Goddess Maenads  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Maenads Image
IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY, THE "MAENADS "WERE THE FEMALE FOLLOWERS OF DIONYSUS. THEIR NAME MEANS "RAVING ONES." THEY WERE OFTEN PORTRAYED AS INSPIRED BY HIM TO ECSTATIC FRENZY, THROUGH A COMBINATION OF DANCING AND DRUNKENNESS. DURING THESE RITUALS, THEY DRESSED IN FAWN SKINS AND CARRIED THE THYRUS...A LONG STICK WITH IVORY OR VINE LEAVES; THEY LOST ALL SELF-CONTROL, BEGAN SHOUTING EXCITEDLY, AND ENGAGED IN UNCONTROLLED SEXUAL BEHAVIOR.

IT HAS ALSO BEEN SAID THAT THE MAENADS WERE ABLE TO PERFORM MIRACLES FOR WHEREVER THEY STRUCK THE GROUND WITH THEIR THYRSOS, THERE CAME FORTH A STREAM OF WINE, AND WHEREVER THEY SCRATCHED THE EARTH WITH THEIR FINGERS THERE CAME FORTH STREAMS OF MILK. IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE MAENADS COULD DO SUCH THINGS BECAUSE THEY WERE POSSESSED AND NOT IN THEIR SENSES.

THEY WERE ALSO KNOWN TO BE VERY CRUEL AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF THE DIONYSUS, AND BEING POSSESSED BY THE UNUSUAL STRENGTH THAT CAME FROM A DRUNKEN FRENZY, THEY COULD TEAR APART WHOEVER STEPPED IN THEIR WAY. THEY WERE SAID TO BE ABLE TO ROUT ENTIRE ARMIES; THEY COULD NOT BE WOUNDED BY ENEMY WEAPONS, BUT THEY INFLICTED CASUALTIES ON THEIR OPPONENTS. IT IS ALSO SAID THAT THEY COULD CARRY HEAVY OBJECTS ON THEIR SHOULDERS WITHOUT HOLDING THEM WITH BOUNDS AND THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO CARRY FIRE ON THEIR LOCKS WITHOUT BEING BURNED. THEY COULD FALL UPON TOWNS AND TURN EVERYTHING UPSIDE DOWN FOR THERE WAS NO ONE COULD RESIST THEM.

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