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By John Pohl

Based on one well known picture, the Aztec military used to be a ruthless and effective battle desktop, that validated an empire through convincingly overwhelming its pals, sacrificing millions to bloodthirsty gods alongside the best way.

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3). Bacchae also gives us a sense of Dionysos as a deity who is, as we noted earlier, somehow closer to humanity than any other deity. His mother was a mere mortal, the daughter of Kadmos. Throughout most of the drama he has the form of a human being, interacting with other human beings but detectable as a god only by his devotees. 136–7): unlike Aphrodite wounded in the battle before Troy, Dionysos does not escape to Olympos, but rather his flight from a mortal belongs entirely to this world. Later, however, his apparently powerless submission (in the Homeric Hymn to the pirates, in Bacchae to king Pentheus) is transformed into its opposite by epiphany, an emotive transformation that is in some respects comparable to the release of Paul and Silas from prison in the Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 9).

He may be thought to be present within his worshippers (Chapter 8). 658–9), he may be invisible to those who do not accept him (Euripides Bacchae 500–2). Our task is to decide what the various forms of Dionysos’ presence mean, and how they relate to each other. 40 KEY THEMES RITUAL AND CRISIS Epiphanies tend to occur in certain contexts. Two such contexts are ritual and crisis. An example of a ritual epiphany is the advent of Dionysos (impersonated, or as his statue) in a procession at an annual festival, for instance at the Anthesteria (Chapter 2).

We will see that it was wine, administered by Dionysos, that reintegrated the artisan Hephaistos into the community of Olympian gods. In Daphnis and Chloe the owners of the country estate leave their town dwellings to join the rural workers in celebrating the vintage. To the communality inspired by Dionysos I will return in Chapter 3. Second, at the Anthesteria it seems that Dionysos was escorted into the city in a cart shaped like a ship in a procession (depicted in vasepaintings). In the Homeric Hymn to Dionysos the god takes the form of a young man, is captured by pirates, and makes his epiphany (as a lion) on their ship, accompanied by miracles that include a spring of wine, the appearance of a vine with abundant grape-bunches along the top of the sail, and the transformation of the pirates into dolphins.

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