You are on page 1of 21

Συγκεραυνόω: Dithyrambic Language and Dionysiac Cult Author(s): Daniel Mendelsohn Reviewed work(s): Source: The Classical Journal

, Vol. 87, No. 2 (Dec., 1991 - Jan., 1992), pp. 105-124 Published by: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South Stable URL: . Accessed: 01/08/2012 07:23
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


The Classical Association of the Middle West and South is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Classical Journal.

LANGUAGE DITHYRAMBIC LYFKEPAYNOfl: AND DIONYSIAC CULT* concludes his definitive survey of Sir ArthurPickard-Cambridge with an characterization of the genre as "a dithyramb exasperated Most scholars would agree that and puzzling disappointingaffair."' his description is appropriate for what remains of the "two great which some periods" in the composition of "literarydithyramb,"2 believe was devoid of the "dionysischeStoffe"that had characterized the cult songs, and whichby the fifthcenturyhadbecomethe vehicle for floriddisplays of musicalvirtuosity.3Scholarly is, therefore,only aporia
An earlierversion of this paper was presentedat the ClassicalAssociation of the AtlanticStatesconferencein Princeton, New Jerseyin October,1990. I am indebted to David Siderof CJ,as well as to SarahPeirce,Andrew Ford, Jenny Clay, and Froma Zeitlin for their generous and helpful comments. Thanksarealso due to W.Robert Connor,who providedinspirationat an early stage of my research. Tragedy, and Comedy (2nd ed., Oxford1962)58. 2Dithyramb, I.e.,the late sixth/ early fifthcentury(underthe patronageof Peisistratos and his sons; see RichardSeaford'sbriefdiscussion in "The'Hyporchema'of Maia29 [1977]82-83) and the late fifth/early fourthcentury (at the Pratinas," greatpublicfestivalsof the Athenianimperialdemocracy).Forthese dates see TheDramatic Festivalsof Athens(2nd ed., Oxford also Pickard-Cambridge, 1989) 79. A degree of caution seems in order in positing a very strict a division between early, "cult" dithyramband a later,purely "literary" genre. Themost recentstudies of the publicperformances of music and dramain fifth-century Athens suggest thatattemptsto separatethe intricatelyintertwinedthreadsof religious, civic, and artisticactivitythat contributedto these performancesin their festival setting would be wrongheaded. Nevertheless,it does not seem unreasonableto assumethata gradualdilutionof the purelyreligiouselement occurredbetween the early sixth and late fifth centuries,as the civic element became increasinglyimportantto an ever more democraticAthens. DerUrsprung derTragbdie (Vienna1925)103. Despite 3 AlfredWinterstein, the paucity of hard evidence, scholarsboth earlierand laterthan Winterstein have advanced persuasive argumentsthat Dionysiac cult must in some way have been centralto earlydithyramb.See A. Hauvette-Besnault, Sa Archiloque: vie et ses podsies ditiramboda (Paris1905)170, 182,as well as G. Privitera,"I1
The Classical Journal 87 (1992) 105-24

"purelyritual"incarnation.Privitera(33) is equally hesitantabout how to classify the remainingfragments. la tessitura metrica e musicale.non checosasiastato. despite the apparent futility of studying the earliest into Dionysiaccult and performance formsof the genre. e.106 DANIELMENDELSOHN more pronouncedin discussions of dithyramb'searliest. Pickard-Cambridge di Bacchilide: (note 1 above) 25-31. 34 (1982) Bakkhylides Maia argues enigma. Thereis in facta good deal of controversyas to whetherthe Bakkhylidean materialis to be classified as dithyrambat all. formusical asavehicle Forlater virtuosity.recentresearch does permit speculationas to the natureand significanceof dithyramSeaford articlesRichard bic language. E."CQ 5 [1955]160). "IlditiramboXVIII dialogo ed of for the classification Vox 136f. corale cantocultualea spettacolomusicale." of the two survive few that a complete only fragments [1990]218f. dithyramb cult elements in the Seafordis cautious about the presenceof echt-Dionysiac whom he calls "deviantsfrom literarydithyrambsof Pindarand Bakkhylides. il rapportoin esso di musicae poesia." althoughhe does cite the formerin his arguments. however. by dithyrambic Simonides. 15." Maia9 (1957)100. Noting books of Pindar'sdithyrambsinventoriedby the Alexandrians.SirArthurwarnedthatscholarsattemptingto reconstitutethis cult dithyrambfromwhat remainsof laterdithyramb are prone to "generalizefar too boldly.4 Indeed."5 Priviteraput the problem most succinctly: del VIIsecoloe piil faciledirche sia letterario [D]elditirambo esistito."in Ritoe poesia 27. see RichardHamilton'srecentcommentson the frequencywith which HSCP93 the word ZreeriZ appearsin those works ("ThePindaricDithryamb. and severalimportant ed. .). "the note on to that He goes fragmentsof Pindar'sdithyrambsare not in fact without affinity with the language of laterdithyramb"(note 2 above. Harvey. Claude in Grecia." on the grounds 14-19as dithyramb. the dithyrambictradition."HSCP93 (1990)204.Seaford. emphasis mine). 213 Ian Hamilton is label Rutherford."excludes" Bakkhylides that there was "the possibility that the 'dithyrambs'of Bacchylides were forno betterreasonthan thatthey grouped togetherunderthe titledithyramboi embody a continuous narrative"(note 2 above. Calame 1977) (Bari seePrivitera 27-37. Forexample. 92. However. 5 Pickard-Cambridge (note 1 above) 11. following A. Vox.g. 92.. 4Winterstein(note 3 above) 99. la compagine dialettale. Also contra "Paeans cf.but for evidence of a civic-festalcontextfor Pindar'scompositions. I'argomento. See. the "TheClassificationof GreekLyricPoetry. note C.Ignotarimanela suastruttura. 6 "Archilocoe il Ditiramboletterariopre-simonideo.

