In the fifth stasimon of Antigone the chorus observes that "the whole city is subject to a violent sickness" and invokes Dionysos to "come with kathartic foot." It is generally assumed that the katharsis the chorus has in mind is purification of Thebes from a plague or pollution arising from the unburied corpse of Polyneikes; katharsis of this sort is however unattested as a function of Dionysos. It is argued that this is rather the earliest explicit attestation of the kathartic effect of ecstatic Dionysiac dancing upon nosos ("sickness") as mental disorder, the chorus equating the mental nosos of Kreon, Antigone and Haimon with the nosos of civil strife affecting Thebes. A large number of passages indicate that mention of feet in cultic and especially Dionysiac contexts almost invariably refers to dancing, which is a dominant motif of the fifth stasimon both in its content as hymn to Dionysos and formally as a hyporcheme. Evidence from the fifth century and from Plato for the connection of Dionysos with kathartic dancing as a cure for mental disorder is stronger than previous discussions maintain. It is suggested that Sophokles elides two senses of nosos-mental disorder and civil strife-and that the chorus are invoking Dionysos to relieve them of the stress of these, rather than of a general plague or pollution. Whereas mental disorders and civil strife are constant themes of the play, the corpse as pollutant affects only altars-nothing like a "violent plague" is attested in the text. This reinterpretation of the ode suggests that it relates rather to the tragic conflict still to be played out among the principal characters than to the corpse, which is shortly buried with invocation of Hekate and Plouton rather than Dionysos.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
T.B.L. Webster, An Introduction to Sophocles (Oxford, 1936) 105
116 n. 1, 184 n.
L. Similarly simplistic treatment in e.g. G. M. Kirkwood, A Study of Sophoclean Drama (Ithaca, 1958) 200-201
G. H. Gellie, Sophocles: A Reading (Melbourne, 1972) 229-30
2
Aias 693-718
Tr. 633-62
OT 1086-1109
Tr. 205-24.
Walther Kranz, Stasimon: Untersuchungen zu Form und Gehalt der griechischen Tragödie (Berlin, 1933) 213-14.
3
A. M. Dale, "Stasimon and Hyporcheme," Eranos 48 (1950) 14-20
Collected Papers (Cambridge, 1969) 34-40.
Albert Henrichs, "'Why Should I Dance?': Choral Self-Referentiality in Greek Tragedy," Arion, 3rd ser., 3 (1994/1995) 56-111, at 59-60, and 73-85
4
Klaus-Dieter Dorsch, Götterhymnen in den Chorliedern der griechischen Tragiker: Form, Inhalt und Funktion (Diss. Münster, 1983) 66-78
5
K. Ausfeld, "De Graecorum precationibus quaestiones," Jhb. f. Ph. Suppl. 28 (1903) 505-47
E. Norden, Agnostos Theos (Leipzig and Berlin, 1913) 143-77.
K. Keyßner, Gottesvorstellung und Lebensauffassung im griechischen Hymnus (Stuttgart, 1932).
J. M. Bremer, "Greek hymns," in H. S. Versnel, ed., Faith, Hope and Worship (Leiden, 1981) 193-215
Versnel, "Religious mentality in ancient prayer," 1-64, esp. 14-15 and 29.
6
Ludwig Deubner, Attische Feste (Berlin, 1932) 73f.
7
Albert Henrichs, "Between Country and City: Cultic Dimensions of Dionysus in Athens and Attica," in M. Griffith and D. J. Mastronarde, eds., Cabinet of the Muses (Chico, Calif., 1990 [Festschrift Rosenmeyer]) 257-77 at 264-69
8
Viz 22e and 36-37.
9
Robert Parker, Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion (Oxford, 1983) 288 n. 36
10
Ibid., 290 n.45.
11
Henrichs (above, n. 7) 265 with 275 n. 37
"Why Should I Dance?" (above, n. 3) 103 n. 90
Jon D. Mikalson, Honor Thy Gods: Popular Religion in Greek Tragedy (Chapel Hill, 1991) 302 n. 73
12
S. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer der Griechen und Römer (Kristiania, 1915) 92-93.
13
Louis Moulinier, Le pur et l'impur dans la pensée des Grecs d'Homère à Aristote (Paris, 1952) 116
Paul Vicaire, "Place et figure de Dionysos dans la tragédie de Sophocle," REG 81 (1968) 351-73, at 363f.
Anton Bierl, "Was hat die Tragödie mit Dionysos zu tun? Rolle und Funktion des Dionysos am Beispiel der 'Antigone' des Sophokles," Würzburger Jahrb. f. d. Altertumswissenschaft 15 (1989) 43-57
idem, Dionysos und die griechische Tragödie (Tübingen, 1991 [Classica Monacensia 1]) 127-32.
