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God as Cult Initiate: Dionysos and the Eleusinian Mysteries in Greek Vase-Painting.

Dionysos, the Greek god of wine, had a well-established iconography in Athenian black-figure and red-figure ceramics during the Archaic period. Thus, when a vase-painter of this time represented him in ways that diverged from convention, such imagery is striking and presents art historians with an iconographic puzzle. A vase-painter named Makron provided one such intriguing depiction of Dionysos on the reverse of an Attic red-figure cup attributed to his hand from c. 480 BCE. Today, this cup is housed in the British Museum (vase number E140) (Figs. 1 and 2). (1) This skyphos is a masterpiece of Late Archaic Greek vase-painting and among this prolific artist's best works. Dionysos might be expected to be seen with some of his usual attributes, such as his kantharos (drinking cup), ivy vines, thyrsos (fennel stalk), and animal skins, or perhaps in a narrative context with maenads and satyrs, who form his band of followers. (2) The Kleophrades Painter--also from the Late Archaic period and thus contemporary with Makron--depicted this familiar iconography of Dionysos on a neck-amphora in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek Munchen, which includes all of the above mentioned elements (Fig. 3; satyrs not visible in photograph). (3) But with his work, Makron created something different. Holding an unusual variation on the thyrsos, Dionysos stands in procession among a gathering of gods that includes Zeus, Amphitrite, and Poseidon (who sits beneath one handle). Makron identified all of the figures on the vase with inscriptions, so their identities are certain, but can the intended subject of this scene be recovered?

Earlier discussions have interpreted Makron's representation of Dionysos as celebrating the god's local cult and festivals at Eleusis, just as the Mission of Triptolemos on the obverse celebrates the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter. Active for 1,000 years, the Eleusinian Mysteries were the most important mystery cult for the Greeks, and initiation promised one a better lot in the afterlife. It is in this light that scholars have preferred to see Makron's Dionysos, believing that he celebrates two of the most important deities at Eleusis on either side of the cup. This article offers a new interpretation of the Dionysos scene that, in turn, reveals a different way to conceive of the vase's iconographic program. (4) Despite great scholarly interest in Dionysos, little attention has been paid to his role as an initiate in the Mysteries, which is a more unusual aspect of this god in art. (5) A reconsideration of iconographic features--including Dionysos' truncated thyrsos, dress, associations with Triptolemos and Zeus, and the absence of his usual band of followers--within the context of mythic traditions and cult ritual reveals that Makron portrays Dionysos as an initiate in the Eleusinian Mysteries, making the skyphos the earliest known representation of this subject in Greek art.

Makron's unorthodox treatment of Dionysos contrasts with the standardized and canonical scene of the Mission of Triptolemos on its obverse, which led scholars to dub this vase the "Triptolemos skyphos." Not surprisingly, most attention has focused on the picture on the vase's front, which Alan Shapiro describes aptly as, "the fullest and most beautiful preserved version" of Triptolemos' departure (Fig. 2). (6) The Eleusinian prince sits in his winged wheel seat in the center flanked by the goddess of grain, Demeter, on the left and Persephone and a personification of Eleusis, the place where the Mysteries take place, on the right. This is the culmination of the Mysteries. Already reunited with her daughter, Demeter has just shared her secrets of agriculture with Triptolemos, who makes a libation and is about to provide this gift to the world. Poseidon and Eumolpus, the chief priest who revealed things during the Mysteries, each sit beneath a handle, legs facing the gods on the reverse but looking over their shoulders at the founding of the Mysteries on the other side.

Makron's vase is significant in the history of Greek vase-painting because he provided one of the first geographical personifications, one of the first scenes of Triptolemos making a libation, and the first Triptolemos scene that wraps entirely around the vase; likewise, the figure of Dionysos on the reverse is the earliest representation of the god in a clear Eleusinian context. (7) To this list of innovations that Makron introduced, this article will demonstrate that we can add one more: he painted the earliest known representation of Dionysos as an initiate into the Eleusinian Mysteries.

A Celebration in Honor of Dionysos?

Does the reverse of Makron's Triptolemos skyphos represent a celebration in honor of Dionysos? Dionysos stands in the center of the scene flanked by Zeus, the chief Olympian, behind him and the sea goddess Amphitrite in front of him (Fig. 1). Both Dionysos and Zeus face right and are in procession. (8) Dionysos wears an ivy wreath and a himation (cloak) over his chiton that wraps around both shoulders so that his right hand is lost in the folds of the garment. He holds a truncated thyrsos in his left hand. Zeus wears a myrtle wreath, chiton, and himation that passes over his left shoulder only. He holds his thunderbolt in his right hand and a scepter in the other. Amphitrite moves to the viewer's left, her body turning frontally as she looks over her shoulder at her husband Poseidon, the god of the sea. (9) She wears a chiton and himation that passes over both shoulders like a shawl. In her left hand she holds a dolphin, and with her right she picks up her himation.

Kevin Clinton sees the figure of Dionysos on Makron's skyphos as a reference to the god's local cult at Eleusis rather than to his role in the Mysteries. He places Makron's vase within the same tradition as two hydriai in the Kerch style and a volute-krater attributed to the Kleophon Painter. (10) Each of these also features Dionysos in an Eleusinian context, interpreting all of these vases as "allusions in their own way to the sanctuary of the Mysteries and to the Eleusinian sanctuary of Dionysos." (11) These later vases certainly connect Dionysos with the celebration of his cult at Eleusis, but their portrayals of Dionysos are different from how Makron depicted the god. On the two hydriai, one in Athens (National Archaeological Museum) and one in Lyon (Musee des Beaux-Arts), both from c. 330-320 BCE, Dionysos sits on a rock and is accompanied by women framing the scene. On the Athens hydria there is a dancing woman on the left side of the scene and two women on the right. Two more women appear with Dionysos on the hydria in Lyon, a seated woman playing a tympanum on the far left of the scene seated over the handle and a dancing woman on the right. As Clinton observes, the women are most likely maenads because they "do not belong to the strictly Eleusinian sphere, therefore must belong to the Dionysiac." (12) He goes on to argue further that, "the presence of the maenads does not suggest a scene of Dionysos in the Mysteries but the familiar ambience of a Dionysiac cult." (13) This interpretation of these two vases is surely correct because the inclusion of maenads would not be appropriate in the context of the Mysteries.

The volute-krater attributed to the Kleophon Painter from c. 430 BCE in the Cantor Center of the Arts at Stanford University is closer in date and composition to Makron's skyphos. One side of the krater depicts two adjacent subjects: Demeter sitting on the Mirthless Rock and the Mission of Triptolemos. Triptolemos seated in his winged cart dominates the center of the vase as it does on Makron's vase. On the other side, Dionysos stands in the center of the scene facing right, and he holds a thyrsos in one hand and a kantharos in the other. Behind him is a Papposilenos (grandfather satyr) who faces a maenad holding a lyre; behind her and under the handle is a satyr wearing a leopard skin and holding a thyrsos. In front of Dionysos is a woman who holds a torch in one hand and an oinochoe in the other; behind her and under the other handle is Pan wearing a deerskin. Clinton suggests, "As the scene on the other side refers to the festival of the Mysteries at Eleusis surely the scene on this side refers also to a festival, most likely a Dionysiac festival at Eleusis." (14) This view is also certainly correct. The other members of Dionysos' retinue, however, separate the Stanford krater and the two Kerch hydriai from the depiction on Makron's cup. The maenads, satyr, and Papposilenos on these other vases create a Dionysiac milieu that suggests the worship of Dionysos and his cult at Eleusis. Makron's subject is different. Without his band of followers, the reverse of the Triptolemos skyphos makes no claim to celebrating Dionysos' cult at Eleusis.