(Butn.409c. Indeed. "originatesin the ritual of Dionysiac initiation. further.. 1406bl-2.The A StudyoftheEarlyTheater Form: in Attica(New York OriginsoftheGreek Tragic 1938) 25. The "languageof satyricdramaand dithyramb(and. some scholars had argued that the religious elements said to be at the heartof cult dithyrambwere not completely abandoned when the genre became a literaryratherthan a religious of Pratinasthat Seafordstudies." Even earlier. ..." 90 (1986) HSCP 1-25. Cf." Dionysiac "Immortality. "Die Kadmus-Teiresiasszene in EuripidesBakchen. Salvation.617b(= Pratinasfr. broadly 7 of dithyrambic characteristics languageand style." Hermes 70(1935)323 ff.(London1904)231. CQ Mysteries. b. .see also his "Dionysiac 31 and and (1981) 252-75. Here Seaford is especially interestedin the languageof Euripides'Bakkhai.1. seuperaudaces novadithyrambos devolvit / verba numerisque fertur/ lege solutis.Gr. chantes. 10Athenaios 14. 1459a9 and Rhet."he maintains. 3 Snell. the Elements.214-17. in Trag. of course. in laterdrama. 81-82). and schol. Mahr. Demetrios Peri Hermeneias ?91. couldanddid referrather to certain Manyscholars. PlatoCrat. Forotherargumentsthat seek to confirm the cultic origins of Euripides'diction see also KarlDeichgraiber. Hamilton's substantial objectionsto Seaford's methods note3 above. of the object dithyrambic style"-an infiltrationthat could have preserved cultic diction. Hence.CYIKEPAYNO2 107 has argued thatit is possibleto ascertainthe "characteristic features"of and. and A. in the hyporkhema of the is "the narrator's ire spread into drama . These scholarstake their cue as much from the opinions left by ancientliterarycriticsas fromthose bits and pieces of the works themselves thathave remained. Dion. ad Philos. Festugiere. J. dithyrambiclanguage fromits vestiges in laterliterature7 that these featurescan be tracedbackto theirsourcesin Dionysiac cult. "La signification religieuse de la Parodos des Bac54 (1956)80 ff.17St0Epai iv.6v6o'at avevov•••V 4. e.VA1. h.11 The fragmentsof laterdithyramb(afterabout450 BCE) have certain featuresin common thathelp Seafordto arguefor a "newtheory about "Pratinas" Dramaand the (note2 above)89.) andevidence. Forthis point see also August C. . as well as style. tragedy). forexample. the one."Eranos 9 Privitera(note 6 above) 109. 8 "Dionysiac Drama" (note 7 above) 254.AristotlePoet. in vestigial form.Frag.2.) Allen essay "Arionand the Dolphin"(in OnGreekMargins elementsof dithyrambin their commentary and Sikes speak of "stereotyped" on H.10ff.g. It is Seaford'sargumentsfor a directconnectionbetween the specific Dionysiac topoi in laterDionysiac poetry and dramaand their earliestcultic context that make his approachan especially importantone. cf.Bowra was ableto pass judgementon the "literary" dithyramb's"inflated" style in his [Oxford1970]170f. 11Seaford(note 2 above) 83.also Horace glwiM aov0'Tot.

furthermore. pertinent 13 Seaford (note 2 above) 89.16. He in particular: identifies three characteristics elaboratelycompounded and aggregationof epithets. apudDelphos 14The prominencegiven to wine and drunkennessin laterdithyrambhas been pointed out by many scholars. 15 rather 1103.. 355 Radt (quoted by Plutarch. I hope to shed light on the very rareword ouycepauv6).X of Antiphanes(12K:all cited in Seaford[note 2 above] the parodic fragment 88-89).and periphrasis epithets. For other evidence that confirms the traditionalassociationbetween Dionysos and dithyramb.a vexed passage whose manuscriptreadingof o•0vepawvoioat.and on Pindar01.780 (Timotheos.1.. and was taken for between wine the connection that dithyramb implying i8op istEi.Therearevarious examplesfromlaterdithyramb(i. after450 BCE) that refer prominentlyto wine: PMG744 (Ion of Khios). And while Seafordis surelycorrectto acknowledgethat "mostof these in Athenaeusto theirconcernwith wine and fragmentsowe theirpreservation is a concise utterance music. . is emin the Arkhilokhos fragment. it is noteworthy that here oiyKcpacv6wodescribes death by stoning where dismembermentimmediatelyfollows. which occurs and which.on see below). Borrowingsome of Seaford'sassumptions and methods.De Ei 389b). In light of the presentargument. ege`i•." as it infiltrated later dramatic genres.and supports the view that these were likely themes of earlier dithyrambiccelebrations of Dionysos in a cultic context. and 831 (Philoxenos).108 MENDELSOHN DANIEL dithyrambic language."13and he arguespersuasively that texts from the fifth century and later bear distinct tracesof both diction and action associatedwith early Dionysiac cult.187K(= 199K-A). riotous abandon. I shall well as whose dithyramb '•k2i. All threetexts offerindisputablyDionysiaccontextsfor this word." fr.77B(= 120W). 155 of Epikharmos." the remainsof dithyrambiclanguage as a whole that its characteristic featureswere associatedwith the traditional(Dionysiac)dithyrambic abandon:wine and musicalinstruments. is a only three times in the classicalcorpus. be discussedbelow.e.15 survival from the vocabularyof early Dionysiaccult dithyramb. 13. discussion hopes to the present than Pierson'semendation aovtptatvoO•Uact. Theword appearsonly one confirm.from his Philoktetes.and Bakkhai Kratinos Arkhilokhosfr.18.see Pickard-Cambridge (note 1 above) 2 on Aiskhylos fr. o•yicepauv60 I to want bedded in a specifically setting. briefly explorethe dithyrambic 12Seaford(note 2 above) 88. See his notes 57-61 here for full citationsof passages. Thesepassageswill other time in ancientGreek:Lxx2 Ma. great frequency 12Seafordfurthernotes that"itis clearfrom "oftenof a riddlingnature.14 music. It is thus no surprise that the poetic contextsin which he has located dithyrambic language typically referto Dionysiac themes-wine.) granted: ocK Eart 8t06paCq•lpb6XK' fr.

The passage also suggests that ayicepa~v6o belongs to a special vocabularyof Dionysiacdithyramb. the verses are consideredauthoritativein this respect.and the importanceof Archilochoslies in thefactthat.As a meremetaphorfor the effects 16 (note 1 above) 1. Rtvont oyKepaV•e)oeg (77B = 120W) These lines are cited with great frequencyin studies of choral poetry and Dionysiacreligionalike. in more detail how avuycpcauv6o is intricately will show analysis connected with dithyramb as a literary form. Few would dispute the fact that the Arkhilokhosfragment resonates with allusions both Dionysiac and dithyrambic. As the oldest of these Dionysiactexts that we possess. Atwov1. The poet here exalts the Dionysiacinebriationthatinspireshim to lead the dithyrambic chorus: ). Pickard-Cambridge . (pp o{xa orderto expand the set of criteriafor what constitutesa dithyrambictextualreminiscence.16 The Arkhilokhospassage.YTFKEPAYNOX2 109 implicationsof this fragment.whereasitmightbe possible .oot' &va-to. fifth-centuryoccurrencesof oayKepauv6oare ratherthangenerally"Dionysiac....6paLPov v . This in turn will suggest that the other. as well as with both Dionysiac mythology and cult practices. no such suggestion can be made in regard to the words of Archilochos.not least because they come closest chronologicallyto the actualperiod in assessed flourished. to argue that later references to the connection of dithyrambwith Dionysos were due to the well-knownperformancesat the Dionysiac festivals at Athens . themes as based on the the validity of Seaford'scriteriafordithyrambic later fragments. with its prominentreferencesto music and would seem to confirm wine in thecontextof dithyrambic performance." Subsequent specificallydithyrambic. IcaXOv C6pPat gLe•o.. cultdithyramb whichtheearliest Pickard-Cambridge studies: for their importance literary Its[dithyramb's] specialconnectionwith Dionysosthroughout its historyis sufficientlyattested.

