No other god of the Greeks is as widely present in the monuments and nature of Greece and Italy, in the sensuous tradition of antiquity, as Dionysos. In myth and image, in visionary experience and ritual representation, the Greeks possessed a complete expression of indestructible life, the essence of Dionysos. In this work, the noted mythologist and historian of religion Carl Kerényi presents a historical account of the religion of Dionysos from its beginnings in the Minoan culture down to its transition to a cosmic and cosmopolitan religion of late antiquity under the Roman Empire. From the wealth of Greek literary, epigraphic, and monumental traditions, Kerényi constructs a picture of Dionysian worship, always underlining the constitutive element of myth.
Included in this study are the secret cult scenes of the women's mysteries both within and beyond Attica, the mystic sacrificial rite at Delphi, and the great public Dionysian festivals at Athens. The way in which the Athenian people received and assimilated tragedy in its immanent connection with Dionysos is seen as the greatest miracle in all cultural history. Tragedy and New Comedy are seen as high spiritual forms of the Dionysian religion, and the Dionysian element itself is seen as a chapter in the religious history of Europe.
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After purchase my many books in the subject, I found this to be wonderfully rich in history and detail, while being also very readable. There are many good pictures from antiquity. This is the full story of the history of the Dionysian Archetype as told through the history of man. There is much talk of the influences of Osiris and many other collective forces expressed not as natter of opinion, but as well researched quotes from historic writings, many ancient, and translated.
This was the difinitive purchase for my studies on the subject Dionysus.
The Minoan Gesture
Transcendence in Nature
Artificially Induced Transcendence
Light and Honey
The Preparation of Mead
The Awakening of the Bees
The Arrival in Athens
Thebes and Delphi
Dionysos Trieterikos God of the TwoYear Period
The Dialectic of the TwoYear Period
Dionysos in Delphi
The Mystical Sacrificial Rite
The Dionysos of the Athenians and of His Worshipers in the Greek Mysteries
The Birth of Orion
Mythology of the Leather Sack
The Cretan Core of the Dionysos Myth
lakar and lakchos
The Greek Cult and Myth
The Myths of Arrival
The Forms of Arrival
Arrivals in Attica