Bacchanalia

Bacchanalia

festivals celebrated in honor of Bacchus (q.v.). By the Greeks they were called Dionysia, in honor of Dionysus (q.v.), their name for Bacchus. Among the Romans the Bacchanalia were carried on in secret and during the night, when the votaries of the god of wine characteristically indulged in all kinds of riot and excess. At first only women were initiated, and the orgies were held during three (lays in every year; but after a time the period of celebration was changed from the day to the night, and the feasts were held during five nights of every month. Men were now admitted as well as women, and licentiousness of the coarsest kind was practiced. They became the focus of all public and private crimes. In B.C. 186 the senate passed a decree prohibiting such assemblies and authorizing the consuls to investigate and punish all violations of the statute, not only in the city of Rome, but throughout all Italy. Great numbers were apprehended and thrown into prison, while the most criminal were put to death. By this decree the Bacchanalia were finally suppressed. They were afterwards celebrated, however, in a more innocent form; although even then they gave great offence to persons of pure habits. SEE LIBERALIA.

 
Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary
 

Scripture linking and popups powered by VerseClick™.