OV710Eia KeKepa•0vaai to punishwrongdoers. ev86ZoS 'eCpauv6 a were struck Places that Ii by lightningwere also 6biotel t&vaaq q." rav. altogether. 20Artemid. Dionysos.. the Zeus'suse of the thunderbolt derived from would.9.whereCorybantic will dances.9 (a passage to be discussed below): lci Tot. v tf y."18 and act. EI Ka•c iEPcpv6. Indeed..110 MENDELSOHN DANIEL of wine.uncompounded this case the is "to strike with thunderbolts. and the Muses are called?vveopraoaxrd of mortals: to as laterin the same passage(653e)the gods in generalarereferred •vyXopEurai. forthcoming discussion of the possible connectionof the cov-prefixto the initiatoryrites of the Dionysiac mysteries. 17 For the destructiveness of lightning.&p tcXacOv-a to be KC•a This seems clearly popular usage qptEv. a sign that its provenanceis religious ratherthan purely poetic."The strangeness icepa•uvoei'. .9 T&h rnoXtoXeki To Steven LonsdaleI am indebtedfor another. must mean something more like "utterlyblasted with of the metaphor (cf. Althoughthese ritesarenot properlyDionysiac.toX6yoS. 6 bq aZtIv &Xo i~irp.e. 67tnoye icc 6.656i y0xp lightnin% (epavov800E.. I was of courseencouraged B by Artemidoros'sassertionin this passagethat&OXrlt&. at Laws 815c. Thusin these verses he "sympathetically experiences the lightning blast that felled Semeleand produced Dionysos. through a wine-induced frenzy that results in Arkhilokhos'own poetic creation. 2. have been rather purely metaphoricalforce of KepauvvoOei weak.rtgo.prefix in Corybanticrites..quite intriguingexpla653don the originsof festivity.thus "fused"is thereforetoo tame.a chapteron fireandlightning. gesi{ etv ~u•tlaic thereseems at 234d.17LSJtell us that the prefix conveys the "completionof an act. ortv. occurrence at Artemid. it connotes devastating natural violence ratherthan inebriatepoetic exultation.g 0a•6 And no figure from Greek religion better unites within Tt~tarat. of icepa-v6co.pxata prlta cai Xo•pca py iXio v na7cav Oeipetv. 19LSJreportonly one metaphorical Cc 2. in nationof the prefix. cf. It is not comparableto the vividly figurative uses of a•yicepav6wo discussed herein. such. Lonsdale's Bacchic arguments appearmorefully in his proscribed andRitualPlayin Greek Seebelow forfurther book. the Greeks had special religious reverence for those who had been struck by o. consideredsacred:see GregoryNagy's interestingdiscussionof the Isles of the oZ8v oCtEx .Lonsdalesuggests that in the Arkhilokhos fragment the aov-prefix is used to indicate the poet's identificationwith the god. icepauv6o). the word is rather forced.g." Lonsdale furtherindicates the use of the acv. He pointsto PlatoLaws which Apollo.and failsto do justiceto compounded. translationof Arkhilokhos's as Pickard-Cambridge's oiypopauv•ve00w a word that. almost never used figuratively19) is.forPlato ritesaregrouped with the to be an overlap. I think. Artemid.2. possibly. as 228band alluded to by Plato'suse of oyxcopo3eavTtlv at Phaedr. Bearingthis religiousand festivalcontextin mind. 'itov . Dance Religion.

s. MaKcpcov vi~io.. 23 uCilgat•iotot the dithyramb]."24 Moreover. . whose special song was the dithyramb. the Pratinas passage noted above-suggest that comparableviolent destructiveness was in fact anotherimportantelementof earlycult dithyrambthatwe should add to Seaford'scriteria. Politics8.S oyv ITtvE . led to civil could . ?cJigaaav) biont6vTz in festalprocessions inherent of drunken explosivepolitical potential young men. among others.. 25Pratinas fr. was the name of the sacred precinct where Semele was struck dead by the thunderbolt of Zeus (Parmenides ap. Inthis context it is interesting to takenoteof W.21 6pytaaztuX tified the dance thattypically accompanieddithyrambas the tyrbasia. reasonably derives from connected to rvpf3Cw."and tradition. Suda. Nagy derives "made sacred by virtue of being struck by the 'Hhcatov from &VV~$atoS.Burkert's observation (note above) te / j'6vov 0ppaghXot.b. Pickard-Cambridge (note 1 above) 33.dithyramb'smusical unrulinesswas associatedwith realviolence.This qualitywas reflectedin dithyramb'sstyle as well as in its themes.510Rose.348)..and ap.InAristotle's Constitution (fr. 32.would beathome in cult-dithyramb. It seems the violent verb. Bacchicrite. against which (along with the aulos that accompaniedit) he warns as being unsuitable to Pollux laterideneducation. becamepartof the celebration the wildness of the music.104.2YFKEPAYNOO 111 himself the elements of drunkeninspirationand naturaldisaster than does Dionysos. riot."' Pickard-Cambridge what Aristotle in the fourthcentury disapproved of as being "out of control"was in fact tame comparedto the earliest cult-songs: "as the of an orderlycivic festival. godForancientdescriptoucheddeath. 24Ibid. It neednotbe the casethatPratinas is merely accompanies here. revelry. the speaker complains that dithyrambicperformanceleads to street It thereforeseems likely thatin its style. 3 Snell 10 6-9 vev 2214. noapoivwv eggevoat orpaoti•ldtla.citedin beingcrotchety ofNaxos of tipsy youths(veaviaecot Athenaios8. Pratinas well have knownof the war.. that Macdpov vi-o. with its connotations of sudden.1342a. In the fourthcenturyAristotlecites dithyrambas an example of music set to the Phrygianmode.. In the Pratinasfragment. thunderbolt..noteworthyin the context reportsthe remarkable of the present discussion. brawls of young drunkards. since they are & raiarlzt 6&. •~cjt OcXot the aulos that I/ [sc.Tzetzesad Lykophron 1194 1204). Ip "andother words which seem to imply or furtherargues that confusion. tions of dithyramb-for example.v.22 which Pickard-Cambridge.7. Photius.a similaridcoo..25 Blessed/Elysium in TheBestoftheAchaeans (Baltimore 1979)190. abated.

