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Religion in Antiquity

Mother of the Gods
Eastern divinities

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Head of SIlenus decorating the base of a silver boss(omphalos) from the Tomb of Philip at Vergina, third quarter of 4th century BC, Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum.

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Vergina, third quarter
of 4th century BC

Dionysos was a god associated with the pre-Hellenic Mother of the Gods. His cult, whatever its origins and exact nature, was widespread in Macedonia: there, he was not merely the Dionysos of Classical tradition, but also a Zeus-Dionysos, often attested as Zeus Hypsistos (the Highest).

Protector of children, both boys and girls, invoked as Agrios (the Savage), Epikryptos (the Very Hidden), or Pseudanor (the False Man), Dionysos oversaw the ceremonies upon reaching adolescence and the ritual disguises which accompanied them. His cult inspired a series of works of art and literature, from Euripides' "Bacchae" to the 'krater' (mixing bowl) of Derveni; in these works one can see the initiates' belief in the promise of another better world.

See Also
Civilization - The other Greeks in Macedonia

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.