In Greek and Roman mythology, this staff was carried by the female companions at the Dionysia or Bacchanalia, known as Maenads (later also Dionysiads) or Bacchantes, and more rarely also by the Satyrs (hybrid creatures made of half-man, half-goat). Those who had overindulged in wine could lean on such a staff. It consisted of a stalk of giant fennel, was crowned with a pine cone and entwined with ivy and vines. The staff was also considered a symbol of fertility. Together with the kantharos (drinking vessel for wine), the thyrsos staff was an attribute of the Greek wine god Dionysus or its Roman counterpart Bacchus (hence the Bacchus staff), with which these two were often depicted. See also under Ancient Wines and Wine Gods.
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Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien