You are on page 1of 24

Emilio Suárez de la Torre

Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections


1 Introduction
1.1 The Point of Departure

Greek gods are not separate entities. Or, at least, to consider them as isolated
figures, either historically or synchronically speaking, is not a correct method of
analysis. Greek religion (or however we might label it) has evolved into a complex
system of relations between what we (and the Greeks) categorize as ‘gods/god-
desses,’ in order, through concrete humanized beings, to articulate all possible
paradigms of behavior, moral principles, intellectual and physical powers, vital
force and so on, even including aspects that, from our point of view, are not
always deemed positively. In other words, they are more ‘immortal super-hu-
mans’ than what can be defined as a god in other cultures. However, this is
neither a rigid nor an arbitrary system. It is subject to continuous dialectics, to a
rich chain of interactions, coming from outside the system and, simultaneously,
caused by strong internal forces. In the first case, the normal tendency is to
assimilate the new elements. In the second, there is a search for internal balance.
Under these circumstances, there is a ‘creative’ conflict between old and new
forces, or (as it is usually described), between tradition and innovation.
I have begun with this theoretical reflection not only to concretize my general
point of view on how a Greek pantheon works, but also to make the rich process
of dialectics between the two deities mentioned in the title of my paper more
understandable. In fact, according to the theoretical principles I cite above, even
the isolation of two gods can be seen as an arbitrary one. The interactions among
deities form a ‘cluster’: if you pick up one of them, others come together. Never-
theless, the interactions between Apollo’s and Dionysos’ spheres are of a very
particular and persistent nature.1 And I hope to show by means of the following
examples that they are not the product of a natural process. Religion is not an

1 For a good abstract, see Graf 2008, 170: ‘Both were sons of Zeus (…) Both were eternally young
(…) Dionysos married Ariadne and was strictly heterosexual (…), while Apollo remained decidedly
bisexual. Both were connected with altered states of mind, Apollo with prophetic possession,
Dionysos with ecstasy of dance and drugs. Both had their music, Apollo the stately music of the
grand lyre (kithara), Dionysos more often the frenzied sounds of pipes and drums and of smaller
string instruments.’

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 59

isolated entity operating in a spontaneous manner. At each moment of History,


somebody is ‘spinning the threads.’

1.2 The Relation between Apollo and Dionysos in the Scholarly


Research

What I call ‘intersections’ between Apollo and Dionysos have been observed since
Antiquity (see infra), every time a theoretical reflection has focused on them.2
What characterizes the analysis of the links between both deities in modern times
is: (a) the use of this link as a symbolic instrument to illustrate an aprioristic point
of view about the ‘nature’ of Greek culture; (b) the no less aprioristic idea that
every Greek god has a consolidated personality that determines the historical
developments; (c) after Nietzsche, the role of Delphi as the main place where the
encounter takes place. The two first characteristics are due to methodological
reasons, but the third is but a natural consequence of the accumulation of
testimonies concerning the relationship of the gods. I shall illustrate these ideas
with some representative examples.
(a) When treating these themes, modern scholars, not without some embar-
rassment, must inevitably cite Friedrich Nietzsche’s Die Geburt der Tragödie aus
dem Geiste der Musik (The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, Basel 1872).
The reason is easy to understand: this is not a philological work sensu strictu, not
to mention the important fact that it is inspired by Wagner’s music (and dedicated
to him).3 The author himself defined the book in 1886 as ‘dubious,’ ‘unpleasant,’
and ‘strange.’ However, under Nietzsches’ passionate and even visionary style, a
good amount of brilliant intuitions can be found. Unfortunately, a general trend
to oversimplify his assessments has reduced his thesis to a mere contraposition
between the ‘Apolline’ and the ‘Dionysian’ as a distinctive feature not only of
Greek tragedy, but of Greek culture as a whole. Nevertheless, we must bear in
mind, first, that Nietzsche had limited his analysis to Greek tragedy (including a
particular vision of its antecedents), and second, that he emphasized the opposi-
tion as much as the complementary aspects of both deities. Allow me to select just
a couple of lines that help illustrate this opinion:

When Archilochus, the first Greek lyric poet, announces his raging love and, simulta-
neously, his contempt for the daughters of Lycambes, it is not his own passion which dances

2 A useful summary of the points of contact between Apollo and Dionysos can be found in
González Merino 2009, 149–152.
3 On the polemics about Nietzsche’s work among his contemporaries, see Gründer 1989.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
60 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

in front of us in an orgiastic frenzy: we see Dionysos and the maenads; we see the
intoxicated reveller Archilochus sunk down in sleep – as Euripides describes it for us in the
Bacchae, asleep in a high Alpine meadow in the midday sun – and now Apollo steps up to
him and touches him with his laurel. The Dionysian musical enchantment of the sleeper
now, as it were, flashes around him fiery images, lyrical poems, which are called, in their
highest form, tragedies and dramatic dithyrambs.

After some years working on Archilochus you can imagine my retrospective


satisfaction at seeing him as a representative (in an individual dimension) of the
process that gave birth to tragedy. But this is a good theme for another article. I
just want to underline now that Nietzsche’s pronouncements about Apolline and
Dionysian intersections are not scarce in his work. He even asserts that the Apol-
line and Dionysian ‘spirits’ reinforce themselves mutually.
(b) The irruption of Delphi as a scene fitting the needs for the divine encounter
finds a masterful example in chapter nine of E. Rohde’s Psyche (1890/1894, 18972),
where he studies the ‘coming’ of Dionysos to Greece and describes the influence of
the ‘new’ ecstatic and orgiastic rites in the irruption of new kinds of – in modern
words – ‘altered state of mind,’ that is, the so-called inspired divination.
(c) W. Otto’s chapter on Apollo and Dionysos (1933),4 though including some
references to Delphi, is mostly an analysis of the parallelism between the mythical
couples Zeus-Semele and Apollo-Hiakynthos. As we shall see below, this paralle-
lism reappears in the work of Guthrie on Orphism, though under a different
perspective.
(d) A fourth testimony of the irresistible attraction of linking both divinities,
conditioned again by the theoretical principles of each scholar, can be seen in the
clear-cut description we find in Jane Harrison’s Themis. A Study in the Social
Origins of Greek Religion. Talking about the arrival of both deities in Delphi, she
affirms: ‘Were they, who seem so disparate, really the same? So far as they are
Kouroi and Year-Gods, yes. But they are Kouroi and Year-Gods caught and in part
crystallized at different stages of development’ (p. 443). And she will add that
another important difference is that Apollo is an Olympian.
These four examples are quite representative of some important scholarly
trends, developed during the 20th century, which constitute the status quaestionis
on that issue.5 But now it is time to go to the ‘navel’ of the discussion.6

4 Otto 1933, 182–188.


5 For further illustrations of the current opinions, among others see: Amandry 1950, 196–200;
Jeanmaire 1951, 187–8; 492–3; Guthrie 1950, 198ff.; Burkert 1983; Detienne 1989, 1998, 2001, or
Dietrich 1992. Dietrich resolutely argued for Dionysian precedence at Delphi.
6 For further details about some of the points to be dealt with in the next paragraph here, see my
previous works: Suárez 1998a, 1998b, 2002, 2005. See also Sourvinou-Inwood 19882.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 61

2 Apollo and Dionysos at Delphi and the Links


with Orphism

That both deities were worshiped in the territory of the Parnassus at different
moments of Greek history is a well known fact. The Corycian cave is but one of the
many cave-cults dedicated to Dionysos and the nymphs in Ancient Greece, and
was visited by many pilgrims of the Delphic sanctuary. However, it is not this well
delimited coexistence that I want to consider now, but the question of their
presence (in turn or simultaneous) at the oracular shrine.

