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(mē`nădz), in Greek and Roman religion and mythology, female devotees of Dionysus. They roamed mountains and forests, adorned with ivy and skins of animals, waving the thyrsus. When they danced, they often worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy, during which they were capable of tearing wild animals to pieces with their bare hands. The maenads were also called (for Bacchus) bacchantes or bacchae.


See R. S. Kraemer, Maenads, Martyrs, Matrons, Monastics (1988).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Pentheus's passivity in the unfolding of this process culminates in his actual exposure to the Maenads' fury.
anachronisms that disturb it (Bickle, "Victorian Maenads").
"Libidinous Laureates and Lyrical Maenads: Michael Field, Swinburne, and Erotic Hellenism" examines how the two were drawn to Swinburne's poetics and aesthetic creed as well as to his subjects and were moved to take up and refashion those in a number of their works.
By the second novel, when Harris begins to borrow from the fantasy genre (maenads and dragons), she is already at the last resort of reader stimulation.
For his rendezvous with the Merry Wives, Falstaff disguises himself as Herne the Hunter, with great ragg'd horns; and then is hunted down in Windsor Forest by the Merry Wives turned maenads, with their fairy-hounds who pinch him for his villainy, Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about Till candles, and starlight, and moonshine are out.
"Greek Maenads, Victorian Spinsters." Victorian Sexual Dissidence.
Going far into credulous complicity with the myth, Wright predicates, not without fond redundancy, that, even after the Maenads dismember Orpheus for ignoring their attractions and his head is borne away by the River Hebrus, his "tongue has no stop," his "song ...
There are statues of Bacchus, Apollo, Diana, Pallas, Hebe, Hercules, Vesta, Venus, Mars, Antinous, Mercury, Vertumnus, naked shepherds, Curetes, Maenads and countless other ancient figures, without including the splendid inscriptions and precious marble with which the walls are encrusted.
(3) Yopi Prins comments on Harrison's 'eroticized relation to the Greek language': 'In a 1919 pamphlet entitled Aspects, Aorists, and the Classical Tripos, Harrison further narrates, in the first person, how "it has happened to me to fall in love with a language"' ('Greek Maenads, Victorian Spinsters', in Victorian Sexual Dissidence, ed.
"The blood from the wound gave birth to the maenads."
In addition, Orpheus was torn to pieces by a group of Bacchic maenads in Aeschylus' Bassarae.
and a quartet of vengeful maenads. Each act closes with a chorus, the largest of which is also a double quartet.