On the Stanford krater, Dionysos holds a thrysos, a common attribute for the god of wine in Athenian vase-painting, and this highlights another difference from his portrayal on Makron's Triptolemos skyphos. Makron gives Dionysos a truncated thyrsos: that is, just the fennel stalk with sprigs of ivy rather than the head of ivy leaves found on top of a true thyrsos. This peculiar feature is rare in Attic vase-painting. (15) Makron almost always depicts Dionysos with his ivy vine and either a thyrsos or kantharos, his usual attributes. (16) The truncated thyrsos is a subtle feature that Makron uses to depict Dionysos in a different way. By distancing the god of wine from his conventional attributes, Makron removes him from his usual realms and constellation of associations, thus highlighting his importance in the Mysteries and relation to Demeter. The modified thyrsos becomes a type of staff or walking stick that helps to signal the processional nature of the scene, as both he and Zeus move around the vase.

Another vase must feature in this discussion. Fragments of a red-figure pelike attributed to the Pan Painter in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu pair the Mission of Triptolemos on one side with a Dionysiac scene on the other. (17) The Dionysiac side depicts a bearded man in the center bent over an animal and behind him a small maenad and satyr reaching up an ivy covered tree. The space in front of the man is fragmentary and may have included one or two figures, one of whom is likely Dionysos. A hand holding a sacrificial knife belongs to one of the figures, and a vine laden with grape clusters fills the background. Martin Robertson interprets the subject as Dionysos giving the gift of the vine to Ikarios, who makes an offering in return. (18) This scene then connects thematically to the subject on the other side with Demeter giving the gift of grain to Triptolemos. Like the Getty pelike, Robertson sees Makron's Triptolemos skyphos as, "evidently another case of the pairing of the gifts of grain and vine." (19) This interpretation of Makron's vase also then explains the truncated thyrsos because we would not expect to see a full thyrsos if this is the aition of the god's revelries. Robertson's point that on Makron's vase, "the whole decoration has a unity" is an important observation, but Zeus, Poseidon, and Amphitrite do not fit easily within a Dionysiac context and the god of wine does not, in this case, offer a vine. (20) Like the vases cited by Clinton, the Pan Painter's pelike also includes Dionysos' followers, in this case a maenad, satyr, and Ikarios; this distinguishes the Malibu vase from Makron's cup. Even though Dionysos dominates the center of the Triptolemos skyphos' reverse, Makron depicts a gathering of gods, rather than a Dionysiac scene. The grouping of deities is closer in spirit to the gathering of gods on Makron's Bochum cup (Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universitat) than to the scene on the Pan Painter's vase. (21) Depicted without his band of followers, Makron's Dionysos becomes more fully embedded in the context and narrative of the mysteries scene that unifies the cup's imagery.

Dionysos as an Initiate in the Eleusinian Mysteries

Rather than celebrate Dionysos' cult at Eleusis, Makron depicts the god as an initiate into the Eleusinian Mysteries. (22) While Herakles and the Dioskouroi are the most famous mythical initiates at Eleusis, as represented on the Pourtales krater, for instance, Dionysos also appears as an initiate on fourth-century BCE vases and his initiation is attested to in at least one literary source. (23) The Pseudo-Platonic Axiochos states, "And the story is that Herakles and Dionysos, in their descent to Hades' realm, were first initiated here and obtained courage for the journey there from the Eleusinian goddess." (24) Pseudo-Plato refers here to Dionysos' journey to the underworld to bring his mortal mother Semele back to Olympus with him. While the literary sources are rather late, Dionysos appears with Semele in black-figure vase-painting in scenes that may be interpreted as part of this story, which we can imagine also featured in the oral tradition. (25) After all, as early as Hesiod's Theogony (750-650 BCE) we learn that Semele becomes a goddess. (26) Dionysos' role in Semele's apotheosis establishes a reason why the god would need to be initiated into the Mysteries before descending to Hades, and these black-figure vases attest that this story was known in the Archaic period. An Attic black-figure cup attributed to the Kallis Painter in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli depicts the busts of two large figures facing one another whose names are inscribed Dionysos and Semele, perhaps a reference to her apotheosis. (27) Likewise, the heads of two figures between satyrs and maenads on a black-figure columnkrater in the Musee du Louvre, Paris, may depict the anodos of Dionysos and Semele, but we cannot be certain because their names are not inscribed. (28)

Black-figure vase-painters also depict chariot scenes with Dionysos and a woman, as on two hydriai attributed to the Leagros Group (e.g. Fig. 4). On the one in the Martin von Wagner Museum der Universitat Wurzburg, an unnamed woman is in the chariot while Dionysos stands behind the horses. John Beazley sees her as "Semele (rather than Ariadne)." (29) On the vase in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Dionysos mounts the chariot while Semele, named by an inscription, stands behind the horses and looks at her son (Fig. 4). (30) The Mastos Painter depicted a woman mounting a chariot with Dionysos at the head of a procession that also includes three satyrs and Hermes on an amphora in the Martin von Wagner Museum der Universitat Wurzburg. (31) This subject has been identified as the introduction of Semele to Olympus. (32) Likewise, Beazley suggests that a painter of the Princeton Group have provided the same subject on an amphora in the Musee du Louvre that depicts a procession headed by a woman before an enthroned Zeus, behind whom stands Dionysos. (33) Such black-figure scenes with Dionysos and an unnamed woman whose identity is uncertain are not uncommon. Two further examples include a lip cup attributed to the Xenokles Painter in the British Museum, London and the name vase of the Group of Oxford 216 in the Ashmolean Museum. (34) Timothy Gantz suggests that the Xenokles Painter's cup may depict Dionysos in the underworld retrieving Semele and about to bring her to Olympus. (35) Seeing Hermes in his role as psychopompos, or leader of souls to the underworld, in these scenes may encourage identifying the women as Semele rather than Ariadne. Hermes also attends to Persephone's anodos, or return, on the Persephone Painter's name vase in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (36)

These vases and others like them may have to do with Dionysos' journey to the underworld for his mother and their trip to Olympus, suggesting that Archaic vase-painters knew this story. The hydria in Berlin (Antikensammlung) likely gives a depiction of this story because this painter of the Leagros Group names both Dionysos and Semele with inscriptions (Fig. 4). (37) In fact, the vase-painter inscribes her name as both Semele and Thyone, an acknowledgment of her apotheosis. The closing line of the Homeric Hymn to Dionysos (1) refers to Semele by her other name, for the first known time, noting that it is she "whom men call Thyone," a reference to her deification. (38) While Dionysos as an initiate has been thought to be a rather late feature in art and myth, the appearance of the god with Semele in black-figure vase-painting offers support for a sixth-century BCE mythological tradition in which Dionysos would need to be initiated before going to Hades. The tradition of these vases and the stories that informed their imagery could well have influenced Makron to see Dionysos as an initiate and an appropriate pendant to Persephone on the obverse of his Triptolemos vase because both are gods that travel to the underworld and back again.

