"the dancers dressed as Bacchanalians and satyrs"
A Satyr on a Roman Mosaic
Creative Commons AttributionA Satyr on a Roman Mosaic - Credit: mac9/Wikimedia Commons

The bacchanalians were the wild, drunken followers of Bacchus (Greek Dionysus), god of wine, grapes and merriment. Satyrs were the male companions of Bacchus, men with horse tails, long beards, pointed ears and little snub noses. In Roman art satyrs are sometimes conflated with fauns or with aspects of the god Pan, displaying goat’s legs and hoofs and sometimes ram’s horns. They represent the more animalistic aspects of human desire and behaviour.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt centres on a modern bacchanalian ritual.

Satyrs and Maenads Vintaging, Black Figure Cup
Public DomainSatyrs and Maenads Vintaging, Black Figure Cup - Credit: Bibi Saint-Pol/Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dionysiac Revelers on a Roman Sarcophagus
Public DomainDionysiac Revelers on a Roman Sarcophagus - Credit: Haiduc/Wikimedia Commons