so that Semele perishes and Dion. 27 E."Comedy.concernas DionysiacsettingforoavywKpcav6o. a remedy for the poet's drinkingproblem: to Corinth ofdithyramb wasroughly introduction thatthelegendary byArion the overthrow two violent with by Kypselupheavals: political contemporary descent from andthe whoclaimed os oftheCorinthian Bakkhiadai.who is to Drunkenness. Ov fpovtov Ko 8t& aLb gERty" •tvr n0oioo ••t•vprpeo~a . ing a conflictbetween the poet himselfand his "wife. In a Dionysiac and lightningcould recallthe god setting. Methe(Drunkenness personified). (GreekReligion [Cambridge.112 DANIEL MENDELSOHN of its performance. R.29). Artemidoros more than once cites lightning without an accompanying stormintet KIepo~v6b v8 remarkable: oi~Te yap L60pa 6 & xetwt vo.and comic performance itself provide a context for the kind of violent destructiveness about which Pratinaswarned-in this case. In a avyKEpaov6mo) discussionof Greekattitudesaboutlightning. Dodds. Oxford 1960) 62-64 (on 6).and the ripeningof the in same the could. Euripides Bacchae (2nd ed. then the Kratinos as well passage offerswhat canbe considereda specificallydithyrambic Theplaywas thePytine."27Apart from its role in the Semele myth. subjectmatter.) Privitera (note 3 above) 29 has suggested that the cult of Dionysos was popular with tyrants because it transcended ancient aristocratic snobberies.Dodds pointsout that "in southernEuropethe thunderstorm is beneficentas well as terrible-the but rain the blasts. 26 Burkert (note 25 above) 292. the wanton smashing of drinking-vesselsintendedforbacchicmerrymaking. lightning grape.26 is appropriateto Dionysos for other reasons.Herethe Dionysiac jealousof his excessiveattachment elements of wine. lightning quickens the seed in the earth. to be discussed below. 1985] 290.but sudden and devastatingviolence-the darkside of drunkenabandon. mi ~X tgvo. [sic]is born.. referencesto thunderstorms who presidesover liquid nourishment. appears.It destructiveness.and even the circumstances dithyramb was essentiallyassociatedwith the unruly violence that lay at the heart of Dionysiac cult itself.--as K•Ipa-v6 t (2. moment. this lightning embodies the essentially ambiguous nature of Dionysos himself.emblematizedby the oreibasia it is that to Seaford's criteria fordithyramthen. If violence was intrinsicto dithyrambas a genre. Dionysos.Theword used to friendsproposes as oneof Kratinos's describethisactionis ouy••pauv6o. politically motivated establishment of Dionysos' cult in Sikyon by Kleisthenes. fertility.yet bringto mind the god's and the sparagmos. possible expand bic language to include not only inebriationand music-making. Mass.

in of abandon" the maenads' degod-inspired paradigm "Dionysiac as yet another whatcannow be understood establishes structiveness.looks less like the chanceproductof a copyist's blunder than like an element of the specialDionysiacvocabularyon which Eur." Inview of the play's Dionysiacmilieu it is possiblethat the sudden flash itself has significancewith respect to the of light associated with KcEpa-ov6. Hereagain. o•yiyepavMv6 28See schol. d&ot8lpot."3? et difundam.defends ouyKepauvoo^at looks to both the Arkhilokhosand Kratinospassages in defending her reading:"Lametaphore. "fulminisvi confringam Eq. auy epauvoIaxt hKXi8o ~RoXhoi. . 113 iv OitouItcnalEte. t 66ov ait a Cavt' aE p6v acia~ &yye•ot Tt = 199K-A) (187K in a Bacchic context wantondestruction Another scenefeaturing classical of theBakkhai.along with Dodds and many other recent at 1103.29 dithyrambic the not pervasive given play's Dionysiac powerful-but inappropriate.• v (Oq oa epaSuvw oiro&v. LesBacchantes (Paris1970)579. thepreeminent occursat theclimax Dionysiac text: yhp ijio t "X(v KppeCoaov iTIpOrlODiag•.400..the metaphor is contextforoayKcpavouo." Lacroixfinds and neglectsto mentionit at all in Les unremarkable. tt.. and Kock'sgloss ad loc. Ar.g Kaliloaogoty 6Ow(pov oivIPOV KOX5)' i KEKic1tyerat. he merely comments that in Arkhilokhos and Kratinos. Euripides: (215)observes that "s. aovrptyo yap auztoiro. iW..draws repeatedly in this play. and the discussion below. iOijoO' XFeX~i~vo.dt6v. "Dionysiac Drama" (note 7 above) 256-58. 30JeanneRoux.she rightly critics. TXoqS 68 putvot.Toi ey(t8a. (Ba. toi I toI.LYFKEPAYNOCX ztga.vigoureuse. Dodds ad loc. See Seaford's discussion of the role of light in the initiation ceremonies.g xouz. unlikemanycritics. ambience. failing to see that the other occurrencesof the word appear in Dionysiac contexts as well. Kai ro.JeanneRoux.1103-06) of Pentheus's withits hyperbolic narration Theharrowing sparagmos. Dionysiac mysteries. &it. n'est pas nouvelle pour peindre l'action d'une force irresistibleet instantanee. p••'a daveoanppaooov nopia 6 tXlymov.oauyiFpavwW is used for "comic exaggeration." but.

244.640. its presence in those contexts needs to be accounted for.594. Mainomenos (183. to what little we know of the Dionysiacmysteriesand their initiatoryrites.598)-versus four in the same playwright'sHiketidai threein Troiades (80. and apparentlyenjoyedconsiderable Dionysiac important own. (496.Sandys.for name and/or entitled Semele's was . (1193)and Kyklops (129).who finds it "so "gubreintelligible"(Paris1908. very strange"(London1892. If oa)y epa)v60) consistentlyoccursin three very differenttexts-choralpoetry. lightning is mentioned with notable frequency-six occurrencesapart from 1103(6.862)and Phoinissai 92.all describingthe deathof Kapaneus).the other. but specifically as dithyrambiccontexts. 288.citingArkhilokhosand Kratinosin his commentary(Cambridge1892.31 play by Spintharos.necessarilymorespeculativepath.Dalmeyda. 93. The on her myth of her electrocutionwas a popular popularity one late fifth-century one among tragicpoets. Commentators d'Euripide here:so or Rouxare morelikely to preferPierson'sconjecture ouvtptatvoiwoa• as Beckwith ad loc.1011.219). who preas as over inebriate musicsides over riotous destructiveness well making. (Boston 1888). and tragedy-in what canbe seen not merelyas Dionysiac. How.132). Semele played an especially the premature"first" in role cult.124). other than the rathergeneral ones I have alreadysuggested-thereby accountingfor its subsequent recurrencein dithyrambicmilieux? I would like to exploretwo avenuesof inquiry. that is. example.favorsoa-ycEpavoi-at but reserves any comment.1103). In this context it is noteworthy that in the Dionysiac drama Bakkhai. in other words.thatelectrifyingrevelationresultedin birthof Dionysos.985.comedy. role as motherof the god less recentthan Dodds Bacchantes (Paris1976)236.two eachin Herakles and one each in Alkestis (320). stemming from the story of the god's double birth. Semele first. The importanceof lightningas an element of Dionysiac mythology is in fact well known.Oneleads to the myths thatrecountthe birthof Dionysos. .Andromakhe 31 See Dodds xxviii-xxix for a catalogueof these works. who cites cryiccpacuvoi^oat and the bemusedTyrell. is specificallyassociatedwith Dionysos and his cult? And why KEpa)v6O in turnwould oaUyKEpa)v60 be particularly associatedwith the dithyrambic performanceshonoring the god-in terms. (177.1181).114 MENDELSOHN DANIEL All three classicalinstancesof u)ylEpau)v6o occur in dithyrambic the domains to belonging settings-textual god Dionysos. K~epwtvoU01gTI EiCgTl recurfrequentlyin Dionysiac compositions. The Thebanprincess Semele insisted on seeing Zeus in his fieryOlympianform.