2.1 Some Important Testimonies

2.1.1 Dionysos, the First Delphic ‘Prophet’

A radical expression on the chronological priority of Dionysos at Delphi can be


found in a scholion to Pindar’s Pythian Odes (vol. II, p. 2 Dr.), where we read: …
τοῦ ποφητικοῦ τρίποδος ἐν ᾧ πρῶτος Διόνυσος ἐθεμίστευσε. Later on, writing
about a part of the Pythian nomos (dactyl), the scholiast adds: δάκτυλον ἀπὸ
Διονύσου ἐν ᾧ πρῶτος οὖτος δοκεῖ ἀπὸ τοῦ τρίποδος θεμιστεῦσαι. This is an
unusual proclamation of Dionysian Delphic precedence,7 but I prefer to begin
with a text that shows that traditions about Dionysos at Delphi assigned to him
not only an oracular, but also a ‘normative’ function, usually attributed to Apollo
(see the verb θεμιστεύω).

2.1.2 Peaceful Sharing of the Sanctuary8

This label alludes to the important series constituted by the enneateric rites
known as septerion, herois and Charilla.9 Their periodicity (every eight years)
points to an ancient date. The first festival is presented as an aetiological rite
commemorating Apollo’s journey to Thessaly in search of purification after hav-
ing killed the dragon, but it has some elements that point to an older and different
explanation.10 The second is undoubtedly linked to Dionysos. It commemorates

7 Dietrich 1978 defends the antiquity of the Delphian Dionysos.


8 A situation reinforced in the 6th century: see infra.
9 Plutarch, Quaest. Rom. et Gr. 293B-F.
10 Brelich 1969, 387–438.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
62 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

the descent of Dionysos to Hades, the rescue of his mother Semele and their
ascension to Olympus: a kind of immortalization of the heroine, together with his
son. This series is celebrated in the month Dadaphorios. They are interconnected
in some way as quite a coherent ritual ‘system.’11

2.1.3 Some Hints of a (possible) new Situation in the 6th Century

Iconography can also help to find hints of the Delphic links between both deities.
First, Orpheus and the Argonauts are represented in a metope of the treasure of
the Sicyonians at Delphi (ca. 570–560: it would be the first sure image of the
singer).12 Of course, it is not valid to support an early presence of Orphism at
Delphi. Conversely, it is good evidence of the ‘Apollinism’ of the singer. However,
something seems to have changed between the date of this image and the
construction of the treasure of the Syphnians in ca. 530–525 BCE. I am alluding to
the probable identification of the scene on the polos of a Caryatis in the Syphnian
treasure at Delphi13 with the awakening of the liknites (on this ritual see infra). It
would be the first sure archaeological evidence of Dionysian presence at Delphi.

2.1.4 On the Other Hand, Athenian Drama Witnesses a Variety of Contemporary


Perspectives in the Relationship of Both Deities.

(A) In Aeschylus, for example, we find three apparently contradictory alternatives


in the consideration of Apollo and Dionysos.
(a) E. 22–26: Coexistence of the mantic sanctuary at Delphi and the Corycian
cave, placed in the realm assigned to Dionysos and the nymphs. The reference
includes a short allusion to Pentheus’ death, serving as aition for the arrival of the
Dionysian group. Previously (1–21) the Pythia has enumerated the list of divine
owners of the sanctuary (Gaea, Themis, Phoibe, Phoibus, an ‘outsider’ coming
from Delos, described as ‘prophet of Zeus’). It looks like a formula for compro-
mise, based on the local division of the territory; this is confirmed by the mention
of Athena Pronaia (21) and Poseidon (27).
(b) An important analysis of the conflict between both gods is illustrated by
Aeschylus’ Bassarae (the trilogy about Lycurgus: Edonians, Bassarae, and Neanis-

11 For a detailed analysis, see Suárez 1998c, with other references.


12 Olmos 2008.
13 Themelis 1992.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 63

koi or Youths). The loss of this tragedy14 is also a regrettable loss for the under-
standing of Aeschylus’ religious concerns. At first sight, the tragedy brings onto
the scene a spectacular exhibition of Dionysian powers, in the same way that
Euripides will display the essence of Dionysism at the end of the century. The
tragedy appears to be full of religious novelties, presented as a dramatic resolu-
tion of cultic conflicts, and perhaps placing in Thrace what was apparently
representative of more local religious concerns. Orpheus, after descending to
Hades, ceased to honor Dionysos and began to worship the Sun, invoked as
Apollo, on mount Pangaeus. Then Orpheus is dismembered by the Bassarae, the
local version of the Bacchae, sent by Dionysos to punish this ungrateful15 apos-
tasy. However, this terrible end has an important consequence. Orpheus, who has
perished in the same manner as Dionysos Zagreus, will enjoy a particular mode of
immortality, thanks to the oracular powers of his head.16 The short summary
leaves open many questions, but I think that one point is clear: Orpheus was
disappointed by what he had seen in Hades (ἰδὼν τὰ ἐκεῖ οἷα ἦν).
West makes an appealing proposal of reconstruction of the argument and
elements of the trilogy and draws attention to the fact that a poem on Orpheus
Katabasis was known to Aeschylus. He suggests that this was the poem entitled
Krater, attributed to the Pythagorean Zopyrus. More recently, R. Seaford17 has
gone a step further and has suggested an intriguing solution for some of the
particularities of the story. First, he proposes that there is a ritual reality behind
the theme of Orpheus’ search for the Sun light: the contemplation of a ‘sacred
light’ in mystic rituals. He also considers the possibility that this opposition of
Apollo and Dionysos in fact reflects a conflict between concurrent groups repre-
senting different doctrines and interests: he emphasizes that whereas Apollo was
an important deity for Pythagoreans, Dionysos was the god of Orphics.
(c) Finally, in the Lycimnius (fr. 341 Radt) he makes a total fusion of both
deities: ὁ Κισσεὺς Ἀπόλλων ὁ Βακχεὺς ὁ μάντις. This testimony will be used by
Macrobius in his ‘henotheistic’ discussion of Greek gods (infra).
(B) Some allusions to local (Delphic or Parnassian) maenadism appear in
Sophocles (Ant. 1126) and Euripides (Ion 550–553, 714–718, 1122–1128, IT 1143–

14 Fr. 23–25 Radt; Eratosth. Cat. 24. See the reasonable remarks made by Pàmias 2004, 170, n. 210
(on Orphism) and 211 (on Apollo and Helios). Note that in some way he anticipates the conclusions
of Seaford 2005.
15 I use this term because the Eratosthenian summary underlines this fact: … τὸν μὲν Διόνυσον
οὐκ ἐτίμα, ὑφ᾽ οὗ ἦν δεδοξασμένος.
16 But it is not clear that this motif was treated in the tragedy. West 1990 points to a conciliation
in the third piece of the trilogy, Neaniskoi.
17 Seaford 2005.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
64 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

1144). Moreover, it is Euripides who presents in more than one passage an


unambiguous declaration of the mantic powers of Dionysos. It is not yet fully
clear in fr. 477 Kannicht: δέσποτα φιλόδαφνε Βάκχε παιὰν Ἄπολλον εὔλυρε. But
in the Bacchae (297–300), he explains the mantic nature of the Dionysian mania:
μάντις γὰρ ὁ δαίμων ὅδε· / ὅταν γὰρ ὁ θεὸς ἐς τὸ σῶμα ἔλθῃ πολύς, / λέγειν τὸ
μέλλον τοὺς μεμηνότας ποιεῖ.

