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Myth and ritual in the Dionysian Misteries
The first mention of Dionysus, the god of wine, was found on several Mycenaean tablets from the 14th-12th centuries b.C. In most cases, women were his great worshippers and the manifestation of the cult took the form of dance and music, in what represented for Greek society a transgression and a momentary abandonment of the sanity necessary to be able to contradict daily customs. The ritual, which sought to alter the participants' consciousness and bring them closer to nature—but where there would be no alcohol, animal sacrifices or unbridled sex, as the emeritus professor of Greek Philology Alberto Bernabé explains—was held for a few days, after which Dionysus left the city and social order was immediately restored.
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