"Lenaia vases" is the traditional title given to a group of some seventy fifth-century Attic vases, black- and red-figure. These vases have in common that they show a cult-image of Dionysos, consisting of a mask or masks on a column, in combination with the conventional Attic imagery of the revelling ecstatic female worshippers usually called "maenads." The vases are important and their meaning much debated because they seem to hold out the promise of providing otherwise unavailable information about historical bacchic religion. There is no consensus on the character of the historical information of these scenes. In an older view the imagery records the appearance of enacted ritual; in a newer view, the imagery "discusses," in a fashion analogous to language, concepts about Dionysiac religion. This paper proposes a reinterpretation of a coherent subset of the "Lenaia vases," based on a linguistic reading of the imagery. This subset consists of twenty-eight red-figure stamnoi, a group that has traditionally been the focus of studies of the "Lenaia vases." I analyze the vases as describing, in conventional visual terms of reference, a rite of theoxenia celebrated by ecstatic female worshippers. The imagery says that these worshippers perform a thysia, offer Dionysos a banquet of meat and wine, and celebrate a symposion and komos. It also comments on the practice of such rituals by women, saying that they derive honor from these actions. These rituals find parallels in historical evidence for Dionysiac theoxenia and banquets; the scenes thus may provide additional evidence that Dionysiac celebrations took this form. The scenes, however, are not about the historical enactment of such rituals, and still less a visual record of such enactments. Rather, their message, conveyed by the interweaving of mythical and social references, is that for the worshipper of Dionysos the worlds of myth and of the polis are one.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991.
Van Straten 1995.
1
Frickenhaus 1912
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991.
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 chs. 1-3
Halm-Tisserant 1991
Hamilton 1992 134-38
Simon 1995
Benson et al. 1995
Carpenter 1997 79-82.
2
Villanueva Puig 1980.
n. 110.
3
Frickenhaus 1912
nn. 41-43
109 and ff.
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 41-83
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991
Hamilton 1992 134-38
Carpenter 1997 79-82
4
n. 41.
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 83
n. 45
n. 3
Carpenter 1997 81.
5
C. Bron, J.-L. Durand et al. 1989
Lissarrague and Schnapp 1981
Bérard 1983
Bron, Viret Bernal, Bérard et al. 1991.
Beard 1991 12-35.
6
Lissarrague and Schnapp 1981 282
C. Robert's Volksvorstellung.
Lissarrague and Schnapp 1981 285
Beard 1991 20-21
Sourvinou-Inwood 1991 22 n. 28.
7
Baz̆ant 1991
Beard 1991 17-18
Bérard 1983 16
Sourvinou-Inwood 1991 12-13
Carpenter 1997 6-9.
8
Carpenter 1997 6-9
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 69-70.
9
Bérard, Bron, Durand et al. 1989 25, 34
Mackay 1996.
10
Edwards 1991 11-23.
11
Baz̆ant 1981 13-22
Baz̆ant 1980 193-201
12
Todorov 1990
Jauss 1982a
Jauss 1982b
Gombrich 1960 60.
13
Ferrari nd a, ch. 1
Raab 1972 92-102
14
Edwards 1960
McNally 1978
Carpenter 1986
Carpenter 1997
Hedreen 1992
Hedreen 1994.
16
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 chs. 4, 6
Durand and Frontisi-Ducroux 1982
Hamilton 1992
17
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 233-53
18
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 L25-52, L54-56, L61, L70-73.
19
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 L53, L57-L60, L62, L63, L67, L68, L69. L59 and L60
20
n. 16.
n. 66
22
Farnell 1909 sources 297-300
Henrichs 1978
Bremmer 1984.
23
Paus. 10.4.3
Villanueva Puig 1986.
Ar. Lys. 1-2
Henrichs 1982 144
Henrichs 1990 264
Henderson 1987 ad loc.
[Dem.] 59.72-78
Arist. Ath. Pol. 3.5
Hamilton 1992 53-56.
n. 102.
24
Dodds 1960 xxv-xxviii.
[Apollodorus] 2.2.2, 3.5.2
M.-W. frs. 129-32
Minyas, Ael. VH 3.42
Plut. Quest. Graec. 38 (Mor. 299E-F).
25
n. 108ff.
26
Il. 6.130-35
Hymn. Hom. Bacch. (26) 3-10
Soph. OC 680
E. Cyc. 4
Strabo, 10.3.10.
