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maenads

maenads (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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maenad

maenad in ancient Greece, a female follower of Bacchus, traditionally associated with divine possession and frenzied rites. Recorded from the late 16th century, the word comes via Latin from Greek Mainas, Mainad-, from mainesthai ‘to rave’.

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Maenad

Maenad Bacchante. XVI. — L. Mænas, -ad- — Gr. Mainás, -ad-, f. maínesthai rave.

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maenad

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