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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Bacchanalia as an attitude towards women

Social Anthropology has classified people’s notions about Women into categories.Thus, on the one hand, there is the anthropological type of the “domestic” woman, who, in a submissive role, functions as a housewife, mother and housekeeper or as a home or “tame” figure, in Engel’s model of the origin of this form of male “ownership”. On the other hand, prevalent in people’s notions —also existing as a male phobia— is the “exotic” version of woman, who more or less appears as a fairy, gnome, pixy, mermaid, ogress, vixen or witch, in all versions of this theme. One of the main virtues of Euripides’ plays is the multiplicity and multifariousness of his poetic word, which can be evaluated as Myth, a quality owed to the Sophists. By representing recognition (in archetypal terms) as political salvation, the poet projects the Dionysiac ideal onto the realities of the state. City leaders’ triviality, the defamation of the militaristic performance of his contemporaries, the reinstatement of the female sex in the sphere of its lost sanctity, the restoration of ancestral worship, all are used by Euripides indirectly in order to dispute the established word.