2.1.5 The Constant Evolution of Dionysism at Delphi

The witnesses of Plutarch and Pausanias on the Thyiades18 must be cited here.
First, perhaps related to this ritual is the anecdote cited by Plutarch (Mul. virt.
249EF), when he narrates the ‘maenadic solidarity’ of the women of Amphissa
with those of Delphi, who arrived there (ἐκμανεῖσαι καὶ περιπλανηθεῖσαι). Both
authors (Plu. Prim. frig. 953CD and Paus. 10.4 and 32) give some details about the
rites celebrated by the Athenian women on the Parnassus. They march from
Athens to Delphi through Panopeus and meet their Delphian partners there. The
liknites in Is. et Os. 365A: καὶ Δελφοὶ τὰ τοῦ Διονύσου λείψανα παρὰ τὸ χρηστήριον
ἀποκεῖσθαι νομίζουσι, καὶ θύουσιν οἱ Ὅσιοι θυσίαν ἀπόρρητον ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοῦ
Ἀπόλλωνος, ὅταν αἱ Θυιάδες ἐγείρουσι τὸν Λικνίτην. Note also that, according to
Pausanias (10.32.7) these women τῷ Διονύσῳ καὶ τῷ Ἀπόλλωνι μαίνονται.19 An
important question related to these testimonies is: how old are both this double
rite and its relationship with Dionysos’ tomb?

2.1.6 More Traces of Local Delphic (and non-Delphic) Harmony in the 6th Century

– A small, though perhaps significant detail, is that a thysia must be offered to


Dionysos in the month of Apellaios, according to the regulation and the ritual
calendar of the Labyadai.20
– An important ‘shift’ in the ‘visibility’ of the local harmony between Apollo
and Dionysos can be found in the Paean composed by Philodamus of Scar-
pheia in the 4th century BCE:21 it is actually a paean dedicated to Dionysos.

18 Villanueva-Puig 1986. See now González Merino 2009, 145–149.


19 Thus, ‘the worship of Apollo is not only partly superseded by that of Dionysos, but is
contaminated as well’ (Newcomer 1907, 197).
20 Rougemont 1977, nr. 9.
21 Käppel 1992, 207–287; Rutherford 2001, 131–135.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 65

– This evolution is confirmed by local iconography and other testimonies since


the reconstruction of the temple in the 4th century BCE (destruction: 373 BCE;
end of the reconstruction: 320 BCE) The east pediment now shows Apollo
together with Leto and Artemis, accompanied by the Muses, whereas in the
west pediment,22 Dionysos is accompanied by the Thyiai.
– It seems that the Theoxenia is a suitable ritual context for this harmonic
coexistence of both gods.23 It is in the framework of this festivity that Philoda-
mus’ Paean was performed. Moreover, there are some interesting icono-
graphic testimonies which could be related to this rite.24 I would like to
emphasize that both gods have a long history of collaboration. Or perhaps
would it be more exact to say that Apollo’s voice has often reacted against the
attacks suffered by Dionysos, as can be shown by the frequent oracles
responding to the consultations about plagues and diseases resulting from an
offence against Dionysos, as well as other concerning the foundation of
cults.25

2.1.7 Dionysos’ Death and Delphi and Related Traditions

– Dinarchus (4th century BCE) affirms that Dionysos, escaping from Lycurgus,
went to Delphi and died there: his body is in a σωρός and his weapons are
hanging on the temple walls (FGrHist 399 F 1); and Philochorus (4th/3rd
century BCE) specifies that he has seen Dionysos’ tomb at Delphi (FGrHist 328
F 7), in which an epitaph was written: ‘Dionysos, son of Semele.’ Both
references are in Malalas (Chron. II p. 44, 2).26
– According to Tzetzes in his scholia to Lycophron Alex. 208, ἐτιμᾶτο δὲ καὶ
Διόνυσος ἐν Δελφοῖς σὺν Ἀπόλλωνι; he mentions the myth of Dionysos’
σπαραγμός by the Titans and relates how they settled the bodily members of
his brother into a λέβης and put it beside the tripod. He illustrates his version
by citing Callimachus (fr. 643 Pf.) and Euphorion (fr. 13 De Cuenca, 14 Van
Groningen).27 Euphorion’s verse cited by Tzetzes is: ἐν πυρὶ Βάκχον δῖον

22 Croissant 1991.
23 Deneken 1881. On the Delphic theoxenia see now Kowalzig 2007, 188–201.
24 Ermitage 1807 or, probably, ‘Marble Townley,’ London, British Museum 2190, where Apollo is
peacefully hosting Dionysos.
25 The motif of the Xenia and the foundation of cults; cf. the case of Magnesia and the remarks by
Detienne 2001.
26 On the myth of the σπαραγμός of Dionysos, see Bernabé 2002a.
27 See OF 34–39.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
66 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

ὑπερφίαλοι28 ἐβάλοντο. In Euphorion’s description, Apollo collects the mem-


bers and Rhea arranges them. According to Clemens of Alexandria (Prot.
2.18.1), Zeus gave to Apollo the disparaged corpse of Dionysos (except the
heart, which had been previously snatched by Athena), he brought it to the
Parnassus (not exactly Delphi)29 and buried it there. In later centuries, these
versions undergo a development in which Apollo will be responsible for
Dionysos’ resurrection (Damascius; see Graf/Johnston 2007).30
– To close this part of my paper, Macrobius (Sat. 1.16–18) can be a good
representative of the late result of the historical evolution of the dialectics
between both gods, under the influence of the late henotheistic and syncretis-
tic tendencies. He finds a point of contact of these gods in their common
identification with the Sun, which inevitably leads to a synthetic considera-
tion of them as different manifestations of the same divine entity. He even
cites Aristotle31 as an authority, because in his Theologoumena he wrote that
Apollinem et Liberum patrem unum eundemque deum esse, as well as some
examples of oracular cults of Dionysos or the bacchic form of the rites of
Hiakynthus at Sparta and, finally, the Parnassian coincidence of both deities.
Thereafter he adds some literary testimonies (some of which I have cited
above) of Aeschylus and Euripides, and also of ‘Orpheus.’ In the orphic name
Phanes, he sees evidence of the solar character of Dionysos. As you are aware,
his etymologies are really amusing, and they are profusely used to show the
solar and mantic character of Dionysos.

Having reached this point, one question remains unanswered. Is Orphism respon-
sible for Delphian Dionysism or have Orphics profited from pre-existing, non-
orphic traditions for their new ‘dionysism’? In my opinion the latter alternative is
the right one, but I cannot deny that sometimes I find that we walk on quicksand.
Moreover, an additional doubt arises immediately: must we also rely on a possi-
ble Delphic active part in this evolution of the local myths of Dionysos, aimed at
controlling the new religious trend? And if this happens with the main question,
similar dilemmas arise in each part of the story.32

28 Müller, Bernabé; ὑπὲρ φιάλην codd., ὑπὲρ φιάλης Lobel, de Cuenca.


29 Bernabé 1998 sees here elements of a modern version.
30 Graf/Johnston 20072, 73–80 analyze in detail the different versions of Dionysos’ dismember-
ment and resurrection. They detect 4 different versions. As for a detailed treatment of the theme of
Dionysos ‘death and resurrection’ see Detienne 1977; Casadio 1991.
31 Vid. Rose 1863, 616; cf. Arnob. Nat. 3.33.
32 See Graf/Johnston 2007, 77–78.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 67