On fourth-century BCE vases, artists closely link Dionysos with Triptolemos (Figs. 5-7). This later relation between the two lends support for seeing Dionysos on Makron's Triptolemos skyphos as the initiate who processes around the vase towards Triptolemos who is the spondophoros, or announcer of the Mysteries. (39) A relief hydria from Cumae but of Attic origin known as the "Regina Vasorum," dateable to circa 330 BCE, illustrates this connection between Dionysos and Triptolemos (Figs. 5 and 6). (40) In the center of the composition a reunited Demeter and Persephone are flanked by figures arranged symmetrically around them in pairs that have meaning in relation to one another, a sophisticated composition and iconographic program that Clinton has ingeniously interpreted. (41) Dionysos and Triptolemos in his winged chair are the first pair to the left of Demeter, and Herakles and Athena are the first pair to the right of Persephone. The artist pairs Dionysos and Herakles as initiates. (42) The latter holds the sacrificial piglet required of the purificatory ritual. Dionysos holds a thyrsos in his left hand and his head is downturned to look at the seated Triptolemos. Clinton points out, "It is noteworthy that Dionysos, who forms a symmetrical pair with Herakles, is turned not toward Demeter but toward Triptolemos, the god who issued the invitation to the Mysteries." (43) The motif of Triptolemos making a libation has even been seen as the archetypal initiate, and perhaps Makron links Dionysos and Triptolemos on his skyphos as initiates. (44)

A similar connection between Dionysos and Triptolemos appears on a Kerch style pelike in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, by the Marsyas Painter known as the "Eleusinian pelike" (Fig. 7). (45) Dionysos reclines on a hill in the background at the top right of the scene, paired again with Herakles who stands at the top left. Dionysos, identifiable by his thyrsos, looks to his right at Triptolemos who stands in a winged cart. The vase-painter creates a variation on the better known iconography of Triptolemos seated in his winged seat, but the meaning is the same, as he holds a sheaf of wheat and announces the Mysteries. Dionysos gazes over at Triptolemos rather than down at the figures below. A final example that links Dionysos and Triptolemos in an initiatory context is a mid fourth-century BCE lekythos from Apollonia that includes Triptolemos in his winged cart in a scene of Persephone sitting in Demeter's lap. (46) Dionysos stands directly behind Triptolemos, visually linked with him and overlapping the wings of his chair. The visual collocation of Dionysos and Triptolemos forms an important part of the god's iconography as an initiate in the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Initiation, Cult, and the Poetics of Dress

One of the difficulties in seeing Dionysos as an initiate on Makron's vase is that his dress differs when compared with those on the Ninnion pinax, a painted plaque found south of the Telesterion (initiation hall) at Eleusis made about a century after Makron's cup. (47) The male initiates wear himatia only over the left shoulder with the right arm bare, and they wear myrtle wreaths, conventions that we believe contemporary fourth-century people followed. (48) On Makron's vase, Dionysos wears an ivy wreath rather than one of myrtle. Makron, however, depicts Triptolemos, Zeus, Poseidon, and Eumolpos wearing myrtle wreaths, recording the importance of this plant at Eleusis. On the Eleusinian pelike (Fig. 7), Dionysos as an initiate wears an ivy wreath while Herakles wears one of myrtle. Thus perhaps the representation of the wreath in art was flexible and need not strictly follow cult practice. While Dionysos is naked on the St. Petersburg pelike (Fig. 7), he is clothed on the Regina Vasorum (Figs. 5-6) and on the lekythos in Sofia discussed above. Gods, however, cannot be expected to mirror human practice, and Makron's vase is idiosyncratic in other ways as well. (49)

On Makron's vase, Dionysos is the only male figure who does not wear the himation over the left shoulder but instead is wrapped up in it. (50) The different way that he wears the himation marks it as a meaningful variation from the way it is worn by all of the other figures on the vase, and one that marks it as significant. In The Fashion System, Roland Barthes articulates a vestimentary code in which "it is difference that makes meaning, not repetition." (51) Enveloping Dionysos in his himation becomes Makron's way of signaling him as the initiate in the scene through a poetics of dress. Makron uses dress elsewhere on this vase to cue ways of interpreting the imagery, and vase-painters sometimes use dress for narrative purposes. (52) Elsewhere, I examine how Makron used the decoration of Demeter's himation on the Triptolemos skyphos to tell the cult myth of the Mysteries, to evoke a visual cosmology, and to model the Eleusinian religious experience of revelation. (53) Another example of Makron's meaningful use of dress can be observed on his skyphos in Berlin (Antikensammlung) with the embassy to Achilles, on which the Greeks find the hero seated in his tent also wrapped in his himation, except his left hand is not free like that of Dionysos. (54) The manner in which Achilles wears his himation signals his physical and psychological isolation, exile, and lack of action, as he has withdrawn from the Greek war effort in anger over Briseis. Achilles and Dionysos wear their mantles in ways that further contribute to the narrative and meaning of their respective scenes.

Once Dionysos is seen as an initiate, it is possible to discern how Makron used the god's dress to figure poetically the religious experience of initiation in the cult. The adjacent figures of Dionysos and Amphitrite become a striking pair for comparison that highlights the importance of dress and the body on Makron's vase (Fig. 1). While Dionysos is enveloped in his garment, Amphitrite lifts her himation to reveal her body, which is visibly outlined beneath her diaphanous chiton. As the initiate, Dionysos wears a himation that covers and conceals him both physically and metaphorically. The hands are the agents of action, and Greek gods often hold attributes that identify them in art, like Zeus with his scepter and the thunderbolt on Makron's vase. Dionysos' covered right hand engages viewers who may expect him to hold a kantharos or vine, but they are denied visual access to any attribute of identity, just as initiates in the Mysteries do not know the true nature of the world until the veil is lifted from their eyes. Dionysos' mantle communicates that his hands do not have to do anything, since initiation in the Mysteries involves seeing rather than doing. The god's concealed hand alludes metaphorically to the practice of covering the eyes of the mystai (initiates) with blindfolds in the Mysteries.

