The God of Ecstasy: Sex Roles and the Madness of Dionysus by Arthur Evans

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The God of Ecstasy is a brilliant analysis of the phenomenon of Dionysos, the ancient Greek god associated with wine and madness, eroticism and the origin of theater. Beginning with a textual analysis of Euripides' "The Bakkhai," Evans shows Dionysos' pivotal position in the conflict between the old Mycenean gods dominated by the Earth Mother and the new gods of the patriarchal Olympian religion. Evans then examines how Dionysian cult practices empowered women while validating variant forms of male sexuality, and traces the impact of the Dionysian impulse in Roman culture and its ultimate absorption into the figure of Christ. 

St Martins Pr: 1988.
ISBN: 9780312022143. 286 pp.
Softcover. Very good.