2.2 More on Orphism and Apollo

2.2.1 Apollo and Dionysos in Orphism

The relation of Orphism with Delphi unavoidably leads to the problem of the links
between Apollo and Dionysos in Orphism. This is an old and much debated
matter. As representative of quite an extended opinion, I would cite W. K. C.
Guthrie, who, in his book of 1952, argued that Orpheus was a figure of Apolline
religion.33 His theory was that some followers of this religion would have ‘later’
embraced the Thracian (sic) cult of Dionysos and added some features that can be
labeled ‘orphic.’
In my opinion, it would be better to put things the other way round. As a
matter of fact, the question about the obvious contradiction of choosing an Apol-
line singer as founder, model, and theorist of the new doctrine arises in a natural
way.34 Orphism is a kind of ‘sub-system’ inside Greek religion, created with some
old elements and other new trends incorporated in the Archaic period. On the one
hand it is a revitalized and particular form of Dionysism, activated by new beliefs
concerning the soul and the After-life also shared with Pythagoreanism. On the
other hand, the founders of this religious movement (allow me to describe them
thus) have selected a very special figure, who synthesizes many aspects of tradi-
tional religion, culture, and folk-tale. They have chosen a poet endowed with very
special abilities, almost magic, recorded in Greek literature since the time of
Alcman. He has mantic powers, in his lifetime and even after. The conventional
myth represents him as a suffering lover, who has had the privilege of descending
into Hades and returning, though he could not achieve his purpose. Some of these
traits belong in the traditional Apolline world: poetic inspiration and musical
qualities, oracular power. Moreover, these are not the only Apolline characteris-
tics showing links with Apollo: there was also the importance of purification and
the knowledge of techniques of healing that need some experience in ‘collective
madness.’ This is the reason why not only Orpheus, but also Melampus35 have
connections with the Dionysian world. Melampus, an exceptional figure in order
to understand the multidimensional figure of the Greek mantis (who is at the same
time a medicine-man and a priest), is deemed to have brought to Greece Dionysos’
cult (and even that of others), and in one of the versions of the healing of the

33 ‘Priest or in some other way satellite of the god’ (1952, 44).


34 See Bernabé 2002b.
35 See Suárez 1992; 2009b, 169–172, with bibliography.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
68 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

Proetides (enlarged to the women of Argos), he achieves it by neutralizing her


madness with a particular homoeopathic means: a χορεία of youths.36
And one more idea: the instructions of the orphic lamellae remind an oracle
of ‘colonization’: they are indications for the traveler to Hades.
Whatever the reason for this interplay of opposition and complementarity
may be, it becomes a distinctive feature of Orphism and has interesting manifesta-
tions related to the theme of this paper.

2.2.2 Apollo and Dionysos at Olbia

The Milesian colony of Olbia and its neighboring territory is a fascinating place to
study not only decisive aspects of Greek religion in general, but most specially the
dialectics between the inherited ancient elements and the new foreign ones in a
particular environment.37 Among many other features of the local religious prac-
tice, some epigraphic documents have revealed the importance, among others, of
the Apolline and Dionysian cults. First, despite the fact that the most important
local epiclesis of Apollo is as Delphinios, the spectacular bone plaque with an
enigmatic oracle first published by Rusyayeva in 198638 and masterfully analyzed
thereafter by Burkert39 puts before our eyes a surprising Apolline and oracular
element40 in coexistence with the no less particular Orphic testimonies, also

36 Hecataeus of Abdera (FGrHist 264 F 25) considers Melampus responsible for the introduction
of other traditions about Cronus, the Titanomachy and all the πάθη of the gods; eventually
Clemens of Alexandria (Prot. 2.13.5) assigns him the Demetriac rites.
37 See Vinogradov 1981; Rusyayeva 1992; Vinogradov/ Kryzickijl 1995. The documents commen-
ted here are edited by Dubois 1996, 107–157.
38 A. Rusyayeva VDI 2, 1986, 25–64 (SEG 36, 694).
39 Burkert 1994; see text in Dubois 1996, nr. 93.
40 ἑπτὰ λύκος ἀσθενής
ἑβδομήκοντα λέων δεινός
ἑπτ(α)κόσιοι – τοξοφόρος, φίλι(ο)ς δωρεῆ(ι). δύναμ(ι)
ἰητῆ(ρ)ος
ἐπτακι(σ)χίλι(οι) – δελφίς φρόνιμος
ἐιρήνη Ὀλβίη(ι) πόλι
Μακαρίζω ἐκεί(νην)
Μέμνημαι Λητο(ῖ)

Then sinistrorsum: ἑπτά


Ἀπόλλωνι
Διδυμ(εῖ)
Μιλησίωι

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 69

written on bone plaques,41 which throw new light (and open no less new ques-
tions) on the multiple manifestations of Orphism.42 Dubois has postulated that
the name of the city, Olbia, is due to Orphic influence.43 Moreover, the ‘contam-
ination’ of the Apolline and Dionysian-Orphic trends has a remarkable example
in an inscription engraved on a circular surface (parallel to the borders) of a vase
dedicated by the thiasos of the Boreikoi.44
We detect, then, some hints of a situation that fits well in the general frame of
dialectics and complementation between Apolline and Dionysian realms that we
are now gathering. Olbia presents all the elements of the precedent testimonies
commented in this paper: there is a particular Orphic group, with deep beliefs in
rebirth after death,45 in coexistence with a no less particular version of oracular
Apollo,46 invoked also as healer.47

2.2.3 From Olbia to Elea

The Olbian Apollonian oracle is not the only surprise offered by the Olbian texts
related to the theme of this paper. Among the members of that peculiar commu-
nity, was a physician from Elea, identified as an Ouliades. This fact allows us now

Μητρὸ(ς) ὀλβοφόρος
Νικηφόρος Βορέω

On the verso: Ἑβδ(ο)μ(ήκοντα) βοῦ(ς) Διδ(υμεῖ)


ΑΑΑΑΑΑΑΑΑΑΑ
Νικηφόρος Βορέω
41 See ns. 94 a-b-c Dubois. All of them contain series of substantives opposed by their contraries:
(a) βίος θάνατος βίος / Ἀλήθεια / Διό(νυσος) Ὀρφικοί; (b) Εἰρήνη Πόλεμος / Ἀλήθεια Ψεῦδος /Διό
(νυσος); (c) Διό(νυσος) / Ἀλήθεια / Σῶμα Ψυχή.
42 Bernabé 2008, 537 rightly qualifies the Olbian tablets as ‘textos breves con contenido muy
profundo.’
43 Dubois 1996, 152. He observes the proximity of the name of the city and the verb μακαρίζω in
the first lines, as in one of the tablets from Thourioi (OF 488.9: ὄλβιε καὶ μακαριστέ, θεὸς δ’ ἔσηι
ἀντὶ βροτοῖο).
44 Nr. 95 Dubois: Βίος-Βίος, Ἀπόλλων – Ἀπόλλων, ῞Ηλιο[ς]-Ἥλιος, Κόσμος-Κ[όσμ]ος, Φῶς-Φῶς.
See Dubois 1996, 156, who postulates a possible link between this group and the Orphics.
45 A good assessment on the value of these texts can be found in Bernabé 2008.
46 Now is not the time to analyze the particularities of this prophecy, based on number calcula-
tions reminding one of the Apocalyptic techniques found in other ancient texts.
47 I refer to Ustinova 2009, esp. 249–253 on the Olbian cult of Apollo Ἰητρός. She postulates that
this cult originated in the Ionian colonies of the Western and Northern Black Sea littoral by
assimilation to local cults and traditions, and not as an import from the Milesian territory.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
70 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

to cross the sea and to travel to Elea, where some inscriptions of the first century
BCE have helped to enrich the Parmenidean local tradition with new, and in some
ways intriguing, aspects. These inscriptions show the existence of a group of
physicians who have adopted as patronymic what is in fact a ‘theonymic.’ They
are the Οὐλιάδαι, that is, they name themselves after the Apolline epiclesis
Οὔλιος, interpreted by Ancients as ‘healer.’ The testimonies point to Parmenides
as a kind of ‘hero founder’ of this group, organized in a hierarchic manner: they
are presided by a φωλάρχος, a debated term that has aroused all kinds of
speculations as to the secret and mystic character of the group. It would be
imprudent to retrace the particular traits of this group to the life of Parmenides,
but it is at least quite reasonable to accept that the characteristics of Parmenidean
philosophy and life, as much as the form and features of his Poem, give us a good
hint as to how the process could have begun. Elements of Pythagoreanism,48
Orphism,49 and ‘Apollinism’ are easily detected in Parmenides. As I have tried to
demonstrate in a previous article, Parmenides has created a special model for the
transmission of wisdom and philosophical theories, endowed with a complex
combination of myth, poetic experimentation, and religious features.50

