Dionysos

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Princeton University Press, 1996 - Religion - 474 pages
2 Reviews

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 Ker nyi 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, Ker nyi 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.
 

Contents

Minoan Visions
5
The Minoan Gesture
10
Visionary Crete
14
Transcendence in Nature
20
Artificially Induced Transcendence
22
Light and Honey
29
The Preparation of Mead
35
The Awakening of the Bees
38
The Arrival in Athens
160
Thebes and Delphi
175
Dionysos Trieterikos God of the TwoYear Period
189
The Dialectic of the TwoYear Period
198
Dionysos in Delphi
204
The Mystical Sacrificial Rite
238
The Enthronement
262
The Dionysos of the Athenians and of His Worshipers in the Greek Mysteries
273

The Birth of Orion
41
Mythology of the Leather Sack
44
The Cretan Core of the Dionysos Myth
52
Dionysian Names
68
lakar and lakchos
73
Zagreus
80
Ariadne
89
The Greek Cult and Myth
127
The Myths of Arrival
129
The Forms of Arrival
139
Arrivals in Attica
141
The Dionysian Festivals of the Athenians
290
The Beginnings of Tragedy in Attica
315
The Birth and Transformation of Comedy in Athens
330
The Greek Dionysian Religion of Late Antiquity
349
Abbreviations
391
List of Works Cited
393
Index
421
A Note on C Kerenyi
445
A Bibliography of C Kerenyi
447
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About the author (1996)

Carl Ker nyi was professor of classics and the history of religion in his native Hungary and later became a citizen of Switzerland. He died in 1973 at the age of 76. His works include Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter and, with C. G. Jung, Essays on a Science of Mythology: The Myth of the Divine Child and the Mysteries of Eleusis.

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