27
Hymn. Hom. Aphr. (5) 262-63
Hesiod M.-W. fr. 123
Xen. Symp. 5.7.
McNally 1978 passim
Carpenter 1986 ch. 5
Hedreen 1994 58-65.
28
Keuls 1984 288 and passim
Seaford 1994 266-72.
29
Hedreen 1994 51.
30
Carpenter 1997 52-62
Hedreen 1994.
31
Rapp 1894-1897 2244-45.
Henrichs 1987 100-101
Henrichs 1978 140 n. 61 and 153.
Hedreen 1994
Larson 1995 345 n. 12
n. 110.
32
Rapp 1894-1897 2244.
E. Hypsipyle 1-3
Ar. Nub. 603-05
Soph. Ant. 1126-30
E. Ion 137-8
E. Ba. 306-307
E. Ba. 559
Soph. Ant. 1128-29
Larson 1995 344
Amandry 1984 400 n. 9.
Villanueva Puig 1986.
33
Carpenter 1997 79-82.
34
Beazley 1928 52
Carpenter 1997 81
n. 27.
35
Pace Hedreen 1994 58
Carpenter 1997 79-82.
41
FGrH 325 fr. 12
Ath. 11.465a
Hamilton 1992 T3 p. 7
Nilsson 1967 587-89
Hamilton 1992 53-56.
Burkert 1983 235
Henrichs 1978 153-54.
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991
42
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 83 and 76, and below, n. 49
Henrichs 1978 153.
n. 41
Bérard and Bron 1990 42
Shefton 1962
43
Frontisi-Ducroux 1995 83.
Henrichs 1982 139, 151-52
Deubner 1932 111
Nilsson 1967 568-82
Simon 19853 272-89
Simon 1995 164.
n. 109 and ff.
44
Henrichs 1982 140
Bremmer 1984 270.
45
Durand, Frontisi-Ducroux, Lissarrague 1989 124
47
Boardman 1975 figs. 11, 25, 32, 47, 178, 191, 225, 253, 290, 395, 320
Lissarrague 1990 figs. 1, 2, 9, 12, 18, 24, 41, 68, 69, 70, 78, 79, 99, 101
Madrid 11 267, ARV2 58.53 [Oltos]
49
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 76, n. 30
Boardman 1975 figs. 5 (profile), 25 (frontal), 129 (?) (profile), 284 (?) (profile), 305 (frontal).
Korshak 1987 11-14 (on the relation of drinkers and satyrs) and 54-58.
50
Edwards 1960 83
Louvre G 144, ARV2 462.43
Basle, Antikenmuseum Kä 410, ARV2 463.53
Naples RP 27669, ARV2 77.85
Keuls 1985 fig. 139
Florence 73749, ARV2 355.39
Providence 25.074, ARV2 480.338
Athens Acrop. 80
Graef and Langlotz 1925 pl. 70.
n. 75 and ff.
51
Bérard, Bron, Durand et al. 1989 figs. 199, 200 a-c.
52
Karlsruhe B 3, ARV2 613.2.
St. Petersburg 806, ARV2 620.32
n. 54
55
Lissarrague 1990 29-33
Boardman 1975 figs. 33.2, 47, 129.2, 312.
56
Dionysos and Herakles, Carpenter 1986 111-17
Dionysos, LIMC III, nos. 362-81, 558-60, 578-82, 756-62
Hedreen 1992 19-22 and 44-46.
Herakles, Verbanck-Piérard 1992 91-104
Wolf 1993.
Achilles, LIMC I, 147-49.
57
Lissarrague 1990 fig. 11
Boardman 1975 fig. 253.1.
58
Hom. Il. 7. 321-22
Od. 8. 475-83.
59
Jameson 1994 35-57
ibid. 36
Pfister 1934 2256-58.
Burnett 1970
Reece 1993 181-87.
n. 95.
60
Jameson 1994 36-37
ibid. 40
ibid. 52.
61
"Dioskouroi," LIMC III (1986) 567-93, esp. 576-77, "Théoxénies," and figs. 112-13
Plovdiv, ARV2 1187.36
Boardman 1989 fig. 312
Shapiro 1989 149-54
Lorenz 1992.
62
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 passim.
63
London E 68, ARV2 317.24
Boardman 1975 fig. 253.
Oxford 1965.127, ARV2 258.21
Lissarrague 1990 fig. 11.
London E 49
Villa Giulia, ARV2 432.52
Ferrara T 813, ARV2 548.36
London E 489
64
Vienna 3710, ARV2 380.171
Boardman 1975 fig. 248.