3 Athens. And Some Stories about Figs, Rituals,


Oracles and Calendars51
3.1 Athens and Delphi: Some Historical Data

The relationship between Apollo and Dionysos has sometimes been locally condi-
tioned by certain historical circumstances.52 This can be illustrated by the Apol-
line policies of Athens regarding the Delphic sanctuary. The historical evolution
is well known. The aftermath of the so-called ‘First sacred war,’ an event whose
historical entity as such is unclear, but is not an ‘empty’ invention, has brought
about some important consequences:
– A period of Thessalian hegemony in the 6th century (with deep historical
roots: see the Septerion).
– New links with Sicyon.

48 Bernabé 2004.
49 Burkert 1969.
50 Suárez 2011.
51 This is in part an implementation of some aspects dealt with in Section 2.1.
52 Dealt with in greater detail in Suárez 1998a.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 71

– A Delphic ‘shift’ in Solonian politics.


– The beginnings of the Pythian Games and the consolidation of the Amphicti-
ony as a very influent institution, controlling the economics and politics of
the sanctuary.

Subsequently, the Athenian influence becomes greater. It can be detected in two


contrary directions: Athens strengthens its control on Delphi and, at the same
time, Athenian religion experiences some modifications, mostly noticeable in
rituals. A list of some facts related to those trends must include:
– The role of the Alcmeonids in the rebuilding of the Apolline temple after its
burning in 548 BCΕ53
– The creation of a particular local mythology, presenting the actual state of
things as a ‘new order.’54
– The clearly Athenian design of the religious buildings of the Marmaria zone.
– The scandalous manipulation of the Pythia (notably by Cleisthenes). How-
ever, it must be taken into account that this is only a symptom, among many
others, of the importance given by Athens to the ‘guiding’ role of Delphi in
delicate situations or even in the sanction of political decisions in religious
matters.55
– The organization of the above-mentioned Dionysian rite of the ‘awakening of
the λικνίτης.’
– Some theatrical influence that could reflect bidirectional interchanges in
performing rites.56
– The association of Athena with Apollo in legendary accounts involving the
arrival of Apollo in Delphi, as well as many functional parallelisms between
both deities elaborated in literary texts, from the Homeric Hymn to Apollo to
the Aeschylus and Euripides or to the later Paeans of the 4th century.57
– The beginnings of the Pythaid.58

53 See, for instance, the iconography of the pediments, underlining Athenian influence.
54 Quantin 1992; Suárez 2002.
55 Bowden 2005.
56 See Cavalli 1994.
57 See Suárez 1998b and Vamvouri Ruffy 2009.
58 Boethius 1918. See also Parker 2005, 80–87.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
72 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

3.2 The ‘Mirror’ Effect and the Calendar

Yet, besides those general points of contact, it is possible to detect a kind of


‘mirror’ effect in some aspects concerning Apollo and Dionysos. First, I should
like to call your attention to the fact that in the Athenian calendar, Apolline and
Dionysian rites cover alternatively a good part of the year, even with more
intensity than in the Delphic one. Indeed, the orthodox tale is that Apollo travels
in winter to the Hyperborean land, whereas Dionysos becomes the epidemic god
of the sanctuary for these months. Surprisingly, this rotation in the presence of
the gods is best recorded in the Athenian calendar:59
(a) Apollo is worshiped in Athens as hekatombaios, metageitnios and boedro-
mios in the homonym months. The corresponding Delphic months are also Apol-
line: Apellaios (June/July, with the important civic assembly of the Apellai and the
ritual of the septerion), Boukatios (July/August, the month of the Pythian Games),
and Boathoos (August/September, a synonym of the Athenian one). However, it
must be noted that in the calendar of the Labyadai, a thysia is offered to Dionysos
in the month Apellaios.
(b) Thereafter the discrepancies are significant. In Delphi, the apparently
more Dionysian month is dadaphorios (October/November), whereas, against all
expectations, winter months are again Apolline: thus, Bysios (January/February)
was purported the month of Apollo’s birth, whose anniversary (the 7th day) was
originally the only day on which consultations were allowed. In the next month,
Theoxenios (February/March), we find a new conjunction of both gods: the main
ritual is the theoxenia (partly also a heroxenia; see above for the iconography): but
the main god is again Apollo. Conversely, winter is in Athens a fully Dionysian
season, starting with the Anthesteria in the eponym month (January/February)
and followed by the Great Dionysia in Elaphebolion (February/March).
(c) Finally, Apollo reappears in the Thargelion month (April/May) as a protago-
nist of the thargelia. I would dare to say that this rite could be accepted as a new
territory of intersections between Apollo and Dionysos, though I acknowledge the
difficulties to persuade you of this… The ‘border line’60 would be the ritual of the
φαρμακός, at least in its Athenian version. Among the distinctive features of this
adaptation are, on the one hand, the fact that there are two φαρμακοί, representa-
tive, respectively, of the men and the women of the polis.61 And, on the other (and
this is what I wish to emphasize), that they bear a necklace of figs. This couple

59 See table at the end (Appendix).


60 Perhaps together with some vegetable offerings to Apollo.
61 Harp. (= Suda EM 787.55), s.v. φαρμακός; Hellad. in Phot. Bibl. 534a 3.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 73

receives the name of συβάκχοι, most probably a syncopated form of *συκοβάκχοι. I


confess that the coincidence of both terms in this word-composition is for me
especially appealing, as much for the figs as for the second element (even if the
etymology is wrong, the figs are real in this ritual).62 Some years ago, in the
Hommage dedicated to André Motte,63 I revised the literary testimonies concerning
the wild-fig-tree (Gr. ἐρινεός, τράγος (!); Lat. caprificus). This study allowed me to
see that, besides the narrative function and symbolism of this tree (and of fig-trees
in general), it was an important symbolic element to understand the interconnec-
tions of Apollo and Dionysos. And I concluded my analysis with these words:

L’ἐρινεός reflète dans la culture grecque, avec plus de force encore que la συκῆ, certains
traits de Dionysos. Pensons à son ambiguïté sexuelle et aux différents ‘masques’ du dieu,
qui se matérialisent en des oppositions bien connues: mort et résurrection, ordre et désor-
dre, monde animal et monde végétal, nature vs. culture. Le dieu ambigu, qui partage à
Delphes le siège prophétique avec Apollon, ne se laisserait-il pas entrevoir dans la tradition
oraculaire, sans être nommé, tel un σῆμα équivoque et à double visage?