In contrast, Amphitrite wears her himation in a way that frames and reveals her body. Falling down her back, the himation allows Makron to achieve the "light effect" he often favors, in which the spread drapery minimizes the black background and gives the vase a lighter appearance. (55) On the Triptolemos skyphos, the light effect resonates with special meaning because the lightness of Amphitrite's himation frames the revelation of her body, just as light accompanied the teletai, or secret rites, in the Mysteries. Amphitrite's lifting of her himation off her shoulder with her right hand engenders the idea of revelation because Makron used this gesture on other vases to indicate that a figure reveals his or her body. On Makron's skyphos in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Helen lifts her himation in the same way, revealing her body so that Menelaos will fall in love with her again and put away his sword. (56) Makron also depicts youths similarly lifting the himation off their shoulders in pederastic scenes in which the eromenos (boy) makes the gesture to reveal his body to the erastes (older man), as on a kylix by Makron in the Staatliche Antikensammlung und Glyptothek Munchen (Fig. 8, second figure from left). (57) The Munich cup is important for this discussion because Makron drapes the himatia on the eromenoi in different ways to communicate distinct narrative moments in the courtship between men and boys. The eromenos of the far right couple is bundled up in his himation, much like Dionysos on the Triptolemos skyphos, which shows an earlier moment in the courtship compared to the boy revealing his body in the couple on the far left. This vase further illustrates how Makron uses dress for narrative purposes and displays his interest in how concealing and revealing the body creates meaning. At the same time, the juxtaposition of Dionysos and Amphitrite's dress enacts a metaphorical reference to initiation in covering (or "blindness") and revelation, which was at the heart of the Eleusinian Mysteries. It is the female body that is revealed to Dionysos, just as it was the body of Demeter that initiates came to know through her epiphany in the Mysteries.

Cult, Myth, and Ritual: Makron and the Mysteries

The processional aspect of Dionysos on Makron's vase also may have evoked for some viewers the procession of initiates from Athens to Eleusis that took place on the nineteenth of Boedromion, a major part of the Mysteries. (58) The personification of Eleusis on the front of the vase encourages viewers to see place as an important part of the composition (Fig. 2). The Triptolemos scene on the vase's obverse thus takes place at Eleusis, and perhaps viewers are to think of Dionysos as in Athens and moving towards Eleusis on the other side as the scene wraps around the vase. Great festivity and even dancing accompanied this boisterous procession as initiates made the fourteen mile journey to Eleusis. With Dionysos' truncated thyrsos and Poseidon's scepter, both unusual features, Beazley suggested that Makron may have "wished to represent these stark gods in a serene and benevolent mood," and perhaps the vase-painter hoped that viewers would see in this imagery an allusion to this joyous procession. (59) In this way, artistic intention becomes a strategy to try to understand how ancient people might have interpreted the picture, since vase-painters worked within conventions of their time to make images comprehensible to viewers. Dionysos' truncated thyrsos is not one of the bakchoi or branches carried by initiates, but it serves as an adequate walking stick. In fact, except for the vine of ivy at its top, it is quite similar to the walking stick carried by the male initiate at the far left in the pediment of the Ninnion pinax.

During the procession on the nineteenth of Boedromion, sacred objects and a statue of Iakchos were carried as the crowd chanted Iakch' o Iakche, a reference to a figure sometimes associated with Dionysos himself. (60) In Sophokles' Antigone, the chorus refers to Dionysos himself as "lord Iakchos," and even in ancient times there seems to have been a conflation or confusion between the two. (61) An ambiguity between Dionysos and Iakchos might have cued associations of the procession and of this daimon for contemporary viewers, even though they are distinct gods. If Dionysos on the cup's reverse presents a moment at the beginning of the festival, then the obverse with the Triptolemos scene provides the conclusion of the Mysteries, as Demeter has already shared her gifts with humankind. (62) In depicting moments that represent the beginning and end of the Mysteries, Makron links both sides of the vase in a temporal and topographic relation and is able to present the whole experience of the festival. A temporal relation also guides the narrative of the myth and/or cult activity on the fifth- and fourth-century BCE works considered earlier, including the Ninnion Tablet, the Regina Vasorum (Figs. 5-6), and the Kleophon Painter's volute-krater at Stanford. (63) These works represent both the beginning and end of the Mysteries in one scene using continuous narration. The Kleophon Painter, for instance, represents the mourning Demeter on the Mirthless rock next to the Mission of Triptolemos on the front of the vase; and the Ninnion Tablet depicts a mourning Demeter alone in the bottom register while Demeter and Kore are reunited in the upper register. (64) Seeing a temporal relation between the two sides of Makron's vase aligns it more closely with modes of narrative on these later works.

Besides the story in which Dionysos travels to Hades for his mother, why else were the Greeks disposed to think of this god as an Eleusinian initiate? (65) Dionysos is "the most human god" of the Olympians because he is the only one to have a mortal mother. (66) Dionysos embodies, as Albert Henrichs points out, an "essential tension between the divine and human," and it is this which may have made him attractive as an intermediary between life and death in the Mysteries as he too mediates between the mortal and immortal. (67) Like Herakles, another famed initiate of Eleusis, Dionysos is also a son of Zeus. Dionysos' connection with Zeus and his role as a god who both transgresses and maintains boundaries foregrounds the "cosmic dimension" of Dionysos that Cornelia Isler-Kerenyi interprets in his role at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the Return of Hephaistos to Olympos, and the Gigantomachy (gods vs. giants) in black-figure vase-painting, as on Sophilos' dinos in the British Museum and the Francois vase. (68) Isler-Kerenyi argues, "Dionysos always tends to strengthen the cosmic order personified by Zeus. His is essentially the action of a mediator and of a peacemaker in extremely critical situations of conflict in which the equilibrium of the world runs the risk of being upset." (69) It is in this role that Dionysos also adds meaning to the scene on Makron's cup.

At the heart of the Eleusinian cult myth is a cosmic conflict over the realms of the universe and the authority of Zeus. (70) In the Hymn to Demeter, the eponymous goddess disrupts and challenges the cosmic order in attempting to immortalize the Eleusinian prince Demophoon, which would have collapsed the border between gods and humans. The conflict between Zeus and Demeter begins even earlier, in the opening lines of the Homeric Hymn, when the god offers his brother Hades the hand of Persephone without her mother's knowledge. In her grief over the abduction of her daughter, Demeter withdraws from the gods on Olympus to search for her, which disrupts the equilibrium of the deities on Olympus. A further consequence is that in withholding the gift of grain, the earth falls barren and the gods are not able to receive their rightful offerings from mortals, which further upsets the balance of power that articulates the cosmic hierarchy that supports Zeus' authority.

On the Triptolemos skyphos, Makron alludes to Demeter's conflict with Zeus in placing them in analogous positions standing at the far left of the scene on their respective sides of the cup, thus drawing a visual parallel between them. For the Greeks, Dionysos must have retained a tinge of his role as "guarantor of the cosmic order of Zeus" expressed commonly in black-figure, and in this capacity the god of wine stands next to his father. (71) Makron's conception of Dionysos in this way could have been informed through his knowledge of the three Homeric Hymns to Dionysos (1, 7, and 26), in which Miguel Herrero de Jauregui argues the god's "personal and functional relations to other gods like Zeus ... are described with great clarity." (72) Makron does not illustrate any of the Hymns, but his understanding of Dionysos in relation to other gods reflects an Archaic mode of thinking about the god. The Eleusinian cult myth tells the story of a cosmic conflict that threatened the order of the universe, but Makron's inclusion of Dionysos on the reverse of his cup reminds and ensures that an equilibrium and peace has once again been achieved through the Mysteries. Demeter's gift of initiation into her Mysteries changes the relationship between humans and gods by offering mortals a better lot in the afterlife, but it does not disrupt the authority and power of Zeus. The boundaries between the cosmic realms may have been renegotiated, but not fundamentally changed. Demeter's Mysteries celebrated the cult myth that helped to restore order and peace to the world. Triptolemos' libation in the presence of Demeter and Persephone on the front of Makron's vase can also be seen as a symbol of peace, as these sponde scenes have been interpreted by Tetsuhiro Hayashi. (73) As an Eleusinian initiate, Makron's Dionysos represents the counterpart to the Triptolemos scene on the cup's other side. Dionysos' status as initiate reveals that peace, order, and equilibrium have also been restored to the divine realm as well. Peace, therefore, is another theme that links both sides of Makron's cup, casting both Dionysos and Triptolemos in the role of peacemakers in an Eleusinian context.