70bS-M 15ff. h.&n'oipavo5 Oo&v niuptB' &r pandv. Thunder and lightning in these works: the H. Cf.7 to Dionysos (1.Pindar fr. schol."36 a referble"derivation of 5ti6pagp3og "through meaning ence to the god's double birth. De poetisscaenicis imitatoribus Graecis sacrorum hymnorum (Leipzig1900. contrivances of which.forexample 700b). 33Festugiere (note 8 above) 72 ff.32 References toSemele seem tohave been prominent inDionysiac cult hymn. 5 (Oxford 1909) 209.'3 aloud'Iacchos.55f. word "dithyramb" was identified with thissubject &'ko. Plutarch reports the legend that the tombs of both Euriides and Lykourgoswere struckby lightning (Ly.olwat. esp.56 ff. Philokhorosfr. Euripidesalso knows of the false I wouldargue.the formersupposedly on the site of herbedchamber (9. The Cults of the Greek vol. sonofSemele. he lametymology..1.3and has some knowledge of the Thebancult and cult-places".LYFKEPAYNO 115 inconjunction often withreferences tothunder andlightning. Dion. then. that"itis plain (note1 above)21 remarks 19). notesthat"thechiefritual-act festival. 8t0&palpg3o0 Y7i." Whatdoes all of thishaveto do withdithyramb? Ancientsourcesindicatethatthe storyof Dionysos'sbirthwas with dithyramb--that associated is. Ar.12.16."Fr. mine.Here Plato playfully callsthe "philologically alludesto whatPickard-Cambridge impossitwodoors.. 1.70bS-M traditional that.theH.andBakkhylides Otpaay 17. seems as though it too concernedSemele. Dodds on Bakkhai 6 (63) notes that "Eur. Ranae482.. theabsurd 32Semeleprominent in Dionysiac the fragmentary H. Of in theepitaph formula &vO68. 7 Jacoby.31). matter: iciA AtovI?'ou yveaotm. emphasis City-States.has"something Lightning.7).cf. h. Adami. Semelewasoneof its [dithyramb's] whichofcourse is crucial features Theban Dionysos's genealogy.4 -uoaagEvrjv Ejtirlyv trexetv Atdi rEPntEpaIvcot: the appropriatenessof this epithet in a passage describingDionysos's birth is noted by F. h. 75. indicates (Laws Plato. Dionysos. 1 compositions: to Dionysos(4. Thegod is closely withhis mother.21).proclaimed Invoke the whole the cried god' whereupon congregation people thegiverof wealth. to do with viaSemele. with both the word particularly itself and the musical/literary formthat borethe same 8t06pac•p3og theextentto whichthe name. to the a [waswhen]the dadouchos. and 70b S-M 31 f. a noteworthy the tombof Dionysosat Thebesfeatured matronymic KCEKtg. also Pindarfr.". prominently to the Bakkhai.243). 36Pickard-Cambridge . holding lightedtorch. who washerself identified ouyEpcwvop0eioca.. Cf. (note 1 above) 7. KEitxt eK A6AVU1O iaOtVV a Dionysiac Farnell the Lenaia.).on whichPickard-Cambridge themes.6gvog. Pausaniasobservedboth a monumentto and a tomb of Semeleat Thebes. the passages from Pindar cited above.

Athenaios 30b. citing Athenaios 8. 4 (Leipzig 1909-15)670. 523-27).. Mythologie. was precipitatedby Semele'sKepauv6.prefix(itselfpossibly a legacy of penchantfor compounds)might suggest dithyramb's"characteristic" 37Cf.352b-a performance clearly not to be missed. dass ein Ausdruck wie inuep j. oywicpcupv6o( would have been an especially approword describe to Semele'sdeathat the momentof herunion with priate Zeus-as-thunderbolt. Vit. the ouv. AusfiihrlichesLexikonder griechischen und rd'mischen .• ~sivaq •kaooaaao figures in the Orphic hymn to Semele (44. 40 Pickard-Cambridge(note 1 above) 51. eitcoOUacAtb. were realisticallyimitated. prologue of the Bakkhai 4V"Die . 'QSi. Arr.g. vestiges of the motif of Dionysos's birth.which was so important for early cult-dithyramb. Roscher.-is incorporated story of pun--on 6 gnp6.was evidentlypopular however irritating among ancient Greeks. these and all the other references connecting t0opagfpo.Marc. e."40 Based on some scholarshave assertedthatvirtually these and similarreferences. Pratinas fr. 1.. waren als Inhalt von Dithyramben so bekannt .. the story of Semele's fiery death. 0o. derivationcould hardlyhave been popularunless the theme of Dionysos's birth was already characteristic of the early dithyramb. 85. 3..problematicthough they be.109. Semele's unconventional lying-in 1eya ka.ct i t06paruvol. zIjv caOxoivzr lleg•rxlstatt o yv Atov o ebensoverstindlich war.. fr.).41 Dionysos' firstbirth. 85 S-M.Adesp. cf. 01. " indeed. in "Semele's Labor" which "the cries of the goddess (PMG 792). 2.Wehen der Semele' . .induced demise.6. Anab. .wie Platons Ausdruck et. do containreferencesto Semeleand to the birthof Dionysos.25f. Snell.then. Frag. the (88 ff.not withoutludicrousresults.continued to surface in later dithyramb..10 Plut. the double birth. Pind..4 i~ where indeed the Kpovioto). and the birthof Dionysos are important because "the...28. Seaford(note 2 above) 90. Cf."38 Furthermore.0 iva .. The remains of Pindaricdithyramb. MENDELSOHN DANIEL 286-97 poons in Teiresias's sophistic speech to Pentheus at Bakkhai into the the (where / po/5g po..22. any composition treating Semele's labor was assumed by classical audiences to be a dithyramb. The false etymology of 8t60pa•%io.poliota cbyiit/ &atpaoioto npqc6pcot the of is kind -uppo6pwt periphrasis that riddling phrase caxyijt precisely Seaford asserts is typical of dithyrambiclanguage (note 12 above). Thelate fourth-century poet Timotheosseems to have been continuing a traditionwhen he entitled one of his "literary" dithyrambsleg~•kX. H. to futurephilologists.. 37as Seafordpoints out.75 S-M 12. 19.