Elizabeth van Nes Ditmars, Sophocles' Antigone: Lyric Shape and Meaning (Pisa, 1992) 167
14
Parker (above, n. 9)
Ba. 77
15
Keyßner (above, n. 5) 95
Otto Weinreich, Antike Heilungswunder (Giessen, 1909 [RGVV 8.1]) 1-62.
16
Aisch. Eum. 294
E. K. Borthwick, Hermes 97 (1969) 385-90
Sommerstein ad loc.
Kall. h.Dem. 10
18
OT (152-215).
19
H.Hom. 22.7
Pindar Paian 5.45
Keyßner (above, n. 5) 87ff.
20
Aisch. Eum. 289
Eur. Ba. 583f.
Aristoph. Lys. 1263, 1297
Thesm. 1146
Limenius 45 Powell.
21
Eduard Fraenkel's Horace (Oxford, 1957), 204-205 n. 4
Frederick Williams ad Kall. h.Ap. 3
Christopher Brown, "Dionysos and the Women of Elis: PMG 871," GRBS 23 (1982) 305-14 at 306 n. 7.
22
Aisch. Pers. 659f.
Aristoph. Thesm. 1098-1100
Catullus 61.9f.
Aristoph. Peace 279, 319 etc.
23
H.Hom.Dem. 188-89
Richardson ad loc.
Il. 4.443
h.Hom.Aphr. 173f.
Kall. h.Dem. 58
Verg. Aen. 4.177 = 10.767.
24
Richardson ad h.Hom.Dem. 188-89
Kall. h.Ap. 3
Theokr. 2.104
Cat. 68.70-72
Hor. C. 1.4.13f.
Eur. Ion 220-21
25
Theog. 3f., 70
West ad loc.
Lesb. fr. inc. 16 LP.
26
PMG 3.8-10
27
Pratinas PMG 708.14
PMG 977
PMG 871.5.
28
Eur. Hel. 1454
Anacreontea 57.23-27 with West's loci similes.
29
Aisch. Eum. 370-76
Aristoph. Lys. 1307-17
Thesm. 947-69.
30
Aristoph. Thesm. 985
Eur. Ba.: 168f.
31
Ba. 583f.
Aristoph. Kn. 559
Thesm. 1137.
32
Eur. Hypsipyle fr. 752 N2 ≈ Aristoph.
Frogs 1211-13
Ion 714-17.
Epid.h. 1.3 Maas
IG IV 12 129.4
Orph.h.Mousaion 9
34
Hor. C. 1.4.7, 3.25.11f.
Sen. Oed. 433
Cat. 63 passim.
35
Walter Burkert, Ancient Mystery Cults (Cambridge, Mass., 1987) 22-23
Henrichs (above, n. 7) 267f.
H. Lloyd-Jones, "Pindar and the After-Life," in Pindare (Geneva, 1985 [Entretiens sur l'antiquité classique 31]) 245-83, at 263-64
Greek Epic, Lyric, and Tragedy (Oxford, 1990) 92-93
H. Lloyd-Jones and N. G. Wilson, Sophoclea: Studies on the Text of Sophocles (Oxford, 1990) 144
Henrichs (above, n. 7) 276f. n. 49.
36
Fritz Graf, Eleusis und die orphische Dichtung Athens in vorhellenistischer Zeit (Berlin, 1974) 40-50
37
Albert Henrichs, "Greek Maenadism from Olympias to Messalina," HSCP 82 (1978) 121-60, at 123-37
IMagn. 215
38
Aisch. Eum. 22-26
Eur. Ion 550-53, 714-17, 1125-27
Ph. 226-28
IT 1242-44
Ba. 306-308
fr. 752 N2
Aristoph. Frogs 1211-13
Aristoph. Clouds 603-606
Philodamos Dion. Paian 21-23 Powell
Aristonous Apoll. Paian 37 Powell.
39
E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeley, 1951) 77, following Erwin Rohde, Psyche: Seelencult und Unsterblichkeitsglaube der Griechen2 (Freiburg, 1898) II 50-52.
40
F 131 MW
Albert Henrichs, "Die Proitiden im hesiodischen Katalog," ZPE 15 (1974) 297-301
M. L. West, The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (Oxford, 1985) 78-79.
Parker (above, n. 9) 207-209.
41
Albert Henrichs, "Die Maenaden von Milet," ZPE 4 (1969) 223-241 at 238
A. J. Festugière, "La signification religieuse de la Parodos des Bacchantes," Eranos 54 (1956) 72-86
Études de religion grecque et hellenistique (Paris, 1972) 66-80
42
Dodds' commentary, p. xx.
43
Albert Henrichs, "Changing Dionysiac Identities," in Ben F. Meyer and E. P. Sanders, eds., Jewish and Christian Self-Definition. Vol. III: Self-Definition in the Graeco-Roman World (London, 1982) 137-60 and 213-35 at 223-24 n. 95.
