The Fennel Wands

I am a maenad

Thyrsus staff tied with taenia and topped with a pine cone.

Join in the dance holding high the thyrsus!

“There’s a brute wildness in the fennel-wands—Reverence it well.”

~ Euripides

(The Bacchae and Other Plays, trans. by Philip Vellacott, Penguin, 1954.

Pentheus: The thyrsus— in my right hand shall I hold it?

Or thus am I more like a Bacchanal?

Dionysus: In thy right hand, and with thy right foot raise it”.[3]

The cult of Dionysus is also a “cult of the souls”; his maenads.

Maenad carrying a thyrsus and a leopard with a snake rolled up over her head. Tondo of an ancient Greek Attic white-ground kylix 490–480 BC from Vulci. Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich, Germany

Dancing Maenad Roman copy of Greek original attributed to Kallimachos circa 425-400 BCE at the Metropolitan Museum of Art




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