The Maenad - Pillar 1, south side 


The Maenads were nymphs and companions to the god Dionysus, together with the other spirits of nature, the Satyrs and Silens. Their name is connected with “mania” (frenzy), since they embodied the ecstasy of Dionysian frenzy, the result of drunkenness and dance. They honored Dionysus with hymns, shouting, and orgiastic dances. They ran through the mountains with wild animals and with the powers given them by Dionysian frenzy uprooted trees, killed wild beasts, and ate their flesh raw. Their peaceable activities included harvesting grapes and wine-making.

The Maenad depicted here is playing a flute and dancing on tiptoe, her transparent himation undulating as she swirls.