MAKING A DRAMA OUT OF A CRISIS LIVY ON THE BACCHANALIA

Once investigations were complete, the senate rewarded and protected informants, and suppressed the cult “throughout Italy”—or rather, forced its reformation, in the course of which seven thousand persons were arrested, most of whom were executed. They were almost certainly associated with Rome’s native cult of Liber , and probably arrived in Rome itself around BC. Under cover of religion, priests and acolytes broke civil, moral and religious laws with impunity. Nicolas Poussin , Bacchanal before a Statue of Pan , – Livy , the principal Roman literary source on the early Bacchanalia, as he reports a major political incident involving one form of the cult, names Paculla Annia , a Campanian priestess of Bacchus, as the founder of a private, unofficial Bacchanalia cult in Rome, based at the grove of Stimula , where the western slope of the Aventine Hill descends to the Tiber. Marcus Aurelius head covered sacrificing at the Temple of Jupiter. However, like all mystery religions of the ancient world, very little is known of their rites.

This may have been motivated less by the kind of lurid and dramatic rumours that Livy describes than by the senate’s determination to assert its civil and religious authority over Rome and her allies, after the prolonged social, political and military crisis of the Second Punic War. In modern usage, bacchanalia can mean any uninhibited or drunken revelry. Livy claims that seven thousand cult leaders and followers were arrested, and that most were executed. Legislation of survives in the form of an inscription. Despite their official suppression, illicit Bacchanals persisted covertly for many years, particularly in Southern Italy, their likely place of origin. Commons category link is on Wikidata. Under cover of religion, priests and acolytes broke civil, moral and religious laws with impunity.

Congregations of mixed gender were permitted, but were limited to no more than two men and three women, and any Bacchanalia gathering must seek prior permission from the Senate. Once investigations were complete, the senate rewarded and protected informants, and suppressed the cult “throughout Italy”—or rather, forced its reformation, in the course of which seven thousand persons were arrested, most of whom were executed.

Men were forbidden Bacchus’ priesthood. Latin Wikisource has original text related to this article: The bacchanal in art describes any small group of revellers, often including satyrs and perhaps Bacchus or Silenus, usually in a landscape setting. Women at these gatherings, he says, outnumbered men; and his account has the consul Postumius stress the overwhelmingly female nature and organisation of the cult. Nicolas PoussinBacchanal before a Statue of Pan- Known as the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibusit brought the Bacchanalia under control of the senate, and thus of the Roman pontifices.

Yet the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus itself allows women to outnumber men, by three to two, at any permitted gathering; and it expressly forbids Bacchic priesthoods to men. The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, freedom, intoxication and ecstasy.

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Bacchanalia

They were almost certainly associated with Rome’s native cult of Liberand probably arrived in Rome itself around BC. Bacchanalia – Rare print on vellum. For Livy, the cult’s greatest offences arose from indiscriminate mixing of freeborn Romans of both sexes and all ages at night, a time when passions are easily aroused, especially given wine and unrestricted opportunity.

Legislation of survives in the form of an inscription. This page was last edited on 11 Februaryat Bacchus, Liber and Dionysus became virtually interchangeable from the late Republican era onward, and their mystery cults persisted well into the Roman Imperial era.

Livylf principal Roman literary source on the early Bacchanalia, as he reports a major political incident involving one form of the cult, names Paculla Anniaa Campanian priestess of Bacchus, as the founder of a private, unofficial Bacchanalia cult in Rome, based at the grove of Stimulawhere the western slope of the Aventine Hill descends to the Tiber.

Livy claims the earliest version as open to women only, and held on three days of the year, in daylight; while in nearby Etruria, north of Rome, a “Greek of humble origin, versed in sacrifices and soothsaying” had established a nocturnal version, added wine and feasting to the mix, and thus acquired makng enthusiastic following of women and men; [5] Livy says that Paculla Annia corrupted Rome’s unofficial but morally acceptable Bacchic cult by introducing the Etruscan version, with five, always nocturnal cult meetings a month, open to all social classes, ages and sexes—starting with her own sons; the new celebrations and initiations featured wine-fueled violence and violent sexual promiscuity, in which the screams of the abused were drowned out by the din of mxking and cymbals.

The subject was popular from the Renaissance onwards, and usually included a large degree of nudity among the figures. Greek cults and Greek influences had been part of Rome’s religious life since the tue century BC, and Rome’s acquisition of foreign cults—Greek or otherwise—through alliance, treaty, capture or conquest was a cornerstone of its foreign policy, and an essential feature of its eventual hegemony.

BacchusLiberDionysiaand Dionysian Mysteries. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bacchanals. Volume 1, a Historyillustrated, Cambridge University Press,pp.

Bacchanalia – Wikipedia

Wikisource has original text related to this article: Commons category link is on Wikidata. The reformed Bacchanalia rites may have been merged with the Liberalia festival. Senatorial legislation to reform the Bacchanalia in BC attempted to control their size, organisation, and priesthoods, under threat of the death penalty.

They were based on the Greek Dionysia and the Dionysian mysteriesand probably arrived in Rome c. Livywriting some years after the event, offers a scandalised, extremely colourful account of the Hte.

This may have been motivated less by the kind of lurid and dramatic rumours that Livy describes than by the senate’s determination to assert its civil and religious authority over Rome and her allies, after the prolonged social, political and military crisis of the Second Punic War. Orlin, “Foreign Cults in Republican Rome: The Aventine was an ethnically mixed district, strongly identified with Rome’s plebeian class and the ingress of new and foreign cults.

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In modern usage, bacchanalia can mean any uninhibited or drunken revelry. Modern scholarly sources offer various estimates on the number executed. Gruen interprets the Senatus consultum as a piece of realpolitika display of the Roman senate’s authority to its Italian allies after the Second Punic War, and a reminder to any Roman politician, populist and would-be generalissimo that the Senate’s collective authority trumped all personal ambition.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. However, like all mystery religions of the ancient world, very little is known of their rites. Livy also claims that while the cult held particular appeal to those of uneducated and fickle mind levitas animisuch as the young, plebeians, women and “men most like women”, most of the city’s population was involved, and even Rome’s highest class was not immune. Divus Julius Divus Augustus. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Retrieved from ” https: While the pace of such introductions had gathered rapidly during the 3rd century, contemporary evidence of the Bacchanalia reform betrays no anti-Greek or anti-foreign policy or sentiment. The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia. A Companion to Roman Religion. Like all mystery cultsthe Bacchanalia were held in strict privacy, and initiates were bound to secrecy; what little is known of the cult and its rites derives from Greek and Roman literature, plays, statuary and paintings.

The existing cult chapters and colleges were dismantled. Those who resisted or betrayed the cult were disposed of. Livy’s account of the Bacchanalia has been described as “tendentious to say the least”. Livy claims that seven thousand cult leaders and followers were arrested, and that most were executed.

Under cover of religion, priests and acolytes broke civil, moral and religious laws with impunity. Marcus Aurelius head covered sacrificing at the Temple of Jupiter. They were restored when the ferocity of reaction eased, but in approved, much modified form. Livy’s insistently negative account of the cult’s Greek origins and low moral character—not even Bacchus is exempt from this judgment—may have sought to justify its suppression as a sudden “infiltration of too many Greek elements into Roman worship”.

Lovis CorinthBacchanalia Similar attrition may have been imposed on Liber’s cults; his perceived or actual association with the Bacchanalia may be the reason that his Liberalia ludi of 17 March were temporarily moved to Ceres’ Cerealia of 12—19 April.