note 37. quite apart from any reference to Semele. Seaford. speculate about them is.3 .I hope to suggest how. y•-yepawv6'o could have had for the mysteriesof Dionysosand for dithyrambic special significance celebration.1. See his &v68tveot cpaov~Rt. Plutarchprovides a famous descriptionof the experiencesof the initiand:47 42Cf. 47Fr. 6va Mystery (Cambridge. 44Burkert (note 25 above) 294: "Our knowledge of the [Dionysiac] rites. Thismyth is explicitlyconnectedwith the mysteries Now themysteries of Dionysoshaveremained by severalauthors. very fragmentary. "thereis a richvariety of Bacchicmythology. Anth. 178. Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries (Princeton 1961) 264 ff. see ibid. "Dionysiac Drama" (note 7 above) 255. one that concerns the Dionysiac mysteries and their own traditionquitedifferentfromthe matemythologicalinfrastructure--a rial discussed above. 3.1 6paOeioav [sc. and doctrines remains. "aimedat a blessed state in the afterwithothercults."45andcouldhavesharedsomecommonfeatures such as that of Demeterand Koreat Eleusis. cites passages in Plato p1. As Burkert has observed. the appearanceof a sudden brilliantlight appears to have been the culminationof the initiation rite." common with other mysteries. 293.44 Yet some if seems because the speculation justified. of best)andby reconsideration of the mythic narrativeof Dionysiac initiation."43 just that. 16. note 38 (155) for a list of these authors and further relevant references.perhapstoo exclusively:the storyof the ChthonianDionysosbornfromPersephoneand slaughteredby the Titans. but see Mylonas' objections to drawing too many conclusions from this passage. W. At this point I would like briefly to investigate another.and Dionysos.grTv] Ancient Cults Burkert. myths.about which we do know a bit more. as it must be. both tantalizing and dangerous-the moreso whenourreconstruction of thosemysteries is based.46Proceedingby analogyfromthe Eleusinianmysteries (a method thatis tentativein nature. on vague evidence fromlate sources. 4Ej q icepa~vtov.42Herdeath was the necessary prelude to that birth.XYFKEPAYNOU 117 that Semele was "'blasted with"the birthof Dionysos. highly speculative line of inquiryinto the connectionsbetween KepaOv6. world. Gr.7. t di.the ancestorsof man. 1987)73. 46On the common themes and features of mystery event that seems to have been recountedalmost exclusively in the narrativesof cult dithyramb. At Eleusis. like the god himself. but with regard to the mysteries one tale has commandedattention.Mass. only Dionysiacmysteries.

12.See . open countryand meadows receive one. gloomy pathsthatcauseanxietyand leadnowhere. all manner of terrible things: shuddering and trembling and sweating and astonishment. Koi KRo•tin)g X I t Xo01 1nope1at i 00oM stv cjE0z1qEoot. Seafordcites Dio Chrys. Phdr. 250b-c) bears the most strikingresemblancesto leastatEleusis. 48 "Dionysiac Drama"(note 7 above) 256." (note 43 above. (pO)VKIcati opeict oeKy6at ) ovTE O)v ay ti(ov daKo)o?dYtR tep)ov Kai cpaagotWv 6i8t oKOTOug At first there is wanderingand roamingabout that wears one out. 101). the natural have been a bolt of lightning as it suddenly illuminatesa landscape. cf... Seafordargues convincinglythat "thiscontrastbetween sudden light and the precedingdarknessis an emphasizedfeatureof mystic initialiteralenlightenmentfor the initiand--and it is tempting to tion""48-a a comparableflash of light was centralto the mysteriesof that imagine Dionysos. For. Seafordoffers furtherdetails of the Eleusinianflash of light: Now this mysticlight seems.. and in them are voices and dances and the august majesty of sacred music and of holy visions.. the initiand) <patvohvowv.118 DANIEL MENDELSOHN nkavat t• inpotx rpaneptSpopotL1 K8o.whomPindar. with the divine child whose birth was announced by the hierophantbin6noi316nt p{. & t (pr& S ronto0 at Oaiminotov cat irot KcaOapo't a'rnr1vt1loyev VT7X Kci cit htetRoveg e&ctavTo.33. Burkert'scomment that "thereis a dynamic paradoxof death and life in all the mysteries associated with the opposites of night and day [and] darknessand light .althoughwe cannotknow how the abruptappearance of this (pa. just before the Consummationitself.210e The diction of the latter (esp. But thereaftera wondrous light meets have been identified with the deity. and "Ascent" (the passage). Oneidentification of thischildwas asPloutos. 1"o1tcot Eta % 'p•pb &W no" aUToI) al cvrat(PK tfaiNf (p1ic 88tva f8po i pqa i d0fg4og. then. 247a-254c. Symp.where of particularinterestis the clt (porob phrase orc'6oo Kai va•ll referencesto relevant Seaford256 note 45 for additional secondarymaterial. aoi'riot (sc. 0t Oacg6otov was stage-managed during the Eleusinian referentforsuch a phenomenonwould certainly ceremony. that seem to mirrorthe language of mystic initiation:Phaedo 69c. .

and ErwinRohde. W.5 ForiKpauv6g is crucial to both of the principalmythic narrativesassociated with that event: and that of the Titans blasted by Zeus's that of Semele keraunoumene. K. . Artemid. C. 52 For Dionysiac myth as central to Orphicbelief. son of Persephone"(see Burkert..96ic Epauvb6 o86vv oazv ~Xo ij TheOrphicPoems(Oxford1983)15 ff.53 . point of Orphicstory"(Orpheus cf. Guthrie describes this myth as "whatmust have been to the worshipper the central andGreek Religion[2nded. 2. as at Eleusis. summary restoring charactereprimitif"of early Dionysiaccult (395). Rohde 335-36.52 It provided an account of how 49 discussedby both Burkert M. New York1925)341. thunderboltfor theircrime againstthe infantgod. this mystic light was "an emphasized feature" of Dionysiac initiation. It was the Titans'murderof Dionysos that was especiallyimportant for Orphism. a divine child with whom that ritualxr p would have nR6 r•X t n been identified-then thatchildcould only have been well as to the Orphicsystem of belief that owed so much to Dionysiac cult. 5 Forthe identificationof lightning with fire. Psyche(8th ed. Most of his chapterabout fire-6 nepi pnp6 X6yo' is in factabout and the two termsareused interchangeably throughicepapv6. traR(czcov &v8p t(pyyog (01. Typical of the "talesof sufferinggods" that gave the initiationrituals theirnarrativestructure. see Burkert(note 25 above) 297. It is to the latter of the two myths that I would now like to turn. London1952]107). . Jeanmaire400 noted that Orphism grew up in milieux that had proved hospitable to Dionysiac cult. 197. which fact would further account for an attractionbetween the two. whose birthwas signalledby a fierybolt of lightning.) 119 If. 256 with note 46. Orphic borrowings from the Dionysiac mysteries would account for (note 25 above)293-301and many sharedmotifs. account. note 25 DionysosmisAmort(Paris1977) 165. L. M.and if this ritealso referredto the birthof a child no iupi..51 the taleof the chthonicDionysos was central to the Dionysiacmysteries.EYFKEPAYNOO speaking of the mystic doctrine of life after death.. The argument for Dionysiac genealogy of much Orphic material stands to gain from Rohde's propositionthat Orphismbegan as a kind of "reform" aimed at in his of what Rohde's to as "le refers Jeanmaire. 288). It is worth noting that at Eleusis the child was sometimes identified with "Iakchos-Dionysos. Detienne. out his Jeanmaire's commentindicates:"l y a apparenceque le mythe de la 'passion' et du d6membrementde Dionysos occupe une place centrale et eminente dans la r6velationqu'apportaientles &crits orphiques" (Dionysos:Historiedu culte de Bacchus[Paris 1951] 404). calls d&oXip dpiT log. West. 51 Burkert(note 25 above) 277.2.