65
Athens 1045, ABV 186
Lissarrague 1990 fig. 77.
Florence I B 20
University of Chicago, ARV2 59.58
Brussels A 723, ARV2 317.15
Addenda 214
Würzburg 507, ARV2 181.1
Berlin 2309, ARV2 337.46 (412.11bis)
Vatican G 71, ARV2 28.14
Boardman 1975 fig. 35.
66
Casabona 1966 126-39.
Jameson 1988
Detienne and Vernant 1989.
67
Van Straten 1995
Peirce 1993 219-66 passim
68
Peirce 1993
69
Wilamowitz-Moellendorff 1931 238
Meuli 1946/1975 215-216/938
Nilsson 1967 145
Nagy 1979 56, 59, 127, 128
Nagy 1990 271-72.
70
LSCG 177
Jameson 1994 42-43
n. 61
71
Peirce 1993 passim, esp. 240-45 and 247-50.
72
n. 65.
73
Albert Henrichs has suggested to me (personal communication)
Jameson 1994 56
n. 108 and ff.
74
n. 12 and ff.
75
Isaeus 3.14
[Dem.] 59.24, 25, 28, 33
[Dem.] 59
[Dem.] 59
Carey 1992
Kurke 1997.
76
Malibu, Getty 85. AE.265
Lissarrague 1995 94, figs. 3, 4
77
Lissarrague 1990 33-34
Dentzer 1982 123-24
78
Keuls 1985 159-86
Peschel 1987
Reinsberg 1989
Kurke 1997 131-39.
79
n. 65.
80
Frontisi-Ducroux 1991 81
81
St. Petersburg 644 (St. 1670) ARV2 16.15
Munich 2421, ARV2 23.7
Ferrari nd b
Reinsberg 1989 112-14
Peschel 1987 42.
82
Cooper and Morris 1991 80 and Pl. 6
Dentzer 1982 R 506
Sevinç 1996.
84
Benson 1995 388.
85
n. 66.
ABV 393.20
Van Straten 1995 nos. V 21, V 32, V 39, V 55
86
Van Straten 1995.
n. 88.
Van Straten 1995 275-332.
87
Peirce 1993 230-34.
88
Naples MN 2411 (inv. 82922) V 149
Malibu, Getty 81.AE.62, V 394
Peirce 1993 247-50.
89
Burnett 1970 24, n. 8
Sourvinou-Inwood 1994 274
90
Burnett 1970.
91
n. 56.
92
Peirce 1993 240 and fig. 12.
93
Villa Giulia 50466, ABV 366.75
Agrigento R 142, ABV 377.235
Athens 12951, ABV 380.287
Munich 1564, ABV 395.3
Küsnacht, private, Paralipomena 247
94
Nilsson 1930
n. 93
95
Nilsson 1906 177, 179-80
Nilsson 1967 589-90
Pippidi 1975 138-41.
Jameson 1994 36 n. 5
nn. 89-90
Sourvinou-Inwood 1994 269-90
96
Nilsson 1906 279 n. 2
Nilsson 1967 590 n. 2.
97
Nilsson 1967 590, n. 2.
98
Nilsson 1906 277 n. 3
Nilsson 1967 589 n. 10.
99
Propert. 3.17.27
Ktesias in Photios Bibl. p. 46 a (Bekker)
Suda s.v. Naxia. Teos: Diodorus 3.66.
100
Hymn. Hom. Bacch. (7) 35-40
Ael. VH 3.42
E. Ba. 142, 707
Merkelbach 1988 54-55.
101
Plutarch, Quaest. Graec. 36 (Mor. 299B)
Brown 1982 305-14
Mitsopoulos-Leon 1984
Bremmer 1984 282.
102
Henrichs 1990 262-64
Detienne 1989 132.
103
Detienne 1989
Osborne 1993
Henrichs 1990 264.
104
Detienne 1989 132-33.
106
Henrichs 1978 145, 147.
n. 111.
107
Vernant, 1983 324-25
Seaford 1995 259-60.
Zeitlin 1982 133-38.
109
Detienne 1975
Detienne 1979 68-94.
n. 43.
110
Hedreen 1994 50-51, 56 with n. 59
Vernant 1988 405.
Ar. Lys. 1-2
Henrichs 1982 144
ibid. 147.
Bremmer 1984 282
111
Bremmer 1984 282
Henrichs 1978 148
112
nn. 3
43.

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