On the Athenian rite, following Deubner,64 Widengren said that ‘sowohl die
Übereinstimmung mit der Ausstattung der Dionysosgestalt als auch die Bezeich-
nung Feigenbakchoi deutet darauf hin, dass diese pharmakoi als kultische Reprä-
sentanten für den Gott Dionysos aufgefasst warden konnten’ (p. 301). On the other
hand, Bremmer, in his study on scapegoat rituals,65 adhering to Burkert’s descrip-
tion of figs as a ‘marginal’ fruit,66 observes that ‘marginal persons are connected
with marginal plants’ (p. 313). To sum up: the contacts observed between Apollo
and Dionysos have their origin in a particular aspect of these purification rites,
added to an Apolline feast of vegetation and renewal, invading in some way the
realms of Dionysos (and of Demeter!), in which the καθαρμός includes the use of a
fruit endowed with rich Dionysian connotations and in which the victims are
considered (to judge by their designation) representative of the Dionysian margin-
al and ‘liminal’ aspects.67

62 Gebhard 1926 rejects the Dionysian alternative and postulates that there is here a cultic
representation of an ‘Augenblicksgott’ (contra, Widengren 1969, 301, n. 67).
63 Suárez 2001.
64 Deubner 1969, 179–198.
65 Bremmer 1983.
66 Burkert 1985, 140.
67 Among other possible links between Apollo and Dionysos at Athens (as the Athenian scene
and some musical innovations could show), it is not out of place to include here the particular
Platonic reflection about the role of both gods in the building of the ‘ideal’ polis: see Lg. 653a–
654a, 664b–672d, 945b–947c and cf. Detienne 2001.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
74 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

4 Another Two Mythical Intersections: the


Genealogy of Dionysos and Ariadne

4.1 Maron an the Wine of Ismaros

‘Little though it is, we must not ignore the evidence that the alliance between
Dionysiac and Apolline cult existed from an early date.’68 Guthrie thinks that this
alliance is found in the figure of Maron (eponym of Maroneia), priest of Apollo at
Ismaros, according to Homer, living in the god’s grove (Od. 9.197), who gives to
Odysseus the wine with which he will drug the Cyclops. This Maron is in Homer
the son of Euanthes, who is the son of Dionysos and Ariadne, according to the
scholiast of Homer or, as it appears in Euripides’ Cyclops, a son of Dionysos who
nurses Seilenus. In Hellenistic and Roman iconography, he is often confounded
with Seilenus. Returning to Homer, it is worth noting the features of the wine
served by Euanthes. It has exceptional qualities and a ‘divine smell’ (ὀδμὴ …
θεσπεσίη, Od. 9.210–211). Anticipating in some way the Theognidean or even
Plutarchean reflections about the advantages of moderation in the symposium
and the dangers of excess, we see that on the one side, Maron and his wife drank
it mixed with twenty portions of water. Even so, it was irresistible because of the
sweet aroma, and had an effect similar to that of the Sirens: τότ’ ἂν οὔ τοι
ἀποσχέσθαι φίλον ἦεν (Od. 9.211). However, in the wine lurked less positive
potentialities. Odysseus envisioned at that moment the possibility of using it to
overwhelm a giant like the Cyclops, who knew neither δίκας nor θέμιστας. This
wine acts, then, as a kind of ambiguous tool, as a symbol of the dual nature
represented by Apollo and Dionysos, between the μηδὲν ἄγαν and the μανία.
Additionally, I would like to call your attention to the fact that the wine of
Ismaros was on Archilochus’ boat, as he himself has taught us,69 and that his life
and poetry is colored by both Dionysian and Apolline tones.70 Finally, and to
complete the links of the chain, the adjective εὐανθής (from which Euanthes
derives) is an epithet of Dionysos. Athenaeus (9.165a) quotes this text of Phanode-
mus: (The Athenians) ἡσθέντες οὖν τῇ κράσει ἐν ὠδαῖς ἔμελπον τὸν Διόνυσον,
χορεύοντες καὶ ἀνακαλοῦντες εὐανθῆ καὶ διθύραμβον καὶ βακχευτὰν καὶ βρόμιον.
It belongs to the same lexical family as ἄνθιος; and it is no random coincidence
that at Phlya, the deme of the Lycomidai in which important mystery rites were

68 Guthrie 19932, 46.


69 Fr. 2 West.
70 Suárez 1999.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 75

practised, Apollo and Dionysos, along with other deities, were worshiped under
the epicleseis, respectively, of Dionysódotos and Anthios (Paus. 1.31.4).71

4.2 Anius and the Oenotropoi

This is an interesting case to show the role of myths in: (a) the search for cultural
identities; (b) the aetiological function, as an explanatory tool for a territory; (c)
the trend to link local traditions with the Panhellenic epic ones; (d) and, to some
extent, the Athenian ‘colonization’ (or appropriation) of traditional myths.
The main priest and prophet of Delos, Anius, is a son of Apollo and a great-
grand-son of Dionysos. Thus, not only the Apolline, but also the Dionysian local
cults find their justification in the mythical tale. Note that the mantic powers are
assigned to Anius and to his son Andros (the male lineage), while women
represent the fertile and prodigious potentialities of Dionysos (basically) as a god
of vegetation.72 The whole genealogical tree is full of personifications of elements
of nature and vegetation: Staphylus, the son of Dionysos and Ariadne, begets
Rhoio (pomegranate), who becomes pregnant by Apollo and is the mother of
Anius. Anius’ daughters have also ‘speaking names,’ starting with the collective
one, Οἰνοτρόποι (v. l. Οἰνοτρόφοι in manuscripts of Ps.-Apollodorus): they are
Οἰνώ, Σπερμώ, ᾿Ελαΐς. Trojan epic exploits both sides of the family. Anius predicts
that Troy will not fall until ten years have passed and (in the Cypria and Pher-
ecydes) he offers the marvelous qualities of his daughters to feed the Argive army
for nine years (which they obviously do not accept). Later, starved by famine,
Menelaus and Ulysses go to Delos asking for help; or Agamemnon forces them to
help the army and they are finally turned into doves (Ovid). Other developments
of this myth include elements revealing Athenian influence. For instance, accord-
ing to Apollodorus of Athens (FGrHist 244 FIIIb), the Acheans, following the
advice of Anius, disembarked at Andros and founded the cult of Athena Tauropo-

71 See Newcomer 1907, 199: ‘Phlya was a rich Attic deme situated some five miles northeast of
Athens in a fertile district capable of supporting a large population. This was the birthplace of
Euripides, and, I think, the home of the old Attic family of the Lycomids, who performed mystic
rites here. The orgies of the Great Goddess, Earth, with Bacchic mysteries, were said to have been
celebrated here even before the mysteries were instituted at Eleusis. Here were altars and temples
of many gods and goddesses. Pausanias (1.31.4) mentions altars of “Flowery” (Ἄνθιος) Dionysos
and of “Dionysos-given” (Διονυσόδοτος) Apollo. This Apollo has been identified with the “Laur-
eled” (Δαφνηφόρος) Apollo at Phlya mentioned by other writers; cf. Hdt. 8.11, Plu. Them. 15. Just
what relationship this Dionysos-given Apollo had to Dionysos himself may not be evident, but the
epithet proves some association of the two gods.’ See also Λουκας 1988, 48.
72 In similar terms, Gallet de Santerre 1958, 268–271.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
76 Emilio Suárez de la Torre

los. Finally, Diodorus of Sicily (5.62) uses the stories about the descendants of
Anius as aitia for different local cults and rites.
All the aspects underlined in the myth have a correspondence in the histor-
ical reality of the island. First, Anius became a local hero and archaeology has
revealed that there were two hiera dedicated to him. As can be inferred from the
inscriptions, in one of these sanctuaries he received honors as archegetes of the
island, and in the other just as a hero.73 They were placed in the East zone of the
lake. As for Dionysos, since Vallois,74 the date of the 7th/6th centuries BCE is
accepted as probable for the beginnings of the cult, which grew in importance
from the 6th century on,75 partly because of the celebration of theatrical perfor-
mances. The specific Dionysian monument was known as the stoibadeion, not far
from the lake. Of this zone remains a platform with statue of the god flanked by
actors disguised as Paposilenoi and a couple of pillars. One of them supports an
enormous phallus and has relieves with Dionysos, a maenad and a Silenus,
whereas the other is decorated with Dionysian scenes.76
As we can see, both myths link Apollo and Dionysos in stories about legend-
ary rulers of the Aegean islands. Moreover, the cults of both gods at Delos are no
less important than at Delphi. A feature shared by both sanctuaries is the impor-
tance of Athenian political control and even the manipulation of local traditions.
The interest of Athens in Delos is well attested since the time of Peisistratus. Once
again, the convergence of Apollo and Dionysos, despite an ancient origin, reap-
pears at a given moment under the influence of Athens.