Seeing Dionysos as a cult initiate allows for a decoding of what at first glance seems to be the god's puzzling iconography on Makron's vase. The significance of Makron depicting the god as an initiate is that it provides a Late Archaic date for this strand of the cult myth, which is otherwise attested to only later in the fourth century BCE. Makron's early example of Dionysos as an initiate in the Eleusinian Mysteries emerged at a time when our vase-painter was developing the iconography that would later become familiar. The Triptolemos skyphos thus stands at the beginning of a tradition seen here realized with a different emphasis on vases like the Regina Vasorum, the Eleusinian pelike, and the Sofia lekythos (compare Figs. 1, 6, and 7).

Makron signals Dionysos' initiatory aspect in subtle ways that require careful looking and contemplation, not unlike the religious experience of the Mysteries themselves. Dionysos' procession, truncated thyrsos, dress, connection to Triptolemos, association with cosmic order, and the absence of his usual band of followers all speak to his role in the Mysteries. In effect, Dionysos becomes a synecdoche, used by Makron to suggest the experience of initiates and their procession as the god walks around the vase to Eleusis on the other side. Dionysos might even have been part of the revelation of the Mysteries themselves. An historical person might have dressed up as Dionysos, as one of the most famous initiates, and he could have been part of what initiates saw inside the Telesterion during the secret part of the ritual. Not only does Makron's cup encourage viewers to look at Greek vases in new ways then but it also reminds them that art is an important source for the study of ancient religion.

Makron's skyphos was found in the Brygos Tomb in Campania, Italy, suggesting that it must have been a treasured object buried with the deceased. 74 The circumstances of how the vase came to Italy are unknown, but it likely circulated first in an Athenian context, perhaps a remembrance or souvenir of one's own initiation, and my interpretation posits an Athenian viewer. (75) Initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries promised one a better lot in the afterlife, and this is one of Demeter's gifts to humankind. Just as she shares her secrets and gifts with Triptolemos on the front of the vase, so too does Dionysos as an initiate on the other side represent another embodiment of Demeter's munificence. Ultimately, Demeter is the goddess Makron celebrates on this vase, and he depicts her in a majestic historiated himation decorated with motifs that activate associations of the Eleusinian cult myth and that signal her regal nature, powers, and importance in the Mysteries. At the end of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter we learn, "Blessed is the mortal on earth who has seen these rites, / but the uninitiate who has no share in them never / has the same lot once dead in the dreary darkness." (76) Makron's Dionysos becomes part of this soteriological promise for a better life after death, as the god-cum-initiate models what would have been one of the most important religious experiences of a contemporary person's life.

Anthony F. Mangieri is Assistant Professor of Art History and Coordinator of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. His monograph, Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art: Women, Agency, and the Trojan War is forthcoming from Routledge.

* The following abbreviations are used for the standard reference works on Greek vase painting: ABV = J.D. Beazley, Attic Black-figure Vase-painters (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956); ARV2 = J.D. Beazley, Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963); Para. = J.D. Beazley, Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-figure Vase-painters and to Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971); Add.2 = T.H. Carpenter, Beazley Addenda: Additional References to ABV, ARV2 and Paralipomena, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1989); BAPD = Beazley Archive Pottery Database Online (http://www.beazley., last accessed June 15, 2015. Additional abbreviations include: LIMC = Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (Zurich and Munich: Artemis Verlag, 1981-99); LIMC Suppl. = Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae Supplementum (Dusseldorf: Artemis and Winkler, 2009).


I wish to thank Catherine Fernandez, Rachel Foulk, and Ron Hockensmith for reading multiple drafts of this article and for their enthusiastic support. I also thank Rachel Stephens and the anonymous reader for their thoughtful comments. All errors that remain are my own. For permission to reproduce images of works in their collections, I thank The British Museum, London; Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, Munich; Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen, Berlin; and The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.


(1.) London, The British Museum E140 (ARV2 459.3, 481, 1654; Para. 377; Add.2 243; BAPD 204=683). On Makron, see John D. Beazley, "Makron," lecture delivered in Cambridge, August 1955, and in Basle, November 1956, in Greek Vases: Lectures by J.D. Beazley, ed. Donna C. Kurtz (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 84-97; Dietrich von Bothmer, "Notes on Makron," in The Eye of Greece: Studies in the Art of Athens, ed. Donna Kurtz and Brian Sparkes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 29-52; Martin Robertson, The Art of Vase-Painting in Classical Athens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 100-6; Norbert Kunisch, Makron (Mainz/Rhein: von Zabern, 1997).

(2.) On Dionysos in art, see LIMC 3, s.v. Dionysos p. 414-514; LIMC Suppl., s.v. Dionysos p. 171-7.

(3.) Munich, Antikensammlungen 8732 (ARV2 182.6, 1632; Para. 340; Add.2 186; BAPD 201659).

(4.) For scholarship on this vase, see BAPD 204683.

(5.) Recent works include Renate Schlesier, ed., A Different God? Dionysos and Ancient Polytheism (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011); Alberto Bernabe, Miguel Herrero de Jauregui, Ana Isabel Jimenez San Cristobal, Raquel Martin Hernandez, Redefining Dionysos (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013); Michael Philipp et al., Dionysos. Rausch und Ekstase (Munich: Hirmer, 2013); John Boardman, The Triumph of Dionysos: Convivial Processions, from Antiquity to the Present Day (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2014); Cornelia Isler-Kerenyi, Dionysos in Classical Athens: An Understanding Through Images (Leiden: Brill, 2015). On Dionysos represented with Eleusinian divinities, see LIMC 3, s.v. Dionysos nos. 523-36 (p. 467-68) and LIMC Suppl., s.v. Dionysos nos. add.16 and add.17 (p. 173-4); his connection to the Mysteries, see Henri Metzger, Les representations dans la ceramique attique du IVe siecle (Paris: E. de Boccard, 1951), 250-2; idem, "Le Dionysos des images Eleusiniennes du IVe siecle," Revue archeologique (1995): 3-22; as separate from the Mysteries: George E. Mylonas, [phrase omitted], Archaiologike Ephemeris 99 (1960): 68-118 and idem, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961), 275-8; Kevin Clinton, Myth and Cult: The Iconography of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The Martin P. Nilsson lectures on Greek religion, delivered 19-21 November 1990 at the Swedish Institute at Athens (Stockholm: Svenska institutet i Athen, 1992), 123-5. For representations of Dionysos and Eleusinian gods on black-figure vases from Eleusis, see Michalis Tiverios, "Artemis, Dionysos, und Eleusinische Gottheiten," Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 119 (2005): 47-162.

