Baccha (or Bacchantes) were priestesses: of the god Bacchus (q.v.). 'They were also called Mcenades (from , μαίνομαι, to be mad) in consequence of the frantic ceremonies in which they indulged in their sacred festivals. They wrought themselves up to a high pitch of enthusiasm, when with' dishevelled hair and halfnaked bodies, their heads crowned with ivy, and a thyrsus, or rod twined with ivy, in their hands, they threw themselves into the most ridiculous postures, celebrating the sacred orgies with the most hideous cries and firious gesticulations.

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