5 Conclusions: the Spaces of Intersection


The interconnections we have analyzed between Apollo and Dionysos are not the
result of a ‘natural’ process, nor are they born as the consequence of an abstract
global tendency of Greek religion towards a negotiation of spaces of concurrence
among different gods, but have specific protagonists, landscapes, and quite
definite dynamics.
In the main territory where the intersections take place, Delphi, the archae-
ology and the literary evidence neither point to a primordial or ancient conflict
nor support the possibility of a Dionysian precedence. Apolline antiquity is

73 At least, this is the conclusion of Gallet de Santerre 1958, 269.


74 Vallois 1953; see Gallet de Santerre 1958, 157.
75 For this period see Bruneau 1970.
76 The inscription says that it was erected by Carystios in 300 BCE, to commemorate a victory in a
theatrical contest.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 77

beyond all doubt, and a date for the arrival of Dionysism (under whatever form)
prior to the 6th century lacks firm support. On the contrary, a Dionysian presence
since that century is also incontestable. However some questions remain open:
To which point is this local Dionysism independent – or not – of the Diony-
sism of the surrounding territories or of those composing the Amphictyony, and
most conspicuously of the Athenian religious policies?
Is Orphism a secondary local development or was it linked to Dionysism at
Delphi since the beginning?
As for Athens, similar problems arise concerning the issue of the Delphic
influence. The moral authority of Delphi was sometimes no less strong than the
Athenian political power, and if we put the question in terms of priority, we can
fall into a circular argument (the chicken and the egg). However, there is no doubt
about the efforts made by Athens to project its historical vicissitudes into the
Delphic scenario. Under this framework, the orientation of Delphic Dionysism
and maenadism have surely been strongly affected by Athenian influence. Con-
versely, Athens has developed a complex thread of intersections between both
gods, enhancing their functions as substantial deities in the development of the
polis, the education of citizens and their social cohesion.
Thus, in the history of the links between Apollo and Dionysos, a decisive
complex of interrelations appears as a key to understanding the evolution. There
are four different forces at play: Athenian Dionysism, Delphic Apollinism, Orph-
ism (with its manifold manifestations), and more general trends of Dionysism and
Apollinism. The balance of power is different depending on places and periods,
but it does not alter the fact that opposite results can coexist (an otherwise typical
feature of Greek religion). On the other hand, Dionysos often appears concealed
and intermingled in rituals and myths of other gods, as can be seen in the case of
the Thargelia, the oracular traditions and so on.
Finally, ancient Epic poetry bears witness to the old – at least – mythical
intertwining of both deities in some narratives about territories of the Aegean.
These myths explaining the old stories about Maron and Anius again throw a
special light on the peaceful coexistence of both deities and illustrate the possibi-
lities of ancient myths in explaining a historical state of affairs, inserting local
traditions into a Panhellenic framework and contributing to a particular vision of
nature and of the role played in human culture by the gods and their mediators.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
78 Emilio Suárez del la Torre

Appendix
A comparison between the Athenian and Delphic calendars: cults and rites of Apollo and
Dionysos.

Athenian month Cult or rite Delphic month Cult or rite


Hekatombaion Apollo Hekatombaios Apellaios Apellai, septerion; thysia
to Dionysos
Metageitnion Apollo Mategeitnios Boukatios Pythian Games
Boedromion Apollo Boedromios Boathoos
Anthesterion Anthesteria Bysios Apollo’s birth (7)
Elaphebolion Great Dionysia Theoxenios Theoxenia

Bibliography
Amandry 1950, P.: La mantique apollinienne à Delphes. Essai sur le fonctionnement de l’oracle,
Paris 1950.
Bernabé 1998, A.: “Nacimientos y muertes de Dioniso en los mitos órficos”, in: C. Sánchez and P.
Cabrera (eds.), En los límites de Dioniso, Murcia 1998, 29–39.
Bernabé 2002a, A.: “La toile de Pénélope: A-t-il existé un mythe orphique sur Dionysos et les
Titans?”, RHR 219,4, 2002, 401–433.
Bernabé 2002b, A.: “Orfeo, de personaje del mito a autor literario”, Ítaca 18, 2002, 61–78.
Bernabé 2004, A.: Textos órficos y filosofía presocrática: materiales para una comparación,
Madrid 2004.
Bernabé 2008, A.: “Las láminas de Olbia”, in: Bernabé/Casadesús 2008, 537–546.
Bernabé/Casadesús 2008, A./F. (coords.): Orfeo y la tradición órfica. Un reencuentro (2 vols.),
Madrid 2008.
Boethius 1918, A.: Die Pyhaïs. Studien zur Geschichte der Verbindungen zwischen Athen und
Delphi, Uppsala 1918.
Bowden 2005, H.: Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle. Divination and Democracy, Cam-
bridge 2005.
Brelich 1969, A.: Paides e parthenoi, Roma 1969.
Bremmer 1983, J.: “Scapegoat Rituals in Ancient Greece”, HSPh 87, 1983, 299–320.
Bruneau 1970, Ph.: Recherches sur les cultes de Délos à l’époque hellénistique et à l’époque
impériale, Paris 1970.
Burkert 1969, W.: “Das Proömion des Parmenides und die Katabasis des Pythagoras”, Phronesis
14, 1969, 1–30.
Burkert 1983, W.: Homo Necans. The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth,
Berkeley/Los Angeles 1983 (first ed. in German, 1972).
Burkert 1985, W.: Greek Religion. Archaic and Classical, Oxford 1985.
Burkert 1994, W.: “Olbia and Apollo of Didyma. A New Oracle Text”, in: J. Solomon (ed.), Apollo.
Origins and Influences, Tucson/London 1994, 49–60.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 79