(6.) H. Alan Shapiro, Art and Cult Under the Tyrants in Athens (Mainz/Rhein: von Zabern, 1989), 76.

(7.) H. Alan Shapiro, "The Origins of Greek Geographical Personifications," in Geographische Kenntnisse und ihre Konkreten Ausformungen, ed. Dietrich Boschung, Thierry Greub, and Jurgen Hammerstaedt (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2013), 94-6; idem, Art and Cult, 87.

(8.) Kunisch, Makron, 132, also sees the figures as in procession to the right despite Amphitrite's role as a "hinge figure" that moves in one direction and looks in the other.

(9.) Dionysos may also appear with Poseidon and Amphitrite (?) on two red-figure vases in Paris: Musee du Louvre G41 (ARV2 33.8, 1609; Add.2 157; LIMC 3, s.v. Dionysos no. 603; BAPD 200182); and Musee du Louvre G184 (ARV2 296.6, 1643; Add.2 211; LIMC 3, s.v. Dionysos no. 604; BAPD 203073).

(10.) The vases are located in Athens at the National Archaeological Museum 1443 (BAPD 5791; Clinton, Myth and Cult, 138 no. 3); Lyon, Musee des Beaux-Arts 689 (BAPD 10935; Clinton Myth and Cult, 138 no. 4); and Stanford, Cantor Center of the Arts at Stanford University 1970.12 (BAPD 8110); attributed to the manner of the Kleophon Painter by Herbert A. Cahn.

(11.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 124-5; Clinton, 125 note 25, also suggests a similar interpretation for a red-figure bell krater in Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Napoli H 3245, the name vase of the artist (ARV2 1438.1; Add.2 377; BAPD 218086). This vase also depicts Dionysos with a satyr, which associates it with the other three vases Clinton cites, but distinguishes it from Makron's vase. Iphigeneia Leventi, "The Mondragone Relief Revisited: Eleusinian Cult Iconography in Campania," Hesperia 76 (2007): 107-141, interprets the Mondragone relief as being dedicated by a devotee of both the Eleusinian and Orphic-Dionysiac Mysteries because of its portrayal of Dionysos.

(12.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 123.

(13.) Ibid., 124.

(14.) Ibid.

(15.) Beazley, "Makron," 96; Thomas H. Carpenter, Dionysian Imagery in Fifth-Century Athens (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), 110 note 34. Beazley also notes Poseidon's scepter rather than a trident as another unusual feature. Both the Berlin Painter and the Eucharides Painter depicted Dionysos with a knobby walking stick or staff rather than a thyrsos: Northampton, Castle Ashby 2 (ARV2 208.145; Add.2 194; LIMC 3 s.v. Dionysos no. 477; BAPD 201964); London, The British Museum E279 (ARV2 226.1, 1634; Add.2 199; LIMC 3, s.v. Dionysos no. 478; BAPD 202054).

(16.) For other examples of Dionysos in Makron's work, see the following: with vine and kantharos: Brussels, Musees Royaux R247 (ARV2 462.41, 481; Para. 377; BAPD 204723); thyrsos and vine: Berlin, Antikensammlung F2290 (ARV2 462.48, 481, 1654; Para. 377; Add..2 244; BAPD 204730); thyrsos and drinking horn: Rome, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia 50396 (ARV2 465.82, 481, 1654; Para. 378; Add.2 245; BAPD 204764).

(17.) Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum 81.AE.62 (BAPD 28880).

(18.) Martin Robertson, "Two Pelikai by the Pan Painter," in Greek Vases in The J. Paul Getty Museum, vol. 3, ed. Jiri Frel and Marion True (Malibu: The Museum, 1986), 71-90.

(19.) Ibid., 88. Another pairing of grain and wine appears on a black-figure neck amphora of c. 510 BCE in Compiegne, Musee Vivenel 975, on which the Priam Painter depicts on one side Triptolemos in a seated chariot with Dionysos in a winged chariot on the other side (ABV 331.13; Add.2 90; BAPD 301791); discussed in Shapiro, Art and Cult, 87 and Kevin Clinton, "The Eleusinian Mysteries and Panhellenism in Democratic Athens," in The Archaeology of Athens and Attica Under the Democracy, ed. William D.E. Coulson et al. (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1994), 166.

(20.) Robertson, "Two Pelikai by the Pan Painter," 88.

(21.) Bochum, Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universitat S1062 (BAPD 13378).

(22.) On Dionysos as an initiate, see Mylonas, "EXeuoig kai Aiovuaog," and idem, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries, 209, 213 and 316; Clinton, Myth and Cult, 81-4; Metzger "Le Dionysos des images Eleusiniennes"; Robert Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, reprint 2009), 341; Leventi, "The Mondragone Relief," 131.

(23.) Pourtales bell-krater: London, The British Museum F68 (ARV2 1446.1, 1693; Para. 492; Add.2 378; BAPD 218148).

(24.) Pseudo-Plato, Axiochos 371e, trans. Jackson P. Hershbell (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981). Discussed in Parker, Polytheism and Society, 341 n. 58.

(25.) Literary sources on Dionysos include Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 4767: the Cyzicene Epigrams (AP 3.1), Diodoros (4.25.4), Apollodoros (Bibliotheca 3.5.3), Plutarch (Moralia 565f-566a), and Pausanias (2.31.2). The oral tradition is discussed in Gantz, Early Greek Myth, 473-7. See also Giovanni Casadio, "Dioniso e Semele: morte di un dio e resurrezione di una donna," in Dionysos. Mito e mistero: atti del convegno internazionale, Comacchio, 3-5 novembre 1989, ed. F. Berti (Ferrara: Liberty House, 1991), 361-77; LIMC 7, s.v. Semele p. 722-3, cat. nos. 19-26.

(26.) Theogony, 940-2.

(27.) Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli STG172 (ABV 203.1, 689; Add.2 55; BAPD 302609). Cornelia Isler-Kerenyi, Dionysos in Archaic Greece: An Understanding Through Images, trans. Wilfred G.E. Watson (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 166-9, interprets the scene as related to Dionysiac mysteries and Semele's "mystery transition," by extension also connected with her immortalization (quote at 169). On Semele, see also idem, La madre di Dioniso. Iconografia dionisiacaYIII, AION, (1997) 87-103.

(28.) Paris, Musee du Louvre F311 (BAPD 282).

(29.) Wurzburg, Universitat, Martin von Wagner Museum 318 (ABV 364.55, 356; BAPD 302050). For Beazley's identification, see ABV 364.55.

(30.) Berlin, Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin F1904 (ABV 364.54, 356; Add.2 97; BAPD 302049).

(31.) Wurzburg, Universitat, Martin von Wagner Museum 267 (ABV 258.10, 257; Para. 116; Add.2 67; BAPD 302242)

(32.) Karl Schefold, Gods and Heroes in Late Archaic Greek Art, trans. Alan Griffiths (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 46-7.

(33.) Paris, Musee du Louvre F 4 (ABV 301.1; Para. 131; BAPD 320442).

(34.) London, The British Museum B425 (ABV 184; Para. 76; Add.2 51; BAPD 302436); Oxford, Ashmolean Museum 216 (ABV 592.1; Add.2 140; BAPD 331285).

