on his expedition against his brother Cyrus the Younger in 401 BC. Artaxerxes' army included Greek mercenaries led by Xenophon of Athens (see History of Pergamon). He wrote treatises on rivers and on the Persian revenues, Indica (Ἰνδικά), an account of India, and Persica (Περσικά), a history of Assyria and Persia in 23 books in the Ionic dialect, written in opposition to Herodotus, and allegedly based on the Persian Royal Archives.

Diodorus Siculus (Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης, Diodoros Sikeliotes; also known as Diodorus of Sicily), a Greek historian from Agyrion (today Agira) in Sicily, who lived during the 1st century BC. Diodorus on Sardanapalos (Sardanapallus):

Diodorus Siculus, Library, Book II, chapters 23-28. At Bill Thayer's website LacusCurtius: Into the Roman World, University of Chicago.

Ennio Quirino Visconti (1751-1818), an Italian antiquarian, art historian, who was appointed papal Prefect of Antiquities. Visconti identified the Sardanapolos type statues as depictions of Dionysus:

Ennio Quirino Visconti, Giambattista Antonio Visconti, Giovanni Labus, Il Museo Pio Clementino Volume II, pages 257-269 (in Italian) and Tavolo XLI. Presso gli editori (N. Bettoni), Milan, 1819. At the Internet Archive.

Tavolo XLI (Plate 41), a drawing by Visconti of the statue in the Museo Pio Clementino, shows the inscription on the statue's chest along the lower edge of the cloak.

7. Winckelmann on Sardanapalos

Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Monumenti antichi inediti spiegati ed illustrati da Giovanni Winckelmann. Rome, 1767.

Text in Volume II, Parte Terza, capitolo primo, "Sardanapolo", pages 219-221.

Engraving: Volume I, plate 163.

Both volumes at Heidelberg University Digital Library.

8. Dionysus and the Thyiads on the Temple of Apollo, Delphi

It has been suggested that Pausanias was mistaken in believing that the women around Dionysus on the east pediment were Thyiads, since their poses suggest more the calm of Muses in a dithyrambic dance rather than wild, orgiastic movement.

See: Jenny Strauss-Clay, Fusing the Boundaries: Apollo and Dionysos at Delphi, Mètis. Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Volume 11, 1996, pages 83-100. At persee.fr.

Jenny Strauss-Clay examines the relationship between Apollo and Dionysus at Delphi, particularly during the Late Classical period in the context of the Paean to Dionysos by Philodamos, found on an inscription with an honorary decree for its author and his brothers, dated to 340-339 BC, under the Sacred Way in Delphi.
 
Cast of the Vatican Dionysos Sardanapollos in Dresden at My Favourite Planet

Plaster cast of the bust of Dionysos
Sardanapollos from the Vatican statue.

Abguss-Sammlung, Semperbau, Dresden.
Inv. No. ASN 2640. From the Cast
Collection of Anton Raphael Mengs
(see the Niobe page for further details).

The cast was made intentionally as a long
bust in order to include the important
ϹΑΡΔΑΝΑΠΑΛΛΟϹ inscription. However,
it is currently displayed on a shelf behind
a larger cast of a staute of Marsyas, so
that neither the inscription nor the musem
label can be seen. Bad design. Visitors who
try to get closer to read the inscription
and label set off an annoying proximity
alarm and long-suffering guards.

The original, 1st century AD, is made
of Pentelic marble. Height 202 cm.

Sala della Biga, Museo Pio-Clementino,
Vatican Museums, Rom. Inv. No. 2363.
 

9. Dionysus with a kithara

The reconstruction of the relief of Dionysus holding a kithara (as "Dionysos Kitharodos") is conjectural. According to the Delphi museum labelling: "In the centre stands Dionysos, in the rare iconographic type of the cithara (type of lyre) player... The cithara he holds in his left hand places him on equal terms with the god of music, Apollo, and reconciles the different realms of the two deities who are both depicted on the same temple."