Casadio 1991, G.: “Dioniso e Semele: morte di un dio e resurrezione di una donna”, in F. Berti
(ed.), Dionysos, mito e mistero, Comacchio 1991, 361–377.
Cavalli 1994, M.: “Uno strano ‘padre della tragedia’: il drago di Delphi”, Dioniso 64, 1994,
9–31.
Croissant 1991, F.: “Le Dionysos du fronton occidental de Delphes: Histoire d’un faux problème”,
BCH 118, 1991, 353–360.
Deneken 1881, F.: De Theoxeniis, Diss. Berlin 1881.
Detienne 1977, M.: Dionysos mis à mort, Paris 1977.
Detienne 1989, M.: La escritura de Orfeo, Barcelona 1990 (first ed. in French, Paris 1989).
Detienne 1998, M.: Apollon, le couteau à la main, Paris 1998.
Detienne 2001, M.: “Forgetting Delphi between Apollo and Dionysos”, CPh 96, 2001, 147–158.
Deubner 1969, L.: Attische Feste, Hildesheim 1969 (Berlin 19321).
Dietrich 1978, B. C.: “Reflections on the Origins of the Oracular Apollo”, BICS 25, 1978, 1–18.
Dietrich 1992, B. C.: “Divine Madness and Conflict at Delphi”, Kernos 5, 1992, 41–58.
Dubois 1996, L.: Inscriptions grecques dialectales d’Olbia du Pont, Genève 1996.
Gallet de Santerre 1958, H.: Délos primitive et archaïque, Paris 1958.
Gebhard 1926, V.: Die Pharmakoi in Ionien und die Sybakchoi in Athen, Diss. München 1926.
González Merino 2009, J. I.: Dioniso. El dios del vino y la locura, Córdoba 2009.
Graf 1987, F.: Griechische Mythologie, München/Zürich 1987.
Graf 2008, F.: Apollo, London/New York 2008.
Graf/Johston 2007, F/S.I.: Ritual Texts for the Afterlife. Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets,
London/New York 2007.
Gründer 1989, K. (ed.): Der Streit um Nietzsches “Geburt der Tragödie”: die Schriften von
E. Rohde, R. Wagner, U. v. Wilamowitz-Möllendorff, Hildesheim 1989 (19691).
Guthrie 1950, W. K. C.: The Greeks and their Gods, London 1950.
Guthrie 19932, W. K. C.: Orpheus and Greek Religion, Princeton 19932 (London 19351).
Harrison 1966, J.: Themis. A Study in the Social Origins of Greek Religion, London 1966 (19272,
19121).
Jeanmaire 1951, H.: Dionysos. Histoire du culte de Bacchus, Paris 1951.
Käppel 1992, L.: Paian. Studien zur Geschichte einer Gattung, Berlin/New York 1992.
Kowalzig 2008, B.: Singing for the Gods. Performances of Myth and Ritual in Ancient and
Classical Greece, Oxford 2008.
Λουκας, 1988, Ι.: Η Ρέα – Κυβέλη και οι γονιμιακές λατρείες της Φλύας, Χαλάνδρι 1988.
Nietzsche 1872, F., Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik, Leipzig 1872 (El nacimien-
to de la tragedia, Madrid 19794).
Newcomer 1907, Ch. Β.: “Maron: A Mythological Study”, CPh 2, 1907, 193–200.
Olmos 2008, R.: “Las imágenes de un Orfeo fugitivo y ubicuo”, in: Bernabé/Casadesús 2008,
vol. I, 137–177.
Otto 1933, W.: Dionysos. Mythos und Kultus, Frankfurt am Main 1933.
Pàmias Massana 2004, J.: Eratòstenes de Cirene, Catasterismes, Barcelona 2004 (Edition with
Introduction, Translation and Commentary).
Parker 2005, R.: Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford/New York 2005.
Quantin 1992, F.: “Gaia oraculaire: Tradition et réalités”, Métis 7, 1992, 177–199.
Rohde 1890–1894, E.: Psyche. Seelencult und Unsterblichkeitsglaube der Griechen, Freiburg/
Leipzig 1890–1894, 18972 (El culto de las almas y la creencia en la inmortalidad entre los
griegos, Málaga 1995).
Rose 1863, V.: Aristoteles pseudepigraphus, Leipzig 1863.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
80 Emilio Suárez del la Torre

Rougemont 1977, G.: Corpus des Inscriptions de Delphes I. Lois et réglements religieux, Paris
1977.
Rusyayeva 1992, A. S.: Religia i kulty antitchnoi Olvii [Religions and Cults of Ancient Olbia], Kiev
1992.
Rutherford 2001, I.: Pindar’s Paeans. A Reading of the Fragments with a Survey of the Genre,
Oxford 2001.
Seaford 2005, R.: “Mystic Light in Aeschylus’ Bassarai”, CQ 55, 2005, 602–606.
Sourvinou-Inwood 19882, Ch.: “Myth and History. The Previous Owners of the Delphic Oracle”,
in: J. Bremmer (ed.), Interpretations of Greek Mythology, London 19882, 215–241 (repr. In
‘Reading’ Greek Culture, Oxford 1991, 217–243).
Stähler/Gudrian 2009, K./G.: Die Griechen und ihre Nachbarn am Nordrand des Schwarzen
Meeres, Münster 2009.
Suárez 1992, E.: “Les pouvoirs des devins et les récits mythiques: l’exemple de Mélampous”,
EC 60, 1992, 3–21.
Suárez 1998a, E.: “Les dieux de Delphes et l’histoire du Sanctuaire (des origines au IV siècle
av. J. C.)”, in: V. Pirenne-Delforge (ed.), Le Panthéon des cités Grecques, Liège 1998,
61–89.
Suárez 1998b, E.: “Cuando los límites se desdibujan: Apolo y Dioniso en Delfos”, in: C. Sánchez
et alii (eds.), En los límites de Dioniso, Murcia 1998, 17–28.
Suárez 1998c, E.: “Observaciones sobre los rituales délficos eneaetéricos”, in: Corolla Complu-
tensis (Homenaje al Profesor José S. Lasso de la Vega), Madrid 1998, 469–482.
Suárez 1999, E.: “Archilochus’ ‘Biography,’ Dionysos, and Mythical Patterns”, in: Poesia e
religione in Grecia. Studi in onore di Giulio Antonio Privitera, Napoli 1999, vol. II, 639–658.
Suárez 2001, E.: “Le figuier sauvage”, in: É. Delruelle and V. Pirenne-Delforge (eds.), Κῆποι. De la
Religion a la Philosophie. Mélanges offerts à André Motte, Liège 2001 (Kernos supplément
11), 63–81.
Suárez 2002, E.: “La ‘rationalité’ des mythes de Delphes”, Kernos 15, 2002, 155–178.
Suárez 2005, E.: “L’oracle de Delphes”, in: Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquitatis, Los Angeles,
The Paul Getty Museum, vol. III, 2005, cols. 16–31.
Suárez 2009a, E.: “Oracle et norme religieuse en Grèce Ancienne”, in: P. Brulé (ed.), La norme en
matière religieuse en Grèce ancienne, Liège 2009, 40–55.
Suárez 2009b, E.: “The Portrait of a Seer: The Framing of Divination Paradigms through Myth in
Archaic and Classical Greece”, in: Ch. Walde and Ü. Dill (eds.), Antike Mythen, Festschrift
F. Graf, Berlin 2009, 158–188.
Suárez 2011, E.: “El problema de Parménides”, Humanitas 63, 2011, 27–60.
Themelis 1992, P. G.: “The Cult Scene of the Polos of the Siphnian Karyatid at Delphi”, in: R. Hägg
(ed.), The Iconography of Greek Cult in the Archaic and Classical Period (Proceedings of the
First International Seminar on Ancient Greek Cult, Delphi, 16–18 November 1990), Athènes/
Liège, CIERGA, 1992, 49–72.
Ustinova 2009, Y.: “Apollo Iatros: A Greek God of Pontic Origin”, in: Stähler/Gudrian 2009,
245–298.
Vallois 1953, R.: Les constructions antiques de Délos, Paris 1953.
Vamvouri Ruffy 2009, M.: “Apollo and Athens at Delphi”, in: L. Athanassaki, R. P. Martin and
J. F. Miller (eds.), Apolline Politics and Poetics, Athens 2009, 521–546.
Villanueva-Puig 1986, M.-Ch.: “À propos des Thyiades de Delphes”, in: L’Association Dionysia-
que dans les sociétés anciennes. Actes de la table ronde organisée par l’École française à
Rome (24–25 mai 1984), Rome 1986, 31–51.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50
Apollo and Dionysos: Intersections 81

Vinogradov 1981, J. G.: Olbia. Geschichte einer altgriechischen Stadt am Schwarzen Meer,
Konstanz 1981.
Vinogradov/Kryzickijl 1995, J. G./S. D.: Olbia: eine altgriechische Stadt im nordwestlichen
Schwarzmeerraum, Leiden 1995.
West 1990, M. L.: Studies in Aeschylus, Stuttgart 1990.
Widengren 1969, G.: Religionsphänomenologie, Berlin 1969.

Bereitgestellt von | De Gruyter / TCS


Angemeldet | 212.87.45.97
Heruntergeladen am | 04.10.13 08:50