(35.) Gantz, Early Greek Myth, 477.

(36.) New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 28.57.23 (ARV21012.1; Para. 440; Add.2 314; BAPD 214158).

(37.) Discussed in Renate Schlesier and Agnes Schwarzmaier, eds., Dionysos: Verwandlung und Ekstase (Regensburg: Schnell and Steiner, 2008), 167-8, cat. no. 18, and Susanne Moraw, "Visual Differences: Dionysos in Ancient Art," in A Different God? Dionysos and Ancient Polytheism, 236-7. Moraw suggests a comparison to contemporary depictions of Herakles' introduction to Olympus in a chariot with Athena.

(38.) On the name Thyone used to signal Semele's apotheosis, see Walter F. Otto, Dionysus: Myth and Cult, trans. Robert B. Palmer (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1965), 70-1; Schefold, Gods and Heroes, 46; Jan N. Bremmer, "Walter F. Otto's Dionysos (1933)," in Redefining Dionysos, ed. Bernabe et al., 7-10.

(39.) On Triptolemos in this role, see Xenophon, Hellenica 6.3.2-6. Discussed in Clinton, Myth and Cult, 69 n. 33, 80-1. Tetsuhiro Hayashi, Bedeutung und Wandel des Triptolemosbildes vom 6.-4. Jh. v. Chr. (Wurzburg: K. Trilsch, 1992), 82-4, sees Triptolemos making the libation as connected with the historical spondophoroi.

(40.) St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum St. 525 (BAPD 30214; LIMC 3, s.v. Dionysos no. 526; LIMC 4, s.v. Demeter no. 405; Clinton, Myth and Cult, 134 no. 5).

(41.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 78-81. Against this interpretation, see Erika Simon, "Eleusis in Athenian Vase-painting: New Literature and Some Suggestions," in Athenian Potters and Painters: The Conference Proceedings, eds. John H. Oakley et al. (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1997), 106.

(42.) Mylonas, [phrase omitted], 96, first saw them as initiates.

(43.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 81.

(44.) Erika Simon, Opfernde Gotter (Berlin: Mann, 1953), 67-9. Discussed in Shapiro, "Geographical Personifications," 95-6.

(45.) St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum St1792 (ARV21476.1; Para. 496; Add.2 381; BAPD 230431). Traditionally attributed to the Eleusinian Painter, but now assigned to a late work of the Marsyas Painter; for bibliography, see Simon, "Eleusis in Athenian Vase-painting," 105.

(46.) Sofia, Archaeological Museum 7721 (BAPD 41041; LIMC 4, s.v. Demeter no. 288; Clinton, Myth and Cult, 134 no. 3).

(47.) Athens, National Archaeological Museum 11036 (LIMC 4, s.v. Demeter no. 392; Mylonas, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries, 213-221; Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat, "Demeter und Persephone in der attischen Kunst des 6. bis 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.," Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts 87 (1972): 105-7 and 146-7; Clinton, Myth and Cult, 136 no. 1; Michalis Tiverios, "Women of Athens in the Worship of Demeter: Iconographic Evidence from Archaic and Classical Times," in Worshipping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens, eds. Nikolaos Kaltsas and Alan Shapiro (New York: Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, 2008), 129-131; Kalliope Papangeli, Catalogue numbers 62 and 66, in ibid., 145 and 150-1).

(48.) On the use of myrtle in the cult, see Mylonas, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries, 209, 212, 252; Nicholas Richardson, The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974), 142.

(49.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 81.

(50.) Dionysos is also the only god whose long hair falls down his back. Both Zeus and Poseidon's hair is tied up with only one strand escaping. Dionysos' long hair is worn in the same way as the mortals, Triptolemos and Eumolpus, who are also initiated in the Mysteries.

(51.) Roland Barthes, The Fashion System, trans. Matthew Ward and Richard Howard (New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1983; first published 1967), 11 and chapter 9.

(52.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 73 n. 57, and 80-1, notes that the artists of the Ninnion plaque, the Regina Vasorum, and the Eleusinian pelike all use dress and its decoration to express different emotional states of Demeter.

(53.) Article entitled, "Makron's Eleusinian Mysteries: Vase-Painting, Myth, and Dress in Late Archaic Greece." I presented aspects of this work at the following conferences: "Cosmology and the Eleusinian Mysteries: Art, Myth, and Cult in Ancient Greece," at the Mythical Cosmos: Now and Then Conference, sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Religions and Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilizations, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, March 2015; "What Demeter Wore to the Eleusinian Mysteries: Cult and the Art of Dress on Makron's Eleusis Skyphos in the British Museum," at the College Art Association's 101st Annual Conference, New York City, February 2013.

(54.) Berlin, Antikensammlung 1970.9A (ARV2 458.2, 1654, 481, 460.16-18; Para. 377; Add2 243; BAPD 204682).

(55.) Robertson, The Art of Vase-Painting, 105. Makron's Helen skyphos epitomizes this effect: Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 13.186 (ARV2 458.1, 1654, 481; Para. 377; Add.2 243; BAPD 204681).

(56.) See note 55.

(57.) Munich, Staatliche Antikensammlung und Glyptothek Munchen 2655 (ARV2 471.196, 482, 1585; Add.2 246; BAPD 204879). For another example in Makron's work, see Munich, Antikensammlungen 2657 (ARV2 475.267; Para. 378; Add.2 246; BAPD 204946). On this gesture in pederastic scenes, see Andrew Lear and Eva Cantarella's discussion of Munich 2655: Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty: Boys Were Their Gods (London: Routledge, 2008), 44.

(58.) See Mylonas, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries, 252-8; Walter Burkert, Greek Religion, trans. John Raffan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985), 286-7. For another example of allusion to a procession of initiates, see Christina Mitsopoulou, "The Eleusinian Processional Cult Vessel: Iconographic Evidence and Interpretation," in Current Approaches to Religion in Ancient Greece. Papers Presented at a Symposium at the Swedish Institute at Athens, 17-19 April 2008, eds. Matthew Haysom and Jenny Wallensten (Stockholm: Svenska institutet i Athen, 2011), 201-2; she suggests that the four erotes running towards Demeter and Persephone on the Stathatos headband "could be interpreted as the personification of the procession of the initiates on the fifth or sixth day of the Mysteries, the arrival of Iakhos or Pompe."

(59.) Beazley, "Makron," 96.

(60.) Erika Simon, Festivals of Attica: An Archaeological Commentary (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983), 32, once thought "Iakchos in Eleusinian representations is no one other than Dionysos," a view softened in LIMC 5 (1990), s.v. Iakchos pp. 612-4; discussed in Michalis Tiverios, "Eleusinian Iconography," in Greek Offerings: Essays on Greek Art in Honour of John Boardman, ed. Olga Palagia (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1997), 174 note 35. On Iakchos, see also Burkert, Greek Religion, 287-8; Clinton, Myth and Cult, 64-71; Parker, Polytheism and Society, 348-9, 358; Miriam Valdes Guia, "Redefining Dionysos in Athens from the Written Sources: The Lenaia, Iacchos and Attic Women," in Redefining Dionysos, 109-13.