" (Indeed. bakchoi and mystai.Diogenes Laertius(1. 7.58 Tx AtovCaoo Zuntzderidedthe "general GiintherZuntz."and thus were given special burial (as oi Kepauv witness Artemidoros2.) Seaford.and might shed furtherlight on it.5)reportsa traditionthat Orpheus was slain by a thunderbolt: r-8' 'Opcpza Moact gOcayav/ Opif'Ka XptaoX?prljv Ze.6ev0t . the ancient tradition that Orpheus founded the Dionysiacmysteriessuggests that what we find in "Orphic" texts has close affinitiesto earlierDionysiaccult. ev ?dAvev iWtCp8kOV I ket. •. 3. West. 1.M.q 0:airdct Apollod. below. 54Orpheus as founderof Dionysiacmysteries:Anth. Jeanmaire. although he himself uses the Hipponion leaf to demolish Zuntz's claims that the leaves are Orphic( 9. D. Persephone acceptanceof this [Orphic]designation. cf.and G. (note 7 above) 36."Immortality" 9 calls the Orphic label "questionable. Sic. On the Hipponion leaf.instead. The South Italiangold funerary leaves. cf. WS10 [1976]129-51. yEv npocayopeOVilvat. nOrlppiaq Evpero :axtreX•s•er.3. Pugliese Carratelli. iot6 agrees that the leaves referto real people who died in this way. eXerz.o~lyepauv6o0.the god himselfwas also restored. 294.3 e6pe 8c 'Oppel.65. who sprangfromthe eventually resurrected Titans'ashes.120 DANIEL MENDELSOHN Dionysos (here the son of Zeus and Persephone)was killed. One importantseries of texts seems to recapitulatethis Dionysiac tradition. Dionysos (note 52 above) 396 allows that the leaves allude to Dionysiac cult. [sc.68th k inb 'Opqtu1a. tos) 0.cui sacraOrphica Macedonianepitaph. note 57). Forthis the Titanswere punished. given the centralityto Orphismof Dionysiacmyth and tradition. Struck by Zeus's lightning bolt. have been variously referredto as "Orphic"or "Bacchic".with its vast and vague implications" (278). dismembered.he championsthe theorythat "thoseburiedwith these particular tablets had been killed by lightning.2. and associationbetween the celebration dithryramb. Zuntz.5 (DamageDiod. in which punishment by lightning is prominently featured. PP 29 [1974]108-26.Thismyth of Dionysos and the Titanssuggests furtherreasonsfor believing that therewas an of the mysteries. L. Citing a [Dionysum]love et Luna[natum].400BCE).related to the mysteries(note 25 above.note 43 above. 34. Cic.that confusion is hardly surprising.54)Forthe 53The essential discussion of the funerarygold leaves is to be found in (Oxford1971)277-393. but is reluctantpositively to identify the leaves as Orphic.b oLox tgrpta. rouAtov 3. elsewhere he with its referenceto seems persuadedthatthe Hipponionlamella (ca.ZPE18 [1975]229see G.9o6l&y&p t."and generally finds a Dionysiac interpretationunattractive(4-5.and then eatenby the Titans. Orpheus] 7tos B&aqXo-. tnpbq atXcl(p06xatv. Nat. note 34).positively identifiesall of these texts as Dionysiac.Pal. &6a' itou av •ohrCevq Burkert (note 25 above) 295 ivralOa toz K 67t'nrovrat).9.gTriOevrat. they were hurled to Tartarosbut as the presentraceof men. oot otYjCva.

it will be assumed thatthe leaves do referto Dionysiac material--eitherbecause they are themselves "Bacchic. ootv&v Xliavro.most scholarsbelieve thatthe crimeto which these texts refer was in fact the eating of the infant Dionysos57-the central myth of the Dionysiacmysteries. This hypothesis is obviously crucialto the present discussion..1.3 similarlymentionthe poinai. 2-3).cf. oipo /Iioaiwvand fr. the crimefor which the Titanswere punished was theirrebellionagainstZeus.thoughtto be the ancestorsof the presentraceof men.4) and &ovrponijt Kepp)vCo(v) (A. Seaford'sreading of the leaves stresses the crucialrole played by the Titans. Orphism would havebeen a naturalvehicle forthetransmissionof elements from the Dionysiac mysteries. Seaford's own reason for dismissing these grounds for the Titan's punishment as weak-"Dionysos was afterall quickly restoredto life" ("Immortality.Althoughhe arguesagainsta Dionysiaccontextforthe texts' referencesto icEpauv6. With referenceto icpaupv6.LYFKEPAYNOX 121 purposesof the presentdiscussion. 5Ibid. at any rate. icpawvo.. 57Seafordargues that. He cites Pindar Pyth. as Orphicdocuments. the text of A. Persephonehas assumed chargeof the Titans'punishment for that crime:leaves A.5)." 8 note 26)-itself seems . h. 4. (note 7 above)5-6. they naturallycontain references to the Dionysiac mythology. Apoll. ZeDS Ttr&va. some of thepointshe makesaboutthe Titanscan in factbe assimilatedto a Dionysiacinterpretation. Plato Laws701c.argues that Persephone's particularinterest in this case is due to her personal grievance against the Titans for eating her chthonic child Dionysos. representingthe majorityopinion of scholars. is clear (versovv. Seafordassertsthat in the SouthItalianfunerarytexts.336.55 The initiate/sup iant-"almost certainlythe dead person arrived in the underworld" ---claimsin these texts to be of the raceof the gods.and not the devouringof Dionysos.291 ff. Burkert (note 25 above) in the latter t^iv0eo.2. as I am I have noted. to have been struckby lightning. in these texts. the three leaves from the A series have nearlyidenticalformulaedescribingthe subjects'punishment by lightning:cf.the deceasedwas stronglyidentified with the Titans. &aoepophk?Xia ipauv6ot (A. Unlike Seaford. Xace S•k Ev se Xp6v0t/ acpotvo. TheTitansare forerunners 55Seaford. and subsequently to have paid the penalty for his unjust actions. Yetthe preeminence Because of its presumed debt to much earlier Dionysiac material." or because. "Immortality" of man as far back as the H.3 is garbled but seems to me to give the latterphraseas well. since I am arguing that the materialunder consideration is the residue of a Dionysiac traditionwith which Arkhilokhoswould have been familiar--a delicate suggestion. 4. /• •etat. 133Snell olot ~ Hflpaxnep6va r•tcpohai leaves.2 and A. suggestingthatin the funerary nah•ato passage.