The other well-known example of a depiction of Dionysus supposedly holding a kithara is a fragment of a statue from the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos, above the Theatre of Dionysos, Athens, dated 3rd - 2nd century BC. The headless and armless seated figure, removed by Lord Elgin and now in the British Museum (see photo, right), is thought to have originally held a kithara in its left hand.

See: the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos

10. Nebris

The nebris (Greek νεβρίς; earlier, νεβρός, nebros, fawn; plural nebrises) was originally the skin of a fawn, as can be seen on several depictions of Dionysus, Satyrs, Maenads, etc. In Roman art Bacchus and members of his retinue are often shown wearing deerskins.

11. Dimensions of the triumph sarcophagus relief in Dresden

Dimensions from the website of the Dresden State Art Collections:

skd-online-collection.skd.museum/Details/Index/166376

According to Arachne, the website of the University of Köln Archaeological Institute, the dimensions are:
Height 58.5 cm, width 171 cm, depth 61.5 cm.

See: arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/5418

The website gives the dimensions of the other Dionysus sarcophagus relief in Dresden (Inv. No. Hm 293, see above) as:

Height 55 cm, width 219 cm, depth 59 cm.

See: arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/5417

Details of ancient artefacts, such as provenance, dates, artists, materials and dimensions, on some museum labels and in some publications are often based on the reports and opinions of one or two scholars published in academic books, articles and catalogues, many now more than a century old.

While the dates, authorship and provenance of a large number of museum objects continue to be debated, and even more await careful analysis using modern techniques (e.g. for marble types of sculptures, see Niobe), many of these questions may never be answered beyond dispute. On the other hand, the dimensions of extant objects are not insoluble riddles, all that is needed is the will, time and a tape measure. Yet researchers are often left wondering whose statistics to believe. A prime example is the "Alexander Mosaic" from Pompeii.

12. The mosaic from Halicarnassus

Charles Thomas Newton excavated the remains of the large villa in the field of Hadji Captan, known after the Turkish owner, to the west of the Mausoleum, in December 1856. The mosaic of Dionysus dancing with a panther was found in Room D. In Room B he discovered a mosaic panel depicting Meleager and Atalanta hunting a leopard and a lion, and parts of another with Dido and Aeneas hunting.

See: Sir Charles Thomas Newton and Richard Popplewell Pullan, A History of Discoveries at Halicarnassus, Cnidus and Branchidae, Volume II, Part 1, Chapter X: Field of Hadji Captain (Dionysus mosaic on page 292). Day and Son, London, 1862. At archive.org

13. Dionysus/Fufluns and Lekanomanteia

See: Nancy Thomson de Grummond, Etruscan Myth, Sacred History, and Legend, page 121, fig. VI.9. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2006.

Lekanomanteia (lecanomancy; Greek, λεκανομαντεία, from λεκάνη, lekane, dish, pan; Latin, lecanomantia), divination by interpreting the sound or effect of an object or substance falling into a liquid.

14. Derveni, Lete

Derveni (Δερβένι), about 10 km northeast of Thessaloniki, between Efkarpia and Lagyna, on the road to Kavala, is the site of the necropolis of the ancient Mygdonian city of Lete (Λητή, Liti). The finds from the archeological site include the Derveni Krater, the Derveni Papyrus and a large funerary monument of the 1st century BC with a relief signed by the sculptor Evandros of Veroea.

15. Emil Wolff

From 1815 Wolff studied at the Kunstakademie Berlin, and from 1818 with his uncle Johann Gottfried Schadow. He won an academic prize in 1821 which enabled him to travel in 1822 to Rome, where remained for the rest of his life. There he acquired several ancient artworks on behalf the Prussian Royal Collection (preußisch königliche Sammlung), many of which are today in the museums of Berlin.