(61.) Line 1152, trans. Hugh Lloyd Jones, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994). See Clinton, Myth and Cult, 66-7 and especially 66 n. 23 on confusions between Dionysos and Iakchos in ancient sources. On associations between Dionysos and Iakchos in Athenian tragedy, see, for instance, Froma I. Zeitlin, "Staging Dionysus between Thebes and Athens," in Masks of Dionysus, eds. Thomas H. Carpenter and Christopher A. Faraone (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), 147-82; Ana Isabel Jimenez San Cristobal, "The Sophoclean Dionysos," in Redefining Dionysos, 276-82.

(62.) Dionysos may also have been associated with the beginning of the festival because he is thought to have played a role in the Lesser Mysteries at Agrai, which was a purification or preliminary rite that initiates experienced from the fifth-century BCE. Stephanus of Byzantium (under Agra) tells us that they involved "an imitation of the story of Dionysos," a statement that Deubner and Foucart supported as true. See Mylonas, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries, 241 and Parker, Polytheism and Society, 345-6, for discussion.

(63.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 80. Against seeing continuous narration in these scenes, see Simon, "Eleusis in Athenian Vase-painting," 106.

(64.) This is just one interpretation of the scene. The identification of figures is much debated (see note 47 for bibliography).

(65.) It is not because of a close association between Dionysos and death as imagined by Otto, Dionysos, 137-42. Jan Bremmer, "Walter F. Otto's Dionysos (1933)," 11-2, responds to Otto's claim, noting that images on black-figure lekythoi are seemingly "the only certain connection between Dionysos and death" (with reference to Winfred van de Put, "Dionysos on Lekythoi: a Surprising Presence?" in Shapes and Images. Studies on Attic Black Figure and Related Topics in Honor of Herman A.G. Brijder, eds. Eric M. Moormann and Vladimir Stissi [Leuven: Peeters, 2009], 37-43).

(66.) Discussed in Moraw, "Visual Differences," 247-9, with reference to Otto, Dionysus, 62-70.

(67.) Albert Henrichs, "He Has a God in Him: Human and Divine in the Modern Perception of Dionysus," in Masks of Dionysus, 22, where he also cautions against overemphasizing the human at the expense of the divine in Dionysos' nature.

(68.) London, The British Museum 1971,1101.1 (Para. 19.16bis; Add.2 10; BAPD 350099); Florence, Museo Archeologico Etrusco 4209 (ABV 76.1, 682; Para. 29; Add.2 21; BAPD 300000).

(69.) Isler-Kerenyi, Dionysos in Archaic Greece, 215-6 (for the quotation), 88, 104. See also idem, "Dionysos und die anderen Gotter," in Dionysos: Verwandlung und Ekstase, 71-79.

(70.) Larry J. Alderink, "Mythological and Cosmological Structure in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter," Numen 29 (July 1982): 1-16; Jenny Strauss Clay, The Politics of Olympus: Form and Meaning in the Major Homeric Hymns (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989); Helene P. Foley, The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, Commentary, and Interpretive Essays, 112ff; Nicholas Richardson, "The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Some Central Questions Revisited," in The Homeric Hymns: Interpretive Essays, ed. Andrew Faulkner (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 53-4.

(71.) Isler-Kerenyi, Dionysos in Archaic Greece, 104.

(72.) Miguel Herrero de Jauregui, "Dionysos in the Homeric Hymns: the Olympian Portrait of the God," in Redefining Dionysos, 240.

(73.) Hayashi, Bedeutung und Wandel, 73-8. Discussed in Simon, "Eleusis in Athenian Vase-painting," 99-100.

(74.) John D. Beazley, "The Brygos Tomb at Capua," American Journal of Archaeology 49 (1945): 153-8; Dyfri Williams, "The Brygos Tomb Reassembled and 19th-Century Commerce in Capuan Antiquities," American Journal of Archaeology 96 (1992): 617-36; Mark D. Stansbury-O'Donnell, Looking at Greek Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 96-8. See Juliette de La Geniere, "Images attiques et religiosite etrusque," in Proceedings of the 3rd Symposium on Ancient Greek and Related Pottery: Copenhagen, August 31-September 4, 1987, ed. Jette Christiansen and Torben Melander (Copenhagen: Nationalmuseet, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Thorvaldsens Museum, 1988), 161-7, for Etruscan interpretations of Eleusinian imagery on Attic vases exported to Etruria.

(75.) Clinton, Myth and Cult, 91; Parker, Polytheism and Society, 334, notes fairly that "we cannot confidently explain them [vases with Eleusinian subjects] as 'advertisements' or 'souvenirs.'" For a consideration of the Etruscan context of Attic vases, see Sheramy D. Bundrick, "Athenian Eye Cups in Context," American Journal of Archaeology 119 (2015): 295-341.

(76.) Lines 480-2, trans. Helene Foley (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999).

Caption: Figure 1. Makron's Triptolemos skyphos. Attic red-figure cup attributed to Makron, c. 480 BCE. Reverse with (from left to right) Zeus, Dionysos, and Amphitrite. London, The British Museum E140. [C] The Trustees of the British Museum.

Caption: Figure 2. Obverse of Makron's Triptolemos skyphos with the Mission of Triptolemos, c. 480 BCE. Figures (from left to right) include Demeter, Triptolemos, Persephone, and Eleusis. London, The British Museum E140. [C] The Trustees of the British Museum.

Caption: Figure 3. Attic red-figure neck-amphora attributed to the Kleophrades Painter with Dionysos surrounded by maenads and satyrs, c. 480 BCE. Munich, Antikensammlungen 8732. Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek Munchen, fotografiert von Renate Kuhling / State Collections of Antiquities and Glyptothek Munich, photograph by Renate Kuhling.

Caption: Figure 4. Attic black-figure hydria attributed to the Leagros Group with Dionysos mounting a chariot and Semele, c. 510 BCE. Berlin, Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin F1904. bpk, Berlin / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen.

Caption: Figure 5. The Regina Vasorum. Attic relief hydria from Cumae depicting Eleusinian gods, c. 330 BCE. Line drawing of scene on shoulder. St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum St. 525. From Nordisk familjebok (1907), vol. 7, p. 379-380. Photograph in the public domain.

Caption: Figure 6. The Regina Vasorum, c. 330 BCE. Detail of Dionysos and Triptolemos. St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum St. 525. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Photograph [c]The State Hermitage Museum / by Vladimir Terebenin.

Caption: Figure 7. The Eleusinian pelike. Kerch style pelike attributed to the Marsyas Painter with Eleusinian scene including Dionysos, Herakles, and Triptolemos, c. 340-30 BCE. St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum St1792. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Photograph [C] The State Hermitage Museum/ by Vladimir Terebenin.

Caption: Figure 8. Attic red-figure kylix attributed to Makron with three pairs of courting couples, c. 480 BCE. Munich, Staatliche Antikensammlung und Glyptothek Munchen 2655. Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek Munchen, fotografiert von Renate Kuhling / State Collections of Antiquities and Glyptothek Munich, photograph by Renate Kuhling.

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Author:Mangieri, Anthony F.
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Date:Jan 1, 2016
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