44
Parker (above, n. 9) 288
Pierre Boyancé, Le culte des Muses chez les philosophes grecs (Paris, 1972 [BEFAR 141]) 64-73
Moulinier (above, n. 13) 116-18
Ba. 77.
46
Parker (above, n. 9) 288 n. 38
47
Dodds (above, n. 39) 95 n. 87
Ch. 698f.
Richard Seaford, "The Attribution of Aeschylus, Choephoroi 691-99," CQ 39 (1989) 302-306
Renate Schlesier, "Mixtures of Masks: Maenads as Tragic Models," in Thomas H. Carpenter and Christopher A. Faraone, eds., Masks of Dionysus (Ithaca, 1993) 89-114, at 113 n. 91
48
Ivan M. Linforth, "The Corybantic Rites in Plato," UCPCP 13 (1946) 121-62.
Dodds (above, n. 39) 75ff.
49
Ivan M. Linforth, "Telestic Madness in Plato, Phaedrus 244de," UCPCP 13 (1946) 163-72
50
Kannicht ad Eur. Hel. 1301-68, p. 331.
52
"Corybantic" (above, n. 48) 123f.
53
Dodds (above, n. 39) 79 with n. 104.
54
Dodds' translation, ibid. Linforth (above, n. 48) 140
Dodds 98 n. 102
55
Dodds (above, n. 39) 95 n. 87
Linforth (above, n. 48) 161 with n. 78
56
"Corybantic" (above, n. 48) 141.
Dodds (above, n. 39)
98 n. 102.
57
Beryl Barr-Sharrar, "Dionysos and the Derveni Krater," Archae- ology 35.6 (1982) 13-19, at 16.
58
A. S. Rusyaeva, "Orfizm i kul't Dionisa v Olbii," Vestnik drevney istorii 143 (1978) 87-104.
59
Ba. 465ff.
M. L. West, "The Orphics at Olbia," ZPE 45 (1982) 17-29; Fritz Graf, "Dionysian and Orphic Eschatology: New Texts and Old Questions," in Carpenter and Faraone (above, n. 47) 239-58
Albert Henrichs, "Der rasende Gott: Zur Psychologie des Dionysos und des Dionysischen in Mythos und Literatur," A&A 40 (1994) 31-58 at 47-51.
60
Aristoph. Frogs 357
Lys. 1
Parker (above, n. 9) 287.
61
Rohde (above, n. 39) II 48-49 n. 1
Jeanne Croissant, Aristote et les Mystères (Liège and Paris, 1932)
Burkert (above, n. 35) 141 n. 32.
62
Walter Burkert, Die orientalisierende Epoche in der griechischen Religion und Literatur (SB Heidelberg 1984, 1) 159.
63
Ellendt-Genthe, Lexicon Sophocleum s.v.
65
her introduction, p. 5, and ad 999, 1142, 1230-31, 1233-36, 1241.
66
"Sophoclea," BICS 26 (1979) 4f.
idem, Sophocles: An Interpretation (Cambridge, 1980) 85 with n. 39.
67
K. J. Dover, Greek Popular Morality (Berkeley, 1974) 125
Griffith ad PV 249
OK 544
Eur. fr. 166 N2.
68
Wilamowitz ad HF 542
Fraenkel ad Ag. 850
Bond ad HF 542.
Solon 4.17 West.
69
Isokrates Helen 34
Plato Rep. 544c
70
fr. 71 Austin = 453 N2
71
Eur. IT 380ff.
Moulinier (above, n. 13) 103-109
Parker (above, n. 9) 33f., 65f.
Ant. 1083
72
Kamerbeek ad loc.
Lloyd-Jones and Wilson (above, n. 35) 143f.
75
Ditmars (above, n. 13) 158
76
Winnington-Ingram, Sophocles (above, n. 66) 115.
Dorsch (above, n. 4) 78
Bierl, Dionysos und die gr. Trag. (above, n. 13) 130
77
Winnington-Ingram, Sophocles (above, n. 66) 110
Karl Reinhardt, Sophokles3 (Frankfurt, 1947) 84f.
78
Henrichs (above, n. 7) 266f.
Ditmars (above, n. 13) 160-63 and 168-69
79
Albert Henrichs, "Namenlosigkeit und Euphemismus: Zur Ambivalenz der chthoni- schen Mächte im attischen Drama," in Annette Harder and Heinz Hofmann, eds., Fragmenta Dramatica (Göttingen, 1990 [Festschrift Radt]) 161-201.
80
OT 165, 169f.
OK 368.
81
Aias 175, 844
El. 982.
83
Solon 4.17 West = 3.17 Gentili-Prato.
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