16. The Dresden Maenad

See: Beryl Barr-Sharrar, The Dresden Maenad and Skopas of Paros, pages 321-337, in: Dora Katsonopoulou and Andrew Stewart (editors), Paros III: Skopas of Paros and his world. Proceedings of the third international conference on the archaeology of Paros and the Cyclades, Paroikia, Paros 11-14 June 2010. Athens 2013. At academia.edu.

17. Vasari on Garofalo's Triumph of Bacchus

See: Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists, Part III, 1. The lives of Benvenuto Garofalo and Girolamo da Carpi, painters of Ferrara, and of other Lombards. At the website of Adrienne DeAngelis.

Also at: ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/v/vasari/giorgio/lives/part3.62.html. At the University of Adelaide.

18. The "Raphael" Triumph sketch in Vienna

A photo of the drawing, with a description in English, claiming that it is by Raphael, followed by terse, academic references:

sammlungenonline.albertina.at/...

Statue of Dionysus from the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos, Athens at My Favourite Planet

Marble statue of Dionysos from the
Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos,
Athens. 3rd - 2nd century BC.

British Museum, London.
Inv. No. 1816,0610.111 (Sculpture 432).
Statuette of Apollo Patroos from the Agora, Athens at My Favourite Planet

Marble statuette of a standing figure,
now headless, wearing a long chiton,
belted at the waist, and a himation,
and holding a kithara or lyre in the left
hand. Identified as depicting
Apollo Patroos, and thought to be
a miniature copy of a statue
by Euphranor (4th century BC).

Found in a well in the Athenian Agora,
1937. Described as either island or
Pentelic marble. Height 29 cm,
maximum width 13.6 cm, depth 8 cm.

Agora Museum, Athens. Inv. No. S 877.
 
Photos on this page were taken during
visits to the following museums:

Bulgaria
Varna Archaeological Museum

Germany
Berlin, Altes Museum
Berlin, Bode Museum
Berlin, Neues Museum
Berlin, Pergamon Museum
Berlin, Schinkel Museum, Friedrichswerdersche Kirche
Dresden, Albertinum, Skulpturensammlung
Dresden, Residenzschloss, Münzkabinett
Dresden, Semperbau, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

Greece
Athens, Acropolis Museum
Athens, Agora Museum
Athens, Epigraphical Museum
Athens, National Archaeological Museum
Corinth Archaeological Museum
Delos Archaeological Museum and site
Delphi Archaeological Museum
Dion Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Eleusis Archaeological Museum, Attica
Kavala Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Pella Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Philippi Archaeological Site, Macedonia
Thasos Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Thebes Archaeological Museum
Thessaloniki, Agora Museum, Macedonia
Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, Macedonia

Italy
Herculaneum, archaeological site
Milan, Civic Archaeological Museum
Naples Cathedral
Naples, National Archaeological Museum
Ostia Archaeological Museum
Paestum, National Archaeological Museum
Rome, Barracco Museum
Rome, Capitoline Museums, Palazzo dei Conservatori
Rome, Capitoline Museums, Palazzo Nuovo
Rome, National Etruscan Museum, Villa Giulia
Rome, National Museum, Baths of Diocletian
Rome, National Museum of Rome, Palazzo Altemps
Rome, National Museum, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

Italy - Sicily
Agrigento Regional Archaeological Museum
Catania, Museo Civico, Castello Ursino
Palermo, Antonino Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum
Syracuse, Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum

Turkey
Istanbul Archaeological Museums
Izmir Archaeological Museum
Letoon archaeological site, Kumluova

United Kingdom
London, British Museum
Oxford, Ashmolean Museum

Many thanks to the staff of these museums.

A modern plaster figure of Bacchus in Pompeii at My Favourite Planet

Modern plaster figure of Bacchus (with large lemons)
as decoration in the garden of the Bacco e Arriane
restaurant outside the Pompeii archaeological site.
Photos and articles © David John, except where otherwise specified.

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