Small stamped brass button with original tint depicting a dancing Maenad. She raises her thyrsus: a stick tipped by a pine cone and often wrapped in vines. The thyrsus is a symbol of Dionysius (Bacchus), the god of wine and revelry. In mythology the maenads were female followers of Dionsius portrayed as frenzied on wine and wild dancing. Plato wrote that “the god-intoxicated celebrants draw milk and honey from the streams. They strike rocks with the thyrsus, and water gushes forth. They lower the thyrsus to the earth, and a spring of wine bubbles up. If they want milk, they scratch up the ground with their fingers and draw up the milky fluid. Honey trickles down from the thyrsus made of the wood of the ivy.”
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