Plutarch'sdescription of "voicesand dances"in the passagecited above suggests that at Eleusischoral music and dance accompaniedthe initiatoryrite as well. Forit is possible "thathe has flown off the circleof heavy consonantwith a detailof the grief and misery. analogous to the rebirthto which the initiand.". the initiand would have been assimilated to-literally aov-Kepauveo(q--those mythic figures.just as Dionysos himselfwas rehabilitated. asserting that their purpose was to clear away the depressive anxiety of less educated people (3.could to imaginea Dionysiacinitiatoryritethatgave prideof place (amid that strangeflashing light?)not only to the birthof the god. C(pl)yov If the Titans'crimeand punishmentwere so featuredas partof the with divine beings Dionysiacinitiationrite. Quintilianuscommentson the roleof the initiatorymelodies and dancesin the Dionysiac mysteries.andalaSemele. 59De Corona 18.the initiand'sidentification for the has ramifications struck who were compelling by lightning with that associated the the was cult hymn present discussion." For the Orphic doctrine of the "Circleof Necessity"'and the "Wheelof the Titans. 60In his treatise De Musica. "Immortality" appears on every leaf. but the leaves are clearly based on the same overall conception. For initiand as "lightmystic initiation60 would likely have celebratedthe ning-blasted"like the Titans.122 DANIEL MENDELSOHN of the Titans' role here. eqpov algetvov.Therestorationof both the god himself and the Titanswould naturallyhave been central to the mysteries. The cultic traditionof the chthonic Dionysos thus indicates how could have been appropriateto the worship of that god. the third-century CEmusicologist Aristides . (note 7 above) 4 note 11: "Not every claim 58 Seaford. initiate.259. which Seaford argues is not of Dionysiac be a survivalfromthose mysteries.25). Yet the briefOrphicHymn to apart Semele(admittedlyof latedate)indicatesthata formalcult hymn could in facthave conflatedthe discretetraditionsderived from the myths of V * T V a bit weak:Greekgods were rarelygiven to forgiveand forget. Therestoration in the where South Italian the Titans figures prominently leaves. but also to the but ultimately crime of the Titans.see also Burkert(note 43 above) 96-97.himselfaspired. the of the mortaldescendantof the fact. In thathymn.even if no harm had been done. ouyKiepauv6om from any role played by Semele.brought low by Zeus's K•patv6. restored.58 initiation provided by Demosthenes:the initiands' ritual Dionysiac fromevil andfoundthebetter": that "escaped pronouncement theyhave 59 Kcaov."see Rohde (note 52 above) 342.

Pavlos Sfyroeras of Princeton University has offered an appealing reievaluationof the passages with which this paper began.the hymn describingthebirthof the god and the Titan'sfiery punishment was a dithyramb.but perhapsnot. Evidence from various sources suggests that it could have been with the Titans. could have been another and Dionysiac cult contextin which oauyi•pquv6o dithyrambicperformance were quite naturallyassociated. then. With respect to the Bakkhai passage. "designedto reconcilethe story that Dionysos was the son of Persephone.2.3. so faras we can see) that he was the son of Semele. on Hyg. Semele. Sinceancientsourcesindicatethatthe climax aov-K•pau)vo({oc. Sfyroeras suggests firstthatIca0foeomay allude to a culticthronosis comparableto that .61 The Hymn assumes continuity among motifs derived fromboth narratives: it ties togetherSemele's labor (35). 11).in the case of the Dionysiac hymn.basedon the mythof the chthonicDionysos. Persephoneas stewardessof awardsand punishmentsin the underworld (6).7). A. Plutarch'sreferenceto "holyvisions"at this momentin the rite is more difficult to assess." Butthe Hymn to Semele does accountfor the Semele storyin the contextof the moreusual Orphictraditionof the chthonic Dionvsos. Fab.62 mysteries. Ka8ugi'. This. At least niryWlt 8paoq Eg np6pp0yv eqayco0v late in the classical tradition. /npTffvoov aieov aide echoes that to in herself Thurian the Persephone gold rn6pXetv--closely S ie leaves: 6j (A. and the Mysteriesthemselves(9. Koipri &vaoa. in light of the foregoing discussion of the Dionysiacmysteriesand cult.7. And the invocationof at the end of the Orphichymn-vbv ao. with the story (ignored in the Orphictheogonies. a possible referenceto the initiatory"illumination" that seems to be integral to the mysteries. the narrativereferentfor a flashof light would have been the lightning bolt that punished the Titansfor eating the newborn deity. "knows" because he has witnessed the Bacchicrite. He points out that Arkhilokhosexpresseshis knowledge of how to <'x6pXat in terms Mt06pagoilov of the "visual"verb ol8a. then. suggests first that an importantmoment in initiatoryritual was the abruptappearanceof a brilliantlight. Inthe case of the Dionysiacmysteries.63 61 See West 162 f.167. What we infer from the Eleusinianmysteries. et ti Otat OEd. born amid lightning. Xitotat. if the Dionysiacrite involved a good deal of wine-drinking. of the initiation was accompaniedby the performance of an actualcult it is not unreasonableto posit that. A. Persephone'sprotegee.thatthe initiandwas identified-that is to say.all of the divergentstrandsof Dionysiac myth were comfortablyassimilatedin a formalcult-hymniccontext.whichthe sacrednarrative explained.. as well as with Dionysos himself.EYFKEPAYNCO 123 Semele and of the Titans.killed by the Titans.

and secondly.that Pentheusis ao•cupacvoOei0 illumithan rather the that here but an initiatorycontext.the genre in which the birth of the god Dionysos (and. perhaps.124 MENDELSOHN DANIEL Both the Semele myth and the mythic narrativeof the Dionysiac has survivedin the context mysterieshelp to explainwhy aoyicepaov6o of Dionysiacdithyramb. with all of their seemsto havebeen transmythicaland ritualassociations. lightningdestroys nates-an abortiveinitiationconsistentwith Pentheus'failureto understand Dionysos's mystic power. in Los Angeles 1983]266-68). . DANIEL MENDELSOHN Princeton University HomoNecans[Berkeleyand of the Eleusiniancult (for which see W. o(iyKcpaov6(o mitted into laterliteraturefromcultdithyramb. Burkert.his mysteries as well) were most appropriatelycelebrated.Foreven if the religiouspotencyof dithyramb became diluted by the end of the fifth century and afterwards.later of the genre were evocations of the Dionysiac abandoncharacteristic bound to assimilate its diction as well as its style.